Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic November 20, 2000

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:00 AM): Gooooooooooood Morning. Dictator getting over a weekend cold. Yecch. (11/20/2000 9:00 AM): Sorry to hear that. Hey, guess who I've been running into about town... Andrea S (W)

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:01 AM): Catering events? Or marketing her invention? (11/20/2000 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Erik ( (11/20/2000 9:01 AM): Rob, I checked out and the site looks great. My question is how do you start a subscription business when you can't afford a lot of content to attract subscribers in the first place? (11/20/2000 9:01 AM): networking events (she's a SoCalNetworking person!) but I do know about her invention, too.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:02 AM): Good question Erik. First you gotta pack your content otherwise there's no value. What kind of content are you looking for?

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:03 AM): Entered the room. (11/20/2000 9:03 AM): Is that the Q of V I see?

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:03 AM): yes

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:04 AM): Erik, what kind of content -- or is that classified? (11/20/2000 9:04 AM): hello all

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:04 AM): hi Regan...if you have an issue, jump right in. We let the new folks go first.... (11/20/2000 9:05 AM): HI!! Fancy meeting you here!

Erik ( (11/20/2000 9:05 AM): I have to license games from publishers and then let my subscribers download them. The hard part is to afford enough licenses to create value for a subscriber. I can defer licensing payments, but that is a hard sell to the publishers. (11/20/2000 9:05 AM): Hi, Patti.

Arik Schenkler (11/20/2000 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:06 AM): Maybe you should aim lower, Erik. Try the independents first who publish their own games and are looking for free publicity and usage. (11/20/2000 9:07 AM): Erik, would it do you any good to put up some public domain stuff, just to increase traffic?

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:07 AM): You're ALWAYS going to have trouble with major labels, who generally demand up front payments and guarantees of downloads/royalties to guard against non-performance.

Jane Tabachnick (11/20/2000 9:08 AM): Entered the room.

Erik ( (11/20/2000 9:08 AM): Valid point, but the independent publishers are small for a reason: Their games are not all that good! (11/20/2000 9:08 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:08 AM): I agree. Packing the content with freeware and shareware is a quick way to puff up your offering. Although you need to make sure it doesn't overload your content, or people with think you're just another shareware site (11/20/2000 9:09 AM): search out the jewels of the public domain games .. that gives them a boost and you value to offer

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:09 AM): True enough, Erik, but you may want to look at this as a staged launch. After all, you're trying to do this on a shoestring. Something's gotta give....

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:10 AM): Hi Stephen....heard we got CANNED from canspeak...<G>

Erik ( (11/20/2000 9:10 AM): JoAnna, yes I could, but I guess the public domain stuff is even lower quality. I guess in a subscriber model quality is better than quantity?

Arik Schenkler (11/20/2000 9:10 AM): Erik what's your site

Erik ( (11/20/2000 9:10 AM): Arik, the site is not yet ready for viewing.

Jane Tabachnick (11/20/2000 9:10 AM): Erik, I have a someone who may be able to help- contact me offline! if you like.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:11 AM): Anyway, Erik, if you can't put the money up, you probably are better off having a section that has FEATURED games, where you put your best stuff.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:11 AM): Make the site free, but the featured stuff for subs. (11/20/2000 9:11 AM): Ouch...I presented you AS THE BEST in the business but the world doesn't always appreciate quality

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:12 AM): AHA! ANOTHER FrankelBiz biz connection! Nice shootin' Jane.

Arik Schenkler (11/20/2000 9:12 AM): I'll talk with you after the session. We are looking for games to activate our emoney system with. (11/20/2000 9:13 AM): My mission is to find another opportunity for you to speak

Erik ( (11/20/2000 9:13 AM): Ok, Jane Ok Arik

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:13 AM): I appreciate it, Stephen...this happens all the time, though. Another lesson in that "sales cycle" thing. part of the biz.

Jane Tabachnick (11/20/2000 9:13 AM): That's only *part* of the beauty of the Fbees!!! great forum Rob!

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:13 AM): Regan, do you have something I can help you with?

christina ( (11/20/2000 9:13 AM): Entered the room. (11/20/2000 9:14 AM): Arik, does your site focus only on Canadian? Are the prices Canadian?

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:15 AM): I'm just tuned in to see what the morning chat is about. I still am looking for an inexpensive database/listserv solution.

Arik Schenkler (11/20/2000 9:15 AM): What? I am from Israel

Jane Tabachnick (11/20/2000 9:15 AM): Regan, what features or goals do you have and what do you consider inexpensive.?

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:16 AM): Actually, Arik is IN Israel....

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:16 AM): Well, it (11/20/2000 9:18 AM): OOPS! I meant Stephen (of CanSpeak)

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:18 AM): Christina, anything I can help YOU with today?

Jane Tabachnick (11/20/2000 9:18 AM): I am about to launch Stratedgymail and have a solution that may work for you- glad to email you the specs.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:18 AM): Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

christina ( (11/20/2000 9:18 AM): I'm just following the chat, Rob . . if that's ok (11/20/2000 9:20 AM): We book speakers anywhere in the world. An American speaker is always paid in US dollars. A Canadian speaking in the US is also paid in US funds.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:20 AM): Okay, if nobody has anything else, then I'll rant on a bit about launching sites, because this is a great time in the market to do the one thing people once SWORE they'd never do....

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:20 AM): The subscribers should be able to easily subscribe and unsubscribe (like w/ egroups) but in addition, they should have the option to input other info (phone number, zip, profession, etc.) based on fields I have selected. I would like that database to be searchable (should I want to send a message only to those for example, with a Venice, CA zip code)and downloadable. Inexpensive? I don't know, not much over several hundred dollars as this is a free service. I expect to send out at least 10,000 messages a week, maybe twice that depending on how the list grows.

Arik Schenkler (11/20/2000 9:20 AM): My main work is on Internet Dollar which is an emoney system. what do you think of such systems?

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:21 AM): 10,000 messages or 10,000 impressions? It doesn't take too long for a list of 200 to generate 10,000 impressions....

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:22 AM): A list that has only 1,000 people, sending 10 messages per day generates 280,000 messages a month.

Erik ( (11/20/2000 9:22 AM): Rob, please rant some more....

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:23 AM): My current list is about 2500+ names, so I was thinking of sending out 1-4 messages a week.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:23 AM): Regan, that math should be....4 messages X 2500 names X 4 weeks per month

CindyNJ (11/20/2000 9:24 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:24 AM): So you're already at 40,000 a month....

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:24 AM): yes, and I expect the list to grow.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:25 AM): Hi Cindy...jump in if you have a question. WE try to let the new people go first. Erik, I'll get back to that in a minute....

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:25 AM): Regan, who are you using to host this list?

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:25 AM): I haven

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:27 AM): I haven't anyone hosting it now. I export the email addresses from my Filemaker database and cut and paste into Outlook, blindcopying a few hundred at a time. I know, it's embarrassing.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:28 AM): Arik, to answer your question, I take all my payments in $US, either wired directly of through VISA/MC/AMEX. Occasionally, PayPal. It depends on the deal. For example, my book and tapes are all credit card.

Jane Tabachnick (11/20/2000 9:28 AM): How does about $25/50,000 emails sound- with rich capabilities and hosting of list? email me if that sounds like a good #. By the way I need help with my tagline for stratedgymail a permission emarketing/ezine solution.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:29 AM): Not embarrassing, it's smart as long as your administrative tasks don't overwhelm you.

Arik Schenkler (11/20/2000 9:29 AM): So, what do you think of emoney?

Jane Tabachnick (11/20/2000 9:29 AM): Arik, by emoney do you mean alternative epayment solutions?

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:29 AM): It's so overwhelming, that I've taken a hiatus from doing it.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:30 AM): Not familiar enough with it, Arik. And quite frankly, the last issue I want to deal with is yet Another method of payment with ANOTHER application to set up and monitor.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:30 AM): Regan, you may want to look at

Arik Schenkler (11/20/2000 9:31 AM): electronic money is a value defined by digits (string)

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:31 AM): Okay, I will. Do you know anyone who's had experience with ListBot?

Arik Schenkler (11/20/2000 9:31 AM): Regan look at John Audette -

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:32 AM): Thank you Arik, I will.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:33 AM): Gotta tell you, Arik, there are wonderful secondary advantages to credit cards. For one thing, they're generally pre-qualified buyers. It also drops the barrier to purchase: most people have them and so purchasing is simply a matter of typing in the number.

christina ( (11/20/2000 9:33 AM): I use ListBot but I don't have a huge list

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:34 AM): John Audette isn't totally thrilled with ListBot, BTW. Allan Gardyne swears by postmaster general, though. I haven't checked out Postmaster yet.

Arik Schenkler (11/20/2000 9:34 AM): Rob - thanks

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:34 AM): That's the issue, Christina. You might as well do this stuff yourself when the list is small. It's when the list grows into the thousands that things start getting rough and expensive.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:35 AM): We also have FrankelBees who host lists: Sharon Tucci and both host.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:36 AM): I think Sharon's site is and is where I host my other sites. They include list services with their hosting. make sure you tell BOTH I sent you if you contact them.

ReganK (11/20/2000 9:36 AM): okay, thanks.

christina ( (11/20/2000 9:37 AM): I have to take off -- thanks for letting me listen everyone :)

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:37 AM): Anyway, let me tell you what I've found recently that has really helped me launch new sites. It's totally great:

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:39 AM): As you know, people are absolutely freaking out with all the talk about the "dot com meltdown." A lot of folks are re-thinking their investments and wondering if they jumped in too quickly.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:39 AM): I'm not talking about the mega-sties, but smaller and mid-size sites, mainly run by one or two man teams.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:41 AM): Christmas is staring us in the face and everyone is looking to bring in more bucks, which makes this the perfect time to approach these types with a fair and equitable offer to LEASE their membership lists.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:41 AM): This is a quick transaction and it can be done no matter what kind of privacy policy the site host has with its membership.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:43 AM): We're doing this with a site right now and it's a great way to push your launch along much faster: all you need to do is find the site that's brand compatible with -- but not competitive with -- your own. Contact the owners and ask them how many names they can send to. Tell them you DON'T want to own the list. You just want them to send a message on your behalf.

Joel ( (11/20/2000 9:45 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:45 AM): Incidentally, if you read almost everyone's privacy policy, it says that the owner will not release your name to third parties. It DOESN;T prevent the list owner from contacting them for anything, which in this case, would be about your site. (11/20/2000 9:46 AM): Hi, Joel, long time no see!

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:46 AM): In fact, if you present this correctly, you should be able to convince the owners that this is an added value to his/her list. You'd be amazed at how well this works, even with lists that only have a few hundred members on them....

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:47 AM): And this is DEFINITELY the season to be hunting down these kinds of deals.

Hi all! (11/20/2000 9:47 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:47 AM): Uh oh....Hi ALL, you wanna sign in again with your name?

Joel ( (11/20/2000 9:48 AM): Entered the room.

Joel ( (11/20/2000 9:49 AM): Hi all (again). Sorry. I got bumped off the server and forgot to log in again.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:49 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:52 AM): Anyway, a NEWSLETTER will be going out today about it...

Joel ( (11/20/2000 9:52 AM): Hi Rob. What you call leasing lists, I call "solo private mailers". It's the same thing. The advertiser supplies the content and the company receiving the ad $ mails it out on their list. Very effective if the list is targeted to the same audience!

Joel ( (11/20/2000 9:53 AM): I just suggest to my clients that they have a specific space for visitors/members to receive

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:54 AM): And I find that a quick check made out to the owner makes a VERY compelling argument to action.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:55 AM): You can literally negotiate your own rate, because most site owners have no policy or pricing guide on this

Joel ( (11/20/2000 9:56 AM): ... for their visitors to opt-in "to receive special offers from our affiliates". If they agree, then they can be sent certain solo private mailers. If not, then they just receive the content from my client that they have requested.

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:57 AM): Yeah, I like the idea of making the site owner a hero to his/her fans by offering them an added value, even if that added value is simply pointing them in our direction. Of course, this assumes that your product/service isn't crapola....

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

RobFrankel ( (11/20/2000 9:59 AM): Okie doke,'s more hot tea and aspirin for me....I'll see you all online!

Joel ( (11/20/2000 10:00 AM): They key is this: does the audience want to receive the info? If the site demographics are high income (i.e. a stock market site) you can be sure that they would be interested in luxury motor vehicles, and that the luxury car companies want to "lease" that list..

Joel ( (11/20/2000 10:01 AM): Bye all! I hope you're feeling better Rob. Joanna, I hope to see you soon.

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