Don’t Put Your Ego Above Your Productivity

By Daniel Scocco

As soon as your website starts growing I am sure you’ll start receiving all sorts of crazy emails. There will be people claiming you are dumb and that your content sucks. People asking really stupid questions that could be solved with a quick Google search. People confusing you with someone else and so on.

What should you do in those situations?

If you listen to your ego, you’ll certainly want to answer. That is what I used to do as well. For example, I often get emails from people confusing my company (called Online Profits) with some other companies and courses (e.g., “Quick Online Profits”, “30 Days to Online Profits” and so on). Here’s one of such emails I got recently:

To whom it may concern.

I have 2 charges on my credit card ending with the numbers 2719, one charge for 2.97 usd from online profits and another charge from quick-support.com.

I have already investigated and know that you are sister companies. I have already sent an email and a phone call to someone who did not appear to want to speak with me.

I am asking you to immediately refund any charges to my credit card and please remove all data and information you may have of me including my email address. I have already stated and am doing so again. Your company, companies are a scam and I’ll go to any length to insure that you stop charging my credit card as requested.

My bank and visa is supporting me on this matter and I urge you to immediately contact me to verify that you will stop charging my credit card for any membership charges, or for any charges at all. I honestly do not know what the charges are for and furthermore I did not sign up for anything that asked me or told me I would incur monthly charges.

My answer was the following:

Hi,

I have no clue regarding what you are talking about. If you visit our website you’ll realize we have no products for sale right now. All we offer is a free ebook and a free course. So how on earth would we be able to put a charge on your credit card?

Second, we never heard about that other company you are talking about.

Third, if you keep making false allegations about our company we might require you to prove them in court. So please check your facts before emailing random companies.

The guy obviously didn’t reply, as he must have realized his confusion.

Did I gain anything by replying, though? Nope.

Did I lose anything? Yep, my time.

Sure, it took 5 minutes to write that email. But what if you start replying to every single stupid email you receive? It will add up.

The solution? Tell your ego to shut up and simply ignore stuff that will not help your business.

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15 Responses to “Don’t Put Your Ego Above Your Productivity”

  • Stephanie

    I’m like anyone and hate it when people get my company mixed up with others. My least favorite was when someone was claiming on RipoffReport that I owned some site I don’t own and have never been associated with, and posted my name, address and phone number in their complaint. I was happy that it was my previous contact information, but still steamed to be incorrectly associated with the company they were having trouble with. That I did because it’s visible, even if not associated with a site of mine.

  • doug_eike

    Excellent suggestion. I think this applies to making comments on blogs, as well. If you don’t like what the blogger writes, the best thing is to stop visiting the blog. Contradicting and correcting other bloggers is mostly about ego and is a waste of time. Thanks for the tip!

  • Elle

    I don’t really get this type of email, but I do agree that its a waste of time replying.

    However, you could set up some canned responses in Gmail pretty easily, and I think you can even automate them for certain filters. For example, you could filter any that mention credit card charges and automatically send them that email you wrote.

    I think this would be particularly useful for bloggers that receive a lot of complimentary emails, because as a reader, it takes extra effort to send the email and not getting any response from a “favorite blogger” can be disheartening.

  • Megan

    yes, I just woke up this morning to 40 spam comments on my blog. Drives me mad. your immediate thought is “wow that ‘s a lot of comments” and are just as quickly put right back in your place when you realise each one tells you how great your blog is but doesn’t explain why…

    Still, visitors to my blog are thin on the ground so at least someone (even an automated system!) is looking. 🙁

  • kumo

    I think it is best to just ignore such email because it might just be a scam to trick for a reply. In some cases, they just spam every emails or website they can find just for a response. Base on the response or reply, they will try to check if any of them worth follow up for a scam. I normally categorize these email together with the scam emails which asking for verification of bank account, PayPal, ebay and any accusation they proclaim.

  • Rebecca

    This put a smile on my face. I’ve received my share of emails because I reviewed a ‘popular’ writing software and customers weren’t thrilled with the customer service. Needless to say, I ‘nipped it in the bud.’ I learned a valuable lesson. I ask questions about the customer service and refund policy before I agree to review a product.

  • Ikenna Odinaka

    I’ve receive a few of such hate mails (about 1 in a 100s). Ones that bore me till date (more my main blog) is readers replying my rss to email updates or via contact form asking questions to what I clearly explained in the post or what I’ve replied a thousand times to others or even what I clearly states is beyond the scope of my blog. It just show such senders are not attentive to the blog, so I’ve learnt to simply ignore them. I’ve even gone as far as changing the contact link on my nav tab to something like ‘submit contest’. Yet some still find their way to drop irrelevant messages through it. I’m thinking of removing it entirely.

  • Destination Infinity

    Maybe replying to a person having a problem like this with a softer tone might help the person contact the right source?

  • Anastasia

    It may seem stupid but it’s important to the guy who was charged and he wasn’t sure what for. Yes he confused but it may happen to anyone. I wouldn’t mind to spend 5 minutes to reply.

  • Smith

    Thank you Daniel, for this awesome post.

  • Kelly|product reviews

    What I do is try and answer as many emails or comments that are relevant to my blog. One comment I felt was genuine but not appropiate to the category it was left in. I’m struggling to whether to keep it or trash it. I don’t want to be inconsiderate but I’m learning.

  • Classier Corn

    What an interesting and useful post!

  • Floricel @ Online Business Design Blog

    Very good point!

    But I guess, that case of email was worth replying because not only to serve your ego but to let the other person know that he has the WRONG person and company.

    If cases like this arises, I strongly would want to set the story straight even if it take a couple of minutes to reply but I also agree that other emails are not even worth reading.

  • Marine

    I also had a few angry comments on my blog. I probably did reply with a bit of ego, but even though my blog is not seeking commercial profits I felt it was OK. The person never commented again but I did not care. Some people think that you would probably die without their attention and comments.

  • kalyan

    It’s true. I receive load of mails and comments everyday on my blog posts but none states why my post is good or bad. They make silly points too, like they want to download my theme or tell me that my certain link is not working. They simply try to deviate me so that I publish his/her comments and then reply back. Foolish they think of themselves.

    Either I delete those comments outright or simply publish them without the links and a changed name and then I reply back as politely as I can. This works. No follow up comments creeps up again from that email id ever. Bu that’s tough to handle at times.

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