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    Back Issues, Weekly
    Week Ending: June 15, 1996
    June 15, 1996
    Getting the Hang of Targeting
    Hey, at least they're trying. Our favorite piece of recent promotional email came from Ostriches On Line (the "premiere Internet information center for all aspects of this fast growing agri business"). While we were delighted to discover that someone's careful targeting had pegged us as potential investors in an Ostrich Ranch, we were equally sure that they hadn't looked us over too carefully.

    We do think that their "we're not spamming you, really" disclaimer bears consideration as a candidate for boilerplate on any promotional email that you send.:

    (Please note that netiquette forbids us from sending out press releases to those individuals and companies who do not wish to receive them. Our distribution list is small and hand selected. All recipients of our press releases were gleaned after a visit to your Internet site or from a request to be included. On rare occasions we make a mistake and inadvertently send out material which you may not wish to receive. Please send us a nice note and we will remove you from our list immediately).

    It's considerate and to the point.

    Wondering how you'll get your fix of Internet Marketing email now that Glen Fleishman's list has closed its doors? Who's Marketing Online is providing an ongoing chronicle of the story's evolution in a series called listless

    June 14, 1996
    • Now that your business is online, you're probably discovering the need to write press releases. There are lots of bad jobs floating around the net. Who's Marketing Online offers a solid tutorial on writing them well. (And, they were smart enough to quote one of our favorite authors on the subject.)

    • Simba's Media Central Digest is starting to make a subtle and very useful editorial change. The weekly, posted Fridays by 5PM, has been known for being on top of things but limited to descriptive announcements. This week's issue marks a shift to a more biting, critical and pithy editorial stance. You'd probably guess that we prefer our news sources to be opinionated. We think it gives the reader a chance to develop trust in editorial judgment.

    • Georgia Institute of Technology's latest Internet User Survey is out and on the streets. Look it over carefully and update your Presentations and Proposal Boilerplate. Lots of useful illustrations and all they ask is that you credit them.

    • In a recent issue, we discussed the manufactured fear about Java security that was being used to sell reports and tickets to a conference. C|Net editor Chris Barr provides some common sense answers to the Java Questions. C|Net is very consitently covering the front end of a lot of issues of interest to Web Designers and Marketers.

    June 13, 1996
    More About Media Placement Agencies
    Two interesting players have emerged in a niche that looks something like "online media placement". The services broker advertising placements and heavily pitch their ability to increase the effectiveness of a dollar spent on advertising by correctly targeting an audience.
    • DoubleClick For $995, the service places your site into a pool available to take rotating ads. Advertisers pay fees according to a rate card and can choose targeting options. The targeting categories are currently just an interesting beginning and the rate card appears to generate income for DoubleClick at great expense to the websites that carry ads. (Our take is that you'd net about $.009 per impression) But, it's an interesting start. As competition intensifies, we're sure that media placement services will return to a more rational 15% discount and that targeting will get more precise.

    • WebConnect is modeled like a more traditional medai placement firm. They help their advertising clients target audiences for a total of 30% of your revenue (and seem like a great deal when compared to DoubleClick). Their rhetoric about targeting is decidedly more ambiguous than DoubleClick's.
    Given a choice, we'd probably try WebConnect first because their overal scheme is less pretentious, easier to understand and, in theory, would generate more revenue. It's possible, though, that DoubleClick will be the reigning "900 pound gorilla". They clearly have deeper pockets for their service rollout (as evidenced by intense advertising expenditures in the trade magazines).

    June 12, 1996
  • We really like the interface design coming from eMergingMedia. Just slightly ahead of the fashion curve, eMergingMedia has a particular gift for making the now standard white background come to life.

  • Jim Ho is creating real value for Web Marketers. See his Way of the Web and Evaluating the World Wide Web: A Study of 1000 Commercial Sites

    June 11, 1996
    Knowing How and When To Quit
    Monday's email brought the news of the passing of the Internet Marketing List. Or, was it a final yawn? A hotbed of activity and a constant source of email for its subscribers, the Internet Marketing List demonstrated both the strengths and weaknesses of mailing lists as a so called community forum.

    In the May 20, 1996 issue of Webweek, moderator Glen Fleishman and the list itself were reviewed:

    The list, which started accepting sponsors in April 1995, is more than supporting itself.

    But, the list's founder won't say how much revenue he is generating.

    `I'm actually feeling a little guilty,' said G F, the list's moderator. `If I say how much, I'm worried that people on the list will just completely flip out.'

    So, we have a popular list (IBN named it best Marketing Resource of the Year in 1995) showing a tidy profit (we estimate$10K to $12K per month) shutting down. This is not the same story as WebReview's demise (see our stories in the May 25 and May 18 issues). What happened and what's going to happen?

    First, let's look at the response. No less than 10 hopefuls (IBN included) jumped into the fray offering bits and pieces of resources as replacements or supplements to the "hole" created by the passing of the Internet Marketing List. And, it's still early in the game. Clearly, any number of people recognized the freeing of a marketplace stranglehold and moved to capture additional audience share. There are still a few obvious players in the industry who have yet to make their move in the grab for additional visitors.

    So, what happened?

    In his closing letter, Fleishman said:

    Frankly, I believe, even with the continued and active participation of a good fraction of its membership, that the level of discussion on the list has become less and less interesting over time, and we're repeating ourselves ad nauseum for the most part. As moderator, I can't point to anyone but myself as the contributor or cause of this decline; that decline directly correlates to my decreasing lack of interest and time to invest in the list.

    The list has been fascinating to run, but it's taken up a never-decreasing chunk of time in my life which I'm now ready to devote to other business and personal tasks. .....

    The spark is gone for me, and it's hard for me to put anything less than 100% effort behind what I'm involved with. Since I've lost my interest in the list, and it's an idiosyncratic venture, it's time to shut 'er down. It involves from five to ten hours per week of my time, and, after nearly two years of this, I'd rather be biking, dining, working on other projects, or writing.

    To give you all an idea of the rest of my life, I now write three columns for various publications, do major features for others from time to time, am editorial directing the Adobe Internet Conference series, and -- to boot -- run a web development company that handles 200K hits per day between its various clients. Because of the list and the web development business, I've been anchored to email for nearly two years without respite. I'm about to take three weeks off starting late June, and I decided the time was right to make the break.

    We think he was telling the truth. Fleishman made enough money and won enough acclaim so that he no longer needed the list. And, by its nature, a simply moderated mailing list on today's net is stuck repeating the same material, ad nauseum, as the number of new users continually surpasses the number of existing users.

    Simply put, Fleishman defined a marketplace, developed the Marketing 101 curriculum, made a tidy living, earned a reputation and moved on before he got so bored that he screwed things up. We say "Bravo". What more can you expect from a pioneer? He got an offer he couldn't refuse and three weeks off. We're nothing short of jealous.

    To say that he somehow misled his audience or to imply that his responsibilities went unmet is to miss the obvious. Fleishman delivered and delivered. He created a niche that others are rushing to fill. His most courageous act was recognizing that he did not own the audience but shared a synergy with them. We think that he understood that any attempt to perpetuate the venture was, more or less, futile.

    Internet Marketing, at the introductory levels, is established and the open list/discussion approach to disseminating the information has been exhausted. The next wave of marketing sophistication will be increasingly niche oriented. We suppose that Fleishman began to discover, as we've been saying all along, that the "principles of Internet Marketing" are niche specific. There's plenty of room for introductory materials, but like most survey courses, the instruction is best left to graduate assistants and professors who have retired in place. It's not to say that the courses will be empty or unprofitable, just that they can be taught by rote instruction. It's, as Fleishman noted, boring.

    In our early review of the demise of WebReview, we suggested that going out with dignity was the best approach. Glen Fleishman deserves a great deal of respect for knowing when it's time to leave. With any luck, he will be proud enough to keep moving forward and stay away from the temptation to haunt his alma mater.

    Meanwhile, we don't want Fleishman's old turf. Our archives are full of introductory material and so are the archives of the Internet Mailing List. We intend to keep pushing forward at the edges of marketing, sharing the experiences and tools we find in our day to day application of business principles to the web.

    June 10, 1996
    Media Placement
    Market Match is one of the more interesting recent launches. The company maintains a listing of websites that offer advertising space for sale, but with a difference. In its current incarnation, Market Match does routine followup and quality checking on listing information as a way of guaranteeing that they have the most up to date data on the web. We're sure that their emphasis on accuracy and currency will give them a distinct advantage in the market.

    June 9, 1996
    Keeping Abreast
    Send a note to Liz Tompkins, Editor of the NBNSOFT Content Awards. If you want to have a constant stream of pointers to the best the web has to offer, this bi-monthly newsletter consistently showcases the very best in web content. Her recommendations are always on target and the material is a cut above the rest.

    To subscribe, send email to: nbnsoft@juno.com
    To subscribe, type: "subscribe" in the SUBJECT
    To unsubscribe, type: "unsubscribe" in the SUBJECT

    June 8, 1996
    Possible Venture Capital
    We get all kinds of Email. You might be interested in checking out our latest teaser from a company called Data Quest. (We have no relationship with them and aren't in a position to evaluate their services one way or the other). The note, complete with a small questionaire, offers the possibility of financial backing for the right website or web developer.

    Try Freeloader

    Try Freeloader

    Contacting Us
    Call, fax, write, email. We'd love to talk about your project.
  • All material on this site is © 1995, 1996 by IBN (The Internet Business Network), Mill Valley, CA 94941