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AM: Ryan Phillips response to Customer Acquisition via the Web

To:     "ad-market" <>
Subject:     AM: Ryan Phillips response to Customer Acquisition via the Web
From:     "Mitch Arnowitz" <>
Date:     Fri, 15 May 1998 19:31:15 -0400


Enclosed is Ryan Phillips response to Bill Robin's original
question about Customer Acquisition via the Web. Ryan is
publisher of the Journal Newspaper chain-

Ryan Phillips responds:

> Mitch-

> It is a short answer and I don't think Bill will like the answer.

> If the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times , 
> Boston Globe, Omaha World Herald Cleveland Plain Dealer, 
> Miami Herald, Seattle Times  ETC ETC ETC can't make money, 
> or more specifically are loosing, combined, tens of millions of 
> dollars every year providing online content I can't see any small 
> provider making any money.  

> It has been my experence that any good service that is on the 
> internet is started with the idea that you give it away first and 
> then I'll charge for it when it gets popular.
> Then 2 seconds after you start charging some other company 
> starts a identical service for free because they are going to get 
> popular and then start charging.  Look at search engines  
> Yahoo was first now there are 50 search engines.

> I suggest you tie the product to something tangable. Either a 
> print product or a fax product newsletter etc. People just 
> expect information on the internet to be free, and the expect
> to pay for it when its comes in hard copy.

> If you must try an advertising campaign Newspapers are the
> most effective solution on the Planet and are getting
> more effective every day.  There are only 3 Daily Newspapers
> in Washington DC area, over 50 RadioStations (ask strangers
> what station they listen to you'll get 50 different answers.then 
> ask what the last commercial they heard was, they won't
> remember).

> Television is more fragmented with 100+ cable
> and broadcast options expensive to produce spots also. 
> Direct mail is predictable with the average good response
> piece used with a good list pulling in a .005 response.

> If your gonna do it use a mix of Newspaper and Direct mail.  
> Broadcast is just to spotty for the small and medium guy.
> Be prepared to spend alot of money and pray you have
> information that people are willing to pay for and no one
> else can give away.

> Ryan 

Bill Robins writes: 

> 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).

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