Synergy!

Synergy. Alliances. Leveraging. Wanky terms, certainly. But powerful tools in today’s competitive environment. Well, so the marketing people with pony-tails and silly names tell us.

What am I on about? Well, this web site, like many others, has a links page. On it you can find references to various other related sites, something which has usually come about because I’ve chatted to the owner of another humorous site, we’ve formed a small two member mutual appreciation society, and decided to swap links. Whether or not this has a huge positive benefit is sometimes doubtful, but it seems like a friendly thing to do.

Cut to the chase, Daniel. A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail that went as follows:

From: Maria Delunas
Sent: Friday, 26 October 2001 05:44
To: request@toxiccustard.com
Subject: toxiccustard.com

Hi,

I reviewed toxiccustard.com and would like a link from it to my client’s web site. In exchange, I’ll post a link from our site to yours.

Exchanging links like this will help bring in more business for both your web site and mine. An added benefit is increased search engine traffic because the search engines rank sites higher that have a good number of relevant links.

Okay, so far so good. Now we come to the fun bit:

Our client carries a vast up-to-date selection of whirlpool bath tubs, faucets, sinks, lavs, steamers and just about anything you can think of for the bath and kitchen.

Please let me know if you are interested in exchanging links. I’ll send you more details once I hear back from you.

What? A plumbing web site wants to link to mine? Right. Makes perfect sense.

I presumed it was some automatically generated letter, a kind of de facto spam sent to anybody linked to a web site (she got the address wrong, after all – it went to the subscription request address). So I wrote back, somewhat tongue-in-cheek:

From: Daniel Bowen [mailto:dbowen@toxiccustard.com]
Sent: Sunday, 28 October 2001 08:51
To: Maria Delunas
Subject: RE: toxiccustard.com

Yes Maria, I would like to exchange links. I can think of few better-matched link exchanges than my humour site and your plumbing manufacturer’s site. Please send me further details.

To my utter astonishment, I got the following reply:

From: Maria Delunas
Sent: Tuesday, 30 October 2001 01:27
To: Daniel Bowen
Subject: RE: toxiccustard.com

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your response and interest in a link exchange with us.

Our client’s web site is
http://www.plumbingexpress.com/

The Plumbing Express carries a vast up-to-date selection of whirlpool bath tubs, faucets, sinks, lavs, steamers and just about anything you can think of for the bath and kitchen.

[…]

So by golly, I’ve put up the link, and replied saying I’ve done so. I’ll be interested to see if they really link to me. I have a feeling it may happen, because glancing at their links page, it appears they already link to at least one other joke site. I suspect Plumbing Express are asking for links indiscriminately, but of the completely irrelevant sites they’ve approached, it’s only those of us in the laughs biz who are linking up.

What the hell. According to Alexa
they get more hits than this site anyway, so it might send some traffic my way! Now, what I need is something on the front page to grab the attention of plumbing customers.

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