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 The E-Marketing Digest
 Gary K. Foote, Moderator
 Volume #2,Issue #178
 June 1, 1998

 Please pass this issue of the EMD on to someone 
 you know who might be interested in its content.


 Table of Contents

 + New Topics

    "Direct Marketing links"
       - Roy Hinkelman

 + Ongoing

    "Charging for E-Pubs"
       - Sharon Tucci
       - Terry Steichen
       - Ron S. La Vine
       - Michael S. DeVries
       - George Matyjewicz

    "Affiliate Programs"
       - Angela Smith

    "Banner Ad Management Services"
       - Michael McColl

    "To frame or Not to frame"
       - Terry Van Horne
       - Angela Smith

 + Website Issues

 + E-mail Corner

 + In The News

 + The Corkboard

    "Roving Constant Contact"
       - Randy Parker

    "Network Ink"
       - Nancy Roebke

 + Question of the Week

"What is your opening line?  How do you strike up 
 a business conversation?"

       - Responses
          o Liviu Mihaileanu
          o Angela Smith


 Moderator's Comments

Hi All,

I've discovered that if your modem is broken your internet
connection slows considerably ;->  With my new modem in place, an
issue assembled and ready for publication, I now press the 'send'
button, hoping the rest of this electronic 'stuff' will do its
magic without failure.

And now, on with the show...

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote

 New Topics

From: Roy Hinkelman 
Subject: Direct Marketing links

For those looking into direct marketing (direct mail/database
marketing/one2one marketing/telemarketing), I'm collecting some
links to information and tutorials on the subject.

If you know of any other good articles online, I'd be interested.

DM Articles & Resources

Direct Marketing World (
) offers a library of articles on efective DM techniques, links
to mailing lists and more.

Conder (, a direct marketing company,
providing good general overview of DM, DB Marketing.

CyberDirect ( is a listing of direct
mail and dm related companies including list brokers, printers
and more. No instructional info, but some good links.

SRA Marketing
(, another DM
specialist company, has overview of DM, resource list and worst
case examples .

Teleplaza ( is a directory of links to
WWW information for the Call Center/Teleservicing industry.
"Providing the MOST Tele.relevant information in the LEAST amount
of time."

Another Direct Marketing firm, Kestnbaum
( offers a short list of
articles. Of particular interest is on sales automation trends in
respect to direct marketing.

Roy       _____ Put our FREE site directory
__________________________|      on YOUR site, with YOUR logo 1-888-262-9676
Syndicated Marketing Products

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Roy,

Thanks for the URLs.  I also know of;

American List Counsel

Broken down by category or by SIC code.  Their search feature
seems to not be working right now.

Anyone else?

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


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

From: Sharon Tucci 
Subject: Charging For E-Pubs

A myriad of assorted comments...

Marilyn wrote:

>Perhaps it's time people 'fessed up to the real reason behind
>charging for e-zines and started creating new models for
>generating business revenue through their e-zines.

I'm clueless here. *Real reason for charging for e-zines ?"*
Perhaps I can shed a bit of light... (1) to produce ORIGINAL
content that has value (2) to avoid a slant or biasedness by
looking at other revenue models ... just to start.

Although we do publish free ezines, we have one paid one at
this time. $99 a year. Are we selling subscriptions? You bet.
What's the deal? Well, unlike our free ezines, ALL of the 
content is unique to the publication - i.e. you won't find
it elsewhere on the net. Readers can be absolutely positive
that nothing they read in it will have any biasedness. No
advertisers to answer to. No slant to put on something to
back-end other product/services off of.

*Whenever* you utilize a model for a commercial publication
(i.e. something being done with the intent of making a 
profit), anything other than a subscription model leads 
itself to a certain degree of biasedness. Whether it be to
serve the needs of advertisers or to only include favorable
book reviews (heck, who is going to buy a book that pays
you associate program commissions if your review says that
a book stinks?)... it can be a problem.

<< PDF issue >>

Although Acrobat is somewhat the standard, I don't see
why people don't consider other options. We're using a
package called Digital Trainer for our e-book about
publishing lists (and for some upcoming projects as well).
There is a utility called "ebook locker" available for
purchase separately that can generate passwords - either
with an expiration date or unlimited usage. 

Not only does Digital Trainer overcome many of the
shortcomings of Acrobat, but it also has some advantages.
It's easy to make a professional looking document. It's
incredibly difficult to copy links set up. It's easier
than Acrobat to get up and running. Plus it costs about
the same. (BTW... I have no affiliation with the product
other than being a satisfied user.)

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 

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for the review.  I ran a search on Digital Trainer and got
back the most logical URL as;

Is this the right place?

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


From: "Terry Steichen" 
Subject: Re:Charging for E-Pubs

It may be helpful to view the topic of this thread (charging for
online information) from a somewhat broader perspective.
Establishing and running a profitable web-based business has
proven to be much more difficult than almost everyone expected.
It seems so utterly logical, and yet equally utterly undoable.
I've spent a number of years dealing with this problem from the
perspective of publishers.  My conclusion is that a major and
often overlooked reason is vendors inability and/or
unwillingness to fully understand the new paradigm of web-based
merchandising, and to integrate their basic business with this

When you strip away the hype and rhetoric surrounding so-called
electronic commerce activities, you find that the majority of
such ventures tend to be online catalog or transaction
(reservation and ticket-ordering) services. They sell tangible
goods by taking orders and conducting associated credit/debit
transactions. Typically this takes the form of a shopping
cart operation, where, after the customer completes selecting
a list of items to purchase, payment is made via a credit card
transaction.  The operation really isn't dramatically different
than using non-online approaches.

But the key promise of electronic commerce centers on the
profitable sale of information products, not just physical ones.
Again, selling information online seems so logical - you not only
sell it but also distribute it through the same medium.  However,
despite the allure of online information merchandizing,
relatively few companies have successfully managed to create
online offerings that are anywhere near as profitable as
traditional physical forms of the same information.

The causes of this failure are fairly obvious though the
remedies far less so. A number of previous posts on this topic
have provided good insights into these issues.  My experience is
that publishers (newspapers, periodicals, newsletters, books,
etc.) who are successful in print and/or CDROM media, all too
often attempt to simply emulate their physical products in the
online environment. What they overlook is the need to accommodate
a new, web-based selling paradigm. They need to consider

(a) it takes more effort for people to come to you for the
product than to have it delivered to them, 

(b) people don't read no save materials the same way, 

(c) people have different expectations about the cost and
availability of information delivered via the Internet, 

(d) web-based offerings are expected to have less hype and more
information, and 

(e) web-based offerings are expected to have some customization
(rather than reflect dumb mass marketing).

While I certainly have nothing against advertising as a source of
revenues, I believe that most online publishers focus so much on
this because nothing else seems to work.  Unfortunately, within
the advertising community there's a growing skepticism about the
effectiveness of web-based ads.  It will take some time for this
to settle out, and until then, an advertising-based future is, in
my view, shakey (or at least dubious in terms of any roaring
growth expectation). Add to this the way that robots and
sophisticated search agents are roaming the net, extracting the
juicy tidbits and leaving the ads behind.

To get into a position where subscription revenues are practical,
we need to realize that the online product is not just the
content itself; it also includes the entire wrapper of
features and functions that comprise the website itself. While it
goes without saying that the core content must be perceived by
the target market(s) as valuable (unique, timely, accurate,
comprehensive, readable, well-integrated, etc.), this is merely
the starting point. Other essential considerations are:

a.. seamlessnes: the content-based products and the surrounding
functions the comprise the online product must be tightly

b.. dynamic: the online product is not only appealing but
constantly changing 

c.. free: some valuable information/services must be offered at
no charge to customers and prospects alike. Prospects must be
clearly shown what additional value they can receive as
customers, without detracting from the value received by paying

d.. premium: the core product must be presented as a premium
offering that adds significant value compared to the free

e.. price: the price(s) must be in line with the products
perceived value by each market segment the vendor is trying to

f.. payment: the payment mechanisms are familiar and acceptable
to customers, as well as being non-intrusive 

g.. incentives: economic incentives must exist for customers to
add value to your offering (since this turns out to be one of the
most appealing types of content) 

h.. product shaping: the core content should be capable of being
dynamically shaped into a variety of different information
products, each designed to meet the needs of a specific market

While there are some content providers (Wall Street Journal, New
York Times, etc.) that have such a broadly recognized and
accepted information product they may be able to (temporarily)
get by with a simple online emulation of the print product, that
does not apply to most information product.  There may be others
(Gartner Group, etc) that have such expensive (highly-valuable)
content that they can manage a tight subscription-based selling
arrangement.  But these are a small, small portion of the total
population of information providers out there.

Bottom line?  To be really successful at selling information
products, you must start with appealing content, but then must
mold it to the web paradigm.  Then and only then will the profits
start coming in.

Sorry to be so long, but I didn't have the time to tighten it up
much. Though this reflects my experience, I'd really like to
learn how other members of this list see these ideas.

Terry Steichen

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Terry,

Thanks for your in depth thoughts on this subject.  You cover a
lot of ground.  If anyone has anything else to add, now is the
time...  jump on in.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


From: "Ron S. La Vine, MBA"  
Subject: Real Reason for Charging for an E-Pub

Hi Everyone: It's funny, that I'm working on this very topic for
my free (soon to have corporate sponsors) weekly Sales
Intelligence Report E-mail Newsletter

In response to "to the real reason behind charging for e-zines"
is because I spend over 300 to 400 hours a year to create and
deliver a newsletter as John Watkins, Executive Director  of The
Simple Society puts it:

>" Some had subscription prices greater than $1,000/year. Why?
Because the information in them was more timely, 

The SIREN is time sensitive sales intelligence.

>some was "exclusive," much was more understandable because of
the expertise of the editor and contributors

The information is very exclusive and capsulized.

>and, therefore, of more REAL VALUE to the subscriber. 

Here are a few of the titles of my subscribers: Business
Development Director; CEO; Chairman; Deputy General Manager;
Director Federal Operations; Director of Finance; Director,
Quality; Director, Telesales & Telemarketing; General Manager;
Information Management Officer; Inside Sales Manager; Managing
Director; Owner; Partner; President; President & CEO; Principal;
Purchasing Manager; Senior Buyer; VP Business Development; VP
Sales; VP Sales and Marketing, etc. 

who find the information valuable or they would have

Amongst other things, the subscriber received
high-value-per-minute. Email speed of delivery should make the
right information even more valuable."

Each bullet item is two sentences max.

At first I tried a subscription basis and got no response. Then I
did a study of all the types of businesses and the subscriber
titles and sent a newsletter with that information to my
subscribers asking for paid corporate sponsorships (ie:

I've already received 3 responses so far asking for details and
I'm open to suggestions as to what to charge for 6 sponsorships
available on a weekly basis.

After 56 free issues, I got tired of writing and editing the
newsletter for free that was not generating any training, lead
qualification or consulting revenues and that's when as Marilyn
says "its time to find a new model" and so I went from
subcriptions to corporate sponsorships.

Any other suggestions or ideas...


Ron S. La Vine, MBA - President
Get your free issue of the Fortune 1000 
Sales Intelligence Report E-mail Newsletter

Visit The IntellWorks' Telesales Training Web Site

Ph: 1-800-975-1724 /  Fax: 1-818-991-5938


From: "Michael S. & N. Lynnetta DeVries" 
Subject: [E-Mark] Re: Charging for E-Pubs

On Wed, 27 May 1998 10:22:32 John Watkins wrote:

> Mel Eperthener suggested that no one has addressed the TRUE
> revenue model of the print media.

Along the lines of both a revenue model for e-pubs and Gary's 
questions relative to paying for a print version of E-Mark ...

I have seen results posted elsewhere from surveys of
subscriberships wherein the vast majority of the subscribers
said they felt the e-pub was of value and they didn't want to
"lose it", but they wouldn't pay (cash), even a small amount,
for it, so ...

Further, based on the recent popularity of this topic on several
discussion lists, I asked the I-Barter Members (of the I-Barter
Discussion List) if they felt that more people would be willing
to pay for e-pubs in terms of trade / barter than they appear to
be willing to pay in cash.  The few responses we received were
all positive and indicated that they would be more willing to pay
for e-pubs via trade than via cash and they felt that other
netizens would probably also be more willing to trade. We did not
receive any responses that indicated either that it wouldn't make
any difference or less willingness to pay via trade, but, then
again that's a whole group of traders, so ... 

If I may?  I would like to pose the same question to you, the
E-Mark Members, ok?

* Would you be more willing to pay for an e-pub if you could
trade your product or service as payment for it rather than pay
cash? Why or Why Not?

* Similarly, Do you think that other netizens would likewise be
more willing to trade their products or services in payment for
an e-pub vs. paying cash? Why or Why Not?

 - If so, do you think that they and/or would you be willing to
pay more in terms of  product or service value than they/you
would pay in cash? Why or Why Not?

I hope that the responses posted are of mutual benefit to all.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Hope this helps,

- Michael S. DeVries
  Moderator, the I-Barter Moderated Discussion List  

*************** I-Barter Discussion List ***************
  Moderated Discussions of Trade / Barter in Business
*************** **************

[Moderator's Comments]

Interesting concept.  I have bartered services in the past, but
never in exchange for a subscription to an e-pub.  Let's see...

> * Would you be more willing to pay for an e-pub if you could
> trade your product or service as payment for it rather than pay
> cash? Why or Why Not?

My first response is, 'yes', but I have to temper that with the
fact that my services generally cost much more than an annual
subscription would seem to be.

>... do you think that they and/or would you be willing to
> pay more in terms of  product or service value than they/you
> would pay in cash? Why or Why Not?

Too many people devalue trade.  I would hope that any trade
would have to be on a one-for-one basis to be 'fair'.

Anyone else?

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


From: Rainmaker 
Subject: Re: Charging for E-Pubs  ***

>-------------->< snipped   ><-------------------
>However, I used to be concerned with print newsletters. More
>than a decade has passed since then so I can't say whether it
>is still true or not--but some of those newsletters were able
>to charge much higher prices than other types of periodical.
>Some had subscription prices greater than $1,000/year. Why?
>Because the information in them was more timely, some was
>"exclusive," much was more understandable because of the
>expertise of the editor and contributors and, therefore, of
>more REAL VALUE to the subscriber. Amongst other things, the
>subscriber received  high-value-per-minute. Email speed of
>delivery should make the right information even more valuable.
>-------------->< snipped   ><-------------------

I have been sitting this one out, but must comment here.  Paying
for anything is always a supply and demand issue.  If I have
something that you need, you will pay for it.  With newslists on
the Net, it is virtually impossible to charge for subscriptions
as there are too many newslists available.   

On the list of lists there are 84,792 lists and if you key in
"marketing" you get 150 lists!  If you enter "Retail" you get 12

On our sister publication E-Tailer's Digest we discuss everything
for retailing -- both on- and off-line.  We are also published in
two magazines, which makes us very unique.  Yet, I wouldn't even
think of a subscription price, as the Net does not lend itself to
that model.

BTW, E-Tailer's Digest will be published in Gifts & Decorative
Accessories Magazine beginning with the August issue.  I need to
pick the best posts by June 15, so if you are a member, give me
your thoughts.


George Matyjewicz,  C.M.O.
GAP Enterprises, Ltd.
Moderator of E-Tailer's Digest
Your Resource for Retail on the Net  
MYWEB - Marketing  Your Web 

***  NEXT TOPIC - Affiliate Programs  ***

From: "A Smith" 
Subject: Re: Affiliate Programs

Hi Gary,

I realize this is an old comment (by net standards anyway) but I
had to tell you that I agree 100% with the way you envision an
affiliate program.

> ...the idea of 
> offering autoresponders is a good
> one.  You could also offer a free 
> homepage for each affiliate to
> sell from, located at your domain. 
> Provide a web based template
> each affiliate can modify online to 
> include their contact info
> and some other basic stuff.  
> Control the basic web and text
> message yourself so you don't 
> have to police them.

Our Autoresponder Affiliate Program does exactly what you and
Paul recommended.

We set up an entire web site including a secure order form, a web 
page on ways to use autoresponders (for folks who are new to the 
concept) and several (4) autoresponders for each affiliate.

Although they are "mirror sites" our tracking is excellent so far
and no current affiliate has been concerned about loosing a sale.

We allow affiliates to market the site and autoresponders by
submitting to search engines, Free For All lists, awards sites,
free ad sites, paid ad sites, sig files or any other ACCEPTABLE
way of marketing. SPAMMING to newsgroups, mailing lists and using
UCE is not an acceptable way and we WILL shut down any affiliate
that uses these methods. Thankfully, we have had no one do that
so far. Perhaps it's because of the NO SPAM policy on the site
which must be read and agreed to before placing an order or
becoming an affiliate.

I believe it is up to us, the affiliate program managers to
police our own, sort-of-speak. If we make it quite clear from the
beginning that we do not condone SPAM and explain the
consequences should someone use spam, we can prevent all or at
least most of it.

Angela Smith
NET Designs Affiliate Program -

[Moderator's Comments]

Here, here! (or is that hear, hear).  Good sound practice,
Angela.  I suspect your affiliates have added a good amount of
sales to your online efforts with support like you offer.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote

***  NEXT TOPIC - Banner Ad Management Services  ***

From: Michael McColl 
Subject: Banner Ad Management services

Fellow e-Marketers --

The best guide to banner networks I've seen so far is:

The listings are extensive, and reports from actual network users
are included. I hope it helps.


Michael McColl

>> From: Sam King
>>   Subject: Banner Ad management services.

>>   I have approached double click,...
>>   [snip]
>>   Can you please suggest another alternative?

for the cheapest flights in the world's top 12 budget airfare hub
cities. It covers courier flights, consolidator fares, charters,
and more. For details, . Also
available at your favorite bookstore.

 Website Issues

***  FIRST TOPIC - To frame or Not to frame  ***

From: "Webmaster T's World of Design" 
Subject: frames

Hi Gary,

You asked why I disliked frames so much. I had to think about
this one for a minute. At first I couldn't really think of a
reason but in surfing today a few reasons came flooding back.
Often frames are poorly designed and used as workarounds by
novice designers.Like I mentioned in my last post they are quite
often used instead of something else that requires 

A. more work
B. more knowledge

I am sure this isn't the case with you! I have found your design
to be well thought out.I guess my biggest complaint with frames
are the ugly grey scroll bars.As a designer I find them very ugly
aesthetically speaking. They also needlessly break up the flow on
a page. 

I won't rehash the previous reasons given but I guess my feelings
towards them are based upon them being a net loss in benefits to
both the designer and surfer. You seldom see them implemented on
anything but hobbyist pages recently, probably for the above
reason. Like many things someone finds distasteful it is hard to
pinpoint exactly why. It is often just the initial reaction to
the person, place or thing. Sorry I couldn't be more specific!

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 promoters.

[Moderator's Comments]


>... ugly grey scroll bars

My main complaint too.  It's too bad they couldn't be modified to
only include an up/down arrow instead of the whole thing.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote


From: "A Smith" 
Subject: To frame or not to frame

> ...Why do so many people have a
> negative visceral reaction to frames?  

I can't speak for anyone else, except those who have told me the
same thing, but I personally don't like frames for the same
reason you don't. I _may_ have seen 2 or 3 GOOD uses of frames
since they came out. Most of the time they have the banner
rotation in one frame, an image map or java index in another and
not a whole lot of information in the main frame.  Heck I once
saw a site with 9 (count 'em) nine frames. Talk about confusing
and a waste of time and energy.

Plus the fact that if you see a site you might be interested in
listed on a framed site the only way to break out of it is to
open a new browser window, this may cause memory problems for
some folks. How do you bookmark that great site and what IF the
new site you go to also uses frames? Then you have frames INSIDE
of frames. Ouch. This is not a good situation, especially when
you have a small monitor.

So my suggestion would be make the frames useful, not just to
regenerate banners. Put quality info in those frames. Most folks
could care less about all the bells and whistles your site has
(unless that's your forte of course). They come to your site
because you offered valuable information or a product/service
they need. You can offer those things without frames, so why not
make it simple and to the point.

If you must have frames at least offer a non-framed version of
the site for "old folks" like me.

Hope all this makes sense. I'd like to hear other opinions on
this topic too.

Take care,

Angela Smith

NET Designs - Affiliate Program -
and  World Wide Information Outlet -
Your ONLY source of FREE Content online!

[Moderator's Comments]

Hi Angela,

I dislike bells 'n whistles too, but have recently come up
against a site design that simply screams for frames to make it
work.  I've succumbed to that scream and am developing a simple
three-frame site that I expect will do nicely, with some extra
'tweaking' to make the search engines do their job correctly.

To tell you the truth, the reason for designing with frames in
this instance is the fluid nature of the subject and the
necessity to make global changes to site navigation on an hourly
basis...  hence the need for a side-menu frame.  I'll reveal the
URL when things are further along.

Your Moderator,

Gary K. Foote

 The Corkboard

***  FIRST TOPIC - Roving Constant Contact  ***

From: Randy Parker 
Subject: One-to-one follow-up via Roving Constant Contact

Here's our Checklist for Web Commerce Success -- does your Web
commerce site:

  1. Inform your customers through frequent follow-up?
  2. Provide truly personalized customer care?
  3. Preserve your existing business process?
  4. Cross-sell and up-sell customers?

Today's leaders in Web commerce do, e.g.:

  -'s Eyes notification service
  - 800-FLOWERS' gift reminder
  - Travelocity's fare watcher

but they each built it from scratch.  

Now each of you can immediately deploy these capabilities as
well, using Roving's Constant Contact(TM), which automates
one-to-one customer follow-up for online product catalogs using
any Web commerce server.

Personalized interactions increase customer loyalty, which is
important since nearly half of Web commerce is repeat buying.
Our server software provides "persistent commerce" for e-tailers
and direct marketers, extending a company's existing business
processes to ensure that the customer relationship is maintained
even when the customer is *AWAY* from the site.  Thus, successful
e-tailers resemble print catalogers in their drive to attract
repeat buyers and to entice them to purchase more each time.  

Here is just a handful of the the various components built to
increase customer retention, encourage repeat buying, and avoid
costly telephone inquiries:

 * Gift reminders
 * Shipment status
 * Satisfaction surveys
 * Product availability notifications
 * Price comparisons   

Roving is also the first to integrate the inbound and outbound
Web commerce customer experience.  We leverage in-site customer
data capture with proactive, personalized, outbound follow-up
away from the site. Our system architecture permits us to
integrate with all aspects of a company's existing business
process (e.g existing commerce engines, databases, development

I appreciate any feedback or questions you might have, especially
as we look to many of you in the industry as potential Roving
alliance partners. 


   Randy Parker              Email:
   President / CTO           Direct:  (617) 912-9454 
   Roving Software Inc.      Web:
   .......  Active personalization for Web commerce  .......

***  NEXT TOPIC - Network Ink  ***

From:               "Nancy Roebke" 
Subject:            Network Ink

Netwoking is a learned skill. Effective networking skills 
increase business productivity AND revenue. Network Ink, the
Internet's first ezine devoted to teaching effective online AND
offline networking skills, made it's debut to rave revues. Nancy
Roebke, Editor, received comments on the Premiere Issue, such as:

"Loved Network Ink! Loved your story about leaving at 4 am for a
meeting three hours away. Been there, drove the mountain roads in
the dark and through a snow storm! Best trip I ever made!! And
 F A C E - WOW how powerful. Thanks Nancy"

"Network Ink is EXCELLENT, Nancy!!"

"Nice job on the premier issue of your newsletter!  Am sure
you'll get some rave reviews and more and better as it goes
along!! Also, nice job on the Web site too!  Clean and concise
with some good info for people to help them grow their

"Just wanted to let you know I think you first issue was GREAT.
Thanks for  sending it out -- I look forward to learning more.
You're doing a real service to small business and the web
community. Thanks a million!"

"CONGRATULATIONS  ...............GREAT START!............. "

"What a great Premiere issue...and I'm sure just the first of an
equally impressive succession of issues. This is a great
contribution, Nancy.  Feel very proud!"

To get the Premiere issue, please send a request to with PREMIERE ISSUE in the subject line.

To subscribe, send any email to 

Nancy Roebke
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. !

ProfNet- Helping Business Professionals Find More Business 

 Question of the Week

"What is your opening line?  How do you strike up 
 a business conversation?"

 Please Post Your Responses to:


From: Liviu Mihaileanu 

Dear Garry,

We have a Romanian Travel Guide ( on the
Internet that was "born" a year ago and we receive, at this
moment, over 100 messages / month from our visitors. It is indeed
very important the first contact with a person who took the time
to send you a message. This is even more important in our
situation because our visitors are not our customers! We are only
guiding them to the travel agency / hotel / organization they
want to contact and if they feel somehow offended by our
responses, they will feel the same way when they will write to
the travel agencies we guided them to (IF they will write...)

Therefore, when we receive a message, we are trying to:

1) GIVE FAST RESPONSES. Whenever a visitor is sending a message
to our webmaster, he receives a message from our autoresponder
which says that we received the message, it will be analyzed by
our specialists and he/she will receive an answer in a maximum of
72 hours. Our visitors never had to wait more than 48 hours for a

2) BE FRIENDLY (and polite in the same time). All our responses
contain the following lines: "Dear Garry Foot, Thank you for your
message." and at the end "Sincerely yours, Liviu Mihaileanu

3) BE SINCERE. Sincerity is highly appreciated (not only in the
signature!). Many times a sincere opinion about one town or
another from Romania was important enough to make our visitor
change its route and visit more interesting places. This is
definitely important not only for the successfulness of our
visitor's trip but for the general impression he/she has about
Romania as well. I don't know how sincerity applies at e-shops
but I believe it's very important for the relationship that will
be established with the customer. From my personal experience I
can tell you that when it comes to computers I only buy them from
a local company because I detected their sincerity when I bought
my first computer and I know I can trust them. 

Best regards,
Liviu Mihaileanu


From:               "A Smith" 

Oh, Gary a great subject. Thanks for asking this one.

Rick Smith, "The Guerrilla Computer Consultant" once told me that
the opening line is your U.S.P. (Unique Selling Proposition) and
that is so true. It's probably the most important 30 seconds of
your business life.

( BTW, Rick has a great free newsletter "How To Use Your Computer
Like a True Guerrilla To Competition Proof Your Business".
Subscribe at:

So here is one I use with a retail business I own selling
personalized photo jigsaw puzzles. 

"We help YOU relive YOUR favorite memories one-piece at a time by
turning YOUR photos into beautiful jigsaw puzzles."

(Notice the use of you and your. I don't emphasive these in
conversation but they are very important. Make the prospective
customer feel like your business is there for THEM, not the other
way around.)

Hope you get lots more great opening lines.

You're doing a wonderful job with EMD. Keep it up.

Angela Smith
NET Designs - Affiliate Program -

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