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 The E-Marketing Digest
 Volume #2,Issue #133
 February 11, 1998
 Gary K. Foote, Moderator


 The E-Marketing Digest is published by Webbers Communications
 N. Conway, NH 03860 (603)447-1024

 Now read by over 1,200 subscribers in more than 40 countries.


 Table of Contents

 + Moderator's Comments

 + New Topics

    "Perceived Value"
       - Gary K. Foote

 + Ongoing

    "Checks by FAX, Phone and E-mail"
       - Andrey B. Yastrebov
       - John Vinokur
       - Tony Hicks

    "Building Community Online"
       - Mark Rauterkus
       - Eleanor Muller
       - Paul "the soarING" Siegel

 + The Corkboard

    "TIARA goes free!"
       - Tony Hicks

 + Question of the Week

       - Jill Stahl Tyler
       - Sam King
       - Nancy Roebke


 Moderator's Comments

Hi All,

Today's issue continues the discussions on 'Building Community 
Online' and 'Checks by FAX and E-mail".  The former contains 
some excellent insights while the latter started me thinking 
about perceived value (see NEW TOPICS).

Today's responses to the QOTW are also insightful in terms of 
how other online marketers are enjoying their work as well as 
how they cope with the negative aspects of their jobs.  

Hope you enjoy reading as much as I did editing this one...

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote

 New Topics

From: Gary K. Foote 
Subject: Perceived Value

Hi All,

The 'Checks by FAX and E-mail' thread that is currently 
going on in the EMD started me thinking about perceived 
value...  the idea that everything that is for sale has 
a different perceived value to each individual consumer.  
This really means that you are free to price your product 
as you wish.  As long as you are able to build perceived 
value your prices will be paid by your customers.  You 
should test price points and closely track results to 
determine your best.

To tell you the truth, I often buy software with fewer 
features because I find it keeps me more productive when 
I'm not presented with a lot of functions.  I tend to spend 
too much time exploring all of the features of complicated 
software, so you can see how simple saves me time.  Anyway, 
I will pay *more* for *less* if my goals are fully reached 
by the simpler software.  This is a perfect example of 
perceived value in action.  Anyone else have any comments on, 
or experiences with perceived value and price points...  
please jump on in.




From: "Andrey B. Yastrebov" 
Subject: Checks by fax, phone and e-mail


George Matyjewicz wrote:

> You're going to have a hard time selling this at $119.  Way
> overpriced.  I have used a check to draft system for a year now,
> and only paid $40.  It works very well. Also, there is a product
> on the market (Versa Check) that is sold at CompUSA among others
> for $29.95.  My partner uses it in her off-line business.

Could you please chare your experience a little. I think that
there may be a lot of fraud here. Say Mr. A pays Mr. B by
check. Then Mr. B just uses information on the check to buy
over the Internet. Check gets cleared, you deliver your
product. Then Mr. A watches his bank statement and the
transaction is reversed because it was fraudulent. Overall,
this way seems to be much less safe than credit cards. How
do you handle all this?

Also, how do you deposit checks without the signiture?

BTW: It's very possible to sell over-priced software. Most
of the people just don't know real prices, so they pay

Regards. Andrey.
| Andrey B. Yastrebov    E-mail: |
|               |


Subject: Topic: Checks by fax, phone and e-mail

>Subject: Checks by fax, phone and e-mail

>>I market a fully-functional "checks by fax, phone and e-mail"
>>software that sells for less than any other.

>You're going to have a hard time selling this at $119.  Way
>overpriced.  I have used a check to draft system for a year now,
>and only paid $40.  It works very well. Also, there is a product
>on the market (Versa Check) that is sold at CompUSA among others
>for $29.95.  My partner uses it in her off-line business.

>George Matyjewicz


Judging from many other posts of yours that I've seen, you're too
smart a man to have written this reply - perhaps the Devil made you
do it?

The fact is that apparently similar products (in almost every field)
are offered to the public with wide discrepancies in pricing because
of a number of factors - some valid, some not.  One of the most im-
portant *valid* reasons is that "apparently similar products" are
often not similar in much more than general purpose, and (as the
wise men say) you get what you pay for.  For example, both Ladas and
Cadillacs come under the general heading "car" - and yet no one is
surprised that the latter costs several times more than the former.
It's up to the buyer to decide how much to spend, and which one will
properly achieve his or her purposes.

Your $29.95 or $40.00 software may permit the printing of basic
checks, but may not offer the versatility of more expensive systems.
Of course, you may or may not need that extra versatility - but if
you do, then the "higher-priced-spread" can end up being cheap at
the price!  (For example, I need to print both American and Canadian
checks, in both business and wallet sizes - and I need to be able to
verify bank transit numbers, which only the $199.95 package I use is
able to help me with (to my knowledge).

So, it's just possible that the $119 package will be well worth the
bucks to an entire segment of the market that *requires* the capabil-
ities that this package contains.  The point is that you cannot make
a determination of the marketability of a product based solely on
price - or else only the lowest-priced product (like the Lada) would
thrive in any market.


John Vinokur
Automated Response Technology, Inc.
1615 Military Turnpike
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-7364
Tel: 514-946-8825
Fax: 514-345-0585

      "Developing customized automated telephone messaging systems
                         for clients since 1990"


From: Tony Hicks 
Subject: Re: Checks by fax software

> George wrote:

> You're going to have a hard time selling this at $119.  Way
> overpriced.  I have used a check to draft system for a year now,
> and only paid $40.  It works very well. Also, there is a product
> on the market (Versa Check) that is sold at CompUSA among others
> for $29.95.  My partner uses it in her off-line business.
> George


I hate to disagree, but there are versions going for up to
 _$1,200.00_ that are going well! Also, VersaCheck does not 
compare to what our software can do! 

As they say, you get what you pay for. If you're happy with the 
one you've got, I'm not trying to disparage it; but I know 
that ours is superior to anything on the market, 'cause I've 
tried 'em all!

Several readers responded to my post, but I've had a systems 
failure and lost their responses. I'd appreciate if they'd 
contact me again.

In addition, we've made some changes, and now offer three distinct
versions, for the small office, the medium and the large.

Thanks for all the input!

Tony Hicks
The Internet Advertising Research Affiliation (TIARA)

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*** NEXT TOPIC - Building Community Online  ***

From: Mark Rauterkus 
Subject: Re: Building Community


Building community is a FINE art. And, the act of building 
a community takes lots of resources. We'd be foolish to talk 
about the benefits of hosting virtual communities without 
waving up a big red flag and pointing out the size of the 
risks and costs in doing so. 

It is one thing to build a community that you "own." -- Again 
it is quite another to participate in an community that is 
operated elsewhere. I think that most people, say 99.9%,  
will find that it makes much better sense to be good net 
community participants -- and leave the final ownership 
matters and related headaches in heart and pocketbooks to 

Just being a great community participant talkes lots of time. 
So, my advice: Don't try to build your own communities unless 
you really, really want to and you know what the heck you are 
getting yourself into. And, furthermore, there is a geat 
chance that a half-hearted and bootstrapped finance plan for 
community creation won't work as you envisioned it. 

Look close at the original question:
>I am struggling with the concept of building community
>for a small independent web site.

KEYWORD: small. independent. 
Communities are large. And communities of independents don't 
fly by their very nature. 

>First, although I see examples of community on web sites
>like C-net or ZD, ...

Keyword: Large corporate sponsors as examples.

I feel that some of these communities are backed into. Hey, 
we've got these people we just hired, or we have this investor 
incomes to put into play. Let's fire-up a web forum, etc. And, 
before you know it they claim hits, ads, superior marketplace 
positioning. But, not really.

Sorry to be so down on the question and for the rant.

A better issue, IMHO, is, "How can one become a good community 
participant in one's spare/available time?" 

And, "Who (where/what directions) do you give your community 
energy to?"

Generally, I like to jump in when I see folks like Gary putting 
forth sincere efforts. As for how you act and what you champion, 
those answers are best found in who you are. Be yourself and 
keep turning your head and cheeks from side to side, in part to 
gain perspective.

Mark Rauterkus, Publisher          E-books work in classrooms!           

Nagano Torch Burns Bright with Winter Games Discussion lists:


From: "Eleanor Muller" 
Subject: Online communities

Do you know about the online courses run by ZDU?  They have a 
session going at the moment on "Building Online Communities"  
Infact the course itself is an interesting community!  The 
discussions are based on Hagel and Armstrong's book : Net Gain.

You'll find ZDU's catalog at



From: "Paul "the soarING" Siegel" 
Subject: Re: Building Community

Jan Crowell asks:

> I am struggling with the concept of building community
> for a small independent web site.  Perhaps we could address
> this in the newslist?  
I believe this is the single best question anyone on this list 
can ask. There are 3 things you need to get anything done on the 
Internet: Cooperation, Learning, and Community.

All 3 are related. The Internet is not an information highway; 
radio and TV are information highways, since on these media an 
elite few dish out information to the masses. The Internet is a 
network of Learning Fountains, where each is trying to attract 
different visitors who are eager to learn something. The 
emphasis is on learning because we're not selling products but 
services - usually, intellectual services.

You learn best when you communicate and exchange ideas. In other 
words, you learn best through cooperation - NOT competition. 
When society's emphasis was on products, it pushed competition. 
If I own a car you don't. But today with the emphasis on 
ideas, cooperation is more importanat. If I have an idea 
I can share it with you and still have it. Furthermore, during 
the conversation I enhance my ideas. I'm better off.

The very best way to learn is by building a community. A 
community is not merely a group of people who get together for a 
specific reason. It is not a community unless each member helps 
other members in their common learning purpose. 

It's a tough job building a community. One big way of doing so, 
is through a list such as this. Here you have members helping 
other members learn.  Our moderator is right on.

But I must say, there are many lists out there that do not make 
a community. The technique is not as important as the attitude. 

There are several sites which I consider to be Learning 
Community Stimulators. You may find a list on my site at

Live your vision,

Paul "the soarING" Siegel***************************LEARN-A-LINK
Learn how to create a Learning Fountain: A website that attracts 
prospects by helping them learn. 
Subscribe to Learning Fountain Reviews. Send message to: 
 In Subject state: 
Subscribe Reviews; or visit

 The Corkboard

From: Tony Hicks 
Subject: TIARA goes free!

Hello, everyone!

Due to a number of good suggestions regarding The Internet 
Advertising Research Affiliation, as of Tuesday, 10 Feb 98, 
I am canceling the membership fees. That's right, Membership 
is now _free_. I'll amend the site to reflect this change.

I hope that all of you will check out the Affiliation, and 
consider joining. The kind of teamwork we can generate may 
help us all in the long run!

BTW, don't panic! Paid members have been notified and 

Tony Hicks
The Internet Advertising Research Affiliatiom (TIARA)

 Question of the Week

From: Jill Stahl Tyler 

1) What do you love about your online marketing work and how 
   do you keep it that way?

I love learning... and there is lots to do in that field!

2) What do you hate about your online marketing work and what 
   do you do to manage this natural mental 'logjam'?

Feeling overwhelmed by all there is to learn and to deal with,
and wondering if there is any real payback.  I try to get
through this by learning more, and tracking results.  
-----GOT MILK?-------
Jill Stahl Tyler, Stahl & Associates; 611 Ames Hill Rd;
Brattleboro, VT  05301
tel: (802) 254-2879; fax: (802) 257-1693;;

Specializing in practical dairy training & tours.  (For more
information on a year-long dairy trainee program, send any
message to or  


From: Sam King 

>1) What do you love about your online marketing work and how 
>   do you keep it that way?

I love the fact that I can make use of various internet mediums 
to clarify any doubts I have, or to teach me more about any 
topic I don't understand. I love the fact that I can meet people 
in the same boat as myself!~ I am responsible for the marketing
at a smallish software company. I love the fact that I can 
usually always find someone who has done something, that I am 
about to do, before me...I love the light given to the dark! :-)

>2) What do you hate about your online marketing work and what 
>   do you do to manage this natural mental 'logjam'?

I dislike the fact that I have other duties which sometimes 
distract me from my online marketing.I also dislike the fact 
that many people don't realise what online marketing is.....
this is especially the case in Australia, where the public 
is not as wired as those from the US...but we're getting there!

ps. enjoy your list...

Marketing & Logistics
SPRINT Software
22 Green st Richmond 3121
Ph. (03) 9427 9996 Fax. (03) 9427 0705


From: "Nancy Roebke" 

> 1) What do you love about your online marketing work and how 
>    do you keep it that way?

> 2) What do you hate about your online marketing work and what 
>    do you do to manage this natural mental 'logjam'?

This will be an interesting answer. I love the increase in 
productivity and I hate the decrease in productivity. Sounds 
pretty contradictory (and is)...But here's the details.

An increase in productivity is found through the places that 
allow me to do the same task (like submit press releases ) to 
many locations with one message, instead of the process of 
printing, stuffing and mailing them separately. This is just an 
example, but represents the type of increase in productivity.

The decrease in productivity comes with the increase in time 
that it takes to build relationships online versus off. I have 
found the increase in time to do this to be a real factor.

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

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