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The eMarketing Digest
© 1996 - 2008
Library of Congress
ISSN 1522-6913

Published by
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                     The E-Marketing Digest
                      Volume #2, Issue #111
                        December 3, 1997
                    Gary K. Foote, Moderator

 The E-Marketing Digest is published by Webbers Communications
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Table of Contents

+ Moderator's Comments

    "The Seasonality of Business"

+ New Topics

    "Associate Programs & Ad Networks"
       - Chris Muenchhoff

+ Ongoing

    "Financing a Newsletter"
       - Claudia Hafling
       - George Matyjewicz
       - Ron S. La Vine
       - Jose Camilo Daccach T.
       - Allan Gardyne
       - Moderator's Comments

    "Why BCC?"
       - Claudia Hafling
       - Moderator's Reply

    "Handling Spammers"
       - Rick Smith
       - Moderator's Comments

    "Request for Advice"
       - Mel Eperthener
       - Moderator's Comments

+ Question of the Week

    This Week - "Have You Ever Used Bulk E-mail?"


                  Moderator's Comments

Hi all,

As we are in the midst of the Christmas buying 
frenzy here in the commercially addicted USA I 
thought it would be appropriate to open a thread 
on the seasonality of business.  After 20+ years 
in marketing and advertising I have gotten used 
to the economic roller coaster ride that the gift 
giving seasons impose on most small to medium 
businesses.  It has been my experience that retail 
businesses boom and service businesses drop off 
dramatically during these seasons.  

Why is this so?  Well, it could be that retail 
stores, while selling all those goods to millions 
of eggnog crazed shoppers, haven't got the time to 
focus on the non-sales side of their operations 
and so the industries that service them get ignored.  
It could also be that merchants, when they are 
experiencing a boom, need fewer services - or at 
least think they need fewer services.  

What I would like to ask is, "What do you do to 
smooth out the holiday driven 'bumps' in your 
business income".  Do you experience a drop in business 
or does it boom for you - and why do you think it is so?

On another note, this digest is growing more popular 
each day and so the number of posts I read and edit 
into the publication grows as well.  This means I 
spend more time each day with the EMD, editing and 
reformatting posts.  The editing is not a problem - 
indeed it is half what my job is about.  The problem 
is in all the time I spend reformatting posts for 

You can all save me a great deal of time - and see 
a greater chance of your post being included - if 
you format your posts no more than 65 characters per 
line.  Anything wider than that has to be manually 
reformatted because many e-mail clients out there 
can only display 66 characters in width.  Longer 
lines force unexpected line breaks that make the 
digest hard to read - and ugly to boot.  So, help me 
out and format your posts no wider than 65 characters 
and your Moderator will be a happier person with more 
time to edit an excellent publication for you.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote              
The E-Marketing Digest, Discussing Electronic Marketing
For Subscription Info:        
Webbers Communications         
PO Box 3214 N. Conway, NH 03860           (603)447-1024

                       New Topics

From: Chris Muenchhoff <>
Subject: Associate Programs & Ad Networks

Hello Gary & Group,

after a period of lurking this is my first e-mail to 
this list:

Since some days we have a book price search engine up 
and running. A visitor can compare prices of many major 
online bookstores within some seconds and find out the 
best offers. To enhance this service I have two 
questions to the group:

1. Has anybody long time experience with the associate 
programs offered by some bookstores? What buys to click-
through ratios can be expected?

2. To get some advertising income I have contacted some 
advertising networks, but I suspect that most of their 
inventory remains unsold. In addition, I have contacted 
the Commonwealth Net. Are there any experiences about 
this topic, or does somebody know a recommendable 
service? I would be very thankful for every hint.


Christopher Muenchhoff or
Acses - Compare prices of over 20 online bookshops automatically:


From: Claudia Hafling <>
Subject: Financing a Newsletter

--------------- Begin Original Message ---------------

Message text written by Peter Anderson

There are 2 options for me to finance this newsletter:

Option 1: Readers will have to pay a small fee 
about $20 - of course - On line via secure online 
payment or snail mail.

Option 2: There will be commercials in the newsletter, 
that will pay for the publication of this information.

---------------- End Original Message ----------------


Do you have a subscriber base yet?  Do you have a list?
Do you know who your subscribers are likely to be?

Do they know that they need this information so much that
they are willing to pay for it now ... or do you have to
educate them?

If they are already out there, waiting for you, salivating
to get their eyes on your newsletter, than charge them (al-
though $20 might be steep for a brand new publication).

If not, if you're going to have to build your list and your
newsletter name and recognition slowly, then get advertisers
to help in the meantime.  You could state in the body of the
newsletter somewhere that it is being distributed free for
the first 6 months, after which there may be a paid subscri-
ption cost.  However, if no one objects to the ads and you
do okay that way, maybe you can continue to offer it free.

Free to subscribers is the best way to go online, I believe.
Just make sure your ads are targeted and tasteful, well-
placed but not too obtrusive.

My .02 cents.

-Claudia Hafling
Media & Marketing Concepts
Full-Service Public Relations, Advertising & Marketing Agency
****To subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, MARKETING 
COMMUNIQUE-The Hotel Report, full of marketing tips for hotel 
execs and marketers, send an e-mail to, 
with SUBSCRIBE HOTEL EMD in the subject line text.

***  NEW POST - Financing a Newsletter  ***

From: Rainmaker 
Subject: Re: Financing a Newsletter

>Option 1: Readers will have to pay a small fee 
>about $20 - of course - On line via secure online 
>payment or snail mail.
>Option 2: There will be commercials in the newsletter, 
>that will pay for the publication of this information.

Interesting to note your question in the same issue that Gary
mentioned Adam Boettiger's list. Adam did an extensive survey a
couple of months ago and this subject was addressed.  The results
are probably available at his site
If I recall, folks don't like to pay, so option #2 is best for
you.  BTW, ads in newsletters work for the list owner and the 


George Matyjewicz            "Rainmaker Extraordinaire"
Managing Partner      
GAP Enterprises, Ltd.
Tel: (201) 939-8533 Ext 821              Fax: (201) 460-3740
Specializing in Professional Firm "Rainmaking" programs.
** Not Affiliated with Grisham's book and  movie 

***  NEW POST - Financing a Newsletter  ***

From: "Ron S. La Vine" 
Subject: Response - Online Newsletter V2 #110
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Hi everyone:

In response to Peter Andersen's request for information 
"starting an ONline newsletter, after surveying my 400 
readers, I've found they prefer NOT to pay. There were 
a few who were willing, yet I think most felt, why should 
they pay for something they could find on the web using 
a search themselves.

My advice is to go with option 2.

Option 2: There will be commercials in the newsletter, 
that will pay for the publication of this information.

Instead of calling them commercials, try calling them 
sponsorships. I've one company who is thinking about 
investing $100 US per week or $5,200 US per year as a 
sponsor, since my newsletter goes to companies that 
are their specific type of customers.

There are a couple ways you can offer a sponsor 
benefits in your newsletter. First decide the timing. 
Is it daily, weekly, monthly...?

Next you can put a "sponsorship ad" at the top or in 
the middle and/or at the bottom.

I like the idea of making the ad blend in with the 
other material so the reader does not realize it is 
an ad until they have read it. In other words you make 
part of the newsletter without setting apart by lines 
or stars.
Finally the name. To be honest with you, if I saw 
the name How to do business on the Internet and get 
paid !, I would immediately think it was another piece 
of spam (no offense please). 

You may want to try something like:
The Successful Internet Commerce Daily (Weekly, 
Monthly...) and then you are not limited to SET 
(secure electronic transcription).

Good luck. Anyone else with suggestions???

Ron S. La Vine, President of The IntellWorks 
Free Fortune 1000 Sales Intelligence Report E-Mail Newsletter
Telemarketer - Telesales Training & Telephone Research

***  NEW POST - Financing a Newsletter  ***

From: "Jose Camilo Daccach T." 
Subject: Financing a Newsletter

Hello Gary and Fellow E-marketeers:

Peter Andersen"  asked about 
financing a newsletter either with a small subscription 
fee, or by selling advertising on the newsletter.

In several sources and surveys done over the net, and 
I believe Gary did some of them, the vast majority of 
the subscribers preferred receiving the newsletter/list 
with some advertising on it, than paying a moderate fee.  
Questions were even raised with US$5 per year!! as a 
subscription fee, and readers still prefered the 
inclusion of advertising in the newsletter.

I am also in the process of commercializing the 
newsletter I already started, and have decided for the 
option of selling advertising.  (Have not developed a 
strategy nor financial model for it yet) since I am 
in the process of writing the third number of the 
weekly newsletter.

For this second option, I strongly suggest you develop 
a "critical mass" before selling the space on the 
newsletter.  This will be the only way to create some
marketability for the newsletter and the content.  
Besides, the cost of starting and running the newsletter 
is only time, there is no actual monetary transaction
involved.  Hence, I would suggest you build on your 
subscriber list and then, after several numbers are out 
(haven't dediced this "magic number" either), draw up
your commercial strategy.

Just something to remember.  People still believe in the 
Internet as the FREE source of information....

Just my two cents.  I am interested, and I know several 
of the readers also, in knowing what your final decision 
is.... specially in how to arrive at a model for
charging advertising on the newsletter.


Jose Daccach
    Jose Camilo Daccach T.  
      Asesor Externo                (Independent Consultant)
  Calle 8 No. 2N-47 Of.401 Cali, Colombia. South America
     Tel: +57 2 667 4820         Cel: 93 551 5917        

  Editor: El Reporte Delta.  Para suscribirse, enviar correo a: con las palabras SUSCRIBIR DELTA

***  NEW POST - Financing a Newsletter  ***

From: Allan Gardyne 
Subject: Re: newsletter WebEpayNews

Asking people to pay for information? Sure, it can be
done, I do it myself, but I reckon you'll need to provide 
a lot of free information and strong testimonials first 
to prove that your expertise is worth buying.
The best examples I know are Dr Ralph Wilson and Danny 

In my experience, most people just take the free
info, and then go looking elsewhere for more free info, 
so you would need heavy promotion to attract the tiny 
percentage willing to pay.

A newsletter on electronic payment methods ought to 
be highly popular and therefore able to attract useful 
advertising dollars. There are plenty of newsletters 
that successfully use that approach.  I hate the ones 
with endless advertising. My recommendation: charge a 
lot for ads and have only a few. 

Regards from Down Under

Allan Gardyne
Internet Success Stories
Success stories, free hints and great company logos.
Lot 12 Esplanade, Tuan, Qld, Australia 4650.

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi all,

Here is another model that you might consider;

Create two versions of your newsletter, 
one that is a free, short version, covering some of 
the topics in the paid-subscription full version.  
Place teasers about the full-version topics in the 
free version.  If your free content is stimulating 
and your teasers enticing (and backed up by real 
content in the paid subscription version) you might 
sell some subscriptions.  Plus, you could still sell 
advertsiing in your free version.

Your Moderator,


***  NEW POST - Why BCC?  ***

From: Claudia Hafling <>
Subject: Why BCC?

-------------------- Begin Original Message --------------------

" Most spammers go after 
as many addresses as they can find, often "hi-jacking" 
mailing lists that are "unguarded"  (the reason for 
using the "blind carbon copy" [bcc] field if doing your 
own mailing list)."

-------------------- End Original Message --------------------

I have a question about this answer (Gr).  Huh?  What does he
mean, the reason for using the blind carbon copy field.  If
you use bcc field, can spammers then NOT hijack your list? Or
does that make it easier for them TO hijack your list? 

Some elucidation, please?  Thanks so much.

-Claudia Hafling
Media & Marketing Concepts
The Full-Service Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing Agency
"The Hospitality Marketers"

[Moderator's Reply]

Hi Claudia,

The BCC function hides your distribution list from the 
recipients, making it virtually impossible to hijack 
your subscriber's e-mail addresses.  I use Pegasus to 
manage another list and simply place the distribution 
list filename in the BCC field, address the To: field to 
myself and send it on out knowing my subscriber's addresses 
are safe.  One caveat here...  test your e-mail client's 
functions in advance of sending to an actual distribution 
list to avoid mistakes.  

Your Moderator,


**  NEW POST - Handling Spammers  ***

From: Rick Smith 
Subject: Handling Spammers

Gary and all you E-Marketers -

Gary recently posted a message from Sean Reese.  It was 
posted on "The Corkboard" and dealt with handling 
"spammers".  Don't get me wrong.  I despise spam as much 
as the next guy.  But one statement in Mr. Reese's 
message seems to sum up the sentiment of most 

>>Do whatever you feel is an appropriate response to 
the spammer's discourteousness.<<

Mr. Reese makes no qualification as to whether force 
or illegal methods are "appropriate".  He leaves that 
up to the anti-spammer to decide.  I'm not sure this 
vigilantism is good for any of us.  

Having had a couple of run-ins with anti-spammers myself, 
I'm a little tired of this witch-hunt mentality.  It 
seems the assumption on the part of EVERYONE opposed to 
spam is that all I have to do is cry wolf and all parties 
concerned will automatically brand you (the proverbial 
you - not anyone specific) a spammer.  (Even if I, the 
anti-spammer made a mistake.)  The sad truth is that 
many times the anti-spammer has requested something from
and merely forgotten about it.  This has already happened 
once to me.  The guy simply told my ISP it was a 
mistake - after my ISP had considering pulling my account
BEFORE even talking to me.  The latest incident is similar.
Someone subscribed to my newsletter awhile back.  I had 
some setup problems with Pegasus which probably resulted 
in him not getting a newsletter right away.  I corrected 
my Pegasus problems and sent out the current issue of the 
newsletter.  Next I get a "remove - spam" message from
this guy with a "cc" to .
I'm serious.  This guy sent this to everybody he could 
think of complaining of spam.

Naturally, I sent him a message telling him he was 
"unsubscribed".  I also cc'ed his laundry list of 
organizations.  (Insert humor - Two of them responded to 
me saying they would look into the incident  *I*  had 
reported.)  And my guess is that I'm not alone in 

Now.  Let me ask a question.  Does anyone think either 
of these people bothered to apologize to me for the 
productive time I lost getting to the bottom of all of 
this?  You know the answer.

Bottom line.  I hate spam as much as anyone.  (But there 
is a place for responsible, targeted e-mail - especially 
"opt-in" as in the case of my newsletter.)  However, I 
think we're only adding fuel to the fire when we condone 
Mr. Reese's "do whatever you feel is appropriate" 
statement.  BTW, later on he comments on "smashing" the 
spammers.  How rational does that sound to you?  

Rick Smith, "The Guerrilla Computer Consultant"
+++ Free Newsletter Shows You How To Competition+++
+++ Proof Your Business in 180 Days+++
Small business owners, subscribe now to Rick's free online
newsletter to learn how to competition proof your business.
Send any e-mail to 

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Rick,

I too have experienced accusations of spamming by a 
subscriber to another of my lists.  The list in question 
is non-moderated and runs on majordomo, so each post 
was - at the time - going out live to everyone on the 
list.  The daily digest was also running on automatic 
as well.

Late one night last month a spammer hacked the list in 
question (still trying to figure out how) and sent 4 
or 5 18k MLM spams thru majordomo.  The list 
immediately erupted with complaints and anger at the 
intrusion.  Some subscribers thought *I* had sent the 
spam and one even complained to my ISP.  Fortunately 
my ISP is not run by kneejerk reactionaries and they 
politely forwarded the complaint to me without even a 
word asking for an explanation.  I then had the 
opportunity to contact the complainer directly to 
explain the genesis of the spam.  I cc'd all communications 
to my ISP and that was the end of that.

This still left me at risk by running a non-
moderated list, so I reconfigured it back to moderated.  
Since then there have been no further attempts to spam 
my subscribers, but I lost a large portion of my 
circulation as a result of the spam that went out.

BTW - My purpose in posting Mr. Reese's e-mail (with his 
permission, as he is not a subscriber here) was to let 
those contemplating using UBE know that there are real 
means for recipients to track them down if they so 
desire.  Anonymity is not easy to accomplish.  UBE
is risky.

Your Moderator,


***  NEW POST - Request for Advice  ***

From: Mel Eperthener 
Subject: Request for Advice

At 10.07 AM 01/12/97 +0000, Geo wrote:


First rule of business is "The customer is always right"
As I will say below in more detail, it doesn't matter 
how you or I or anyone else here *personally* feels 
about spam or anything else discussed here, what matters
is how your customer feels.  And no one ever said that 
customers will be rational or make any sense at all.  
However, they are the ones paying the bills, and as such, 
if they do not like spam (and most people online don't), 
then it is best not to use spam.

>Here I am again, soliciting advise!
>>My first advice would be to not pursue this avenue 
>>of online marketing.
>I guess my next question is obvious... How DO I 
>reach those people that can use my services?  

We use links from other pages (trading links), search 
engines, and the most important (IMHO) means of 
advertising, personal communications.  In part, this 
means posting information to relevant forums.  Now, 
the line here between spam and legit postings is thin, 
but well-defined.  Even this forum is a source of 
advertisment.  But rather than you and I saying "Come 
visit my web site", we make relevant, interesting 
comments, and entice people to read what we write.  
Then at the end, we have a little blurb in our sig file 
that tell people who we are, in case they are looking 
for what we sell.  I see that you are using your sig 
file for that purpose already, so you seem to have this 
under control.  The only other thing I can say is get
involved with anything related to golf on the Net, and 
when you see a posting to a newsgroup/mailing list/etc 
that you know the answer to, write up a post with the 
answer.  Now you are a good Netizen, and people respect
your comments.  When they (or someone they know) need 
information on golfing in Southern Calif, they will 
remember your name (In your case, your easy-to-remember 
URL may be your best asset) 

>I have tried using "demo" spiders to list my site with 
>"search engines."  I am not very impressed with that 
>marketing strategy

Neither am I.  So I do all the "legwork" myself, going 
to every search engine I can find, checking for my site, 
and if it's not there, I submit it myself.  This way 
you save money, and you KNOW it's done properly.

>This may sound strange... I am one of a few people that 
>read ads in newspapers and magazines.  I read most of my 
>SPAM mail.  I believe that reading those things allow 
>me to "keep tabs" on what my competitors are doing.  I 
>hope that it will allow me to "discover" new ways of 
>promoting my services by examining the way a marketer 
>is promoting his "beds", "fish", "statuary", "cars", 
>"bird houses", "fill in the blank",...  By reading 
>those un-solcited emails, I am trying to discover what 
>works and what does not.  

I tend to glance at them, as well, for a lot of the 
same reasons that you have listed.  But due to the 
"bad name" that spam has, and the fact that (because of 
this) very few legit sites use spam, I have never 
bought from spam (nor do I see myself buying).  And 
again, it is my money (as here *I* am the customer), 
so I do not need to be rational.

>Pictures of my staff... When creating my site, I tried 
>to keep in mind simplicity.  The time that it takes to 
>download a picture is time consuming and I was afraid 
>the I would loose the visitor's interest if too much time 
>is spent waiting for pictures.

The best thing to do here is create a separate page for 
staff bios (perhaps linked with a "Click here to find 
out who we are"), and definately not on the first page.  
This way, the info is there if your visitor wants/needs
it, but will not tie up the bandwidth of those visitors 
not caring to know this info.  (And thus keep them from 
clicking away) 

>Testimonials... My clients are my clients... My competitors
>might like to know just who my clients are.  I can and will
>provide names and contact numbers to qualified potential 
>clients, not to the world in general.

There is no need to list enough information in the 
testimonials for your competitors to figure out who they 
are.  For example, if you said to me "I love your site, it 
is exactly what I am looking for", after clearing it with 
you, I would say that this was said by "Geo from LA".  The 
less info you provide, the better it is for you, and you 
are able to provide contact info to more serious customers.

>I do direct mail marketing to non-soliciting 
>companies.  I solicit only those companies that have 
>provided golf outings to their clients in the past.  Don't 
>ask how I know which companies have that history. 
>Trade secret!

This is good.  Due mainly to the maturity (not very) 
of business on the web, any online marketing should 
dovetail with what you do offline.  Do you have your 
URL and email address on ALL your print material??  
(Letterhead, mailings, etc).  Especially with such a 
easy-to-remember URL, this is a natural.  Also, have 
you thought about a mailing list to past customers,
potential customers, and anyone else that signs up 
at your webpage??  It can be as general or as specific 
as you wish (again, to address your concerns about 
competition, as you should assume that they will be reading 
your newsletter.  Wouldn't you read theirs??), but should 
be interesting. A mailing list that people can opt-in and 
opt-out of by will (ie, subscribe and unsubscribe) is not 
spam, and any efforts that you are exerting towards UCE 
(spam) would better be used here.

I hope that this is of help to you, and I wish you all 
the best with your endeavour.



--Mel Eperthener
president, Gowanna Multi-media Pty


419 Butler Street
PO Box 95184
Pittsburgh, PA 15223-0184
(412) 781-6140
(412) 781-6380
That was a wicked googly!
   --Jerry Seinfeld, AMEX commercial

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Mel,

Thanks for taking the time to post such a comprehensive 
response to Geo's questions.  You have hit the nail on the 
head in every respect.  All I have to offer is a possible 
focus for the list you recommend...  how about a "Golf Tip 
of the Day" list?  I would think that golf addicts all over 
the globe would subscribe in seconds.



                  Question of the Week

This Week's Question.

Have You Ever Used Bulk E-Mail?

[  ] Yes      [  ] No

Have you used it more than once?

[  ] Yes      [  ] No

What was your positive response rate?

What was your post-to-sales ratio?

How many flames did you receive?

How many complaints did your ISP receive?

Were you kicked from your ISP?

[  ] Yes      [  ] No

Did you provide an 800 number?

[  ] Yes      [  ] No

Did your number get flooded with complaints?

[  ] Yes      [  ] No

Would you ever do it again?

[  ] Yes      [  ] No

             To Post to The E-Marketing Digest:      

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                 A Member of The List Exchange                 
The E-Marketing Digest                   Webbers Communications 
Copyright Webbers Communications, 1997            P.O. Box 3214
All Rights Reserved                         N. Conway, NH 03860
0000000000000000000                               (603)447-1024

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