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    T h e   e M a r k e t i n g   D i g e s t   W e e k l y

    Discussing & Defining Internet Marketing. Since May, 1997

    Edited by Gary K. Foote & C.J. Foote
    ISSN 1522-6913
    Volume #2,Issue #333
    Thursday March 9, 2000

---------------------- Sponsor Message --------------------------

T H E   N E W    E N G L A N D    S K I I N G   D I R E C T O R Y


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*** Editor's Ramble
    by Gary K. Foote, Editor

Hi Everyone,

This issue carries more than one article on web design - one by
me, focused on the value of building community into your site,
and the other by Harris Kravatz on the 10 most common website
mistakes.  We also have a bunch of eMD HelpDesk requests to which
I hope other readers can offer knowledgable responses.  We have
some new reader comments, some reader feedback, a pointer to a
thoughtful article on developing a marketing model, and more.

As always, please take the time to visit this issue's sponsor,
"The New England Skiing Directory", as it is our advertisers who
keep the eMD a free resource. You may follow links to our
sponsors from their links in each issue of the eMD, or from our
Sponsor Resources web page located at;

Finally, please forward this issue of the eMD on to two friends
or business associates and help us build our circulation.

Now let's get marketing...

GKF, Ed.

-----------------------  In This Issue  -------------------------

    - Web Design & Marketing
        Building Community, by Gary K. Foote
        The Ten Most Common Web Mistakes, by Harris Kravatz

    - Will Amazon Leave Affiliates DEAD?
      By Lee Benson

    - How do you market your site?
        eMD Marketing Poll

    - Passive Marketing, by Wayne Hicks

    - New Subscriber Comments
        eMarketing Questionnaire, by Omur Saatcýoglu

    New Suscriber Locations

    - eMD Marketing HelpDesk
        Too Much Info, by Mark Crisp
        Website Design And Promotion, by Wilson
        Selling Ads On Our Web Site, by Ron Sohn
        Newsletters, by Jordan Smoliak

    - What's Your Marketing Model?
        ClickZ Article by Nick Usborne

    - Feedback
        Can't Thank You Enough, by Jan Crowell


*** Web Design & Marketing
    Building Community

I'm sure you've all heard about building a community around your
website as one strategy for increasing site visits, but what does
this really mean?  It means including in your website at least
one place for site visitors to get involved with other site
visitors.  This publication is a prime example of a community of
people with a common interest who use our website with some level
of regularity.  In fact, the synergy between The eMarketing
Digest and the eMD website generates a great deal of repeat
traffic to the site and a lot of new subscribers with each issue

And there are other benefits to publishing in your field besides
increased website traffic.

    1) You position yourself and your company as a leader in your
    field with your audience.

    2) Your repeated impressions upon your subscribers usually
    translates to a marked increase in business for your company.

Of course, newsletters and discussion lists are only two examples
of community functions you can build in.  A bulletin board that
allows site visitors to follow conversation 'threads' and read
and post to any and all that appear is a useful community
discussion area.  Live chat can be used to create website events
like real-time online workshops, live interview/Q&A sessions with
well known experts, etc.

Subject polls are another way to bring people together around a
particular site.  For example, the eMD site has an ongoing site
visitor poll based on the question, "How do you market your site?
".  Site visitors can respond to the poll and click to see
current results of the poll.  This kind of immediate feedback is
a great attention getter.

How hard is it to set these things up?  Well, a newsletter can be
run from your own computer, using your email software to capture
subscriptions and unsubscriptions, keeping your distribution list
up to date.  I use Pegasus:

    [ ]

It's free and very powerful.

You can write a newsletter using a simple text editor, of which
many good ones are available for free online.  I use Textpad:

    [ ]

It is versatile and doesn't insert invisible characters [like
carriage returns or paragraph markers] that can mess up

A discussion list is a different thing and is best run from a
list hosting service.  There are many of them out there offering
you free hosting and powerful list management tools.  I'll be
writing more about them in an upcoming issue, but for now the
leaders in this field include:

    Topica  [ ]
    OneList [ ]
    ListBot [ ]
    eGroups [ ]

If you want to install a chat area, guestbook, message board,
free-for-all-links area or other community tool you can either
configure and install the CGI scripts yourself - they are free,
but can be technically challenging - or you can use an offsite
hosting service.  My favorite offsite host is:

    HostedScripts [ ]

They offer hosting of the following free scripts that you can
easily paste into your existing site:

         Message Board
         Mailing List
         Form Mailer
         FFAL Page
         Web Recommend
         Random Link
         Random Image
         Jump Box
         Spam Protect
         Password Protection
         Download Tracker
         Text Counter
         Graphical Counter
         Random Text
         Start Page

Of course, so far I've only covered the more technical aspects of
building community.  Now its time to talk about the most
important parts of your community - you, and the personality you
bring to your communities.  It is important that you maintain a
friendly tone in all your writings.  Remember, you want your
readers to like you if you can ever hope to do business with

Be as helpful as you can to your readers.  Offer them good advice
when you have it and point them to good advice when you don't
have it yourself.  This leaves you looking like the person who
can either do it themselves or can get it done without a problem.
This is the face of competence and its a face you want to present
in your community.

Build your own community and 'feed' it with your own efforts and
you will soon see rewards in the guise of new sales, just as we
have at Webbers Communications.

But that is just the commercial aspect of what you can gain.  We
have gained many friends through our online community efforts.
We have  gained a level of personal satisfaction for what we
consider to be a job well done.  We have built something from
nothing with the help of this community.  And we have helped
others along the way.   I firmly believe in the give-to-get
model.  "What goes around, comes around" is a phrase that rings
loud and true when it comes to online community building.

GKF - Ed.

*** The Ten Most Common Web Mistakes
    By Harris Kravatz, President HK Interface Design

The Web is full of multi-million dollar sites that are
ineffective or that nobody visits. A prime example:  the sites of
Dockers and Levi¹s, which experienced particularly expensive
Internet failures that led them to fold their E-commerce sites.

With hundreds of different website designers and developers
listed in the Yellow Pages in any given location, how can a
business or an individual know which design techniques will
ensure success? Entrepreneurs and CEOs alike need to familiarize
themselves with the basic information about website design that
will allow them to become a part of the creative process that
leads to Internet success.

You should not be in the dark about what your site designers are
doing.  If you learn a few basics about Internet design, you can
be the one to help prevent website failure. Poor design elements
that guarantee infrequent visitation focus on ten common errors.

The first deals with the use of frames:  frames prevent users
from bookmarking pages and also from easily printing pages.  If
the designer creates a bar along the top or side of the screen
that does not scroll while the rest of the screen does, this is a
frame -- stay away from it.

The second error involves slow pages; pages that take too long to
download, usually because of too many graphics, should be
avoided.  Research has shown that users will only wait a maximum
of 20-30 seconds before going somewhere else.  Far too many
designers include spectacular graphics and video elements to make
websites more attractive.  Unfortunately, no one waits around to
see them.

Third, make sure the site does not hide or leave out critical
information; if users can¹t find buttons or links to perform
primary functions or take them to other pages of the site, they
will become frustrated.

Another frequent mistake is creating pages that contain too much
information; keep each page simple so users are not overwhelmed
with data. Do not include too much text, too many animated
graphics, too many colors, or pages that require the user to do a
lot of scrolling.  Many designers use smaller fonts to fit more
information on a page, making the site hard to read and

Yet another element of poor design is missing, hidden or
inconsistent navigation mechanisms; web pages must provide clear
and consistent methods for users to continue, cancel or return to
the home page.

Look out for confusing or missing page titles; every page must
have a title.  This title should be the same as the link or
action that brought the user to the page.  Obvious page titles
support navigational learning and keep users informed of where
they are and where they came from. Do not use too much technical
jargon;  many designers use the terms Java, Javascript, applet,
or  cookies in sites they create.  Typical web users do not
understand these terms, so using such advanced catch words causes
confusion and frustration.

Similarly, too much copy annoys users.  Statistics indicate that
users do not read on the Internet, they scan information.  When
moving print to the Web, the copy should be reduced by at least
50% and split into smaller sections with lots of titles and
bullets.  Sentences should be smaller and more concise. Also
watch out for distracting ads and animation; pages that require
the user to perform a task, such as filling out a form or making
a purchase, should not contain any ads or animations to distract
the user from completing the desired action.

Finally, avoid opening a browser window; users should always be
in control of what is happening -- if they want a new browser
window, let them open it themselves. Automatically opening one
for them disables the back button, which can be confusing when
trying to go back to a previous page.

When you are building or using a website for  your business, you
must always put yourself in your users shoes.  Remember, the
average user is not an internet entrepreneur, he or she is a
civilian just trying to get where he needs to go with as little
problem as possible.

***  Will Amazon Leave Affiliates DEAD?
     By Lee Benson

During my daily Internet escapades, a marketing buddy of
mine pointed me in the direction of a new press release that
was announced on CNET on February 25th 2000.

I was so shocked when I read the release, that my mind
wandered off in countless directions, trying to grasp the
devastating effect that this could bring to the world of
e-commerce. "No, surely not" I said to myself.

I quickly realized that the press release I just read
could entail me losing over HALF of my monthly revenue.

It's true.

Death to some affiliate programs could soon be the reality.
(Well, at least the existing technologies that are used), the leading Internet bookstore and e-commerce
giant, applied for a patent to cover it's affiliate program
technologies on June 27th 1997.

It seems as though got there first before any
one, and started off the affiliate craze. Unfortunately,
they realized that their competitors would also employ similar
affiliate tactics to increase sales. So they applied for a
patent governing exclusive copyrights to the technology that
controls and operates the affiliate software.

If enforced, it would mean that some companies would either have
to apply for a license to continue using their affiliate
or would have to cease using them as a marketing method.

The bad news is they received their patent on Tuesday.

The big question now is "Will Amazon Enforce It?".
Only time will give the answer. But if they do, this could
mean a big, BIG change in the e-commerce world.

So what does this mean to you?

As an Internet marketer, you may have to change the way your
own affiliate program operates. You may find that the affiliate
programs you're involved in now cease to operate, or are
forced to change in the way that they work.

Or, maybe nothing will happen.

But the point is, will you be ready for the change if it
DOES happen? How will your business cope? How will you
cover for the lost revenue if your affiliate program stops?

The important message that lies beneath all this doesn't
just stop at affiliate programs. It's about innovating for
the future to cope with new drastic changes. Can you cope?

We're living in exciting times. The Internet is developing
all around us, and the rules of e-commerce are being
rewritten every day. What worked and applied yesterday
may be irrelevant or outdated tomorrow.

The people who will truly succeed are the ones that can
cope with these sudden changes, and inspire new marketing
methods and techniques to keep their business booming.

Be ready for change. Not just for affiliate programs, but
for anything in life. Expect change, and become so flexible
that you can adapt to these changes effectively.

After all, life is full of changes, and the successful person
can accept this and move on. Are you this type of person?

When change comes (in whatever form), will YOU be ready?

Until next time...

Lee Benson.
Contact Email -

Lee Benson is an avid marketer who devotes his full-time
career to Internet marketing. His brand new online venture,
Ezine-Traffic, GUARANTEES to boost your online traffic to
bring MORE success using E-zines. Full, exciting info can be
found at:

---------------------- Sponsor Message --------------------------

Don't forget the eMD Member's Links Directory, a Member's
Resource page to which you can add your own listings.  Use it to
find other eMD members wth whom you can do business.  Let's pull
together as a community and generate some business for each other
every day. List your business right now...


*** How do you market your site?
    eMD Marketing Poll

Banners (41)                    17%
Opt in E-mail (28)              12%
Reciprocal links (31)           13%
One-way links (18)              08%
Newsletter/e-zine ads (26)      11%
Search engine positioning (49)  21%
Offline ads (27)                11%
Other (18) User-Suggestions     08%

Total Votes:                    238

To participate in the eMD Member's Poll and to keep current on
results go to;

***  Passive Marketing
     by Wayne Hicks

I just read the Poll Results for the question on "How Do You
Market Your Site"... and didn't see any mention of Passive

Passive Marketing refers to the technique of placing the ability
to request specific information from specific industries before
the potential consumer, allowing him/her/them to directly contact
those who can supply the products or services they are seeking. I
accomplish this through a network of affiliates who host a form
which allows the user to select the industry they want
information or quotes from, enter general contact information,
and send the form to all of my clients in that industry/category.
The client receives the email as if it had come directly from the
consumer, so some of them use autoresponders to further qualify
the customer before flooding them with information they may not
need or want.

This system, which went live on February 1st, has already seen
many sales generated for many of my clients... and since the
number of affiliate-hosted forms continues to grow, I expect that
it will provide leads for a long time to come!

Clients are billed $.35 for each lead they receive in a month...
and are quite happy, from the emails  I have received. This
technique is not new... but this method (using affiliates to host
the forms) seems to have gotten me off the ground quite nicely.

Wayne Hicks
Targeted Leads for any Industry...
Need a Banner?? The Banner Design Club...

*** Editor's Response

Hi Wayne,

Thanks for posting about the service you offer.  I stopped in at
your site and, with the exception of the $20 signup fee for
people wishing to receive leads, thought the concept solid.  My
only issue is with your signup fee.  It flies in the face of the
internet's 'give it to me for free' atmosphere.  Of course, any
business owner would expect to pay for qualified leads, but I'm
not so sure about a fee just to join the program.  Heck, its even
possible that a free signup might draw participants faster than
your current setup, generating more quote-revenue in less time.

All in all I think what you are doing has good value for your
site visitors - the ultimate community building feature.  Good
work, Wayne.

BTW - I have to say it...  those popup window ads on your site
are pretty annoying.  I'd rid myself of them ASAP.

GKF - Ed.

***  New Subscriber Comments

eMarketing Questionnaire
by Omur Saatcýoglu

I am looking for an eMarketing questionnaire.


*** Editor's Response

Hi Omar,

Your question is somewhat broad to answer simply.  If you were to
find the perfect questionnaire, what would be its specific focus?
eMarketing covers a lot of ground - at least as we define it here
at the eMD it means any form of internet marketing, whether it be
a web effort, email effort, banner campaign or what have you.

If you will be more specific I'm sure the eMD community of
internet marketers can offer some assistance.

GKF - Ed.

***  New Suscriber Locations

International                   United States
---------------------------     ---------------------------
Ontario, Canada                 Pennsylvania
British Columbia, Canada        North Carolina
Overijssel, Netherlands         New York
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia         California
NSW, Australia                  Maryland
New Delhi, India                Texas
Athens, Greece                  Indiana
Berlin, Germany                 Tennessee
Madrid, Spain                   Vermont
Hong Kong                       Pennsylvania
Western Cape, South Africa      New Mexico
Belgium                         Georgia
Leics, UK                       Illinois
North West England, UK          Maine
London, UK                      Florida
Merseyside, England             Massachusetts
Lima, Peru                      Colorado
Izmir, Turkey                   Connecticut
Tunisia                         Wisconsin
Ireland                         Ohio
Alberta, Canada                 Iowa
Suffolk, UK                     US Virgin Islands
Lancashire, England
Uttar Pradesh, India
Copenhagen, Denmark
Hod Hasharon, Israel

*** eMD Marketing HelpDesk

Too Much Info
by Mark Crisp


I have the perfect item to sell over the Internet and/or through
e-mail ( educational manual on trading shares) but I'll be
truthful, I don't know where to begin. There seems so much
information on "How to Set up a Site that Sells" etc.

Marketing and Interneting ( is there such a profession?) is not
my speciality nor do I want it to be. Is there anyone who can
help me sell my items, or give me sound advice?

Thank you


--- next post ---

Website Design And Promotion
by Wilson

Hi Good Fellow,

As a novice with my first computer and no formal computer
training, I find your site a welcome relief. Thanks for making it

I am in network marketing, a distributing process commonly known
as MLM. The company I'm associated with has a website that can be
replicated to me. But I want to design my own prospecting home
page and link it to the company's site.

I want to do it myself so I can make changes when necessary. Also
it will be a  good way for me to learn and teach others in my

My question is what software do you recommend for a person with
so little computer knowledge to use without compromising quality?


--- next post ---

Selling Ads On Our Web Site
by Ron Sohn

I am the Director of Marketing and Communications for the
Hospital Association of New York State.  We would like to attract
advertisers for banner ads, site sponsorship, etc.  We know whom
we want to attract, but don't know how to establish a fair fee
for these opportunities. Also what demographic, site visit, etc.
information should we provide in our packet? (i.e. like the BPA
Green sheets for magazines)

Thank you,

Ron Sohn
Dir. of Marketing and Corporate Communications

--- next post ---

by Jordan Smoliak

Hi there,

I plan on starting a online marketing site and I want to have a
newsletter to go out with it.  Could you please tell me the steps
involved in getting one set-up... how do I retrieve the users
email addresses and what type of programs are out there to send
the newsletter out?


Jordan Smoliak

*** Need help with your online marketing efforts?  Looking for a
particular resource that seems to be eluding you? Need an answer
to an online marketing question?  Let the eMD Marketing HelpDesk
help you find the answers you need.  Here's the request
address...  ask away.

*** What's Your Marketing Model?
    Article by Nick Usborne

Hi Everyone.  I ran across this excellent piece online and
thought of you all.  This article will help you focus in the
right direction.  Enjoy...  GKF - Ed.


Starting now... You've got ten seconds in which to describe your
marketing model.

Finished? Two bad things could have happened here. The first bad
thing is if you ran out of time. The second bad thing is if you
finished after just two seconds.

Or you could be scratching your head, wondering what your
marketing model should or could be.



*** Feedback

Can't Thank You Enough
by Jan Crowell


I can't thank you enough for including the url
for Freeskills Home Page

This is an incredible series of free downloadable
courses that seem to cover all of Office97. It
fills in all the gaps left by being self-taught
and "learning by doing."  I can't thank you
enough for bringing this url to our attention.

Jan Crowell
Profit Point
Internet Marketing Consultant: how, when, where, why
and most importantly, the results.
"How to" mine the Gold in your Customer Database

***  Editor's Response

Hi Jan,

Glad it was of help to you.  If you, or any other reader, has a
good resource that you would like to bring to the attention of
our subscribers let us know by email.  We're always looking for
good resources to publish for everyone's benefit.

GKF - Ed.

Let us know how we're doing with the eMD.  Like our style?  Don't
like our style?  Take issue with something we've published?  Have
an issue you want to sound off on?  Well, here's your chance.
Talk to us!

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The eMarketing Digest is published by  Webbers Communications
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Phone/FAX: 603.447.1024      

Please feel free to forward this digest in its entirety.
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