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AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web

To:     ad-market
Subject:     AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web
Date:     Wed, 13 May 1998 15:51:13 -0400

Like Tom, I too come from electronic sales within the newsletter business.
I have recently moved to an online only publication. 

>From my experience, I agree with Tom.  If you have an existing customer 
base, the easiest way to generate more income is through a site license 
program.  If you are concerned with the payment cycle you can include 
quarterly payments as an option.  Your contract still requires an annual 
commitment with the first payment due at the time of signing.  For an
electronic publication, it is very simple to terminate due to non-payment, 
you simply cut-off delivery of the service or invalidate the password for 
the web.  Of course this is a very last resort. In my experience, the 
renewal rate is extremely high.

As far as aquiring new customers there are a few routes to take.  It was 
stated earlier that direct mail is very expensive. The conversion rate 
from free issue to paying customer has been declining across the newsletter
 industry.  The key is to research your market and buy a really targeted 
list.  An inexpensive marketing tool would be a postcard offering a free 
trial through a specific directory on your site.  You can then track the 
number of sign-ups using the particular url for each list you use.  
Another method is to sponsor an event within your targeted readers' 
industry such as a seminar, a breakfast, a golf tournament.  Again, you'll 
want to offer free trials to the attendees and maybe have a business card 
drop for a prize. 

Hope I've been helpful.

BTW, I too am speaking at the Newsletter Publishers Association conference 
on June 1st at 2:30 "Pricing, Packaging & Selling Site Licenses"

Valerie Voci
Director of Sales
Newsbytes News Network
Post-Newsweek Business Information, Inc.
8500 Leesburg Pike, Ste. 7500
Vienna, VA  22182-2412
703.848.2800 ext. 172 (V) 703.848.2353 (F)

At 09:05 PM 5/12/98 -0400, wrote:

>NetResponse is an internet consulting and development agency.  One of
>our clients is in the midst of planning an aggressive customer
>acquisition campaign.  The client is a web based publication, which
>recently migrated to a subscription model.

>Thus far, banner ads have not been a cost effective channel.  I was
>wondering what experiences, thoughts, or recommendations people had in
>regards to alternative customer acquisition vehicles.

>We are looking at list rental for direct email, text ads on email lists,
>and sponsorships, as well as testing off line advertising mechanisms
>(direct mail, print, and local NPR).

>Thank you-
>Bill Robins

Re: AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web, Bill Robins

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