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

Published by
Webbers Communications
686 Keene Rd. Suite B
Winchester, NH 03470
603-392-0090

                      The E-Marketing Digest
                       Volume #2,Issue #114
                           Dec 10, 1997
                  ------------------------------
                     Gary K. Foote, Moderator

                  This week's Guest Moderator is:
                         Mark Rauterkus

A World of E-mail Discussion Groups Awaits Cutting-Edge
Sports, Fitness and Technology Participants at SportSurf.Net

The Nagano Winter Sport Line-Up is now open for Subscribers

Visit: http://www.SportSurf.Net/majorcool/majorcool.cgi

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 The E-Marketing Digest is published by Webbers Communications
 "Internet Marketing"  "Web Development"  "The Website Doctors"
 N. Conway, NH 03860  (603)447-1024
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 Now read by 1,100+ subscribers in 41 countries
 For Information on Sponsoring This Publication 
 
 Subscription information may be found at the end of this issue

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Table of Contents

+ Moderator's Comments
       Behavior Bible - day 2

+ New Topics
       On/Off Behaviors - MajorCool
       Mail Bounces - SmartBounce
       Name Specturm Standard

+ Ongoing
       I'm all for the behavior bible
       Subscribers' Dashboard
       Bulk/Mass Mailings
       Non-Spam Marketing

+ The Corkboard
       Outsourcing Event
       Credit Card Processing
       Newsletter for Competition Proofing

+ Question of the Week
       Behavior Bible Table of Contents


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                  --------------------
                  Moderator's Comments
                  --------------------

Dear Marketing Friends,

The call for volunteer effort to author a "Behavior Bible" 
was made -- and a few good things happened. Today's
conversation turns me to three important nuts-and-bolts
tasks that marketing folks on the net need to know and
utilize.

The behavior theme continues as the first task
covers ways to get your opt in subscribers on and off of
your mailing lists. We'll explore two tools and soon
give you the keys for your own use via our server.

The second task -- handling bounced mail -- is important for
a number of reasons. Automated handling of bounces
makes your life easier. Plus good bounce handling aids in
user satisfaction and more efficient bandwidth resources.
Plus, mail bounces is another one of those nasty hidden 
hurdles that newbies can't predict. A number of services
that have caught on fire as "hot" -- can really overheat
because of bounced email. 

The third task is another pet of mine. I call it the
Name Spectrum Standard. I think this line of thinking is ready for
prime time. I'd like to share parts of the name spectrum standard
with you so we can put its ideas into motion and make it more of a
"standard." Its bound to help improve behaviors on the net in
community discussion groups.


Mark Rauterkus, Publisher, SportSurf.Net


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                  --------------------
                       New Topics
                  --------------------

***  NEW POST - On/Off Behaviors for Subscribers ***

If you run a Majordomo service -- check out Majorcool.

http://www.SportSurf.Net/majorcool/majorcool.cgi

Majordomo, www.greatcircle.com, is a free mailing-list
management package made with PERL that runs on Unix
servers. Its code is open and non-proprietary. Same 
for MajorCool, a helper application for the 
Majordomo. Both are free, powerful but not so easy
to set-up without a couple weeks of your time.

Both MJ and MC are working at my site. Please
visit the above URL. First see the browse mode.
Visitors can click on check-boxes to subscribe or
unsubscribe themselves from the line-up of 
lists (email discussion groups) hosted at that site.

Visitors can browse the welcome messages and find
other list-setting details here too with clicks to
other pages.

All list subscribing happenings are set-up with a 
two-part subscription process. The click on the
WWW page is only the first step. A confirmation is
sent out to the new subscriber via an outgoing email 
message. The new subscriber needs to reply to the 
confirmation message and then the new address is put
onto the mailing list. This two-step process is a 
MUST HAVE feature for all public accessible subscription 
services on the net today. 

The two-step subscription process protects against 
possible false subscription mail bombing. That bad
prank happens and it hurts all who run subscriber 
services on the net today. A service without any
confirmation message within the subscribe process 
is part of the problem and assists bad behaviors.

In Friday's post, I'll give the password to give
a peek under the hood of MajorCool. A pre-flight 
list can show how easy it is to change a list's 
operation to and from "moderated" mode, adjust 
footers and headers, and even  make changes to 
the subscribers listings.

MajorCool lives up to its name. 


---------------------------------------------------------------

***  NEW POST - Mail Bounces  ***

Bouncing mail strikes fear into the heart of almost every 
mailing list owner, system administrator and marketing manager
with digital contacts. Fear strikes hardest for the experienced
and the owners of "large" mailing lists. Newbies, take note and
beware.

For those of you who are blessed by not having to run 
mailing lists, imagine this: *One* bad address on your 
mailing list will generate a mail bounce for each message 
that is posted to the list. And in any given week, about 
0.5% (half of one percent) of the e-mail addresses
on your mailing lists will go bad. (Source: My experienced 
pals who have been running lots of mailing lists.)

That might not sound like much -- but imagine an active 
1,000-member discussion list, with (say) 120 posts per day. 
In one week, five of those addresses will "die" -- that is, 
they will permanently cease to be deliverable -- for an 
average of nearly one address per day. Each address will 
return one bounce for each post to the list; for
120 posts/day, that's 120 mail bounces per day!

But the situation is worse than that. MUCH worse if your
list has an international following like this one.

The problem discussed above deals strictly with the type 
of bounce that is commonly referred to as a "hard" bounce 
(also known as a "fatal" bounce); these are addresses to 
which you will never successfully deliver mail -- even if 
it once was an active address.

But more common than "hard" bounces are the so-called 
"soft" (or "transient") bounces. These typically arise 
from "network" problems, such as DNS errors (inability to 
resolve a [valid] domain name), mail server unavailability, 
user quotas exceeded, MX errors (e.g., mail loops), mail 
server configuration errors, etc. In most cases, the 
addresses are not defunct; sometimes, re-trying the 
address within minutes of the bounce will lead to a 
successful delivery.

Soft bounces are more prevalent than hard bounces; on
average, about 2% of your mailing list experiences
transient delivery problems every day. On that 1,000-member
mailing list, this is 20 addresses. If we suppose that 
they are each undeliverable for half of the day, then we 
have 20 addresses bouncing each of 60 posts to the list 
-- for TWELVE HUNDRED mail bounces in one day! Add to 
that the 120 bounces from the defunct address, and we 
are receiving more than 1300 bounces per day from
a list on which we are removing defunct addresses 
EVERY DAY!

Do you still want to run mailing lists? Well, then 
consider this: Not all bounces include the actual 
subscriber's e-mail address. For example, your 
subscriber's address might be (I'm fabricating these
addresses, so please do not try to send mail to them):

  al.gore@whitehouse.com

The bounce message, however, tells you:

  Sorry, but your message to "al.gore" could not 
  be delivered because the recipient's disk quota 
  has been exceeded.

So, you now need to get the subscriber's domain name from 
the header of the bounce message, and cut-and-past it 
together with the local-part (the "al.gore" part) shown 
in the body of the bounce message. Once you do that, you 
need to verify that al.gore@whitehouse.com actually
exists on your mailing list, and send a command to your
list server to remove him. For example, if your list is 
called "jock-politics-chat", has a password of 
"Campaign2000", and is hosted on a Majordomo list
server, you would need to send the following command 
to the server:

  approve Campaign2000 unsubscribe jock-politics-chat\
  al.gore@whitehouse.com

That reverse slash character at the end of the top line 
is used when the command needs to word-wrap because it 
can not fit on a single line.

Now, let's suppose that the mail server doesn't return 
the EXACT form of the address as it is subscribed to 
your list. For example, suppose that Al *actually* 
subscribed as

  al.gore@mail.whitehouse.com

Now, you cut-and-paste his address together from the 
bounce, but it doesn't match anything on your list, since 
it pastes together as "al.gore@whitehouse.com". Or, more 
commonly, the user is subscribed as 
"al.gore@whitehouse.com", but the bounced address shows as
"al.gore@mail.whitehouse.com".

Matching those addresses is difficult and a pain.

Now, to add insult to injury, you might not want to 
remove those apparently-defunct addresses right away. 
After all, Al has simply exceeded his disk space quota; 
his address is still valid. Maybe he is on the Nagano 
Olympic Torch Relay and will read his mail (and clean 
up his disk space) when he returns.

Now you need to "track" bouncing addresses. The easiest 
way to do this is to create a file in which you keep 
track of all of your bouncing addresses, adding in new 
ones as appropriate, and noting repeat offenders whenever 
possible. And presumably, you have an idea of how many 
bounces you are willing to tolerate from a given address
-- say, one per day for three consecutive days -- before 
declaring the address to be defunct.

That's a lot of work. As if you didn't ALREADY have a 
lot to do, your bounce-handling workload just increased 
by an order of magnitude. At this point, it is taking you 
an average of thirty seconds to process a single bounce 
-- even considering that you can recognize and delete
"redundant" bounces immediately. So, those 1300-plus 
bounces we were discussing will require about 11 hours 
of your time -- EVERY DAY!

But this is the kind of problem that is handled quite 
efficiently by a computer. Just teach it to "recognize" 
bounces, sort them into "hard" and "soft" bounces, figure 
out how to match the bouncing addresses to your mailing 
list, keep track of bounces, and remove them from the
list whenever they exceed whatever thresholds you have 
selected, and you will suddenly find yourself with a lot
more spare time on your hands.

This is exactly what "SmartBounce," the automated 
bounce processor for mailing list, does. It recognizes 
more than 200 bounce formats, classifies them into "hard" 
and "soft" bounce categories, allows you to track each 
class of bounce separately, compares each bouncing
address to a threshold that you have set, marks for 
deletion each address that has exceeded the threshold, 
compares the addresses to those on your mailing list, 
and uses a "fuzzy matcher" wherever necessary so that 
it can match

  al.gore@green.room.whitehouse.com

... to ...

  al.gore@ccmail.whitehouse.com

... and finally generates a formatted "server" file 
containing all of the "unsub" commands for the defunct 
addresses; you then need to simply mail this file off 
to your list server for processing.

The advantages are that you no longer need to do any 
of this processing by hand. This spares you the trouble 
of tracking bounces manually and learning to classify 
bounce severities -- both of which too often lead to 
incorrectly removing valid subscribers (and not 
removing defunct addresses).

Note that SmartBounce is a "Net friendly" approach 
to the problem; it does not require bandwidth-hungry 
"probe" messages, nor does it ask subscribers to 
periodically "confirm" their subscriptions. It
functions completely transparently from the list.

Thus, those 11 hours of bounce processing can now be 
completed in five minutes or less (depending on your 
computer, probably a LOT less) -- leaving you with more 
time to manage your LIST rather than manage your BOUNCES.

And this leads to more-effective communications and 
better-managed marketing efforts -- a significant 
benefit for everyone. 

The commercial/demo/freeware options are something that 
isn't so clear at the smartbounce.com site. Smartbounce 
is a commercial product, but there is a Lite version. 
There really isn't any info *explicitly* describing the 
freeware version, though (of course) it can be downloaded 
from the site. However, there is a page that explains the
features that the Pro version has (and the Lite version 
does not), so you could use that, backward, to describe 
the Lite version. 

I asked the author by saying: "If a person has x # of 
lists they can use the download of Smartbounce for $0. 
Right? His reply:

Right! As many lists as you like.  The only limitation 
is that the Lite version can process only one list AT A 
TIME. But you can process any number of lists.

So, smart e-marketers, what are you waiting for?

Smartbounce lives up to its name. Its very well behaved too.

---------------------------------------------------------------


***  NEW POST - Name Spectrum Standard  ***

Behavior trouble often occur because of the diverse slew 
of settings and on-line outlets. Today's digital landscape 
is diverse. We all know that there are places for smut on 
the net -- but it shouldn't be posted to a chat with Santa 
Clause, as reportedly happened with AOL this week. 

Commercial content is the other big offender. I love to 
get into conversations about products/services I'm involved 
with -- all over the internet -- when it makes sense to 
do so.

As we host and participate in interactive forum on the 
internet, we need to know where we are. Locations need 
to present easy identification for the accepted types of 
behavior. The locations rule themselves and the locations 
(list-owners/forum leaders) can establish behavior 
guidelines. We need more obvious landmarks for these 
locations. With majordomo, Listserv and others, the name 
of an email address is the most obvious place to hang a 
"what's welcome here sign." Hence, the Standard.

The Name-Spectrum Standard begins with a three-part name.
The key to understanding the spectrum falls in the third
word of the name.

An example: Nagano-CCSki-GoUSA

The above example is way better than, say, Ski-List,
or what is often done, ski-l. Yea, that's a lower-case
"L" at the end of the name. Generally there is a 
ski-l and a ski-digest. Well, names like that are holding
back the internet and damaging communications opportunities.

At SportSurf.Net we host a wide range of discussion groups 
for a wide range of people. I want everyone to have a place 
to be welcomed. I want to welcome every type of posting 
and conversation as possible too -- within our topic areas 
of course. We've got different set of guidelines for 
different communities. Plus, splitting various groups 
IMHO, helps to leverage the net as a research and 
reference tool.

Third Word in Title: Guidelines:

-noise    --> Okay for commercial content and on-target ads
-goX      --> Okay for fans of X (X is a var, i.e., gousa)
-chat     --> Ideal for younger crowd
-grown    --> Ideal for older / senior / masters crowd
-talk     --> Informal on-topic discussions
-knack    --> FAQ and beyond - writing projects too
-list     --> kept for "membership" lists
-forum    --> used for educational setting / Dist.Learning
-peer     --> scientific basis desired (peer-review)

-digest   --> a digest version of more formal postings
-digit    --> a digest version of less formal postings

-swells   --> One stop on/off conglomeration subscription
              The -swells list is a "super list."

-aid      --> housekeeping for volunteer list-lifeguards
-sprouts  --> housekeeping's suggestion box on expansion


Final feature mention for now is:


When anyone is confused as to where to send a posting,
one can send the email to the Feeder@ address. Then
a moderator reviews the message and makes sure that the
posting client doesn't look foolish or break the rules.

When a posting goes to the Feeder address, the 
list-lifeguards and list-clerks have the right to make
changes to the posting.


---------------------------------------------------------------

                  --------------------
                        Ongoing
                  --------------------

***  NEW POST - I'm all for a behavior bible  ***

Paul Chan  wrote: I'm all for a 
behavior bible.  

An interesting part of the bible could look at 
understanding web site visitor behavior and how this 
feedback can be used to tailor the marketing message, 
navigation, and content to a user - personalization 
based on non-intrusive behavior monitoring. I.e.,. I went 
to this page and content here is some similar content 
people that have visited that page liked.

There is some very cool stuff happening in this area.
I wrote an article on this recently looking at some of 
the new technologies coming on the scene to tailor 
content for users without filling out questionnaires.
You can check it out at:



Companies like Open Sesame and Firefly are doing some 
interesting things in this area.

Webcentric Management Corp.
Tel: (250) 519-0660 Fax:(250) 519-0670





***  ONGOING POST - Subscribers' Dashboard  ***

An example: http://www.webbers.com/emark/subscrib.html

[Moderator's Comments]

More than 200 of you joined this service as a result 
of a few clicks on the above page and its subscriber
dashboard. 

You can help clients with subscription chores by plugging 
in a subscribers' dashboard button on your web pages.



***  ONGOING POST - Bulk/Mass Mailings ***

Becky Noel  came out of the closet
in regards to bulk/mass email. 

Rebecca Noel, Publisher, RN@go-global.com
http://www.Go-Global.com wrote:

In August, we put out a short, targeted message about
our free Worldwide Holiday List.  It was only sent once
to recipients that we collected from targeted lists.

Our average was 20% signup.  Why?
These are the reasons that I think it worked:

1. The message was short - 2 paragraphs
2. The message did not sell anything
3. It had a benefit and was the offer was free
4. Our offer was unique - a free list of international
   holidays sent each month by email

What was the purpose?
To build a list of subscribers that was interested in
international travel, international culture, and 
international business.  These are who we target our
sales information concerning the Global Traveller -
the only international calendar produced in the world.

We used bulk/mass email for a couple of weeks. 
>From this endeavor, we got about 10 flames and our ISP
gave us a warning to quit it.  We have not used
bulk/targeted email again.  Our list grew from 100 to
+7,000 in a couple of months.

We now have +7,000 subscribers who are happy to get
our Worldwide Holiday List.  As a member of the WH List,
we offer discounts on our products and free giveaways
to members only.  We add a lot of value to subscribers
who are on the list.  By doing this, we get a buying
market that is open to what we have to offer.


***  ONGOING POST - Non-Spam Marketing ***

Nancy Roebke,  writes on 
Non-Spam Marketing:

I SWEAR by autoresponders. I get about 1000 leads a month
over the last three months from responses to my autoresponders.
Email me privately, and I'll help you further.

   >Also is a message that tells someone to check out a fun 
   >web site considered Spam?

Yes, if sent to people who didn't request it.

   >.... beginning to consider bulk Email to promote my web 
   >site and membership organization




                  --------------------
                     The Corkboard
                  --------------------

***  Corkboard POST - Outsourcing Event  ***

Bill Stavros  announces the
OUTSOURCING EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AND HR FUNCTIONS
January 26-29, 1998, San Diego, CA

Features in-depth workshop sessions, case studies, 30 
Concurrent sessions, Panels, Exhibitors, Receptions, 
Free Networking Harbor Cruise.

E-mail your request, with a mailing address and/or
fax number, to bstavros@planet.net or visit




***  Corkboard POST - Credit Card Processing  ***

Phil Doyle  updates us on his 
credit cards and web order processing solution.

B2B eNews can now process credit cards and orders 
from websites for companies anywhere in the world without
the usual bank qualifying and charges associated with  
traditional, credit card merchant account applications.

mailto:creditcards@www-Agency.com
http://www-Agency.com  tel: 707-538-5043 fax: 707-579-1197   PO
Box 1397 Santa Rosa, CA 95402 USA

A no cost report is here: http://www-agency.com/dmDec97.htm  



***  Corkboard POST - Newsletter for Competition Proofing  ***

Rick Smith, "The Guerrilla Computer Consultant" Announces a
small business owners newsletter to help competition 
proof your business.



---------------------------------------------------------------

                  --------------------
                  Question of the Week
                  --------------------

      Question: What Table-of-Contents items should 
      be included within a net-wide BEHAVIOR BIBLE? 

      Send your points to: mailto:e-mark@buck.ncia.net


      Part 2: Optional interaction.
      If you are interested in sharing, please do.

      Send BEHAVIOR guideline examples to me:
      mailto:prove-interaction-chat@SportSurf.Net



Mentions so far include:

     HISTORY/PHILOSOPHY

o    Enough Internet history to explain its origins in the
     government and scientific realms. 

o    It explains the philosophy and why a certain amount
     of reverence is expected.

o    The WWW. It's not just a playground for MLMers.

o    What your words say about you.

o    What is appropriate in a public forum.

o    Life wo Voice Inflection, Eye Contact, and Body Language.

o    Handling Conflict.

o    How to read people and stay safe.

o    How to develop relationships that are mutually beneficial.


Thanks to: Teri McCready ~~ Venture Planning Associates
http://www.ventureplan.com  mailto:capital@ventureplan.com



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The E-Marketing Digest                   Webbers Communications
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