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E-Business Secrets

The fewer questions you ask, the more data you get
Privacy scores big with most readers

By  Brian Livingston September 24, 2002  

I reported last week that MarketingSherpa and Intermarket Group have published "The E-Mail Marketer's Guide: Hard Data for 2002." This information-packed study has more than 100 pages of results from surveys of some 1,700 directors of online marketing.


Here's the second part of my summary of the findings:

1. DON'T BE NOSY. The report cites NetLine, a marketing program that sent out an offer of a free white paper. One registration form requested contact info plus one optional question. A nearly identical form asked for the same things, but with THREE optional questions. The longer form garnered a 50 percent response from the pre-qualified group, but the short form received a 74.6 percent response. The less you ask, the more you get.

2. OFFER SOMETHING. When consumers were asked by Jupiter Media Metrix what a Web site could promise in exchange for typing in their personal information, 48 percent wanted a chance to win a prize in a sweepstakes. About 31 percent wanted frequent-flier miles or a similar affinity program. But most important, 73 percent wanted a guarantee that the information would not be misused.

3. KEEP IT FRESH. One site, iEntry, which sends 50 million e-mails per month to its opt-in subscribers, noted the percentage of readers who opened each issue. "If they subscribed within the past three months, they open at 85-90 percent," says founder Rich Ord. "If they're two years old, on average they could be down to a 15 percent open rate unless you really revamp content and find new reasons to make them open."

4. MAIL EARLY. More than 3 out of 4 Internet users (76 percent) spend their first few minutes online reading and sending e-mail, according to figures from the U.S. Yankee Group. Gartner estimates that business users spend an average of 49 minutes per day managing their e-mail. This may explain why Travelocity found that it obtains the best results when it sends its messages between 8 a.m. and noon of each recipient's local time.

The report is chock full of other good stuff: e-mail opt-in rates, click-through rates, and much more. You'll find an overview and table of contents of the study at: http://www.sherpastore.com http://bri.li/4e6d

I mentioned last week that MarketingSherpa is also sponsoring the E-Mail Newsletter Publishers Profit Workshop in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14. Registration is $495. Due to an editing error, the Web link you can visit for more information was left out. Here it is: http://www.sherpastore.com http://bri.li/61f5

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1. Webshots.com registers 150,000 new users per week in comeback success story: http://www.cnn.com http://bri.li/435

2. Visa implements new rules for online credit card transactions: http://www.cardforum.com http://bri.li/81d

3. "Micro-size" e-commerce sites profit by staying small and simple: http://www.bizreport.com http://bri.li/c05

4. Elvis Costello music auto-upgrades you to Windows Media Player 9: http://www.theregister.co.uk http://bri.li/fed

5. MIT is posting its materials online for no charge as "OpenCourseWare": http://news.bbc.co.uk http://bri.li/13d5

6. Many online "personals" lead to bogus pay-per-minute telephone lines: http://www.msnbc.com http://bri.li/17bd

7. Eight ways to dramatically increase your sales from online auctions: http://www.auctionbytes.com http://bri.li/1ba5

8. Kevin Yank, "god" of SitePoint, discusses Java, PHP, .Net, and J2EE: http://www.webmasterbase.com http://bri.li/1f8d

9. FTP tips: The basics on File Transfer Protocol and tricks it can do: http://hotwired.lycos.com http://bri.li/2375

10. Woman caught embezzling $2.1 million to buy into African e-mail fraud: http://www.freep.com http://bri.li/275d

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They've finally done it! Researchers at Brunel University in England have invented a clock that checks your local traffic via the Net and wakes you later than usual if there are no tie-ups along your route.

Inventor David Hunt says of using the clock, "I was so punctual it was scary." That may be a wee bit of an exaggeration, but the story makes a thought-provoking and fun read: http://news.bbc.co.uk http://bri.li/c39d

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E-BUSINESS SECRETS: Our mission is to bring you such useful and thought-provoking information about the Web that you actually look forward to reading your e-mail.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: E-Business Secrets is written by InfoWorld contributing editor Brian Livingston: http://SecretsPro.com

Research director is Vickie Stevens. Brian has published 10 books, including:

Windows Me Secrets: http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/0764534939

Windows 2000 Secrets: http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/0764534130

Win a gift certificate good for a book, CD, or DVD of your choice if you're the first to send a tip Brian prints. mailto:Brian@SecretsPro.com

Brian Livingston is publisher of BriansBuzz.com. Send tips to him at brian@briansbuzz.com.

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