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

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 The E-Marketing Digest
 Gary K. Foote, Moderator
 Volume #2,Issue #175
 May 18, 1998
 ========================

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 Table of Contents

 + Ongoing

    "Charging for E-Pubs"
       - John Watkins
       - Dr.S.Sivasubramanian, M.D.
       - Douglas Freake
       - Sharon Tucci

    "Prospect Vehicle"
       - Amit Malik

 + Website Issues

    "To Frame of Not to Frame"
       - Gary K. Foote

 + The Corkboard

    "EMD Research Survey"
       - Responses
          o Nancy Roebke

 + Question of the Week
    
    "Do you use unsolicited e-mail as a marketing tool?
 =============================================================

 ====================
 Moderator's Comments
 ====================


Hi All,

Happy Monday.  In preparing this week's QOTW, concerning the use
of unsolicited direct e-mail as a marketing tool, I realized that
many would not respond because of the usual open nature of past
Q's in which the respondent's names and e-mail addresses were
included.

For this week's QOTW that practice will be suspended in hope of
garnering a more sizeable response.  So, please respond, or
comment if you like.  Your responses, if published, will be
posted anonymously.

And now, on with the show...

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote



 =======
 Ongoing
 =======


***  FIRST TOPIC - Charging for E-Pubs  ***


From: The Simple Society 
Subject: Re: charging for E-pubs

Nancy Roebke wrote -- quite wisely, I think

>I would pay pretty much in the 
>same way I "pay" for offline
>information.
>
(snip)
>I guess I'm in the crusade-starting 
>mode...I think that the
>sale of information will flounder 
>as long as there is no
>exclusivity to the posts.

As someone who has been in print publishing for a number of
decades, I echo what Nancy has to say although perhaps from a
different perspective.

Be sure that you treat your readers interests AND their time with
respect. There are good and bad print publications. There are
good and bad print newsletters. The key to success is almost
always the creation of high-value information, delivered in a
timely way that is easy to consume.

This takes strong editorial leadership which means that in very
few cases will the content be interactive and never repetitive.
It also means that most of the content will be based on an
editorial model that assures a high percentage of the space is
given to reader interests using material that is prepared at the
readers level of understanding, by people who have the necessary
expertise. This also means that most of the content will be
prepared by the editor/publisher and/or INVITED (perhaps paid)
contributors and, occasionally, by over-the-counter contributions
chosen for their excellence. (I don't know the original source,
but there is a motto I try to live by: Excellence--all else is
treason)

The information needed by "newbies" can be handled in a number of
ways including offline FAQs, autoresponder messages, eTrainer
modules (mentioned by Ira Pasternack)and occasional reviews of
basics (perhaps organized to provide some new perspective).

John Watkins, Executive Director     The Simple Society
mailto:johnw@simsoc.org   http://simsoc.org

FREE--a subscription to Simple Solutions: the Email newsletter
that proves there are simpler solutions to major public problems.
mailto:join-simple_solutions@gs2.revnet.com


[Moderator's Comments]

Good points, John.  It is the constant creation of new topics or
revisits to old topics, but from different perspectives, that I
find the most challenging aspect of publishing.  I keep the flow
going by keeping my eyes and ears open all the time - looking and
listening for any and all input that pertains to pub-focus.  I
search the web and newsgroups for topics or news items of
interest to my readers and have just begun asking some
subscribers by private e-mail to comment to the list on these
topics to open new threads.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


***  SAME TOPIC - NEXT POST  ***


From: "S.Sivasubramanian" 
Subject: Paying for online publications

Hello everyone.

I run an e-mail newsletter, "The Heart Beat" and would like
to comment on one aspect of Ira Pasternak's posting on
the topic.

Ira Pasternak wrote:

>In my opinion, there are two reasons 
>why charging for an e-pub is
>difficult.  First, you have to 
>provide something that can not
>just be copied.  It is just too 
>easy to forward an email message,
>or copy and paste content from a 
>Web page.  If all you are
>selling is a newsletter delivered 
>via email, the strongest
>copyright statement in the world 
>won't keep some people from
>sharing with their associates.

I don't fully agree with this.  While my newsletter contains some
original material (more often, it is a list of what is new on my
four websites), it does contain a collection of news stories,
health tips, good URLs and the sort which is accessible to anyone
with a browser and internet access.  But what my readers
appreciate is that it is COLLECTED for them and provided in an
easy to read manner on one email newsletter !

To me, it isn't too much extra work, since I anyway surf the web
for nice sites to link to from my websites and subscribe to
many different health listservs which feed news stories to my
mailbox.  Out of this, I distill the best ones that are related
to heart disease and include them in the newsletter.

I haven't considered charging for it, so can't say about the
possibility of people actually paying to see content they could
find for themselves on the web, but as long as it is free, they
appreciate the work I put into it :)

Just my two cents worth.

Bye

*************************************************

        DR.S.SIVASUBRAMANIAN, M.D.
       Asst.Professor of Paediatric
             Cardiac Surgery
    mailto:sivaraj@giasmd01.vsnl.net.in

*************************************************


[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Dr. Sivasubramanian,

The model you present is an excellent example of John Watkins'
requirement that effective publications must provide "high-value
information, delivered in a timely way that is easy to consume."
I'd be willing to bet a number of your subscribers would pay for
further compilations of "The Best of The Heart Beat" - perhaps a
quarterly distillation with additional followups and/or reviews,
updates on past news stories, etc.

See Douglas Freake's post below...

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


***  SAME TOPIC - NEXT POST  ***


From: Douglas Freake 
Subject: Charging for E-pubs

Nancy Roebke wrote:

>Selling EXCLUSIVE information would be. Selling information on 
>SPECIFIC TOPICS could be sucessful as well. But to try to sell 
>general information that is easily available in so many other 
>places, would not be sucessful, in my opinion.

Exclusive information is critical to the success of many
publications. However, what I think Gary and others are
suggesting to do with this e-pub is similar to a clipping
service. They would not be selling the information as such but
their time in collecting the posts, sorting & editing and
publishing them in a easy to read publication. Selling
re-packaged info can be very successful. 

Ira M. Pasternack wrote:

>In my opinion, there are two 
>reasons why charging for an e-pub is
>difficult.  First, you have to 
>provide something that can not
>just be copied.  It is just too 
>easy to forward an email message,
>or copy and paste content from a Web page.

Ira raises a good point. Even if an e-publisher uses a format
like PDF it cost nothing to send a copy to someone. But to what
extent will this occur? Most print publications are read by two
or more people - and this is a selling point when trying to get
advertisers. What we need is the technology to make single user
read-only files - any techies on the list? 

Best regards,

Doug Freake


[Moderator's Comments]


Interesting idea, Douglas.  How about a
single-electronic-file-transfer-only format.  Is this possible?
Anyone?

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


***  SAME TOPIC - NEXT POST  ***


From: Sharon Tucci 
Subject: List Publishing Comments

Hmm... I've been carefully reading the comments and
contributions about charging for content, subscription
versus advertising models, etc.. and finally decided it
was time to jump into the fray with an "alternative
view".

Some background first - we publish a variety of e-zines
and discussion groups including "All About Money", "All
About Biz", "All About MLM" and some other smaller ones.
Our publicly promoted ones are entirely advertiser-
supported. I didn't start publishing to back-end a product
or service off of. I expanded in publishing on-line when I
figured out how to do it - and to make money at it. Not
everything we've done has been successful. However, I'm
very pleased with the results and the direction we're
heading.

In October, I started working on a manual called "All
About Lists - From A to Z". It's evolved into a 400 page
colossal work and will start to ship/be available for
download on June 1st. In the course of writing the book,
I've had over 600 list publishers complete a survey and
have interviewed more than 150 others. It's been 
interesting to say the least! 

Based on my personal experience and the various surveys/
interviews, here are some general comments:

1. There *are* a number of people who publish paid
subscription products who are doing well. In fact, of the
150 people I have interviewed, 18 of them fall into this
category. HOWEVER, only 1 of these 18 individuals does
not have a free version as well. In every other instance,
the publisher offers a free version - advertiser supported 
- that offers anywhere from 1/3 to 1/10 of the information
in the paid subscription version. Coincidentally, all 
except one (Randy Cassingham's "This is True") have very
specialized publications. In addition, half of these
publishers rely on their list publishing for their full-
time source of income. Conclusion: it's a viable model NOW,
you just have to learn how to work it and - most important
of all - have the right content and a large enough market
to support it.

2. I can appreciate the work and resources involved
in publishing moderated discussion lists. However, nothing
in all of my research has shown that the market would be
receptive in any way to paying for participating in such
a list. It simply doesn't make sense. A few of the 
discussion list publishers I interviewed have at some 
point, as with Adam, asked their subscribers if they would
be willing to go to a paid subscription model. None of them
had positive results. I don't see this changing anytime
soon.

3. The number one problem I saw come out of the surveys
and interviews was that many people who publish lists
put the cart before the horse. By this I mean... they 
decide an area to publish in without consideration for
whether it can be commercially viable (i.e. that the
publisher can be adequately compensated for time and
resources committed). 

4. I have also interviewed about 50 or so active Internet
users who subscribe to various lists (who are not list
publishers). The intent was to try and get a "feel" for
their perception. Some of the comments I received were:

 * Too many newsletters and e-zines offer the same ideas
   - they all said they want something DIFFERENT
 * Too many lists "push" advertising. Most of the 
   respondents said that they don't mind advertising and
   have in fact responded to advertising from lists. But
   they don't like having to sort their way through a 
   half dozen ads or more to get to the "meat"
 * Almost all said that they wouldn't mind paying for
   something that offered them value and information they
   would otherwise have trouble finding on their own.
   However, they would not consider doing so without first
   sampling the information offered.

There are a ton of other comments I'd love to make on the
subject... but I'm afraid this post has become too long
already!

Sharon Tucci

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                 All About Lists - From A To Z    
     Find Out The Secrets to Publishing Profitable Lists!
    Be among the first to get the details by sending any 
              mailto:manual@ergodynamix.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


[Moderator's Comments]

Thanks for sharing some excellent survey results with us, Sharon.
Very interesting stuff.  I guess I'll just have to buy the book
to get more details, eh?  ;->

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


***  NEXT TOPIC - Prospect Vehicle  ***


From: "Amit Malik, The Column Jockey Inc." 
Subject: Prospect Vehicle

Krish wrote:

>> 5. Promote a "prospect vehicle." <<

>"What is that?". I may sound a bit out of place 

Oh, well, you are not! B'cauz I just coined it :)

And here's the definition(!):

A "prospect vehicle" is something which your prospect will ride -
an online trivia game, an interactive online crossword... an
ezine, a discussion list (amongst the most usual things one comes
across), a catalog service, a free gift assistant service... - to
see your message! 

...Just remember you heard it first on EMD! ;)

>On the other hand, well, the 
>steps to brand building and marketing 
>on the net are taking advanced 
>shapes if we happen to notice the 
>earth moving below your screen 
>with POINTCAST sweeping the market 
>with it's newest technology. 
>"The Targeted Push"

Well, there is PointCast, there is Netscape Netcaster, there is
BackWeb, there is Downtown, there is a whole bunch of them... but
I doubt "they are here." These have some time to go for their
time to come. 

I personally don't like the time they take to download; by the
time I totally receive the feed, it's stale & I certainly don't
fancy news as my screensaver... because I don't "stare at/ read"
my screensaver.

I don't see people reading a newsletter/ webzine as a "ticker"
either. Better used to receive live stock quotes... (and that too
for those who are into stocks & shares.)

The best I have come across is MSNBCs news Alert (I currently use
it on my desktop) and - for news and not reading discussion
lists/ webzines, zines... "Push as it is today is best for News
Providers."

My 2c...

Best,
Amit. 

AWARD WINNING must-subscribe FREE Business Webzine. This week...
* The Truth About Business Development & Generating Revenue.
* Colon Slash Slash WWW (for 7000+ newbies who read MM this week)
* The Nightmare Audit... and how you can avoid it!
Get your FREE copy at http://goodppl.hypermart.net/mon.html
or text by autoresponder: mon_mag@goodppl.hypermart.net


[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Amit,

I have to agree with you here.  The time it takes to get these
feeds make them prohibitive to use.  I think this is one of those
technologies that will not take off until high-bandwidth
connectivity is pretty much universal.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


 ==============
 Website Issues
 ==============


Subject: "To Frame of Not to Frame"
From: Gary K. Foote

Hi All,

From a marketing standpoint a framed website can be a challenge
to get listed with search engines.  The reason for this is that
the typical framed site uses index.html (the default page at any
website) as their frame defining page, thereby eliminating
textual content and negatively impacting SE positioning.

In the past I have eschewed using frames, believing them to have
few real uses, but I am now developing one because the required
site menu is huge and can be best presented as a menu frame at
the left side of the screen.  The other reason is that this menu
will be constantly changing and being framed will make the
maintenence manageable.

I'm planning to use a non-framed splash screen for the index.html
that will contain important content in order to get better SE
positioning, then have the page refer to the true site, at
index2.html.  Has anyone here used this method?  Did it work for
you?  Will this have a negative impact on visitor numbers?  Will
frames themselves inhibit visits?

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


 =============
 The Corkboard
 =============


***  FIRST TOPIC - EMD Research Survey  ***

First, the questions:

1) If Webbers Communications offered a printed version of the EMD
each quarter, what kind of added value would prompt you (everyone
here) to consider its purchase?  

2) Would the knowledge that your posts might be included in a
print version of the EMD be a negative thing or a positive thing
for you?  

3) Would you still post?  

4) Would you become a lurker?

5) Would you unsubscribe?


***  FIRST RESPONSE  ***


From: "Nancy Roebke" 

1) If Webbers Communications offered a printed version of the EMD
each quarter, what kind of added value would prompt you (everyone
here) to consider its purchase?  

It would have to be sorted by topic with a table of contents.

2) Would the knowledge that your posts might be included in a
print version of the EMD be a negative thing or a positive thing
for you?  

Neither..

3) Would you still post?  

Yes

4) Would you become a lurker?

No

5) Would you unsubscribe?

No

Nancy Roebke
Execdirector@Profnet.Org        http://www.profnet.org

Learn to Network!
Increase income, cut costs, and put an end to cold calling.
Subscribe to our FREE newsletter that teaches you the secrets
of successful networking. mailto:subscribe@just-business.com !

ProfNet- Helping Business Professionals Find More Business 


[Moderator's Comments]

Hi All,

I'd like to thank everyone who has responded to this small reader
survey.  For the record, every response has been posted to the
list and not one of them has been negative.  I plan to continue
this small survey here for a while, as well as at the EMD website
(later today a link will appear) so please respond.  All
responses will be posted here, as in the past.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


 ====================
 Question of the Week
 ====================


Hi All,

This week's question sounds broad, but let me limit it to not
include participation in e-mail forums, but to only mean sending
e-mail to prospects.  Please note, this QOTW will have a better
response rate if anonymity is guaranteed, so I will not include
respondent identifiers in the returns.  Respondents to this
week's QOTW will remain completely anonymous.

General comments on the topic are also acceptable and will retain
anonymity if published.

 1) Do you use unsolicited direct e-mail as a marketing tool?

 If your response to the above is yes, then;

    a) Do you send bulk unsolicited e-mail?
    b) How many e-mails do you send in a single session?"
    c) Do you target your market or use the 'shotgun' approach?
    
If you target your market then;

    d) How do you target your market?
    e) What is your response rate?
    
If you use the 'shotgun' approach then;

    f) What is your response rate?
    g) What do you see as the biggest negatives of this practice?

 Please Post Your Responses to:    
 mailto:gkfoote@webbers.com?Subject=EMD-QOTW



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