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February 09, 2007

Donald Trump's Websites - When Big Names Get Online Marketing All Wrong

By Li Evans

Mark Cuban had a post a few days ago about some spam that he got from "The Donald" to promote one of Trump's websites - TumpUToday.com.  At first I found the post a little amusing, but then curiosity got the better of me.  Could the Trump Organization really be going in for another round of not having a clue about Internet Marketing?


I first went and took a look at the domain that was "sending" the email, which also was the domain listed in the link.  If you look closely, it's not any of Donald Tump's domains. So I did a little digging and found out who the registrant of that domain is.


OK, so now you really see, "The Donald" doesn't really have anything to do with this email on the surface.  Now I got to actually check out that URL listed in Mark Cuban's email.  Surprise, surprise - it's a redirect over to one of Donald's sites when I first tried out the link.

The site that originally came up was an "exclusive" offer to subscribe to Donald Trump Online University, when I first looked at it, it didn't look bad at all.  But, looks can be deceiving on just a first glance, which was all I had when I first looked at this yesterday morning before coming to work.  So with looking at the redirect URL, I figured that this was some sort of affiliate program, with the person just spamming the heck out of people to send them to Trump's site.

When I went to close down my browser, I then got the most annoying prompts from this site.  Talk about pissing people off with pop-up windows - WOW!  Donald, you need to get a new online marketing company, because even though your page looked nice, you just managed to tank any "nice thoughts" that people had when they first came to the webpage.  Take a look at the pop-ups I got when I tried to leave TumpUToday.com - and yes, that chat window had typing going on.



So now, not only does Donald Trump's organization have a problem with being linked to email spam, but now we have pop-up spam. Talk about issues with understanding how to market online, keep customers and not create bad word of mouth marketing, Trump should be using his catch phrase "your fired!" to his online marketing team or consultants.  I say this even more now, especially after this blatant demonstration of how not to market online and what happened a few months ago when someone hijacked Trump.com pages and made the descriptions of his pages appear with "levitra|viagra|cialis|penis|small penis."

Salesforcemgtnewredirect Interestingly enough, when I tried that link again in Cuban's email, a day later (today),  it is now redirecting to an entirely different site.  Perhaps this company has been warned by whatever program they were in to cease their actions due to the "outing" by Cuban?  If so (I can only guess here), I'm sure they still want to take advantage of the traffic they are bound to be getting, so they are redirecting else.

Since I'm not within either organization - Trump.com or the "affiliate" that first sent the email spam, I can only guess what went on here.  Unfortunately for both companies, this becomes the perfect model for "what not to do in online marketing."


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