Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic March 27, 2000

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:01 AM): Wow, this is the first time in a long time that I've been first to arrive!

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:02 AM): No one is here but you and I, I'll take your advice, Changed recently, thoughts? (3/27/2000 9:02 AM): Entered the room. (3/27/2000 9:03 AM): Entered the room. (3/27/2000 9:03 AM): Good morning, Gentlemen! (3/27/2000 9:03 AM): Pretty odd. Usually there's a crowd lined up outside the door.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:04 AM): Instead of having the usual "I am a store" banter, we put up one of Susan's newest pieces. (Hi JoAnna!)

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:04 AM): Going there...

Mike (3/27/2000 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:05 AM): this just Susan's page or is it the gateway to all artists?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:07 AM): It's cleanly laid out. Nice. But I'm confused here.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:07 AM): Only Susan.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:07 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:08 AM): It's cleanly laid out. Nice. But I'm confused here. (3/27/2000 9:08 AM): Rob's impression is the same as I got...

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:08 AM): Only Susan is in the gallery.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:08 AM): So I got here from another page that listed your artists? The reason I ask is that the user probably expects the artist to headline.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:09 AM): Entered the room. (3/27/2000 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:09 AM): This is one instance, Yancey, that I think you'd want to go with the user's offline expectations. They want to know they've walked into a win of a gallery, no? Dediatec to one artist's work?

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:10 AM): "Dedicated"

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:11 AM): Do you carry other artists? Because if you do, then Susan would be your "featured artist", inviting exploration of others.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:11 AM): Susan will always be the only artist. The gallery is her showing only.

Joel (3/27/2000 9:12 AM): Entered the room.

Joel (3/27/2000 9:12 AM): Hi Folks. Good morning

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:12 AM): So a blurb up front about how this is a single artists exhibition?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:13 AM): Also, Yancey, I'd still like to see some sort of descriptor or tag line that summarizes in one phrase what DW is and why it's the right solution. Should be on every page. (3/27/2000 9:13 AM): Hello, Joel! (and all you others, introduce yourselves!)

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:13 AM): We have information like that in a welcome letter.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:13 AM): "blurb"

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:14 AM): People only read long copy if they headlines and images force them into it. So yes, make it clear and compelling.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:14 AM): Mike and Joel -- welcome. Jump right in. WE let the newer people go first.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:15 AM): I've been working on the tag line, haven't perfected it yet.

Joel (3/27/2000 9:15 AM): I wanted to hold back and get a feel first - thanks

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:16 AM): It's important, Yancey. Art is a tough enough sell as it is.

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:16 AM): I will throw out a branding question - If you had a hyphen name like (I do), what would you do? Not much you can I guess but sell. Branding nightmare (like Mattress Discounters - leave off the s for savings; - add the

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:17 AM): It is an almost impossible sell. We don't have to depend on it selling. This is a labor of love.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:17 AM): Don't sweat it Joel. What's the worst that can happen -- total humiliation in front of a few folks on a global platform?

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:17 AM): Current contender for short tag: Enjoy a delightful experience.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:18 AM): Mickie -- hyphenates are the bastard offspring of domain names. Nobody who is serious about e-commerce would invest in one, with a few exceptions.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:18 AM): Yancey -- too general. The art has to play in there somewhere.

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:18 AM): So probably not worth the $70? (3/27/2000 9:19 AM): Hi all! Yancey, can't a labor of love still make money?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:19 AM): An example of hyphenates that DO work are, for example, a client of mine:, where the "i-" is understood to mean "internet".. Same things with "e-".

Mike (3/27/2000 9:19 AM): Entered the room.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:20 AM): It would be nice if it would! We are bring on a few other lines that have better selling capabilities than art.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:20 AM): Well, Mickie, chances are that anyone with a legit interest in the hyphenated URL would likely sue you for it anyway. So if you don't have a legit use for it, I'd let it go. We have a FrankelBee in that biz... (3/27/2000 9:20 AM): Your short tag line doesn't motivate me to buy.

Joel (3/27/2000 9:20 AM): I'm looking for some web site developers (hopefully in the L.A. area) who specialize in retail B2C. Any leads?

Mike (3/27/2000 9:21 AM): Entered the room. (3/27/2000 9:21 AM): what kind, Joel? check out

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:21 AM): What I tell clients is that the cheapest insurance they can buy is to scoop up all the variations of their names now, including the hyphenates, .net, .com. org. ended up getting all 24 variations.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:22 AM): What would motivate you to buy. i.e. You can only get Susan Rose here...?

Mike (3/27/2000 9:22 AM): Hi all, first time in...

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:22 AM): Joel, if you post that to FrankelBiz, you'll get knocked over with responses. But I've got a few that I use, too. DO you have a budget?

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:22 AM): Some times it is tough when you are too close.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:23 AM): Yes, Yancey. Frankel's DIY Corollary: Doing it yourself works -- for suicide, but not much else.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:23 AM): Hi Mike -- what's going on?

Mike (3/27/2000 9:23 AM): Well, just checking this out, wonder what you all do here?

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:24 AM): I know this all to well, it's hard deciding what to do and what to farm out. And I do use quite a few experts in their area. I think about this law daily!!! (thanks) (3/27/2000 9:24 AM): I don't mind that it's a single artist forum, I like her work.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:24 AM): We mainly sit around at our computers in our bathrobes drinking coffee.... (3/27/2000 9:25 AM): Speaking personally, I would love to have more artwork, my inhibiting factor is cost.

Joel (3/27/2000 9:25 AM): Thanks JoAnna. I need couponing capability (esp. delivered thru e-mail) and of course requisite dbase building and mining capability

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:25 AM): No, just kidding. I'm a branding specialist, mainly for online companies and startups, but I also consult to existing and offline businesses. (3/27/2000 9:25 AM): Earl Gray over here...

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:26 AM): Jo Anna is in Human Resources, MSallen is a Virtual Assistant...

Mike (3/27/2000 9:26 AM): Ahh, how very nice...

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:26 AM): I believe Mickie runs a few different marketing lists (3/27/2000 9:26 AM): Rob, your typing makes me cringe.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:26 AM): Michele, MY typing makes ME cringe... (3/27/2000 9:27 AM): No, Msallen, I'm going with the new and improved spelling of resources

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:27 AM): I run (general interest lists) and (press release services).

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:27 AM): Rob doesn't type, he talks into a mic and the computer botches the spelling. (just kidding)

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:27 AM): Essentially, Mike we're the live version of the FrankelBiz list. Anyone can drop in to grow their business or get free consulting from me personally.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:27 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:27 AM): And of course, everyone drops in to personally humiliate and abuse me. (3/27/2000 9:28 AM): Mickie, running any fb discounts? I'm in the market (my HR association, really)

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:28 AM): Yancey, do you have any idea how expensive a spelling botcher is -- for a MAC?

Mike (3/27/2000 9:28 AM): Heh, sorry for the drop, I got a nasty ISP

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:28 AM): Always, just send an email --<g>

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:29 AM): I just translate from German to Spanish back to English, that usually does it.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:29 AM): Wonderful, you'll see me here next week

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:30 AM): Mike brings up a good point. ISP drops are part of life for most (I graduated to DSL) but so many sites and order forms don't take into account. (3/27/2000 9:30 AM): Rob, is there an exercise you could suggest to develop a good tag line?

Mike (3/27/2000 9:30 AM): Aye, I am thinking of jumping onto DSL, but the $50+ per month isn't worth it just quite yet :-P

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:31 AM): Well, the first step is to try and write something really clear -- and really boring, (3/27/2000 9:31 AM): Mike, DSL is heaven on earth.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:31 AM): The biggest problem people have with writing tag lines is that they try to be clever with them and end up with dopey puns that their Mother thinks is cute but doesn't mean anything. (3/27/2000 9:31 AM): Okay, I have gotten that far.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:32 AM): So First Step: Write want you want the other guys is supposed to understand in plain, simple English. Once you have that, consider THEIR problems and how you solve those problems.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:33 AM): The only place to buy art from the new master, Susan Rose. (to much?)

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:33 AM): You will find that language works in funny ways. very often, you can borrow phrases and concepts from the market environment that can also be applied to the specific situation you want to solve.

Joel (3/27/2000 9:33 AM): I gotta go. I'll put out a FrankelBiz request. Thanks!

Mike (3/27/2000 9:33 AM): all, what do you think of topica for a newsletter list?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:34 AM): You'll find the best taglines do NOT use puns. They use crossover concepts that apply equally to both meanings, which is why they are more memorable.

ken varga (3/27/2000 9:34 AM): Entered the room.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:34 AM): Mike, I am very pleased with Topica.

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:34 AM): I switched my lists to Topica (a dream). Good customer service.

ken varga (3/27/2000 9:35 AM): Hi Rob, It's tough remembering 12 noon here, sorry for being late

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:35 AM): For a small list, they're fine. So are egroups and onelist.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:35 AM): But once you get past 500 members, ouch.

Terra (3/27/2000 9:35 AM): Entered the room.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:35 AM): But, what's the catch?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:36 AM): No problem, Ken.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:36 AM): They charge past 500?

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:36 AM): No catch for now. They can put ads in lists which is bad (there are options for removing them).

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:36 AM): They have just added the option of having ads in your newsletter, no catch, you can turn it off.

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:37 AM): Does anyone here conduct credit card transactions?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:37 AM): Mickie, what's the downside at Topica?

Mike (3/27/2000 9:37 AM): Wow, so they basically give away up to 500 people per list with the option of ads? are they nuts?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:37 AM): I do credit cards, Mickie. Why?

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:37 AM): Mickie, I do.

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:37 AM): I ask as I received a notice from Card Service Int'l today saying eCommerce merchants now face new rules from Mastercard.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:37 AM): I do Mickie

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:38 AM): If your chargeback rate goes over 1 percent for a couple of months, fines are minimum $25k a month and up. (3/27/2000 9:38 AM): Yup. but I don't have a merchant number, I use PayPal Https://

Mike (3/27/2000 9:38 AM): Mastercard makes me shiver just thinking of the rules and contract...

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:38 AM): How can anyone live under those terms. It appears this is MasterCard's new get-tough on fraud tact. $25k would wipe me out.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:38 AM): I haven't received anything yet. So far, CardService has been pretty good for me. I use them on http;// for the book.

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:39 AM): But if this is Mastercard (which CardService insists), it will change Internet. Industry Standard said most merchants are facing up to 7 percent chargeback rates for consumer goods.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:39 AM): Its not really CardService, its intellipay and the banks, CardService is just the reseller of the service

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:39 AM): With good customer service you will have very few charge backs. This is for only when the customer disputes the claim and you can't back it up.

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:40 AM): I don't have chargeback problem but raising the bar of such a risk ($25k a month) is scary.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:40 AM): Mickie: How large can you go with a free list on Topica?

Teri McCready - ( (3/27/2000 9:40 AM): Entered the room.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:40 AM): 7 percent chargeback is way to high for any merchant, maybe 7 percent returns?

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:40 AM): I have a poetry list about 10,000 subs and all are delivered (I pepper with my own emails) within 10 minutes. I was using paid service and took an hour or longer to deliver all.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:41 AM): Funny thing is, they make you do chargebacks, there is no way you could, say send the customer a check for the chargeback

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:41 AM): Rob I think Mickie said his Poetry list has 9,000+ ! (Way to go Mickie)

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:41 AM): Topica has infrastructure and money in place for now but not sure if business model will support long-term viability.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:41 AM): ... as far as I understand

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:42 AM): Mickie: and there are no restrictions or costs with Topica -- you can do it ad-free? What about list name ownership and management tools?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:42 AM): I gotta tell ya, I shopped all of them because I was about to switch out of Messagemedia, but none had the infrastructure of my present supplier.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:43 AM): You can do it ad-free and you can easily download your entire list. When you merge lists they will do an automatic purge.

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:43 AM): I am talking with a few journalists today about Mastercard thing as I think it really is a big deal. Back to Topica. You have to talk to them about that as we negotiated ad-sharing revenue which is very good considering their CPM rates. So far (a month

Mike (3/27/2000 9:43 AM): Do you think having a "free" list like topica hurts your online rep or credibility?

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:44 AM): When you do add in the ads, you get credit so you can place ads or cash out.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:44 AM): And they don't claim to own the names, right? Can anyone tell me how they're supposed to make money?

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:44 AM): Mastercard also made it to where the consumer no longer has to pay the first $50 of fraud.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:44 AM): from the ads they put in users emails

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:45 AM): Mike, you bring up a good point. I wanted to brand the FrankelBiz list, so I made sure the posting address was to

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:45 AM): They make money by me buying ad space in Mickie's Poetry list if he has the ads turned on.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:45 AM): what about visa, are they going to follow and kill the first $50 fraud as well?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:45 AM): ...And I wanted a pure, uncluttered environment.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:46 AM): Rob, so it does hurt?

Teri McCready - ( (3/27/2000 9:46 AM): Late arrival. Rob, which list manager do you use?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:46 AM): Yancey, I don't give that much of a chance. Really serious list hosts are getting $2500 a month for hosting, leaving it up to the list owner to sell ads themselves.

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:47 AM): Right. You own names always as well as content.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:47 AM): Mike I think it does. Especially for an environment like FrankelBiz, where the emphasis is on high ethics and standards. The minute I dilute it with someone else trying to make a buck off members, my credibility goes out the door. That's why sponsors can

Mike (3/27/2000 9:48 AM): For $2500, you can setup your own server... ouch

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:48 AM): Terri, I happen to use Messagemedia, which grew from Revnet. I was paying under $100 a month for FrankelBiz hosting and then they decided they wanted $2500!!!

Mike (3/27/2000 9:48 AM): But for a small online business, its fine for a start?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:48 AM): We had a "conversation" and now it's back to where it should be....

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:49 AM): I was "not doing it myself" and choose Topica after researching all the others. Now, if I had the money, I would use Sparks.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:49 AM): Hum, seems Rob they wanted to get a piece of your pie...

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:49 AM): Yeah, Mike, for a small business, I wouldn't sweat it. You can always change later.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:49 AM): Why Yancey?

Teri McCready - ( (3/27/2000 9:50 AM): Ouch. I've had great service from Sparklist. They use a value-added Lyris software and you can do what you need for much less. I'll send you my sales guy's name/# if you want. Phone support is also helpful.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:50 AM): You also gotta remember, Mike, that FrankelBiz started over two years ago and resources and the landscape was totally different. Far less sophisticated.

Mike (3/27/2000 9:51 AM): Why don't business get a clue and not be so greedy?

Mike (3/27/2000 9:51 AM): Oh, so this was not recent, it was a while ago?

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:51 AM): Sure Terri. Zap it to me. you never know when you have to switch. Which is why I always recommend downloading and backing up your subscriber lists AT LEAST once a week.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:52 AM): I've been on the receiving end of may SparksList and they have me sold on their brand for a strong list hosting company. Purely emotional, only hard facts is evidence.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:52 AM): Messagemedia attempted to "renegotiate" about two months ago. When I called in senior management and told them I was one of their first clients, referred them a ton of business and could just as easily tell horror stories about suppliers, they graciously

Mickie ( (3/27/2000 9:53 AM): Also, (affordable options and Sharon Tucci is great asset to listing community). I went with Topica as they twisted my arm ($).

Mike (3/27/2000 9:53 AM): Ahh

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:53 AM): reconsidered their rate hike.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:55 AM): Don't forget that Sharon Tucci is a FrankelBee. She'll give you a great rate, too.

Yancey ( (3/27/2000 9:55 AM): Thanks for the help today Rob, that was actually my first question.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:56 AM): (FIVE MINUTE WARNING) (3/27/2000 9:56 AM): 100 to 2500 is a huge hike. Don't they have a scale based on subscriber volume?

Mike (3/27/2000 9:56 AM): Well, thanks all, wish you well this week, see you again next week. :-)

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:57 AM): Yes, they do. But they restructured from the days of "hey, it's an extra $100 a month we can earn" to today's complicated bandwidth/volume model.

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES) (3/27/2000 9:59 AM): Bye all!

RobFrankel ( (3/27/2000 10:00 AM): Okay, folks, that should do it for today....have a great week and I'll see you line!

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