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                    The E-Marketing Digest
                      Volume #2, Issue #92
                        October 17, 1997
                    Gary K. Foote, Moderator

                 Next week's Guest Moderator is
             Nancy Roebke 

                         ProfNet Org.
                Partners for Long Term Success!
                Helping Business Professionals
             Generate More Revenue For Their Firms

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Table of Contents

+ Moderator's Comments

    "Next Week's GM"

+ New Subjects

    "Getting Site Visibilty"
       - Nancy Roebke

    "The Value of Content"
       - Jim Wilson

+ Ongoing

    "How Serious Are You About Your Net Business?"
       - Dave Thullier
       - Moderator's Comments
       - Todd Mogren

    "Strategic Partnering"
       - Nancy Roebke
       - Richard Armitage
       - Moderator's Comments

    "Spending Money on Ads"
       - Nancy Roebke
       - Moderator's Comments

+ Question of the Week

    "Responses to Last Week's QotW"

    "This Week's Question"


                  Moderator's Comments

Hi all,

I am happy to announce that next week's Guest Moderator will be
Nancy Roebke, Executive Director for ProfNet,Inc
.  I look forward to her unique perspective
and incisive comments.  Her company website is a tremendous
resource for anyone marketing online, seeking to generate leads
and/or moving towards international marketing.  Do check it out.

If anyone else is interested in Guest Moderating the EMD simply
 and we'll talk.

Come on all you budding moderators...  it's fun!  Just ask George!

    Your Moderator,

    Gary K. Foote               
    Internet Marketing, Since 1994  
    P.O. Box 3214, N. Conway, NH 03860         (603)447-1024
                       ~ Moderator of ~
    The E-Marketing Digest - Discussing Electronic Marketing
    The List Exchange Digest - Discussing List Owners Issues
    For Subscription Info:         

                      New Subjects

From: Nancy Roebke 
Subject: Getting Site Visibilty

An interesting way to get site visibilty is by linking with your
competition. Here's an article I wrote on just that:

Networking Online WITH Your Competition
Nancy Roebke

I have been in business a long time. Unless my calculations escape me,
this is my 20th year. And in all those years, I have spent lots of time
trying to stay ahead of my competition. I have had good, working
relationships with many of them, and have been able to make clients
happy because of those relationships. I still considered myself in
"competition" with them.

Networking WITH competitors online has some major advantages for you
and for your client base, though. A passive form of networking with
competitors is with reciprocal linking from website to website. Today,
we'll look at the benefits of such linking for you and your client base.

What's in it for your potential clients?

1. The real facts are that, even if you don't OFFER those links, your
potential clients will go find them anyway. They want to comparison shop
for products or services, so why not make it easy for them. Because the
Internet is so large, linking in this manner makes it easier on your
customer to find what they want without having to search very far. This
is a tremendous time-saver for them.

2. Not all firms offer the exact same products and services. It is
possible that a client may choose to do SOME business with you and SOME
with your competition because of this. The synergy of expanded
knowledge, products, services and experience adds to complete, efficient
customer service.

3. What if you are unable to provide equal or better service and/or
products than your competitors? Provide links anyway. Explain that you
are trying to provide your visitors with the best they can get, even if
that is at a competitor's location. They will respect your sincerity and
believe that you are really there for THEM and not just for yourself.

What's in it for you?

1. A HUGE benefit of linking to your competitors, is that you send a
very clear message to your potential client that you are secure with
your product or service and invite them to do some "comparison"
shopping. You are seen as someone who is interested in "sharing the
wealth" as well. Your client base has the potential for being larger on
the Internet than in your own locale (unless yours is a VERY local
business). This expanded base makes it very easy to share that base.

2. YOU can learn helpful information about your industry from the
information posted on your competitors site. This resource saves you
time and keeps you updated on what other firms know and have access to.
Your market research is simplified. You can easily determine what the
competition is up to, what their pricing is, how they are positioning
themselves in the market, what the quality of their work is like, who
their customer base is, etc.

3. It is true that what you give comes back to you more. Sending a
referral to a competitorís site will increase the chances of the
competitor referring someone to you.

4. There is a definite increase in your site's traffic by linking to
competitors. Person's visiting your competitor's sites would most likely
be your "target audience". Therefore, traffic you get because of
reciprocal linking will be likely to bookmark your site for future

5. When your potential client has a chance to compare, you get your
chance to educate, and explain more fully to a buyer about your service
or product. This education shows respect to potential clients.

6. You have an opportunity to form strategic alliances, if it becomes
apparent to both parties that the combining of resources is in the best
interest overall.

7. Rumor has it that it also helps your ranking with some of the major
search engines (such as Webcrawler, which thinks if your page has a lot
of links to it, it must be a well established page on the web). This is
not my forte, but I did get told this was true.

How Can You Successfully Link?

* Make Sure this is a RECIPROCAL situation.

* Set up a separate page for these links .

* Ask the visitors to bookmark this page. Suggest that whenever they
want anything related to your field, instead of going from site to site,
they can visit one page.

* Keep your company name and contact information (including web address
and e-mail address) bold and visible. A statement like "This list of
helpful links brought to you by..." as the opening on your page will
look and sound professional. Having a larger type size for this
information is also an effective technique.

* Have the links be text versus graphic. This will increase the loading
speed of the page.

* Offer a free notification service to the potential client when the
page is updated. There are free sites that offer this update service.
One such service is available at

Nancy Roebke
Learn to Network!
Increase income, cut costs, and put an end to cold calling.
Get our FREE series of articles that teach you the secrets
of successful networking. Today!

ProfNet,Inc  ExecDirector@Profnet.Org

               ***  NEW POST - The Value of Content  ***

From: Jim Wilson 
Subject: Longevity and I-Marketing Efforts

For a change I don't have much to say on this subject.

When I first started VirtualPROMOTE, I had to spend most of my online time
promoting the site. It was virtually unknown so I had to go out and lasso
every webnaut I could find and drag them, kicking and screaming, over to
see what I had put together.

Unfortunately, what I had put together was limited as most of my spare time
was spent in promotion and marketing of the site. There was no community
build around the site at all.

After about six months I moved the site into its own domain name. Prior to
that it had been a sub-site at SmartDesk. Almost immediately I began to see
traffic from sources I wasn't accustomed to seeing in my logs. That trend
continued until there was a steady flow coming to the site without any
promotional efforts on my part.

I was then free to start spending more of my time in developing content and
less time promoting the site. The increase in content always led to more
traffic through new links from better established sites, so I put even more
time into the content.

Now that we are about 2 1/2 years into the site, it is self sustaining in
its traffic, including a steady growth each month. The regular community
appears to number about 20,000 webmasters that visit on a regular basis.

The last thing we did was to add a weekly newsletter. It drew rapidly from
the established community and has frown faster than I had anticipated.

Now, does all this mean anything about marketing? I think so.

1. It has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that content is king. The
fuller your content, the less marketing you have to do. If your content is
good, other people will do your promotion for you. They will send traffic
to see good material.

2. Many things happen on the web that we don't recognize as marketing. When
we launched the newsletter we understood that it would require massive
numbers of hours of effort. But the return would be significant growth for
the site. Isn't that time really spent in marketing, even though it is
spent developing content? When I wrote the tutorial for women who wanted to
market their site to other women, I didn't have to promote it at all. Yahoo
sent me a flood of traffic with one simple review. From there several
hundred other sites put on links as well. Isn't that tutorial a marketing

While this approach is not a 'magic bullet' for building a web community
around a profitable site, I certainly think it is at least as important as
any other effort you might put forth. It is certainly more productive than
buying media. Media delivers traffic only as long as the money holds out.
Good reviews and lots of links last forever.

This may partially explain why webmasters appear to spend less time each
year doing promotion. They're promoting with content and not thinking of it
as promotion or marketing. Just good site management.

That's about as brief as I know how to be.

Jim Wilson        
First aid for the walking wounded of web site traffic promotion.
Subscribe to the Gazette - Free weekly promotion newsletter.
Personal Web Server:


From: dreamer 
Subject: re: why *you* spend so little on I-marketing

>frank discussion, not beating around the bush. So I would be
>interested to hear why *you* spend so little on I-marketing? Is
>it strictly not being able to afford it? Not sure which vehicles?
>Not sure how to research which vehicles? Fear of not getting an
>ROI (return on investment)? Fear of too few dollars to be chased?
>Whatever the reason, lets hear them, and not to blast but to see
>what all of us can come up with to overcome.

Hi again,

In answer to the above question "all of the above" sort of...
When I first started on the internet I was looking to expand
my store into a new market. My first expectation was an almost
free method of promoting my store to an exceptionally large
population. During my learning process I kept on getting
conflicting information on how to promote my site. Anything
from "build it and they will come regardless of price" to
"offer it with no profit because they can get it cheaper than
wholesale". Posting to search engines, mutual links, ezine
posts, and newsgroup posts were all tried. I've heard price
was an issue. I have also heard that price doesn't make a
difference. I've been told content, bells, and whistles, are
needed. I've heard that just the basics will do. I'v been told
that you only need to see a few visitors to sell a product and
that you need thousands of visitors a week to make any money.
Frames... Noframes...

Where does it start to make sense and profit?
This whole I-marketing mess is very disconcerting to one who can
place merchandise on a shelf and have it sold to a walkin
customer without trying to run them down in all parts of the

My real world store was somewhat successful because I carry
non-competitive product (on purpose) in a small town. I have
no marketing budget per se for my store because everything
is word of mouth in this small town and most of my business
is with the under twenty market. I will never get rich with
this store. However, it does feed the family.

My marketing skills are somewhere between nill and non-existant.
I admit it but that is one of the reasons that I joined this
list and others like it. I want to truely learn. I have a good
solid product that is in demand in certain circles (yes I try
to target these circles). I have room to negotiate price. I have
no need to stock merchandise so stock overhead is nill (fantastic
supplier network with a 99% or better fill rate). I just can't
find any BUYING customers.

I haven't spent money on I-marketing because I am still undergoing
a learning process (long as it may be). I only spend money to cover
my ISP charges to keep me and my site on line. I feel that I am
unable to justify additional expenses for a site that has been up
for seven months that can't support the existing expenses. If it
wasn't for my family's use of the net, and my own educational use,
I might have (as a business decision) closed down the site long ago
as a losing endevor. With all the posts I have read and all the
suggestions I have seen I have yet to find the proper method to market
my site regardless of cost. I have been continiously bombarded by
those willing to sell me their services. The only problem was that
there was NO GUARANTEE OF PROFIT. The typical 'pay me first and I will
give you ideas to help you' trap. Of course the other method i've seen
is an offer to help in a friendly sort of way. Usually a hint or basic
idea to help out while identifying yourself as 'possibly in a
marketing business' in this field and not identifying wether the help
is to be paid for or if it is a legitimate no strings attached offer.
I'm not saying that this is the prevailing attitude but at times it
does appear to blow this way. The offers to help feel uncomfortable
to me because I don't know what the expectations are up front. I
could ramble on but it is getting late.

I hope this openness was frank enough for this list. I'm still
here to learn. I'm just not sure what questions to be asking.

   Dave Thuillier
   Owner, Dreamer's Den

   Retailer :Collectable Card Games, Models & Hobby Materials, Role
   Playing Games, Unique Tee Shirts, Fantasy & Sci-FI Books,
   Audio Books, Quantity Discounts available

                ***  [Moderator's Comments]  ***

Hi Dave,

Your post reflects, I am sure, the experience of many other commercial
site owners.  Your main concern;

>...I am
>unable to justify additional expenses for a site that has been up
>for seven months that can't support the existing expenses.

My first reaction to this was to agree with the sentiment and move on,
but there is always another side to the coin and a moments reflection
had me questioning the statement.  I found myself wondering the

Since you already have a physical store that feeds your family your
risk is much less than that of a virtual-business-only model.
Sometimes (when the campaign is well developed and well targeted)
spending a few ad dollars can go a long way towards building a buying
customer base.  Perhaps you could create a limited time 'giant discount'
type of sales event on your site and promote just the event with a
small budget.  Offer a few items at break-even, or even money losing
prices to create some sales activity.  Then, forcibly navigate them
past your regularly priced items in the process.  In other words,
'put the milk on sale and at the back of the store.'

Your secondary issue;

>I have been continiously bombarded by
>those willing to sell me their services. The only problem was that

There really is _no guarantee_ for profit in any venture.  I
suggest that if you find a marketing consultant who guarantees
profits you should look elsewhere for someone more attuned to


   ***  NEW POST - How Serious Are You About Your Net Business?  ***

From: Coastal Tool & Supply 
Subject: Advertising money online

>So I would be interested to hear why *you* spend so little on
>I-marketing?  Is it strictly not being able to afford it? Not
>sure which vehicles? Not sure how to research which vehicles?
>Fear of not getting an ROI (return on investment)? Fear of too
>few dollars to be chased?

The biggest reason why we do not spend more for I-marketing is
most certainly ROI.  The numbers just do not add up. I work for
a company that has a large store online.  Assuming the standard
rate of $20 CPM it is difficult for us to justify the expense
except as a branding technique.

Last month we had 300,000 hits which is the result of 25,000
unique visitors.  We received around 500 orders from those
visitors.  2% of the visitors placed an order.  That percentage
has held true for the past 2 years; 2% of visitors place an order.

If we were to buy 100,000 impressions the cost would be $2,000.
The average click thru is 2%.  That would result in 2000 unique
visits.  2% of those visitors place an order.  We would end up
with around 40 orders at a cost of $2,000.  We sell better quality
hand and power tools and a typical order is bewteen $100.00 -

The margins in this category are very small so you have to justify
the ad placement for other reasons because we do not make back the
investment from the orders placed due to that ad.

Despite those facts, we are planning on running banner ads and
sponsoring e-lists for the upcoming holiday season.  Hopefully
with a better targeted audience we can improve the click-thru
rate.  It is highly unlikely that the percentage of visitors who
place an order will improve since most visitors have  taken an
active step in finding us (a search on a tool that we sell).

Todd Mogren

Coastal Tool & Supply
248 Sisson Ave                Free Email Newsletter
Hartford CT 06105             Free Factory Service Locator
860-233-8213                  Over 500 power tools on-line
860-233-6295 Fax              Tool Doctor

               ***  NEW POST - Strategic Partnering  ***

From: Nancy Roebke 
Subject: Strategic Partnering"

"How have you partnered your site(s) with others to gain
a visibility advantage?

One way has been to set up "Sub Dealer" Relationships. This means
allowing other Web sites to sell your products and you selling other
dealers' products.  If a sale is generated, you fulfill the order and
pay the Web site owner a referral commission, amd visa versa. I have 5
such parnerships on my site right now, where I am selling other people's

I have had to keep a very narrow focus on what I carry, since I want to
provide products/services that I think my client base/site traffic would
actually be interested in. Plus, I didn't want the site to look like it
is a shopping mall and lose the chance at promoting my own services.

Still, I have been VERY satisfied with this relationship. In fact, if I
may ask, I am actively looking to set up a relationship of this type
with an office supply firm. If anyone offers office supplies, and would
be interested in making such arrangements, please contact me at . And thank you.

Nancy Roebke
Learn to Network!
Increase income, cut costs, and put an end to cold calling.
Get our FREE series of articles that teach you the secrets
of successful networking. Today!

ProfNet,Inc  ExecDirector@Profnet.Org

               ***  NEW POST - Strategic Partnering  ***

From: "Richard Armitage" 
Subject: Partnering for mutual benefit

"How have you partnered your site(s) with others to gain a visibility

Gary and all Hello there,

this is my first posting to the newsletter which is becoming a 'must read,
in my daily to do list.

I'm based in Newcastle England and responsible for the development and
Marketing of SpaceCubes, a puzzle/game, using the Internet as its key
selling medium, like Myst in some respects, but real in that you need
pieces of plastic rather than software to play.  The Website is used to add
value and be a remote 24 hour source of help to those who purchase
SpaceCubes. The Product has received a huge amount of favourable publicity
from major Internet Media.

I have seen several of Gordon's posts in this and other lists and have
begun adopting some of his ideas as we strive to improve our Web offering.
In the first instance, the major hook to the site was the innnovative award
winning 3D VRML animations.  However these awards attracted professional
developers, who are probably not our target buying group given they have
little time for distractions and are not yet buying their unique Christmas

To draw in more general gamers we have partnered with other VRML
game/puzzle designers to put together a gallery of both demo and fully
interactive shapes, games and ideas that can be viewed and played on the
Web.  This will go live in the next month.  In addition we are offering
Webspace to reviewers who already have their own puzzle/game information
sites, so browsers can get the information without leaving our Space.  This
is in an aim to make our Space the World leader in this area.  It means
working closely with designers in the US and Europe, but we hope that by
pooling resources we will all benefit.  We will also publish a newsletter
to keep both visitors and customers up to date on regular new releases.
The designers benefit by association and greater exposure to their work.

The aim is to get people to stick around on the site both before and after
purchase.  Those who buy already come back for the visual help, those who
might buy will now gain more exposure to the main income generator whilst
we extend the range available.  Soon we hope to have fully interactive 3D
web games.

Richard Armitage (SpaceCubes Marketing)
tel:44 191 281 6011 US fax 2125048016

                 ***  [Moderator's Comments]  ***


It sounds like you have a good plan in place and the team to
implement it.  Might I suggest another site feature?  How about
an online forum, either chat or bulletin boards, for gamers to
interact with designers on a one to one basis.  It would give
gamers a great place to give input on the future of their hobby,
while giving designers a better feel for what the customer wants,
while giving people yet another reason to come back to your site...
a win-win-win, triple-play.  


            ***  NEW POST - Spending Money on Online Ads  ***

From: Nancy Roebke 
Subject: Spending Money on Online Ads

You know, I answered that survey question with the "dollar" amount I
spend online. I now feel that is not entirely accurate of a figure. This
is based on the feeling that TIME has a value and I did not place a
dollar value on the time I spend marketing online. Even if I placed a
low hourly rate to the time I spend doing online marketing activities
(writing articles, supplying information, following up on leads, etc),
my dollar cost would be over the highest option offered on the survey.

This leads me to wonder if many more entrepreneurs are spending their
time versus their dollars on online promotion. This is true in my case.

Nancy Roebke
Learn to Network!
Increase income, cut costs, and put an end to cold calling.
Get our FREE series of articles that teach you the secrets
of successful networking. Today!

ProfNet,Inc  ExecDirector@Profnet.Org

             ***  [Moderator's Comment]  ***


More than a few have e-mailed with the same concern, but I
intentionally left out physical marketing time and George
included that facet in last week's QotW.  The results are
posted below.


                  Question of the Week

Results of last week's Question of the Week was a two-part.
Here are the results;

a) How much time do you spend online each week marketing your
business? (40 respondents)

Answer                 # of Respondents

Less than 5 hours               9
5 to 10 hours                  10
10 to 20 hours                 10
20 to 40 hours                  7
Over 40 hours                   4

A pretty even spread if you ask me.  The only 'odd' stat here is
"Over 40 hours" with only 4 respondents.  I guess too many of us
like to see our families and get outside once in a while.  :)

b) How long has  your company  been in business? (39 respondents)

Answer                 # of Respondents

Less than 6 months              3
6 months to 1 year              8
1 to 3 years                   15
3 to 5 years                    1
Over 5 years                   12

It was interesting to note that, with few exceptions,
those who have been in business over 5 years are
spending less than 5 hours in online marketing.  This says to
me that one of two things is operating here...  or maybe both;

1) A business that has been in existence for 5 years or more
already has a customer base in place and does not need as intensive
a marketing effort as a younger business.

2) The longer a business is online, the less interested it's
operators seem in internet marketing...  or the less time
they have to put into it.

             ***  This Week's Question of the Week  ***

In what form do you receive the majority of your inquiries/orders?

[ ] E-mail
[ ] Telephone
[ ] Snail Mail
[ ] FAX

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