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I was looking for an CAN-SPAM compliant bulk emailer for two marketing projects. I was doing one and my friend was doing the other. We found IPS on Google. They had the best value for the money. $399 for 6 Million emails with 2% guaranteed click through (website visitors to our respective sites). I told this to a web saavy friend and he said to beware that many of these bulk emailers use bots or robot computers to manufacturer traffic. He said that a computer makes it seem like you are getting real people to your site but its just a machine.

I asked John Lucas if his company used robot traffic. He said no but that some firms did use them. We decided to give it a try because John seemed honest and answers the phone.

When signing up my friend and I noticed that we could double the number of emails by paying by online check at This seemed like a good deal so we did it. They asked for our personal banking info which made us nervous but 12M emails at 24, 000 guaranteed visitors for $399 proved too irresistible an offer.

We paid on a Monday. We were told the emails would start going out on Friday. By Sat. neither of us had had any calls or emails so I emailed JOhn Lucas. He said that it would take a few days for all the emails to go out and not to expect any responses until Friday. That was 1 full week from when the emails started going out and over 10 days from when we paid.

This seemed fishy to me. I started to wonder if the reason that he wanted people to pay by check was because if you pay by credit card it is easy to get your money back by doing a charge back. With a check there is no way to get your money back. As soon as it clears thats it. If I had a lot of unhappy people and chargebacks, I would want to be paid by check so as to avoid chargebacks. I wondered if the 10+ day delay between payment and when I was supposed to start recieving responses had anything to do with the time it takes for a check to clear. I wondered, but have no hard evidence, that they want to be holding your money before you realize that nothing came from the email blast. That could be why the long delay. Look, I get unsolicited emails all the time. I either delete them or click on them when they come in. I do not wait one week to click on them as John Lucas suggested was the lag between the start of the blast to the start of the response. That is nonsense.

I did not have a counter on my website so I could not track traffic. Nobody had watched our video though and we had a counter on that. I called my friend who called John Lucas on Monday. John told him that he had 8, 000 hit already. My friends webmaster showed 12 hits, well within normal traffic. Why the difference? Not sure.

By the end of the day on Monday John told my friend that he had 12K hits. My friend showed 15. Neither of us got any emails or calls from the email itself or from our website. By Monday I assumed that I had been had and canceled the check and closed my checking account. I was not about to wait until Friday, the day John told me to expect responses, to cancel the check. It turned out that neither me nor my friend ever received any contact from the emails. I cannot prove it was a scam. If you want to give it a try go ahead, be my guest. Luckily he never got a penny of my money or my friends. I wrote this to protect other consumers.

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  • Ma
      19th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I must admit that I had a remarkedly similar experience with this company recently ...SHAME ON ME for not checking first!

    We only sent out 600, 000 emails, and did track the "visitors" quotes because we are convinced that very few (if any) of those "visitors" are actual people. The algorithms in my analysis software evaluates the click-thru patterns and for this campaign determined that there was a VERY HIGH probablility that 99% of the clicks were generated by automated means (i.e. BOTS!). Of the 600000 emails we sent out, we got a little over 1400 click-thrus and ZERO sales, ZERO complaints, ZERO questions, ZERO subscribers, ZERO "I hate spam" emails, and ZERO new customers. A large number of the hits came within a 10 minute window shortly after midnight every night; then a small, predictable trickle all day long until about 8pm when they stopped cold...until shortly after midnight when there was another burst. This simply does not correlate with email reader's behaviors!

    I agree with previous post that I cannot prove this is a scam, but if it smells like sh** and looks like sh**, there is a good chance that it really is sh**.
    I can say that these numbers are not consistent with other legit services that we have used...250-750 clicks per million is more typical, and conversions of 3-7% are not at all unrealistic.

    My advice: don't waste your money with this can do better.

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