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 The E-Marketing Digest
 Gary K. Foote, Moderator
 Volume #2,Issue #176
 May 22, 1998

 Put the EMD Member's Button on your website.  Declare your 
 pride in participation while helping to build circulation.


 Table of Contents

 + Ongoing

    "Charging for E-Pubs"
       - Mel Eperthener
       - William Bontrager
       - Vikram Kumar

    "Push as it is Today (was Prospect Vehicles)"
       - Krishnan J iyer

 + Website Issues

    "To Frame or Not to Frame..."
       - Terry Van Horne

 + The Corkboard

    "EMD Research Survey"
       - Responses
          o Barbara R. Hume
          o Amit Malik

    "UCC 2B Forum"
       - 'Doc' Don Taylor

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


 Moderator's Comments

Hi All,

As I'm sure you noticed there was no EMD published Wednesday.  A
'brief' trip to the computer maintenence shop on Tuesday turned
into an involuntary 2 day time-out for both my computer and
myself.  In any case, all of the posts to the EMD that were
intended for Wednesday are included in today's issue, so you will
have missed nothing.

As for myself, I had a nice time off, unexpected though it was,
and spent the time in my canoe with flyrod in hand, seeking the
ever elusive large mouth bass.  I guess its still early in the
season as there was no cooperation from the fish, but I had a
wonderful time anyway.

I also spent some time yesterday being interviewed by one of our
own subscribers, Tony Hicks, for his TalkAmerica Radio,
NetProfits.  The interview will air on 450+ radio stations across
the US this Saturday, the 23rd.  It will also be netcast at the
World Wide Expo website, I believe throughout the life of the

The current promo on their site is still using the original
working title for the show, BizTalk, but it will be aired as

It will also be carried at the TalkAmerica site;

I'll post exact URLs as they become available.

And now, on with the show...

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


***  FIRST TOPIC - Charging for E-pubs  ***

From: Mel Eperthener 
Subject: Charging for E-pubs


One thing that has struck me about this thread is that no one
(and I am sure that there are some subscribers to the list that
are in print media) has addressed the TRUE revenue model of the
print media.

Yes, newspapers and magazines do charge for subscriptions.  But
it in no way begins to cover the true cost of publication.  Two
examples in front of me:  the local newspaper costs $0.50 a day
(and $1.50 Sunday).  The only non-industry (and those are free)
magazine I have time to read has a cover price of $2.95.
Subscriptions are cheaper.

For this money, the purchase point gets a cut (or why would a
store carry the publication?), or the delivery people/post office
receives payment. One reason newsstand prices are higher is that
returns must be covered, as well.

The amount of money the publisher gets back is nowhere near
enough to support the publication.  Printing a magazine/newspaper
is a rather expensive process.  The vast majority of the printing
costs are covered by ad revenue.  In some cases, the subscription
price does not even cover the distribution costs.

On the internet, distribution is FREE (or very close to).
Economies of scale dictate that each subsequent subscription
costs next to nothing.  In some cases, the difference between
sending an email to one person and sending it to 10 000 people is

Now I am not saying that there is no room for paid subscriptions
online. And even Consumer Reports was (I have not read it in
years, so cannot comment on current policy) renowned for having
NO advertising, as this way there would be no question of sponsor
influence.  However, these are some key points to the debate, and
with the quality of subscribers that are on EMD, I am surprised
that this has not been discussed.

Would anyone else care to comment?


Mel Eperthener

president, Gowanna Multi-media Pty


[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Mel,

Thanks for presenting your perspective.  Not having a print
publication background I can't comment on the
similarities/differences, but I do know that ad revenues are the
major source of income for today's online publishers.  However,
the low cost of distribution for online pubs, which you pointed
out is near zero, actually leaves more 'room' for profit if/when
the online model ever becomes the same as the offline model.

Comments anyone?

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


From: William Bontrager 
Subject: Charging for E-pubs

Doug Freake:
>What we need is the technology to make 
>single user read-only files - any
>techies on the list?

Gary K. Foote:
>How about a single-electronic-file-transfer-only 
>format. Is this possible?

If it is displayed on a monitor, it can be copied. The program
doing the displaying might be copy protected, but the display can
not be. (Maybe when the music companies figure it out we can
modify their idea for our use.
WillMaster -- The Bontrager Connection:
  Awesome web site and graphic design.
     Screaming hot CGI programming. 
All our unique sites are linked at 

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi William,

Hmmmm...  you pose a side of the issue I had not thought of.
With this in mind, can PDF files be copied from the screen? 

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote

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From: "Nicky & Rovick Group" 
Subject: Charging for E-Pubs

I have been following the thread on charging for e-pubs in lurk
mode and wanted to add my comment as well as respond to the first
question of the EMD Survey (added value of printed version

Since electronic media in general is still young and evolving,
comparisons with existing and competing printed media is
inevitable. However, in my opinion, this should not make one
forget that electronic media will ultimately transform into
complementing, rather than substituting completely, print media.
The focus should therefore be on the differences- i.e. what are
the unique strengths of electronic media.

This involves a paradigm shift in thinking and only when viewed
from this perspective does issues like charging for e-pubs become
meaningful. As an example, electronic media is digital- something
which print media is obviously not. This allows an e-pub to do
several things uniquely and, the point of this post, it is these
unique strengths that have to be built upon.

Would I pay for the printed version of the EMD? No.

One unique advantage of the EMD (being electronic media) is
clickable links. If I come across a posting which, say, offers
some article by Auto Responder and the article seems to be of
interest, I would immediately click on the Auto Responder and get
back to reading. The printed version of EMD cannot do this for
me. I would need a much higher level of interest to remember to
get a copy of the article, remember to ask for it next time I am
at my computer, and remember where I put the printed version to
locate the instructions for getting the article.

This is one example of what an e-pub can do for me which the
printed version cannot and can be multiplied many times over to
see the uniqueness of the electronic media and, therefore, its
future evolution in its own right.

Would I pay for the electronic version of the EMD? Yes.

But only if it satisfies some of the comments made earlier- value
added, relevance, etc. or what John Watkins so aptly summed up,
"The key to success is almost always the creation of high-value
information, delivered in a timely way that is easy to consume."

Vikram Kumar
Rovick Mouldtech Ltd., India

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Vikram,

Thanks for joining the discussion.  I'm always pleased when posts
come from subscribers who have not yet participated.  Your
perspective sheds new light on the topic and has me thinking
about the advantages of e-pubs instead of the disadvantages.
Good stuff.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote

*** NEXT TOPIC - Push as it is Today (was Prospect Vehicles) ***

From: Krishnan J iyer 
Subject: Prospect Vehicles

>> 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. 

Well, There is Memba too!. I quoted pointcast just as a model of
how push can be used [in] overcoming the traditional problem of
users receiving unwanted commercials on Mass Scale. (How many
times one would've wished that those silly commercials to
disappear from TVs. leave the best). Push got a new identity with
Pointcast and people are using it in different models and
different methods.

>>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.)

I agree. I, myself don't do it either.However, Idea here is how
to use a model built for pointcast for your business. See the
level of pro-activite interactivity it can provide any business
which they are longing for all these years. They did everything
from posting to customers to calling/faxing them request forms
all these years. And now companies are able to pinpoint a
particular user who bought one product from their product line
with the exact reason why s/he bought it and when s/he will buy

>>"Push as it is today is best for News Providers." <<

"As it is today", Yes. But why not go ahead and provide company
news/product news to all those who bought new product from your

Studies point out that, it costs as much as five times to get a
new customer than to retain an existing one. The Interactive push
just enables to stay in touch with their target audience and
provide useful information. That helps companies keep their
customers informed/updated of their products without much
additional cost.

One way this is company's "Prospect Vehicle", Isn't it? 

Krishnan J iyer
Redefining Global Fax Communications

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Krish,

I think this level of push is going to become much more prevalent
once high-bandwidth speeds are commonplace.  When it arrives it
will be a major force.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote

 Website Issues

***  FIRST TOPIC - To Frame or Not to Frame..."

From: "Webmaster T's World of Design" 
Subject: To Frame.....

Hi Gary,

Frames in some cases are a necessary evil and it seems that you
have considered the evils. Search engines are a consideration but
foremost is the problem of bookmarking which if my memory serves
correct has been improved in the most recent flavors of the big
two browsers, but still isn't fully functional or user friendly.

There are also many (myself included) who just don't care to use
sites implementing them unless either a No frame version is
offered or the information is so unique it is not available
anywhere else.

The splash screens though a good idea are being treated much
differently by the engines now. Engines seem to be taking the
stance that if the page's primary function is for placement, many
are not indexing them,or if they do, they are penalized somehow.
This is mainly due to the proliferation of doorway/gateway pages.
An Image map/SplashScreen IMHO wouldn't cut it. You will need
some keyword intensive copy of approximately 300 words to get a
decent placement.

There is also the increased dowload time (not much) to consider.
The menu maintenance issue could be easily addressed using SSI or
webbot components in front page. Lately I've been working on a
site where the left and right menu,heading and footer, changes
depending where you are within the site.I have found SSI to be a
god send for maintenance and updating purposes.

SSI's also make adding new content as easy as four includes for
page components and copy and paste text from text editor into
page. I can now build a new page in about ten minutes after the
copy is written in plain text and then converted to HTML in
ASC2HTM. I use the plain text versions in the free content area
on my site . I've found this method a good way to leverage my
content/writing activity.

Best regards

Terry Van Horne  |
Webmaster T's World of Design |
An e-zine featuring interviews, articles, references and
resources of
interest to site developers and internet marketers. and

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Terry,

Thanks for the good info.  I have no excperience with frontpage -
instead I write code manually - but intend to change that so as
to remain current with the technology.  

Re: splash pages:  My intent is to build a purposeful opening
screen, with appropriate text and graphics, from which all links
lead to the framed site.  I've kept graphics to an absolute
minimum and all main_window pages as small as possible.  These
tactics alone have allowed me to create a site that is framed but
moves at the speed of an unframed site.  I also see this approach
as a solution to the bookmark problem, as the opening screen will
be fully bookmarkable as well as fully functional.

Re: > There are also many (myself included) 
    > who just don't care to use sites 
    > implementing them"

This is of great interest to me.  Why do so many people have a
negative visceral reaction to frames?  It seems to be apart from
any technical aspect of their implementation.  Instead it seems
to be a personal opinion/reaction.  If we could pinpoint just
what it is that is the cause, we could all utilize the benefits
of frames without triggering the negative reactions.  Anyone?

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote

 The Corkboard

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

Hi All,

We continue with the ongoing survey for one more week.  Today's
responses are posted below, but first, the survey 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?

***  RESPONSES  ***

From: (Barbara R. Hume)

>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?  

I can't think of anything. I subscribe to the list to get useful
information; in that I have not been disappointed. But I am not
interested in paying for information I've already received,
especially when I've already saved and profited from the parts
that are relevant to my business. If you did a print version, I
can only assume it would be loaded with ads, and I'm already
bombarded with ads from every source. If getting information
on-line becomes too expensive or irritating, I have no problem
with going back to using the library. 

>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?  

The purpose of the list is to share information, so I don't see
why sharing the information on a wider basis would be a
negative--unless, of course, it's the kind of information I sell
as a consultant. I'm sure that many of us on this list are
accustomed to providing information that will help others, while
marketing and charging for other information.

> >3) Would you still post?  

>4) Would you become a lurker?

>5) Would you unsubscribe?



From: "Amit Malik, The Column Jockey Inc."


>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? 
I had purposely left out my input on this as I wanted to give it
"a think." 

This is just an idea and perhaps you may need to do a survey on
this too! I think I would be more comfortable if I receive (say)
3 top lists/ zines for the value of one. Perhaps, EMD can tie-up
with 2 other discussion lists/ zines and offer a monthly digest.
3 at the price of 1! 

This is not to say that EMD by itself doesn't have value. But
just that this breaks restriction barriers and tops value



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* Showered With Money- Better ways to spend your money.
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[Moderator's Comments]

Amit, what a great idea.  Build a print version that covers
multiple related topics.  A much more rounded product with wider
marketing appeal.  Like web-affiliates the content relationships
must be carefully considered, but I think you've hit on something
good here.  Thanks for posting it.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote

***  NEXT TOPIC - UCC 2B Forum  ***

From: "'Doc' Don Taylor" 
Subject: UCC 2B Forum

Ed Foster of InfoWorld has started an online forum on this
proposed new law that will apply to all (?) software licensing

Among the more interesting posts are these two contrasts
concerning the issue of consumer protection within 2B:

Carlyle C. Ring, Jr., Chair UCC Article 2B Drafting Committee
, goes to
great lengths to support his opening statement:

"While Article 2B, as part of the Uniform Commercial Code, is
primarily to rovide rules for commercial transactions, it
includes a number of special rovisions for consumers, briefly (?)

To show that "The drafting meetings themselves have been open to
public participation:" (How many of you have been aware of them?)

Cem Kaner , an
independent, consumer and small-business oriented attorney with
extensive experience in programming and other positions within
the software industry. Some of his comments:

"To the best of my knowledge, every consumer representative who
has spent ime with 2B has considered it utterly unacceptable."

"The National Writers Union has taken a position against 2B..."

"The President of the Independent Computer Consultants of America
has also old me that she has serious difficulties with 2B."

(Carly says) "2B won't conflict with a single consumer protection

"Consumer protection laws that used to apply to goods, still
apply to goods."

"They just no longer apply to software, because software is
redefined to not be goods."

Anyone involved in developing, marketing or even selling (as in
retail) software products, as well as writers, should look into
this. I tend to agree with Cem, but it is a hugely complex issue
with many different parties involved and perspectives to be
protected. The development process for UCC 2B has been going on
for over a decade, but is expected to wrap up and become law
within about a year. Does this law reflect anywheres near your
interests? Learn why Cem says "We are opposed to 2B because it is
outrageous, not because it is a little bit bad."


|                     Hampton Roads 2000 - USA
|                    Read my articles listed at:
| Member, CPSR Y2k Working Group    
| +1.757.877.4992

 Question of the Week

Hi All,

This week's question sounds broad, but let me limit it to exclude
participation in e-mail forums and newsgroups, 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.  All respondents
to this week's QOTW will remain completely anonymous.

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

The Questions;

 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:

***  RESPONSES  ***

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


If you target your market then;

    d) How do you target your market?

Aotoresponders and articles in ezines

    e) What is your response rate?

Recently, well over 30%


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

Yes, I have in very specialized instances.

 If your response to the above is yes, then;

    a) Do you send bulk unsolicited e-mail?

    I have on 2-3 occasions to date

    b) How many e-mails do you send in a single session?"


    c) Do you target your market or use the 'shotgun' approach?

    Area residents

If you target your market then;

    d) How do you target your market?

    Harvest local internet users

    e) What is your response rate?

    From 8-31%

If you use the 'shotgun' approach then;

    f) What is your response rate?

    Best has been 31% positive response (NO flames!)

    g) What do you see as the biggest negatives of this practice?

    Rubbing some congenital complainer the wrong way. This
    practice requires expert copywriting and headline

To be fair, I'm sending a brief message to residents in a given
area for restaurants. The Subject may read: Free burritos at the
El Adobe restaurant! Body is very few lines asking for a reply if
the recipient is interested in the offer. I then use a Pegasus
filter to send the restaurant's newsletter containing a coupon
and other "online-only" Specials to those who respond as

Newsletters may continue to arrive each month, but contain an
"Unsubscribe" option which is rarely utilized. We get lots of
"Thank yous", however.  I would hesitate to send mass, untargeted
UCM's. I have lots of thoughts on this subject and resent those
who have become so extreme that any piece of email which appears
unsolicited sets of a mindless tirade and hostile, kneejerk


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


Never have.  Never will.  (OK, at least I never plan to)

I think that you are opening yourself up to to much negative
opinion here, and that there are better ways to promote yourself.
Especially if you offer a specialised product, a scattershot
approach will get you very little interest, and is simply not
worth the bother.


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

Only a fool would use unsolicited direct mass e-mail. There are
several ways to gather lsits of people who have identified they
are interested in what information you have to offer. Blind
emailing only causes you greif. Having an autoresponder on your
web site and participating in newsgroups are excellent ways to
let people know what you have and where they can get more info.
There are also other ways to gather leads. So, for your own sake,
never blind email.

>     d) How do you target your market?

You target the market by being seen where your market looks. By
participating in relevant newsgroups, your website and cross
links with other web sites. Tell people what wonderful
information you have and where to find out more if interested via or {My .sig is
currently a poor example but, the site isn't ready for world
acclaim just yet.} There are also some other ways, traditional
advertising mediums should never be ignored as there is still
more of your market off the net than on the net.

>     e) What is your response rate?

8 in 10 respond as it is solicited email. Not everyone purchases
though and less than 1 in 500 reply with a flame.

>     g) What do you see as the biggest negatives of this
         practice? (unsolicited direct e-mail)

A. Pissing off prospects that will then never consider buying
from you.

B. Receiving extensive complaints that may result in the closing
of your Internet account. Effectively putting you out of

C. Becoming depressed about the effectiveness of online


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

No, I never have, and I never plan to do it in any form (targeted
or shotgun).


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