Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic October 12, 1998

Seth Greenberg (10/19/98 9:00 AM): this is my first time here

Green Cottage Soap (10/19/98 9:01 AM): Looks like we are early, I will get the coffee :)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

techteam (Larry) (10/19/98 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:01 AM): Get some for me, too, will ya? Milk, no sugar

Green Cottage Soap (10/19/98 9:02 AM): hiya rob

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:02 AM): no tea?

techteam (Larry) (10/19/98 9:02 AM): Hi all

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:02 AM): Hi Louise...What's the deal, no first name any more?

Green Cottage Soap (10/19/98 9:02 AM): hehe

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:03 AM): Well, what's on everyone's minds today?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:03 AM): Well, the trip to IW Fall '98 went real well. I think this is the first time where I was pitching something (in this case, advertising on Freedback.com) where I got 100% acceptance of the idea. That was nice!

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:04 AM): David, YOU run Freedback? I really like it!

Jorge R (10/19/98 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:05 AM): Atta boy, David.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:05 AM): I talked to about three dozen firms. It turned out that the "cheap seat" (basement floor vs. 2nd) yielded the highest percentage of decision-makers who actually occupied the booths!

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:05 AM): Thanks, Louise!

Jorge R (10/19/98 9:05 AM): Hello everyone!

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:06 AM): "seats", not seat

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:06 AM): Whaddya think, Louise, FrankelBiz is about schlock? We're the real thing, baby!!

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:06 AM): Jorge ! Hermano!

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:07 AM): wow... sure u don't want decaf, Rob? ;-)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:07 AM): Okay, who's got a topic or controversy?

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:07 AM): Actually, David, I'm on adrenaline. No food yet today...

Jorge R (10/19/98 9:07 AM): Hola Roberto! Ha Ha.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:07 AM): I'll take American Presidents for 300, Rob. :-)

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:08 AM): really? couldn't tell. (ducking)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:08 AM): Name the only one who was single in office...

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:08 AM): Entered the room.

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:09 AM): I want to hear more about the technology that makes reordering easier? You know we talked about it ages ago? The "one-click" reorder option? Where do I find more info on that? Is it a good idea, or would I rather have repeat customers go through their options again? Maybe make it only for wholesale accounts?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:09 AM): at the beginning or end of their term? :-)

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:09 AM): seems like a cookie and the database should handle that, right?

Dan Miller (10/19/98 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:09 AM): Reordering from a techno or marketing point of view?

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:10 AM): both I think :)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:11 AM): Thanks for making it so much easier Louise...

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:11 AM): let's multitask: I'm setting up some targeting for Freedback.com, and I gotta get some simple hierarchy. I can't take a good existing one because that site would rightfully sue me. Can anyone propose 2-3 of their favorite categorization hierarchies (e.g., LinkExchange's SurfPoint, Liszt's list of lists, etc.)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:12 AM): Well, I'll go for the marketing angle. Personally, I have no problem with cookies, and I believe that ease of use is king.

Jorge R (10/19/98 9:12 AM): ok. what if we talk about the differences between customization and personalization. I think it goes in the same topic Louise has put on the table

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:12 AM): (sorry; I started typing that b4 Louise's topic)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:12 AM): So I fall into the camp where the site recognizes you, preferably without a password.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:13 AM): right, but u have the right to enter in overriding info ("no, I'm not him, I'm me")

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:14 AM): The problem for the foreseeable future is going to be speed of data. If you can do anything to personalize and speed up the process and make it look like customer service, I'm for it.

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:14 AM): Good point David... on a related note, you need to consider if people will log in from different computers...

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:14 AM): (listening, drinking coffee)

Jorge R (10/19/98 9:15 AM): Yes Ira. And even if you are you on the same computer as yesterday, you might be looking for something different

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:15 AM): Speaking of speed of data, anyone have experience marketing to the select few who do have high speed access? Are there *successful* services out there targeted

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:16 AM): Yeah, I mean, passwords really look ridiculous on sites that offer amenities like soap, for example. I think people have varying tolerances for where they are appropriate and where they're not.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:16 AM): yeah, I'm running into a lot of that lately, bit from the perspective of working on the public workstations @ IW '98, as well as changing computers several times recently.

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:16 AM): oops, hit talk to soon... targeted at those with high speed access? (I'll be among those in a few days, when my cable modem is installed :)

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:16 AM): oops, hit talk to soon... targeted at those with high speed access? (I'll be among those in a few days, when my cable modem is installed :)

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:16 AM): oops, hit talk to soon... targeted at those with high speed access? (I'll be among those in a few days, when my cable modem is installed :)

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:16 AM): well can't we do this by giving each repeat customers an id#, so when they enter that, they can just repeat order, or something along those lines?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:17 AM): password might be extreme, but how about asking for one's email address (in exchange for some freebie or something)?

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:17 AM): Maybe the solution is a "friendly password", a prompt that verifies something individual without looking too official.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:17 AM): in the meantime, in the meantime, in the meantime, he's got a modem with hiccups, with hiccups, with hiccups :-)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:18 AM): What we're talking about actually touches on a field that is getting hot, which is gift registries and wish lists.

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:18 AM): Louise, are you looking at providing a way for people who have bought from you before to place reorders, or is there something more than that?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:18 AM): right, Louise, but Rob & I are talking from the marketing angle. I sure won't bother remembering some id # just for soap

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:19 AM): Rob, any specific references for us on gift registries or wish list sites?

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:20 AM): I guess it would/should work like a gift registry

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:20 AM): I have a tough time believing that re-order is a big deal to consumers. Now to wholesale accounts, I think there's definitely a possibility even with a password, because to them ,it's business.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:21 AM): Yes, Ira, contact another FrankelBee, Eva Rosenberg at evarose@earthlink.net

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:21 AM): yes then I should be concentrating on wholesale clients. Once they have bought from me personally.. they can just order from the site.. and then I would normally follow up with a phone call anyway :)

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:21 AM): I think it was Mark Welch that came up with the term "brownies" for the idea of your computer specifically storing certain commonly-typed data, with you needing to click something to say that it was ok to provide these to a given site.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:23 AM): Now, if you decide to encourage repeat consumer visits for gift baskets and such, I think you could entice them into a password to remember their configurations, which would communicate the reasons behind requiring a password. That would be great.

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:24 AM): I would say something like " discount to buy a gift basket?" Please tell us what name you would like us to remember you by?

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:24 AM): Follow it up, perhaps, with a frequent buyers special or benefit...

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:24 AM): actually, a nice compromise for you, Louise, would be to have the cookie just insert the best guess at the right email address, and then says something along the lines, "We can pre-fill-in your order data if you enter your correct email address here". Most of the time, you'll be ok, and even if not, they can over-ride the email address with the correct one. Then, there's still a privacy issue; what if I say, "my address is rob@robfrankel.com", and sees what kind of soap, etc., he likes

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:25 AM): Rob, your point brings up a question... we haven't really asked Louise what her objective is here (we just jumped in and tried to give random advice :)... so, Louise, what are you trying to accomplish?

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:25 AM): OH MY GOD! PEOPLE WILL KNOW WHAT KIND OF SOAP I USE!!!

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:26 AM): (Incidentally, it's okay if you other guys have questions, too.)

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:27 AM): somehow, random advice seems like much more fun, Ira. :-)

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:28 AM): but then we may say (hehe) that if it is good enough for Rob, it must be great LOL

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:28 AM): now THERE's a thought! check up on those testimonials from celeb's that claim, "I use Brand X"

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:29 AM): Assuming of course, I actually use soap.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:30 AM): (notice how the room got real quiet) :-)

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:30 AM): Rob, I try not to assume, you know what happens if you do that.. ;)

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:31 AM): I am just sitting here laughing at that last one LOL

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:32 AM): Alright, what other topics can we degenerate?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:33 AM): categorization/hierarchy ... my question rolled off the end of my screen...

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:34 AM): The idea that Ira & I were talking about in New York is that my ad inventory is worth only a certain amount (without categorization) ...

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:34 AM): Restate your issue, David....in laymen's terms.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:34 AM): I need to start putting together a hierarchy of topics, similar to LinkExchange's JumpPoint

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:35 AM): Each webmaster that uses Freedback.com could voluntarily give me an idea of what their site is about

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:35 AM): Maybe you should begin by briefly stating your operation...

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:36 AM): and if I am able to aggregate enough SpiceGirls sites, it might be of interest to someone trying to reach young teenyboppers

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:37 AM): Freedback.com provides free feedback forms to webmasters, and I then (theoretically) charge advertisers to reach people when each form is submitted

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:37 AM): David, instead of looking at what others are doing (for now anyway) I bet we could help you get most of the way there right now... what type of demographics would people want to reach? Question to all: what target markets are there that you would like to be able to advertise to (assuming you were paying to advertise)?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:37 AM): similar model to LinkExchange; they, too, started without categorization

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:38 AM): good turn-around, Ira

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:38 AM): Okay, for example, I have client that only wants really affluent men and couples. What do I do?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:39 AM): (although I suspect that LE, et. al., went through similar thoughts, unlike Yahoo, who started their hierarchy before commercialization reared its head

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:39 AM): Rob -- charge the client appropriately & run! :-)

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:40 AM): My clients are those that are into "natural" items

Laurie - Bigpacific (10/19/98 9:40 AM): Entered the room.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:40 AM): seriously, though, I think the only way for me to reach that would be to break sites down by category & then pick out things like Porsches and Diamonds; even then, it's no guarantee that the visitors will have money

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:41 AM): So David, what happens -- the visitors fill out forms on these sites, which go through you and feature your banners?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:41 AM): yes

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:41 AM): If Louise gives us her URL, I suspect we'll find one there.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:42 AM): What happens if someone clicks the banner instead of filling out the form? Doesn't your webmaster get ticked off?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:42 AM): whose webmaster?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:43 AM): o, I c. No, the banners don't show until after the form is submitted

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:43 AM): The webmaster for whom you're providing the form.

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:43 AM): you can see one at www.greencottage.com/feedback.htm

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:44 AM): And the webmasters for whom you're providing, what is their motivation for using your forms rather than their own?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:44 AM): actually, I do, in fact, have a bit of (voluntary) self-promotion on each webmaster's site, but it's not a huge banner.

Jorge R (10/19/98 9:44 AM): One question David. So after some visitor fill out a form, they have to use the "back " button twice to return to the site?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:45 AM): Thanks, Louise. (sound of thousands thundering, going to her site to check it out :-)

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:45 AM): I couldn't get my forms to works properly on my server.. and needed to get one going, fast.. freedback was just the ticket

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:45 AM): Rob, many of the bigger ISP's don't provide CGI

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:46 AM): Jorge, once, but yes.

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:46 AM): mine does, but I don't know what I am doing LOL, it doesn't wanna work LOL

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:47 AM): I've actually heard of some ISP's who charge extra for CGI abilities.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:47 AM): Then I believe that organization is definitely the way for you to go, but probably not for the reason you think.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:47 AM): o?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:48 AM): Louise: I'm curious, do you remember how you originally found us (presumably you were looking)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:48 AM): Sometimes you have to lay out your business based on the customer's expectations and comfort levels. In this case, I suspect that most customers view a LACK of hierarchy as the hallmark of a new and untried organization.

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:49 AM): (Just another testimonial - Rob gave me Eva Rosenberg's email address earlier in this chat... I emailed her, she already replied, and it looks like her site is a great fit for at least one of my clients. Thanks Rob! :)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:49 AM): It may have nothing to do with your business, but it is what the customer needs to see. Cosemtic, if nothing else.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:50 AM): Hm. To be honest, I'm not sure how many people would think that all the way through. (i.e., Even though many folks realize how I earn my money, I'm not sure that that is going through their minds at the time that they are setting up their form)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:50 AM): No problemo, Ira. My pleasure. Eva is great.

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 9:50 AM): actually Dave it was either Rob or Ira in one of their posts :)

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:50 AM): interesting, Rob

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:50 AM): I'm pretty sure it was David's FrankelBiz post...

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:51 AM): (plural ;-)

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:51 AM): (plural ;-)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:51 AM): Yeah, David, I find that the #1 problem my clients have is focusing too much on themselves and not enough on their customers. These little issues sway the big deals.

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 9:51 AM): Well, Rob, I was thinking it was probably the tip I did for David's original site. :)

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:52 AM): Gotcha, Rob!

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:52 AM): MTOTD? Yes, that is a possibility.....I suppose....

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:52 AM): (EIGHT MINUTE WARNING)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:53 AM): Laurie or Larry, are we gonna hear form you today?

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:55 AM): Since they're not speaking up, I'll just leave the URL if anyone wants to make some money brokering my ad space (as long as it is the topic for the moment) http://Freedback.com/ad/?frankel

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:56 AM): David, you have an affiliate/referral program? Good man! You should re-post that to the list every once in a while.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:57 AM): You might as well give us the details here...

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:57 AM): Sounds like an invite to me. :-) Actually, I was wondering if YOU would be willing to do that. Although, it's only $1000 referral fee per month, probably not enough to whet your appetite...

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:58 AM): Pretty simple, actually. No fancy database tracking; if someone can bring me a paying advertiser, I'll give them 20%.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:58 AM): You know me, I'm willing to do a deal if it's good business. Let me know.

David Beroff (10/19/98 9:58 AM): And I *do* have an affiliate program for lower-traffic sites. See same URL for a pointer.

RobFrankel (10/19/98 9:59 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 10:00 AM): just an interesting aside.. at what level did you guys decide to have advertising?

David Beroff (10/19/98 10:00 AM): "every once in a while"... though tempting, it might set up a dangerous precedent. Have you ever considered a categorized post hierarchy, in addition to the one you have now? i.e., I want to buy an XYZ, which FB has one at a discount?

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 10:00 AM): David, I'll talk to you later today, but while I think about it... if you can target people who are CPAs, CFOs, or in similar positions, I have a client that will buy in a second... just a bit of motivation for you to get the targeting set up :)

RobFrankel (10/19/98 10:00 AM): Okie doke, bees, I've gotta run before I drop from malnutrition. Feel free to hang out here, as usual, and I'll se you online.

David Beroff (10/19/98 10:00 AM): I started with pay-per-sale sites around February

David Beroff (10/19/98 10:01 AM): I think u mean amt of traffic; I'll have to think about that

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 10:02 AM): yes I do mean amount of traffic :):):) thanks :)

Ira Pasternack (10/19/98 10:02 AM): gotta run too, lunch time here in the east... see ya'll next week :)

Louise the SoapLady (10/19/98 10:03 AM): I am off to the dentist :( see you next week

David Beroff (10/19/98 10:03 AM): I just checked .. around 50k visitors/mo.

Seth Greenberg (10/19/98 10:03 AM): I'm still here to answer all your questions

David Beroff (10/19/98 10:03 AM): Ira, give me a call...

Seth Greenberg (10/19/98 10:06 AM): Ira, I'll call you

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