16 Dec 2008

Am I Risking a Penalty if I Give this Hot Fudge Away?

Dang, it’s after midnight and I’m still at the office again. There’s been 2 cases of Sundaes Best hot fudge sitting on top of my desk that I’m not sure if I should be selfish and give the fudge to the employees (Oh man, I can hear Lisa and Christine and QualityGal saying "Me!", "Me!", "Me!") or if I should try to use this hot fudge for the benefit of my old friend who each year sends me a few cases of hot fudge.

I’ve never taken money from Sundaes Best Hot Fudge. They just send me a few cases of hot fudge each year for "marketing" (fyi, someone else does his site…and I have no say in that area…I’m only "marketing"). So each year he sends a few cases of fudge to me and he doesn’t say what to do with it, or ask about the marketing that we’ve been doing, or have not been doing.

So you know me…I’m always thinking Links…and here’s all these jars of hot fudge in front of me ….and I can’t help but wonder, if I saw a great page about hot fudge, and wrote the the website owner and said, "hey, I was reading your page about hot fudge at http://www.site.com/hot-fudge.html, and thought you’d like to try a jar of this hot fudge. Can I send you a jar?"

Is that breaking any Google guidelines?
Is that evil?
Is that Cheating?
… or is that just "Marketing"?

I don’t know…..
I can tell you that I’d really like to know that answer. I know that Michael Gray is being the trouble maker by pushing some buttons on this very topic via starting Viral conversations which as far as I know, I’ve not seen any G response from yet (correct me if I’m wrong).

I’ve hesitated doing this the past few months….as you know, I’m trying to be Mr. Clean…so I’m not sure if I should try something like this or not….but I’ve got all these jars of hot fudge…what to do….what to do….

This takes me back to the days when I was a Schwan’s Route Saleman. To get new clients, I’d knock on peoples doors and when they’d answer I’d hand them a 1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream and a product book, I’d tell them it’s Free and that I’ll stop back in 2 weeks and they can tell me then if they ever want me to come back again or not.

It worked then…and it worked good…when they told me I could give away free vanilla ice cream to help get new clients, I ran with that for all that it was worth…and my work at that paid off. Every day I picked up new clients doing this. I was so good at this that I set route sales records that may still stand today, was able to split one of my days into 2 days, sell off one of my days to another driver, and was 4th in the northeastern states territory for new clients. It’s the same thing here….

"Hey Bob,
I saw your page where you talk about how to make hot fudge, and I thought you should try Sundaes Best Hot Fudge. I think is the best in the world, and I’d like to send you a free bottle – no strings, if you’ll let me.
Here’s your page where I saw you talking about hot fudge. If you felt this hot fudge met your approval, feel free to mention it there, we think it would add value to that page, and after trying, we hope you agree."

…I don’t know…. maybe we don’t mention the "feel free to mention it there…"….I’m just thinking… It would make sense to give people hot fudge and say there’s no obligation, and leave them "something" they can do, if they wish….and how they do it, is up to them. I don’t feel I should have to tell them anything about how they link it if they link it….they get the fudge, what they do is up to them, even if the do nothing in return. It’s free fudge. I hope they decide to do something nice in return…but that’s up to them.

I’ve got 2 cases of hot fudge on my desk, can I give them away just like I gave out 1/2 gallon of ice cream back in the day? If so, I might want to milk that for all it’s worth like I did with ice cream…is it evil then? Is that cheating? is that against the guidelines?….or is that White Hat Marketing?

I wonder what the Google spam engineers view is on this?

What’s your view on this?

PS…..relax ladies, I’ve got a few jars stashed away here if you’re needing a fudge fix.