OUT GUYS: SHE COULD MAKE A GROWN MARKETER CRY!
=> Intro. <=
It's much more of a featured guest than
writer for this issue. And in keeping with other issues, once
again, I find myself in the company of a talented, pretty
girl (this job does have its perks ;-)
During the Summer, Nori and her family
spent some real leisure time on the Carribean island of Anguilla.
When she returned, she decided that a web site about the beautiful
beaches of Anguilla would be a pretty cool idea. For most
teenagers, that's where the idea might end. But Nori's father
is legendary online marketer Ken Evoy, and she's certainly
inherited that entrepreneurial spirit.
Without any experience whatsoever, Nori
logged into Site Build It, the online web development and
marketing suite of tools for start-ups (which was developed
by her Dad's company)and launched anguilla-beaches.com
Nori was kind enough to take a break from
homework, girlfriends and potential online marketing domination,
to have a little chat with me.
(NB: No matter what level you're at with
your online efforts, I guarantee you'll still find some little
gems in this interview.)
Read it and weep guys ;-)
Mike: Nori, I've just finished
looking over your site and I have to say I'm very impressed.
Nori: I'm glad you like it. I wish
I had more time to do it, but I'm busy with school, band and
other things too, especially homework and friends.
Mike: I know it's something I'm
not supposed to ask a lady: but how old are you Nori and when
was the first time you went to Anguilla?
Nori: I turned 14 in August. Our
first trip was for 10 days in March. We all loved it so much
that we decided to spend the whole month of August there.
Mike: Your Dad's been involved
with the Internet for a long time. Is that something you'd
already decided you'd like to do anyway, or did you just get
the inspiration for a web site in Anguilla? And if you did
get the inspiration in Anguilla, was it helped along a little
bit by your Dad when he'd had the odd rum punch or two. :-)
Nori: Ha! Ha! He calls himself
the official rum punch Anguilla tester. He wants to do a page
on the best rum punch. When my Dad saw how much I loved Anguilla,
especially because we both like to explore and get a bit adventurous,
he suggested that I could make a Web site about it, get people
to visit it, and then start to refer those people to good
folks we know on the island for referral fees. It has become
a very busy site - my dad does not write my material, but
he does push me to "say it better, Nori."
He also gives me tips... like to take
my time on making money. Right now, it's a hobby site, so
I have a free listing in zeal.com (it took me four tries to
pass their test). That listing brings me a lot of traffic
from LookSmart and MSN, for free. Dad says there's lots of
time to make money with the site, just to get the content
right for now.
Mike: I guess you must use the
Internet a lot for homework and fun stuff and everything.
So you probably knew quite a bit about how it works and how
to find stuff with search engines. But had you ever tried
to make a web page yourself before you started this web site?
Nori: I chat a lot on the Net with
my girlfriends. And my Dad showed me how to do some advanced
searching that my friends don't really get. But no, I had
no idea how to make a web site. I asked him to show me how
it works and he showed me all the code in a Web page and how
the software browser reads that and turns it into a page.
I could never do that and I could never figure out the search
engines without it. And I would find it boring, anyway. I
just like writing about Anguilla and our adventures.
Mike: Lots of people just throw
up web pages for a hobby and don't pay much attention to how
they look. A lot of them that I see have a layout like a badly
made bed with pictures which look like they were shot with
the camera lens cap still on and navigation bars like a row
of three day old pizzas.
But you have a neat layout with nice
clear pictures and really cool graphics. Can you tell me about
how you planned your site, what the most important piece of
advice was and what development tools you used to make it
look so professional?
Nori: I used my Dad's Site Build
It!, which is so easy. It helps to have my dad, of course.
But I could do this without him... actually, I do now. It
forces you to do one step at a time... research for keywords
first. Then pick a domain. For me "anguilla beaches"
was a very profitable keyword, so that's what I used for my
I can make any kind of layout I like,
from using one of theirs to making my own, totally, using
Photoshop (which I don't know how to do except to make collages
of my favorite stars) or to use the LogoCreator and NavBarMaker
and the look and feel builder to build my own. That's what
I did. Yes, my friends have no idea how I do it. They think
I'm a programming genius, so I hope they don't read this!
Mike: How long did it take you
from planning the site to uploading the pages? And tell me
how you felt both when you saw it online for the first time
and how it felt when you checked to see if anyone else had
been to see it.
I build one page a week. That's all I
have time for. It's fast because I just prepare it all offline
- my dad even shared my tip for how I do it with everyone
else. So the whole page only takes me about an hour, 55 minutes
of which is just to prepare what I want to say, how I want
to say it, and so on. My dad has worked hard with me on my
writing skills over the year, and he still reviews each page
with me after I publish it. You should understand that this
does not make the content for you - that has to come from
your brain. It just makes it so easy to build. It submits
to all the engines. It analyzes your pages if I forget to
use enough keywords in a place, for example, it tells me.
I have an e-zine. But it just makes all that easy to do. As
my Dad says to people (when I hear him on the phone), "you
still have to do it."
Mike: Okay, here comes the tough
one. Everyone knows that your Dad's an expert with all this
stuff. So, some people might think that he just did it for
you. Or most of it (I know: Some people are just born sceptics
;-) I know SBI is designed for people with no experience at
all, but you still have to write copy and create graphics
and all that stuff. How easy did you find it and what was
the part you enjoyed most about using SBI to build your site.
Nori: I wrote it all, but my Dad
uses it to push how well I tell the story after I build a
page. As he says, he helps me "brush" it. And he
took 99% of the photos with his new digital camera, which
he is crazy about - except for underwater snorkeling. Boy,
was he upset about how bad those came out. The most important
help from my dad was to push me to write better, but not to
do the writing or build the site. Site Build It! makes that
part very easy to do. He likes to tell the story of when I
asked him... "How do normal people do this, make a site
and get so much traffic from engines and so forth."
He smiled and said... "They don't."
Mike: Finally, what have you got
planned for the site for the future and when you're the number
one online tour operator for Anguilla, will you be able to
arrange for free tickets for cheeky search engine marketers
based in the UK :-)
Nori: Ha! Ha! The Arawak Inn already
uses my Web page to brag about our review - we loved his pizza.
Funny thing is one woman wrote me to tell me that when he
showed her my Web page, she showed him the same page and that's
why she was there! :-)
I will start soon, or my dad will - here
he WILL help me, to make deals with certain great people we
met on the island to refer my visitors to tour operators,
real estate agents (especially for villa rentals), my dad's
financial services friend, and so forth. So I do expect this
to grow, one page a week (I wish I had more time, but I have
so many other things that I only spend an hour per week),
and it will start to earn much more than my friends will make
in summer jobs during the rest of high school and university.
My dad says that I have done such a good job, that if I was
an adult, I could be making 10-15 pages per day with this,
full-time, and would already be making a few thousand dollars
As it is, I already get more traffic
than the Anguilla Tourist Board and other more "famous"
sites. Dad sends friends who are interested in this to alexa.com
and tells them to compare my site, anguilla-beaches.com, with
their site, anguilla-vacation.com, or to just about any other
site on Anguillla.
So I'm pretty proud to already be in
the top 50,000 sites! :-) It's a lot of fun, it lets me write
what I love (I'm going to start another one on my favorite
band, Simple Plan), and I'll start to make my own money with
it very soon. Dad says that's the easy part -the traffic is
the hard part, but that once you build that, it's a steady
stream of traffic, some of who will want to use the people
I refer. Also, farther down the road, next time we visit,
my dad and I will create a bunch of 1-day "off the beaten
track" (and my dad does go crazy) tours of Anguilla.
We will sell them as e-books when he adds that part of it
to Site Build It!
And of course, we can eat all the free
pizza we want, now when we visit. One more thing... I've had
wonderful e-mail from the Anguilla Tourist Board and the editor
of Anguilla Life asked me to write a "Visitor Viewpoint"
article for their big Winter edition this year. I wrote on
Top 10 things for a Teen to Do in Anguilla. So I can see how
a grownup could use this to become quite famous and well-known
in his or her area and turn it all into a fun business.
Thanks very much to Nori for sharing the
tips she got from her Dad and her own real world experience.
You can check Nori's site here:
At one time or another, I've promised both my wife and daughter
to help them get their own sites up and running, but trying
to find time to show them how to use Dreamweaver, Fireworks,
Flash, FTP etc. and all the other stuff I can use myself is
just so difficult sometimes.
Now, I have the answer. As you can tell
from Nori's interview, SiteBuildIt is a "no experience
necessary" product which produces a very professional
result. And right now you can get two SiteBuildIt subscriptions
for the price of one.
So, both my wife and daughter are getting
very useful extra "stocking fillers" this Christmas.
And by next Christmas... maybe I'll be getting some online
marketing tips from them!
If you're just thinking about starting
your own business online, or, if you want to treat family
or friends to an excellent and easy way to get a professioanl
presence online, then this is the gift. (that's two fully
functional, designed, hosted and operational web sites of
your own creating for GBP 192/USD 306 - think about it!)
This offer ends, literally, at the stroke
of midnight on Christmas eve. If you'd like to take advantage
right now, you'll find the details here:
THIS THE END OF EMAIL MARKETING ALREADY? EMAIL PIONEER ERIC
ALLMAN THINKS IT COULD BE.
"There is a genuine concern that
too much Spam will kill off email. We have not quite got there
yet, but it could happen." There's probably nobody better
qualified to make that kind of statement than Eric Allman,
as he's the guy who invented the first commercial email application.
So, it's no surprise that the media in the UK is reporting
on the "Spam epidemic". It's estimated that, at
least one in seven emails received in the UK is Spam. And
in the USA the estimates suggest at least 30% of all email
as being of the "Spam variety". Microsoft now claims
that Spam at HotMail makes up about one third of all mail.
In a feature article supporting a drive
to stop the flood of Spam in the UK, The Sunday Times recently
reported that there could be as few as 150 "Spam kings"
responsible for 90% of the world's unwanted mail. The guy
named as THE "Spam King" is Alan Ralsky. Reports
say that he's recently kitted out his home in Detroit with
servers which can blast out one billion pieces of his email
rubbish a day.
So where is the law to prevent Ralsky
and the ilk from bombarding us with their unwanted junk and
sleaze? The problem is, much of the law pertaining to, or
relevant to email Spam, is just too vague or can be interpreted
to suit either side of the argument. And of course, the direct
marketing organisations are very keen not to find themselves
too inhibited by the introduction of very tight laws which
may turn the currently very viable form of promotion into
something costly and less viable.
In the UK we rely on the 1998 regulations
which deal with the sending of marketing faxes and unsolicited
direct marketing calls. By virtue of the fact that these regulations
pertain to "telecommunications services", then by
definition they apply to email. Therefore, Spam is illegal
in the UK (not that you'd notice of course ;-)
The only European legislation in force
which directly affects Spam throughout member states is the
"Distance Selling Directive". Some EU Member States
have other relevant laws. Germany, for instance, has laws
based on the opt-in approach to Spam.
The US doesn't have any federal anti-Spam
laws in place. However, Spammers have lost in federal cases
which relied on other laws. For example, in December 2000,
a man was prosecuted in New York for sending 73 million e-mails
advertising p*rn sites. For making the e-mails appear as though
they were sent by aol.com, he was convicted for second degree
forgery, which carries a seven year maximum
This was of no help to Steve Rawlinson,
Chief Technical Officer with clara.net, a major European ISP
based in London. He checked his inbox one day to find 14,000
unsolicited emails waiting for him. He'd been Spammed by a
mass mailer who made his mail appear to have come from Rawlinson's
company. All "bounced" mails from the millions sent
out had been returned to the apparent sender.
As for Ralsky, although he was taken to
court by ISP verizon.net, the outcome was a fairly paltry
settlement and agreement never to Spam using verizon again
(no doubt he also had the back of his hand slapped too!).
Following the posting of Ralsky's address at his brand new
USD 740,000 house, he was given a taste of his own medicine
when he started receiving tons and tons of snail mail junk,
all subscribed to on his behalf by online anti-Spam
I talk to a lot of professional online
marketers around the World, looking for opinions and ideas
for solutions to the problems of Spam and how we can more
easily get our marketing messages to those who want them without
being "headed off at the server filter pass".
Some agree with the idea mooted by Eric
Allman that, if people had to pay for email, then it would
be less attractive to Spammers. After all, the whole idea
of mass mailing is based around the economics of the "numbers
game". A mass mailer only needs to receive a couple of
responses per thousand when dealing in millions in order to
get a decent return.
So, how would it work? Well, we charge
a penny to everyone who mails us to allow them past our email
filters. Then, when we reply to say that we've received the
email, the penny charged the other way cancels out the first
charge! Sounds like a pretty reasonable idea. But what about
all of the newsletters and subscription sites I've already
paid to receive info from? Money has already changed hands
here. Do we have to go through it again? Even if it is just
a "virtual" financial transaction. Plus: isn't the
Internet supposed to be free? (at least after we've paid our
Whether we look at a scheme for charging
or tracking down and jailing the Alan Ralsky's of this world,
it will certainly be a long time before some industry standard,
worldwide, legally recognised solution is in place.
Until then, we have to be aware that the
intended opt-in recipients of our newsletters, zines etc.
are going to take whatever methods available to prevent the
tidal wave of Spam.
During the course of writing this article,
I've checked my inbox three times so far. And on all three
occasions, in-between the legitimate stuff I'm anticipating,
there's the Spam.
Some of my email addresses must be on
dozens of these spurious mailing lists up for sale. Having
just checked my mail, as I say, I see a message from a company
which is selling a disc with two and half million email addresses,
plus the software to mail to them as a bonus. The message
tells me that the lists they sell are 100% pure opt-in. I'm
also told that they themselves never send unsolicited email,
only to opt-in subscribers: and to get this information to
me... they spammed me!
As if by clockwork, there's my usual Spam
about the herbal alternative to Viagra that dozens of people
seem to believe I need (except my wife I might add). And with
it's monotonous regularity, my guaranteed p*n*s enlargement
(I'm sure they couldn't possibly make it as big as the d*ck
who Spammed me!).
Spam simply is the scourge of the Internet.
Of course, there are blacklists, which unfortunately can even
make matters worse. And the filters designed to help us avoid
it seem only to work in varying degrees of usefulness. A recent
study by Giga Information Group found that the best known
blacklist, MAPS RBL (Mail Abuse Prevention System Realtime
Black List), catches less than 25% of Spam but blocks 34%
of good mail. So, this means, it doesn't eliminate much Spam
in the first place, and then, for every Spam mail that's blocked,
it also blocks 1.4 legitimate mails.
So what we're talking about here is a
24% success rate. But on the other hand, that means a 76%
failure rate. Now this can hardly be regarded as successful.
If blacklists don't work then why not
just look at something which does some kind of pattern matching?
Something which works like a spell-checker and spots all those
Spammy words and phrases.
Well, of course, this is how many filtering
packages work already. But what happens is that, Richard can't
send mail to anyone who knows him as "D*ck". "Crude"
filters look for those words and phrases which are embedded
in other words. For instance, you'll probably never receive
any email from people living in Essex in the UK if their address
is in the sig file, and maybe no one will ever really find
out how much you enjoyed that wonderful bottle of Chardonnay!
(you'll spot it eventually :-)
Bayesian analysis is something I'm currently
looking at as part of the research for the third edition of
my search engine book. Learning machines is a major source
of research work for search engines using Bayesian networks
for text classification. This type of approach to eliminating
Spam is likely to have much more effect than basic Spam filters.
Paul Graham is using Bayesian statistical
filtering in his "Plan for Spam". In particular,
he's working on a web based mail reader application to filter
Spam. Based on Paul Graham's work, there's now a freeware
Spam fighting tool which integrates with Microsoft Outlook
2000x. It's called Spammunition and uses Bayesian filtering
I think this is the most likely route
for Spam filtering to go. And as an online marketer, the more
you know (and the earlier you know) about how you're being
"repelled" by your intended recipients, the better
you'll be able to accommodate.
If you want to get a handle on the way
that Spam filtering techniques are moving, you can download
Version 0.60 beta of Spammunition here (you'll also find a
link to Paul Graham's excellent article on a "Plan for
If you want to know how well your own
email newsletters etc. fair with current email filters, then
you can try a fr*e test-run courtesy of SiteBuildIt. If you
read the lead story in this issue, you'll know that SiteBuildIt
is a tremendous suite of development tools which also includes
a module for creating and emailing your very own newsletter,
zine etc. The good folks over there have made the SpamCheck
tool freely available. So, before you send out your next mailing,
run it through SpamCheck first and find out just how likely
you are to get "under the filter wire" :-)
Send your test email here:
But be absolutely certain to put the word
TEST (just like that, in caps, no quotes) as the first word
in the subject line e.g.
TEST Spammers monthly: How to avoid legitimate
By the way, it's a good idea to run even
a test personal email through this checker, just to make sure
your sig file isn't causing you to be dumped.
Finally, MailWasher is a fr*e download
which lets you check your email on the server before you bring
it in. This way, you can check for, and delete Spam and anything
which looks like a virus BEFORE you bring it in. You'll find
NB: At the foot of this newsletter I always place a link to
the site which sells the software I use for managing and mailing
this newsletter and all other email marketing campaigns.
In my opinion, for the price, it's the
best desktop software on the market. If you want to start
newsletter, zine or direct response campaigns, then now is
really the time to buy it as there's currently a Christmas
discount of 100 dollars. So, here's the link a little earlier.
IT'S HOTBOT - OR WHAT?
Last month, I wrote about how HotBot had
stolen all of my top ten hits at Inktomi. Well, there are
no worries there anymore. Just last week, HotBot reinvented
itself as some kind of search engine "take your pick".
It's not meta search and it's not hybrid... it's "take
your pick" (but I guess they have a really cool marketing
term for it in-house :-)
I've seen lots of comment from search
engine marketers in forums and newsletters this week about
the change. Most are favourable reports about the new advanced
search options and the clean interface and the speed and the...
Is it just me? Is it? Am I the only one
agreeing with all that's said - but wondering what benefit
these changes will make in terms of driving potential traffic.
OK, we're search engine marketers or online
marketers, whatever. We know what Inktomi is. We know what
Fast is. We know what Teoma is. But I bet, out of the choices
available, your average surfer has only ever heard of Google.
And the fact that the average surfer may ever actually find
himself at HotBot in the first place, may be a bit of a mission
on the behalf of Terra Lycos anyway.
Seriously, if your average surfer finds
himself with a choice of three search services he's never
really heard of, and one that he has: which one do you think
he's likely to choose? Well, if it happens to be one of the
web's most well known search engine brands...
This may be a way of introducing these
new brands to the average surfer. And once he's happy with
the results from one of these new choices, what's to stop
him dumping HotBot and just using the AllTheWeb interface,
or Teoma? It seems to be a pretty good way of inducing brand
switching, but not to the immediate benefit of HotBot.
I'm sure that HotBot has pleased many
in the search engine and online marketing community (even
I like power searching over there now). But, you know, I don't
get much business at all from established online marketers
and serious researchers. I get most of my business from online
"newbies" who (according to my own stats) come from:
Google, Yahoo! and MSN, in the main.
I doubt whether even these changes will
make a darned bit of difference to the meagre traffic they
were sending just the week before last.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to fanfare
and applaud HotBot for at least doing something. I'm just
trying to figure who their target group is. During the research
for my search engine book, one of the things that came to
the surface many times was that the average surfer doesn't
look for advanced search options, they rarely check buttons
or boxes, they just stick two words in the search box: that's
So asking them to choose... What's an
Inktomi? What's a Teoma? There's nothing obvious on the page
to tell them why they have have these options and what they
are in the first place. And as for "Custom Web Filters"...
well I can only imagine the average surfer asking himself:
"I didn't have to set one of those up over at Google...
Having said all that, at least you can
directly peek into the Inktomi database now if you want to
check and see whether you've been indexed, compare linkage
YOU HAVE A MERCHANT ACCOUNT AND ACCEPT VISA ONLINE, THEN YOUR
NEXT VISITOR COULD BE THE VISA INSPECTOR.
Just a quick one this one. I had a letter
from Cardnet the company which operates my merchant account.
They were writing to tell me about the changes for e-commerce
businesses regarding "clarification of electronic commerce
I rang them up to get the full story,
and to make sure that I was complying. Basically, in November
of this year, Visa revised its guidelines for all online merchants.
In the physical world, the location of the retailer outlet
determines the country where the retailer must deposit their
transactions. Because this doesn't actually address the online
trading community, to minimise Cardholder confusion, all e-tailers
must now declare the country of domicile immediately prior
to payment instructions.
This means it's not sufficient just to
have your address on your home page, or just assume that your
customer must know you're based in the UK because your website
is a .co.uk domain etc.
Visa is now randomly visiting sites and
will be advising banks about any retailer not complying with
the new guidelines. For those who don't, then a fine of up
to USD 5000 could be imposed.
I asked the representative at Cardnet
if they would inspect one of my sites (where I sell my book)
and let me know the result. I had a clean bill of health with
all of the necessary information i.e. address, telephone number
email address etc. all on the sales page which parses the
information over to the secure server.
However, the rep I spoke to told me that
I was only one of a few which had passed that day. Most sites
she had checked failed. One of the main reasons was with sites
using shopping cart systems which had information about products/services
about to be purchased, but at the point of purchase had no
company details as described above. The name and address needs
to be shown, the amount in the currency it is being charged
in and advice of what name the transaction will be under on
the customers credit card
statement (as well as notification that an electronic receipt
will also be forwarded).
Of course, it was a UK rep I spoke to,
but she did tell me that this initiative by Visa was global.
That being the case, you may wish to check with the company
which operates your merchant account on behalf Visa to make
sure you're in compliance, and don't get an unexpected visit
Back in the old days of the Web, when
it ran on steam, you had to do a lot of things the hard way:
manually. Search engine optimisers had figured out that, the
best way to get an idea of what made a top ranking page at
a search engine, was to download a top ranking page and analyse
So, the pages would be opened up in an
editor and notes would be taken about meta tags and title
tags and alt tags and comments tags and... So it went. And
then of course, the text would be stripped and placed in a
word processor and the stats would be analysed, how many words
etc. etc. And then you'd run a search for specific words and
discover how many times they occurred and then check where
they appeared in the original document etc. etc. etc. It was
time consuming and laborious, but it had to be done if you
wanted to create pages with the same kind of composition and
"weight" as those top rankers.
Then, an Italian programmer by the name
of Roberto Grassi (a friend and colleague of mine I'm happy
to say) decided there had to be an easier way. And as if by
magic, he developed a keyword density analyser (KDA). This
little piece of software has since grown to be one of the
most important tools used by professional search engine optimisers.
Of course, since he developed this software,
the search engines have changed their algorithms to rely a
whole lot less on keywords on a page. There's a lot more emphasis
on other heuristics, or "off page criteria" as it's
frequently known in the industry. However, the fact still
remains, keywords and where and how they appear on an HTML
page are still vitally important in the indexing and ranking
So, how exactly does KDA work?
Okay, first of all, you need to be certain
of the keywords/phrases you want your web pages to be found
on in the search engines. So you do the keyword research first
(WordTracker is a great place to start):
Once you've decided on which are the most
important keywords and phrases, you then do the rounds of
the major search engines and run a search on all of them.
Generally, the top three pages will be the more important,
so these are the ones you need to save to your hard drive.
Next, run KDA and load all of your saved
pages into the "Compare" module and press "Enter".
This will then give you a statistical count of the keyword
density for the top ranking pages. You can then enable the
tags you wish to analyse in the "Analysis Options"
With just a little bit of experimentation
with this software, you can soon discover all of the "hidden
charms" and keyword density percentage of top ranking
web pages and begin to create or recreate your own pages with
Now remember, what your doing here is
analysis, not directly stealing someone else's pages or code.
And also remember, there are many other factors in the ranking
process which need to be taken into consideration. But once
you are creating web pages with text at a search engine friendly
percentage, then this is a major part of the battle in achieving
those top ranking pages.
Once you have the "composite"
of the pages you're competing against, you can then start
working on linkage analysis and a method of gaining parity.
Most of this is explained in detail in my book.
I'm working on the next edition of my
book which is due in early Spring next year. And just as KDA
figured as one of the most important time saving and knowledge
gaining tools in the first edition, so it will in the third.
For as long as search engines need to get the "gist"
of what a page is about by the text it contains, then KDA
will always serve its purpose.
You can find out more about this handiest
of handy little tools here:
NUMBER ONE FOR DELIVERY?
Just a quick one to share with you here.
If, like me, you do a lot of presentations, lectures etc.
and therefore find yourself constantly putting new PowerPoint
presentations together, you'll know how "samey"
you can get.
And, if like me, you have to sit through
many of other people's presentations, you'll know how "samey"
they can all be. That's because we all end up making the same
So, when a friend told me that Seth Godin
(I'm a BIG Seth Godin admirer) had put together a little information
booklet on how to avoid the many obvious mistakes we make,
and that it only cost USD 1.99 that'll do for me.
So, I nipped over to Amazon and discovered
that I could get the PowerPoint booklet, and Seth Godin's
The Bootstrapper's Bible together for only USD 4.85. Now that's
a snip I thought.
Now, bearing in mind that these are .pdf
docs for download, of course, I just had to wait for the confirmation
email and then I could have my goods immediately. Yes?
This is the beauty of the Internet. Digital
goods directly to your desktop in an instant. So, you've no
idea how much I laughed when I saw the confirmation email
from Amazon. Take a look below at the estimated delivery date:
Shipping estimate: December 18, 2002
Delivery estimate: December 14, 2017 -
September 28, 2022
1 "The Bootstrapper's Bible : Volume 1 [DOWNLOAD: PDF]"
Seth Godin (Author); Digital; @ $2.86 each
1 "Really Bad PowerPoint (and How to Avoid It) [DOWNLOAD:
PDF]" Seth Godin (Author); Digital; @ $1.99 each
Yep, only 15 to 20 years to wait... and
then I get my immediate download :-)
I must mention this which I spotted in
i-sales this week. Contributor Rob Palmer noted some wonderful
copywriting bloopers at Amazon. If you've purchased anything
at Amazon (and who hasn't?) you'll know that following a selection,
you get this prompt from them:
"Customers who bought this book also
Well Rob noticed that now they are selling
clothes, there's another prompt below it which says:
"Customers who wear clothes also
Tut, tut. There are naughty, nudie shoppers
at Amazon? :-)
Rob also noted that Amazon is very keen,
following that prompt, to let you know that:
"You can buy clean underwear from
Amazon's Target Store..."
Pooh, I hate to think of the alternative
You can find out more about Seth Godin's
neat little PowerPoint and Bootstrapper bundle at only USD
I ADDED 1000's OF
NEW SUBSCRIBERS, HAD BUMPER SALES THIS MONTH AND A RIGHT SEM
Young Peter Da Vanzo, down New Zealand
way, is making a name for himself as the first "chat-show
host of blog".
His series of "ten questions with",
is rapidly becoming a must-read feature in the inbox of search
engine marketers worldwide. And why not? He's talking to the
great the good and the odd "enfant terrible" of
search engine optimisation (just watch where you're pointing
your fingers you lot!).
Mine was less of an interview and more
of an... er... odyssey you could say. And what a reaction!
I don't think I've received as much email in a very long time.
And you know, in amongst the insults and death threats, there
was a lovely note from my long lost aunt in Australia. This
is the beauty of the Internet again. Getting in touch with
long lost family and friends. Anyway, she wrote this really
funny note saying how she was disowning me, changing her name
and moving to South America where she won't be
Seriously though, I must say thanks to
Peter for putting up with me. We did have a bit of a laugh
offline also. Peter used to live in the UK and knows lots
about folks like me from "up north". And like me,
he's a Stone Roses fan (popular band from "up north"
some years ago). If you missed the interview, well, you can
discover the life story of the scribe of this newsletter (that's
me by the way) here:
And for all new subscribers to this newsletter
this month, I have some Christmas presents for you. I'll be
coming round to your place personally with them. If you're
not in when I get there, I'll just leave them under the tree
for you. So, when you wake up on Christmas morning and find
lots of gifts under the tree, at least you'll know who they're
Christmas double-discount on Search Engine
marketing: The essential best practice guide. Yes, only in
this newsletter will you get it at this price!
BEEN HONOURED BY NEW YORK'S FINEST!(ONLINE MARKETER THAT IS).
For a very long time I've been an avid
reader of Larry Chase's Web Digest for Marketers. Larry "opened
up shop" on the Internet way back in the early nineties
and, as such, he's much of a pioneer. He's frequently sought
by major offline publications such as Business Week, New York
Times USA Today and scores of other publications to get his
informed opinion about what's happening online.
If you've been marketing online for any
length of time yourself, then there's no doubt you'll be a
subscriber to his essential newsletter.
Very much a classically trained marketer,
Larry is also author of "Essential Business Tactics for
the Net" (now in it's second edition). His newsletter
is read by over 150,000 people monthly. He's an international
speaker on the subject of Internet marketing and an award
winning commercial copywriter. The list of credentials goes
A few weeks ago, Web Digest for Marketers
featured a wonderful review of my book, which, as you can
imagine, I was delighted with. But you could have knocked
me over with a feather, when I saw this, from the man who
invented the online marketing newsletter:
"Since 1995, my publication has reviewed
thousands of Web sites and ezine newsletters. There are not
enough hours in the day to visit all the good websites and
read all the good newsletters. I get well over one hundred
newsletters weekly, and wind up deleting most for lack of
time. Others I simply skim. Mike Grehan's newsletter is one
of the few I read word for word. I find tips there for my
readers as well as for myself. In this era where we are saturated
with information, his newsletter remains a stand-out for it's
relevance and timeliness."
Larry Chase, Publisher, Web Digest
Now that, from an online marketing legend,
just made my day!
If you don't already subscribe to Web
Digest for Marketers what are you waiting for. You
have no idea what your missing. And if you subscribe right
now, you'll get Larry's well qualified "Top Ten Tips
for Starting an Email Newsletter" absolutely fr*e. You
can sign up here:
A ROUND WITH RICHARD GAY.
Web Review of The Year.
As a keen sports person, and long suffering
fan of West Ham United, I was engrossed in the BBC's Sports
Personality of the Year for 2002 last week. The programme
was packed full of 'positives' and the top award was rightly
given to that admirable distance runner, Paula Radcliffe,
for some stunning performances. But when I turned my thoughts
to web marketing for 2002 and which issues caught our attention
I began to feel a little negative.
As a web observer, I considered what appeared
to be the key issues this year and there weren't many positives:
o Spamming (probably No.1?)
o The continued failings of e-CRM to deliver
o The slow adoption of broadband for various reasons
o The emergence of more "pay for" SE models etc.
o The demise of banner ads
o Obsession with technology instead of the customer
with website design
o Abuse of the Internet
As I looked back over some recent magazine
and journal articles, I even read a report from Bellweather
that many UK businesses are dropping the Web from their marketing
mix in relation to their marketing budgets. Is it all doom
and gloom with regard to the web or are businesses generally
just treading water in the post 9/11 and Iraq scenarios. It
certainly seems to be a very cautious business world at the
What is good news is that despite the
entire negative PR, the uptake in B2C is steadily improving
all of the time as 'we' become more comfortable and confident
with it. The IMRG e-Retail Sales Index reported a 130% increase
on last year's sales figures. The increases are coming from
current shoppers spending more but more significantly new
shoppers coming online. They're realising that the web doesn't
bite and it's as safe, if not safer, than any other credit
card transaction. Nevertheless, online merchants still have
to remember to tailor their site for their different groups
of customers. A new, inexperienced customer still has to be
led by the hand through pages and forms in an efficient and
Returning to the 'negatives', who would
have thought that wonderful tinned meat, parodied by Monty
Python would be come the bain of the online user? SPAM, SPAM
and more SPAM. It seems like the Killer application is intent
on shooting itself in the foot. Are you like me on 'Information
Overload'? I haven't the time to read on anymore. Whilst we
should endeavour to personalise our customer relations to
the best of our ability, I remembered a quote from Professor
Derek Holder (Institute of Direct Marketing) many moons ago
that we should think about. 'Consumers are customers of several
competing organisations simultaneously'. Basically, do not
think for one moment that your message is the only one received
by your prospect. The analogy is put forward that organisations
borrow customers from a large pool but only as long as your
goods and services appeal to them, and before other competing
companies fish them.
Fundamentally, we must never lose sight
1. Consumers make all sorts of needs,
wants, value, branding and quality assessments before
purchasing. How does your offering stack up? Do you ask them?
2. Tailoring offerings through segmentation,
niche marketing, age, gender, income, geo-demographics, psychographics
etc etc = TARGET MARKETING=better chance of success=better
use of resources+less wastage. Sadly the economics of e-mail
and associated technologies has led to the worst excesses
of poorly targeted and executed direct mail encountered in
the late 80's and early 90's being replicated online. Replace
'Numbers Game' with 'Understanding the Customer'
Well I'm off to do battle in Newcastle
for the last of the Christmas presents. I hope you get what
you want and that you and your family enjoy the festive period
with a rewarding and healthy 2003.
YOU MAY HAVE MISSED.
"Secrets to their success"
is a private members web site which features case studies
from small online business. Find out how these "real
people" are making "real money" with a fr*e
WHO'S THE SMARTER ONLINE MARKETER?
ME OR YOU?
Actually, I only wrote that headline to get your attention.
I know that you must be the smart one - or you wouldn't be
reading this newsletter - right ;-) Emode is a great site
with all kinds of PhD developed tests. Take the fr*e IQ test
and see how you smart you really are.
JUST THE FACTS MA'AM.
If you've read my book, you'll know how much I just love doing
research (I know, I need to get out more). So, I spend a lot
of time researching for research. Often I come across stuff
that's useful and fre*e. Here's some stuff I found this month:
Email Marketing Powerguide. A real info-packed
95 page fr*e download.
A new study uncovers one of the main causes
of low response rates in email marketing.
Internet shopping bursts the 1 billion barrier in the UK.
Fr*e sales index report.
Editor: Mike Grehan. Search
engine marketing consultant, speaker and author.
Associate Editor: Christine
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