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***Summer 2001***

Greetings and salutations once again! Had enough of the heat? Perhaps
you'll find an idea or two in this summer edition of our newsletter that's
cool enough to warm up your business! Contents include:

***By the numbers
***Email marketing idea
***Get those referrals
***Internet news
***Cool fonts
***Media stuff
***They said it

Do Numbers Help?
By Bob McElwain

Demographics about the Web abound. You may find such data
helpful. In general, when I look at the research available, I
get a feeling it's incomplete. The Web is so vast, I don't think
it's possible to find a small representative sample from which
significant results can be obtained that reflect the whole. In
the end, what is reported with numbers may not matter to you,
even though the source is impeccable.

Numbers Don't Always Work

For example, it has been reported that 330 million people are
"on the Web." I have not read closely enough to know if this
means daily, occasionally, or somewhere in between. To me it
doesn't matter.

Even if this number were doubled, it would still mean nothing
to me. I am interested in reaching an extremely small fraction
of web users. The implication I've been seeing in spam messages
of late is that I can reach all 330 million people. This is a
lie. But there would be no gain in trying to do so in any case.

Honest Numbers Can Be Wrong

I recently read a report that of nearly 100,000 spam messages
received by one firm, about a third were promoting po-rn sites.
(I used a hyphen in hopes of ducking blocking software.) What
does this mean?

Numbers are funny. I never doubt such reports from respectable
firms or people. But I am always skeptical about the numbers
themselves. Sure, those were the results obtained. I will accept
this without hesitation. But they often do not seem in accord
with my experience.

I get lots and lots of spam. Less than 3% is po-rn related.
Do I thus conclude the report was wrong? That they were lying
for some devious purpose?

Not at all. It only means their sample of email received
was not representative of what I receive. In like fashion, it
is doubtful my email is typical of yours.

100,000 spam messages is a very small percentage of what is
mailed each day. It is so small, results from this sample have
very little, if any significance. These results were obtained,
that's true. But they may have no meaning relative to you.

Leave the particulars of demographics to those keen on the
topic. Your best plan is to ignore such numbers and focus on
interactivity with readers and visitors. In every way you can,
seek input, then derive your own demographics from it.

Your Log Files Can Mislead

Recently I was chatting with a fellow who was having trouble
getting a page to load under a specific condition in Netscape.
Since he uses Internet Explorer, which handled this case
correctly, he hadn't noticed the problem until I pointed it out.

When I did, he commented, "Hey, I don't need to worry. Only
5% of my visitors are using Netscape." This fellow is wrong in
two ways.

Of visitors to my site, over 40% are using Netscape. So have
I got it wrong? Or is the fellow reporting 5% wrong? Neither of
us is. We are both reporting accurately.

Why Are There Such Great Differences?

The apparent dilemma stems from the fact that we all have our
own set of visitors. Each comes to us from a vast pool of many
millions of Web users. Those who show up on my site may never
even hear about yours, let alone visit.

Thus my visitors are not representative of yours, except as
to the fundamentals. For example, all site visitors ask first,
"What's in it for me?" Such basics relate to every site. The
specifics do not.

Even if a massive, well respected study reported only 1% of
surfers use 640 x 480 monitors, it still might not apply to your
site. For as suggested above, the pool is so vast, hoping to
draw a truly random sample from it is impossible.

Further, things change rapidly on the Web. Not long ago,
Netscape was the browser leader. As Microsoft continued to
demand Internet Explorer be installed on all new systems
delivered, the dominance of Netscape began to fade. Even after
being acquired by AOL, market share continued to drop.

Can you assume it will continue to do so? That would leave
us with only one major browser. A Microsoft product. A company
already at odds with the Justice department in anti-trust
actions. It may prove to be in their best interest to assure
that Netscape regains a significant share of the market.

What seems so today is suspect, for it may not be so
tomorrow. Rather than making assumptions which may prove false
tomorrow, the better plan is to accommodate all possible options
today, and be prepared to make changes tomorrow.

The Mistake That Matters Most

But the second mistake made by the fellow mentioned above
is in ignoring Netscape users however small their numbers be.
Suppose only 5% of my visitors use Netscape. To toss away this
many potential customers is foolish at least. I take the time
to make it work for them.

Hasten Slowly

JavaScript has been available for some time. Is it wise to
use it if N% of systems can not deal with it? The better plan
is to offer an alternate way to access your site for those who
can not.

Plug-ins are popular of late. Will users take the time to
download and install one so as to see your site in all its glory?
I doubt it. What's best is to offer the option to do so, but be
sure your site functions effectively without it.

One of my systems uses a Pentium II with awesome supporting
resources. However, it doesn't have a sound card. A site that
requires I have one, will hold my attention only so long as it
takes to hit the Back button or enter another URL.

Killer Assumptions

If we make assumptions about the power and tools our visitors
have readily available, to the extent we are wrong, we are
driving them off our sites.

When you consider how hard it is to draw a new visitor,
driving even one away seems a pretty silly thing to do.

Want to build a winning site? Improve
one you already have? Fix one that's busted? Get ANSWERS.
Subscribe to "STAT News" now!
Web marketing and consulting since 1993.
Site: Phone: 209-742-6349


Internet Tip of the Week
by Bob Osgoodby

Email Marketing

Email marketing, if done correctly, is one of the most effective
network marketing tools available. Now I am not condoning
"spam" which is a practice widely used today. Spam is the sending
of information (usually an ad for a product, service or opportunity)
that the recipient did not request. Sending the same message to
thousands of people, whose addresses were either purchased from
someone or harvested from the Internet is frowned on by most

If you build your own email list and it contains people who have
done business with you in the past, it is an extremely effective
marketing tool. Someone who has done business with you in the
past, is more likely to use you again if your product or service
was up to expectations.

With the recent wave of email viruses going around, people are
becoming more and more reluctant to open email from strangers.
However, the simple fact of opening an email to read it will
rarely get you in trouble. If there is an attachment however,
that could very well contain a virus. The only attachments that
are normally safe to open are text files, i.e. ending with a
"txt" extension, and images - "gif" - "jpg".

With that in mind, here are some highly effective methods to get
your advertisement read:

Don't use a phony email address that looks like gibberish or
appears to be coded such as - this is a
dead giveaway of spam and will be summarily deleted by most

Don't use "ADV", or "URGENT" or "Re: Here's the information
You requested" as the subject if they didn't actually request
information from you. Many people use filters to automatically
put emails with these subjects in their "trash Bin".

Don't use an email address such as or
addressed to I don't know about you, but I
don't know anyone with the name of "friend", and I don't know
anyone (nor care to) who calls me "friend".

Never require someone to write you via "snail mail" or call you
(long distance at their expense) to be removed from your list.
This will simply aggravate people who will pay no attention
whatsoever to your ad. Face it - someone who doesn't want to
receive email from you is not a potential customer, and continued
sending of email only aggravates them - the consequences
of this can be far reaching. You should also never send multiple
emails to the same person as that is also aggravating. This
happens most of the time with addresses that are harvested from
web sites without the owners permission.

Never begin your email with "Thank you for sending information
on your money making opportunity, now look at mine. People
know right up front that this is a "come on" as most of them who
receive something like this are not in business.

If your email has a statement that begins with "This email is
not spam..." or you have a statement that announces "Under Bill
1621 TITLE III passed by the Congress this letter cannot be
considered spam...", bingo, in the trash bin it will go.

Never make promises that are outrageous, as most people are
smarter than that. If you had to buy a wheelbarrow to bring in
the twenty dollar bills from your mailbox as a result of your
business opportunity, why would you share the secret of how to
do it with anyone else?

So how can you use email marketing to your advantage in the
network marketing game? If you do, you will realize the benefits
of this very powerful tool. Build your own mailing lists and
advertise in newsletters and ezines. Spam will get you very
little in the way of business. This will give you a "targeted"
market that will result in business.

If you keep your product or service in front of your potential
clients on a regular basis, you will realize the fruits of your
effort. One of the best ways surprisingly is not to try to sell
them on your immediate offering. Get yourself a website and keep
the contents there informative and up to date. Use email to let
your customers know about the new additions, and give them
something interesting to read.

Once you get people accustomed to going to your site, the rest is
easy, and this "low key email marketing" will not only be your
best course of action, but will pay dividends.

Bob publishes the free weekly "Your Business" Newsletter.
Visit his Web Site at to subscribe.
As a bonus, get 40,000 FREE E-Books from Larry Dotson,
when you visit


How to Get More Referrals
by Wanda Loskot

If you've been in business for a while, you've learned to appreciate the
value of word-of-mouth advertising. It costs nothing and brings in high
quality prospects, already sold on your product or service.

Aaah, if only it could happen more often...

It can. With a little planning and a slightly different focus in your
marketing efforts, you can develop a steady stream of predictable
referrals, week after week, month after month. But first let's understand
the difference between two different types of referrals.

You see, one of them just happens. The other is orchestrated. Although
subtle, the difference is dramatic.

Let's start with the basics first. Where do referrals come from?
From satisfied customers, of course! Or, better said, from those customers
whose expectations we exceed. Yes, but what are they satisfied with? Heck,
that is precisely what you have to figure out.

You have to realize that every business transaction consists of two parts.
One is the product/service. Your customers evaluate quality, features,
benefits, price, and how this all compares with your competition.

The second part is the experience. Customers will evaluate how easy, how
fast, convenient, satisfying and how *pleasurable* the total experience of
doing business with you is for them.

Do you know any businesses that deliver an inferior product, yet are able
to survive... maybe even do remarkably well? Chances are that what's lost
in the quality of product is somehow compensated in the quality of
experience. And I'm sure you know some businesses -- maybe even yours--
which deliver superb quality products or service, but somehow are not able
to attract as many customers as they could. Quite possibly, the process of
buying needs some work.

Imagine what would happen if everyone doing business with you felt
compelled to talk to others about your business! To make that happen
you'll need a system that delivers...and delivers consistently. For
starters, find out how you are doing in the area of quality. Develop a
simple survey to measure both, your product and customer's experience.
Rate different aspects of them on a scale:

- for good
- for excellent
- for exceeding expectation

And make sure that you provide space for comments and examples so you know
what specifically needs improving. Then ask your customers for evaluation.

To get ongoing referrals you can bank on instead of the occasional lead
generated by worth-of-mouth advertising, you need to score consistently
"3" in both: product/service and experience.

Don't fret if your first surveys come back with lackluster results.
They're sure to point to some areas that need improvement. Make the
improvements, then ask your customers for their feedback again. You can
try another survey, or better yet a small focus group.

Most likely, your customers will jump at the opportunity to provide you
with feedback - they will easily recognize and appreciate your efforts and
that counts a lot.

Copyright c 1999 Wanda Loskot

Wanda Loskot is a writer/speaker and Professional Business Coach.
Register to win FREE business coaching at



* Ashcroft unveils anti-cybercrime plan: U.S. Attorney
General John Ashcroft said he will create nine special
prosecutor units to crack down on Internet crime and other
computer-related offenses.

* AOL to try opening up messaging system: America Online
said it will conduct tests of a system that would allow its
popular Instant Messenger software to communicate with other
instant messaging programs.


Check this out!

If you're looking for free fonts, then Acid Fonts is a must
visit. Fonts are nicely displayed, arranged alphabetically
and all are downloadable. Thousands to choose from.
Find them at:


You won't get rich, but...

These two "get paid to read email" companies don't send out a ton of junk
email, but what they do send isn't enough to clutter your inbox...and,
they actually pay out.


Media news and notes

Summertime is a busy time in these parts. Just completed marketing work
for the City of East Providence and their 21st annual Heritage
Festival...where more than 30,000 Rhode Islanders spent three days among
food, fun and music! A success, as always.

Quite a bit of activity at ESPN as well...listen to your local ESPN Radio
affiliate, or click on to check it out! Wish I could
tell you when I'm on, but that's the life of a swing-shifter! Also
working weekly at WLVI-TV in Boston, for "The 10 o'clock News," and
anticipating stepped up activities for the New England Patriots (football
is here!) and their team website,

I will also add here that my six-year-old son's T-ball team won (kicked
butt, actually) in our first "coach-pitch" game! The kids can't wait til
next year! It's great to see the smiles as they learn how to play the


They Said It!

Actual quotes from some noted sports personalities:

"We're going to turn this team around 360 degrees." -Jason Kidd

"It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat
people up."-Muhammad Ali

"If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an
infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even
considering if there are men on base."-Dave Barry

"If he raced his pregnant wife, he'd finish third." -Tommy Lasorda, on
former Los Angeles Dodger catcher Mike Scioscia

LaVell Edwards, BYU football coach and one of 14 children: "They can't
fire me because my family buys too many tickets."


Give away FREE cellphones to your customers, friends and family! Fun,
easy to do, work as much or as little as you like. And make a buck or two!


As always, we hope you'll take some time to visit us online at! Be sure to tell us what you think (we really
listen, and value your opinions!), and we'll see you in the Fall!