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Re: FW: AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web

To:     Bill Robins <>
Subject:     Re: FW: AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web
From:     "Melissa MacKinnon @ superSonic BOOM" <>
Date:     Fri, 15 May 1998 13:45:20 -0700
CC:     "" <>, "" <>, Mitch Arnowitz <>, Nancy Swanson <>, Terry Steichen <>
Organization:     superSonic BOOM (custom CDs) 703-847-5180
References:     <> <>

I strongly suggest radio.  NPR is a great audience; however, it's difficult to
get your message across with "sponsorship" ads on public radio.  There is not
enough time - especially with something new.  I advise WTOP NewsRadio 1500 AM.  I
used to sell advertsing there, and our advertisers found it extremely
successful.  WTOP and NPR share the same audience.  However, WTOP allows you to
air 60 second "spots" (advcertisements).  I would sponsor Dave McConnell, as he
is an anchor in Washington, as the capitol Hill correspondent - not only for WTOP
for for Channel 4 News.  He has a huge and loyal following.  I can put you in
touch with someone who can really help you there.  Her name is Jean Fowler.  She
is a WTOP veteran and works very closely with politically focused advertisers.
Her number is 202-895-5000.  Please tell her that Melissa MacKinnon referred you.

I have alot of reasons why I think rado is the best off-line medium for Internet
companies.  I have to run to a meeting now, but will write back with my reasons.

Good luck,


Bill Robins wrote:

> Thanks again to everyone for their thoughts, it has been really exciting
> to gain so much insightful feedback.  To give some additional
> information, in hopes of inspiring more ideas and solutions.
> Our client is focused on news, politics, and culture.  They have been on
> the web for close to two years, and although a print version exists, it
> is not the focus.  The current subscription number is above 20,000 paid
> subscribers.
> Site licenses, "community," and off-line acquisition are three threads
> that have emerged that I am interested in discussing further.
> Thus far, site licenses have posed a challenge for us.  One hypothesis
> is that I do not envision a business being as interested in a site
> license to our publication, as they might be in a site license for a
> publication like, WSJ or Business Week.  We are in the midst of
> approaching universities, regarding site licenses; does anyone know of
> any precedence for site licenses and universities?
> In terms of community, there is a discussion space on the magazine;
> however, it is not as fruitful as they would hope.  One idea we are
> considering as adding classified ads to the pages; WSJ / Economist etc.
> (in print) seem to be very successful with this concept.
> The off-line acquisition channels have caused internal debate.  One side
> of the argument says that there is a disconnect between mediums, and as
> a result we should not advertise on radio or in print.  However the
> other side says that, we know geographically that the subscribers are
> clustered, what their editorial affinity is, and that studies indicate
> heavy internet usage is in addition to heavy media consumption, not in
> place of it.  This suggests to me that a targeted NPR campaign would be
> a logical execution.  What is the reaction?  Do you think we can do this
> alone, or should we do it in conjunction with a metro campaign (in DC)
> or a direct mail campaign?
> I look forward to your thoughts on these topics.
> Regards,
> Bill
> Tom Billington wrote:
> >
> >   Here are two ways to generate revenue for publications.  Just a little
> > background:  I worked for eight years at Phillips Publishing and Reader's
> > Digest, the world's largest newsletter and magazine publisher respectively.
> >
> > 1.  SITE LICENSES.  Some newsletter publishers, particularly in the
> > business-to-business space, have found site licenses to be effective.  Site
> > licenses are effective for a publisher because the distribution costs are
> > very low and the price that can be charged to a single large company is
> > often very high, sometimes above $100,000.  That company would then
> > distribute the publication to its employees.  The problem is that it takes
> > a while for the companies to pay up, since the sum required for the service
> > is so high.  This longer-than-usual pay-up period sometimes makes
> > publishers nervous.  But overall, once the large companies get over the
> > nervousness of large up-front payments, this business model can work well.
> >
> > 2.  EDITORIAL.  This second point hits at how do you get subscribers.  This
> > is an indirect answer to Bill's question.  The way to sell an existing
> > publication- most effectively online or offline is to target very closely
> > the essential needs of the customers, meet those information needs and then
> > promote that you're meeting those needs.  This may sound obvious, but it's
> > important.  In business-to-business newsletters, the audiences typically
> > are much smaller than in consumer publications.  So most of the major
> > players know each other, talk and schmooze.  If your newsletter can create
> > a "buzz" with exclusive information that really provides essential
> > information for an executive about trends, competitors, acquisitions, that
> > person is bound to subscribe.  The technology becomes secondary, because
> > the executive is really interested in the content, whether it be online or
> > offline. Since the renewals are the lifeblood of newsletters, as Linda
> > points out so well, the editorial really must sell itself.
> >
> >   FYI:  I will be speaking about the "Seven Steps to Breakthrough
> > Newsletters" on May 31 at the Newsletter Publishers Association conference
> > and will touch on some of these issues later this month there.
> >
> >   Hope this adds the discussion, Bill, Linda and Amy...
> >
> >   Thanks.
> >
> > Tom Billington, Advisor
> > The Potomac KnowledgeWay's Netpreneur Program
> > 1801 Robert Fulton Drive, Suite 550
> > Reston, VA  20191
> > 703/620-8971, ext. 118
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:   Linda Kolker []
> > Sent:   Wednesday, May 13, 1998 10:36 AM
> > To:
> > Subject:        Re: AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web
> >
> > I've had many years' experiencing in working with publishers to get new
> > customers. Here is an idea or two for you to think about. Traditional
> > newsletter publishers rely 100% on direct mail as their new business
> > generator. And they are finding it harder and harder to make direct mail
> > work. The economics are a killer. Controlled-circulation (advertising
> > supported) pubs who switch to the paid-subscription model have a tough row
> > to hoe. List rental is absolutely the key, and the offer has to be well
> > structured. And then you have to do renewals--the real money is in the back
> > end, the renewals. The newsletter publishers who have been my clients
> > started with products on paper and have gone to the Internet subsequently,
> > offering a licensing model to subscribers who prefer electronic delivery.
> > Most publishers who have a website drive readers to it by promoting the URL
> > in the print publications they send out. The Net is also terrific as an
> > archive available on a paid basis.
> >
> > Motley Fool has been experimenting with print, and may provide an
> > instructive model as a business that started out e-based and moved into
> > paper subsequently.
> >
> > I know this just scratches the surface--it's a complex issue.
> >
> > Linda Kolker
> >
> > At 09:05 PM 5/12/98 -0400, wrote:
> > >AM-
> > >
> > >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
> > >
> > ____________
> > LeapFrog Solutions

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

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