Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic December 14, 1998

RobFrankel (12/14/98 8:59 AM): I'm back! Did ya miss me?

Joe Chapuis (12/14/98 8:59 AM): Hello, anyone home?

Muhammad (12/14/98 8:59 AM): Perhaps

Dave (12/14/98 9:00 AM): Rob do you give advice about Ad Brokers

Scottm cosimall.com (12/14/98 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Dave (12/14/98 9:00 AM): Rob do you give advice about Ad Brokers

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:00 AM): Boy, the way you guys networked last week, it's a wonder you even remember me...sniff, sniff...

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:00 AM): I want to know what was so important that you missed last week.

Scottm cosimall.com (12/14/98 9:00 AM): Morning All!

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:01 AM): Dave, I give advice about everything. What did you want to know?

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:01 AM): Benjamin, I had a meeting with another huge potential sponsor for us.

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:01 AM): Scott I tried to E-mail you, but I kept getting some weird kind of error

Scottm cosimall.com (12/14/98 9:02 AM): I'll mail you after the "confab" Muhammad... Been battling a spammer

Joe Chapuis (12/14/98 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:03 AM): Yuck! That happened to us a few weeks ago, 45 messages every hour for two days. A real pain.

Dave (12/14/98 9:05 AM): I have been using Ad-Venture as my ad broker and I have terminated my contract with them because I was forced to accept Click Through Rate ads that were not targeted to my site and, as a consequence, got lousy results. I need advice on how to choose a news broker and where to look. (I get about 600,000 page impressions per month)

Louise the SoapLady (12/14/98 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Scottm cosimall.com (12/14/98 9:05 AM): My humble advice... Sell them yourself Dave

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:06 AM): Dave, I'm a big fan of pay-per-sale sites. have you looked into Safe Audit?

Dave (12/14/98 9:08 AM): I had Barnes and Nobel for three months and after 1,000,000 impressions made $1.50

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:08 AM): Rob, when you say per sale, do you mean per sale of ad space, or per sale generated by banners on your site?

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:09 AM): Well, let me clarify that. There are two types of ad brokers out there: pirates and legit.

Joe Chapuis (12/14/98 9:09 AM): RE: Safe-Audit - my experience with them has been horrible - NO customer service, questionable reporting, difficulty logging-in, ad nauseum...

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:10 AM): In my experience, 99% are pirates, because they're selling eyeballs and air. These are not business people. They're salesmen. You want someone who ties the action to transactions.

Dave (12/14/98 9:10 AM): A pay per sale contract would have to be highly targeted ads otherwise no one both clicks and, also, buys

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:11 AM): To me, that means you go to the legit types whose clients are more prone to arrangements like pay per sale, because ultimately, that proves your site's advertising effectiveness.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:11 AM): Joe, I'm surprised to hear that. Leo Sheiner (Safe Audit) is a pretty honorable and ethical guy.

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:12 AM): I think the question should be do you want a broker to represent your site, or do you want to buy ads through a broker?

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:13 AM): HOWEVER, that having been said, I'm actually more in Scott's camp. YOU know who would best prosper from advertising on your site. You're better off selling it yourself.

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:13 AM): That's a good argument from the Advertisers side, but as someone selling ad space. I think that it is a better idea to sell ad space based on Impressions delivered. If the advertiser designs poor banners, has a bad product, etc, it will affect your bottom line

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:13 AM): Incidentally, this is one area that I'm working on for the FrankelBiz network.

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:13 AM): If you want someone to represent your site you probably will have a harder time working with a pay per click agency

Louise the SoapLady (12/14/98 9:13 AM): Hi Guys! So here is a newbie-type question... If the target site isn't generating sales ( poor layout, whatever...) Does the ad manager for this method of payment check these out first? Or does he just normally take the client before checking things out? Like who is to blame if the site isn't generating sales? Does the ad manager also know click rates as well?

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:14 AM): In terms of dollars just sell by the impression, you won't see Yahoo, Excite et all selling ad space on a pay per sale basis.

Joe Chapuis (12/14/98 9:14 AM): Rob - I've heard mixed feelings about him. I know he contributes quite a bit to discussions (i.e. Link Digest), and has a decent online rep. I also know that recently, a major freebie site who relies heavily on pay-per-action ads has dropped him completely for the reasons I mentioned.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:15 AM): Louise, the safest strategy is always "caveat emptor" -- buyer beware. Even if your broker checks it, YOU should check the site out before you buy anything.

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:15 AM): It would really depend on the web site. can you tell us more about your site? If you are only making money from advertising, if you are selling products, etc?

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:16 AM): I wonder if I heard the same story, Joe. I heard Leo's side, and I can safely say that there's lots of room for interpretation there.

Louise the SoapLady (12/14/98 9:16 AM): Thanks Rob

Scottm cosimall.com (12/14/98 9:16 AM): I always handle sales in-house... Can keep our customers better serviced that way.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:17 AM): Let me just take a minute to explain the duty of advertising: The function of advertising is to get people to your site, NOT to make them buy. That's YOUR job.

Joe Chapuis (12/14/98 9:17 AM): On one of my sites, FreebieZone.com, I make all of my $ on pay-per-action. My personal experience with S-A has been poor. I can't count on them. Apparently, Leo's been having quite a few tech problems lately.

Heather Martin (12/14/98 9:17 AM): Entered the room.

Dave (12/14/98 9:17 AM): It seems to me that cpm or ctr or cpa all have their place. If my site is good for sales of toothpaste cpa doesn't make sense even with a 100% ctr.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:18 AM): I think Scott has the best approach here. The truth is that there are very few brokers who really know what they're doing. Most rely on techno-babble to sell clients on their services. Few can demonstrate real bottom line results.

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:18 AM): If you are driving traffic to your site because you are selling a product, then you might want to try bartering your ads out in exchange for advertising on other sites

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:19 AM): Let's clarify, are we talking about buying ad space or selling it? I'm talking about selling by the way.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:19 AM): I use bartering as a last resort. people take you far more seriously when you shake cash in front of their faces.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:20 AM): We're talking about selling ad space on your site and getting someone with a reliable track record.

Dave (12/14/98 9:21 AM): I am trying to sell ad space on my site. I have a "time" problem so, if I could get an decent ad agency to represent me It would be worth it.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:21 AM): But this really goes to the issues I first wrote about in "Kiss My Ads" for Ziff Davis last year: Relying on advertising as a primary revenue strategy is a BIG mistake.

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:21 AM): That's what I thought! When you mentioned the duty of advertising and of selling you product, it looked like things were diverting.

Scottm cosimall.com (12/14/98 9:22 AM): Rob is right on that one.. We treat advertising revenue as "found money"

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:22 AM): Dave, have you tried it in-house, using someone on a part commission basis?

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:22 AM): Since we are on this topic. What about niche advertising networks or brokers

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:22 AM): Is there a market for these?

Dave (12/14/98 9:22 AM): Unfortunately ad revenue is my only near term option

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:23 AM): If I have access to a group of several thousand sites in a niche

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:23 AM): On the web, the more your niche, the better you do. I'd start there, figuring that those are where people pay for high quality leads.

Karyn Zoldan (12/14/98 9:23 AM): Entered the room.

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:23 AM): Might it be worth it to setup my own network.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:23 AM): Dave, how much are you looking to make? I mean, we have paid advertisers on FrankelBiz, but it's because we deliver a very responsive, motivated audience.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:24 AM): Benjamin, if you could deliver a niche like nobody else, you bet you would have a business there.

Dave (12/14/98 9:24 AM): I have contacted Double Click and 2can and 27/7 and Burst and Flycast and Cliq Now, Etc. I am either to small or I feel I would get burned with a CTR program

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:25 AM): I'm not crazy about any of those. Back when I wrote for ClickZ, I took DoubleClick to task for that.

Dave (12/14/98 9:25 AM): I need to generate $3K per month on 600,000 PI

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:25 AM): This is one area I expect to develop for FrankelBiz -- a small business advertising brokerage that really delivers.

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:26 AM): Dave, if you are the lovepoetry.com guy drop me a line after the list, I have an Interesting opp for you.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:26 AM): Another tip: I don't quote CTR's or membership data to ANY advertiser. I keep their eye on the ball: response. Lots of advertisers walk away, but I let them. The ones that stay get results.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:27 AM): Move away from selling CTR's, start selling your response rates. you'll get better and more loyal sponsors. Also, offer programs.

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:27 AM): Good idea Rob, I work with a lot of medium sized businesses that are not quite large enough to get a fair shake

Tasha AcquiredTaste.com (12/14/98 9:27 AM): Entered the room.

Dave (12/14/98 9:28 AM): Yes! http://www.lovepoetry.com Thanks for your past help

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:28 AM): Muhammad, if these next two sponsors come through, it will blow your mind!!!!

Richard (12/14/98 9:30 AM): Entered the room.

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:30 AM): Dave, I've got an interesting deal for you.

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:30 AM): Sounds good Rob,

Dave (12/14/98 9:30 AM): Bless you

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:32 AM): Just a check here: Does anyone else only show three names in the bottom "Who's Here" box?

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:32 AM): I've got 12 or 13

Louise the SoapLady (12/14/98 9:32 AM): Weeelll Rob, I don't show anyone, I have just the main frame here :(

Dave (12/14/98 9:32 AM): I think I have contacted all the "known" brokers and I have come up empty. Rob-- if you are really going into ad brokerage let me know. I'm interested.

Scottm cosimall.com (12/14/98 9:33 AM): That's just you Rob...

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:34 AM): Dave why not try some trading some free ads for now until you get your user base built up, since you are having problems reaching brokers due to your size

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:34 AM): Okay, it must be just me. Thanks. On to more stuff: Who's next?

Dave (12/14/98 9:35 AM): I have a minimum amount of cash I need to pay poem editors and to have a site designer add features.

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:35 AM): Ahh.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:36 AM): Dave, what ancillary programs do you offer?

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:36 AM): Than definitely drop me a line Dave, I might be able to help in both departments

Dave (12/14/98 9:37 AM): Rob, could you clarify.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:38 AM): Dave, I find that at most of us start out in one business and end up in another. Give your audience more reasons to pay you more, by providing them with opportunities to buy different things.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:39 AM): For example, what are you doing to create a poetry community? What can a nominal monthly membership fee deliver to that audience -- especially those trying to get published?

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:39 AM): I second that one, I started out as a Audio Engineer!

Dave (12/14/98 9:40 AM): At the present time I am not selling anything except ad space. Selling is Phase 2. As of now the site, including poem editing, is free

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:41 AM): Dave, are your visitors poets looking for fame and fortune and publishing?

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:41 AM): You should charge for editing and publishing, If I wrote poetry I would pay to have my poem seen by a 100K plus people a month.

Dave (12/14/98 9:43 AM): average age 17, 75% Female, average poems per poet =3, average poems read per visit = 15

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:44 AM): Dave are you getting 100K visitors or page requests?

Louise the SoapLady (12/14/98 9:45 AM): wow what a targeted audience!

Dave (12/14/98 9:45 AM): 600,000 PI/Mo. 7,000 poems on the site

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:46 AM): Sounds to me like Dave needs to partner with one of these Wedding Planning web sites.

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:46 AM): Targeted with a capital T

Louise the SoapLady (12/14/98 9:47 AM): well Ben, I disagree, a little young LOL, still in the throes of teenage angst

Dave (12/14/98 9:47 AM): I would think Revlon would jump. Get Y/M magazine and see the advertisers. I don't have the time, though

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:47 AM): Dave, you should be making bucks by now. If I were getting that much action on this site, I'd be ready to retire by now....

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:47 AM): I sure I can find an Intern to do that.

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:48 AM): Louise, you mean to tell me you didn't think about planning your wedding years before you were even engaged? ;)

Louise the SoapLady (12/14/98 9:48 AM): Dave, it sounds to me like these ladies would like some romantic products wink wink like bath products maybe?

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:48 AM): Your main issue Dave, is NOT advertising. It's your program structure. You don't have one.

Louise the SoapLady (12/14/98 9:48 AM): hey Ben, in a past life, I WAS a wedding consultant LOL

Louise the SoapLady (12/14/98 9:48 AM): hey Ben, in a past life, I WAS a wedding consultant LOL

Joe Chapuis (12/14/98 9:49 AM): Rob - before you go - did you get my email Friday RE: choosing a name for a shopping search engine site?

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:49 AM): I was a wedding consultant for one day. I said, "yes."

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:49 AM): Or Soap perhaps, cosmetics, magazines, etc etc

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:49 AM): Yes, I did Joe.

Joe Chapuis (12/14/98 9:50 AM): Anything seem interesting - at least from a branding point of view?

Bob King (12/14/98 9:50 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:50 AM): Out of all of them, I thought ShoppingOnly.com was best

Dave (12/14/98 9:51 AM): Rob, My "program" is at: http://www.lovepoetry.com/advertising/backgrounder.html

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:51 AM): (EIGHT MINUTE WARNING)

Joe Chapuis (12/14/98 9:51 AM): Hmm... How about GoShopNow.com ?

Bob King (12/14/98 9:52 AM): How often can we offer our specials to your group?

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:52 AM): Dave, if you want to do business, contact me offline. I see potential here.

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:52 AM): There is a limit on that?

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:52 AM): Bob, contact me at rob@robfrankel.com

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:53 AM): Nah, Joe, if you're going after the public at large, make it easy and memorable. As direct as possible.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:54 AM): Besides, ShoppingOnly really niches you, and people like that.

Joe Chapuis (12/14/98 9:54 AM): That's why I thought TheShoppingDirectory.com had potential - no?

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:55 AM): TheShoppingDirectory.com is okay, but "the" bothers me. I'd only do it if you could cross register "ShoppingDirectory.com"

Louise the SoapLady (12/14/98 9:56 AM): Dave I would also like to talk to you, are you on ICQ?

Joe Chapuis (12/14/98 9:56 AM): Yup - that was my problem with it, too. OK - thanks for your time...

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:56 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Muhammad (12/14/98 9:57 AM): Here is a question how does ICQ make money?

Benjamin Fitts (12/14/98 9:57 AM): Thanks Rob, sorry I didn't have more questions.

Scottm cosimall.com (12/14/98 9:57 AM): Rob... Opinion Requested.. Getting ready to buy another company, same industry.. Change the name immediately?

Dave (12/14/98 9:58 AM): Thanks, Rob and all. You will be hearing from me.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:59 AM): Depends, Scott. I'd have to know the territory. These decisions can't be made in a vacuum. You have to assess the old name's value to the existing client base, for one.

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:59 AM): Okay, you guys, I've gotta run. But you are most welcome to continue as long as you want. You can also use this site to meet any time you like during the week. See you online!

RobFrankel (12/14/98 9:59 AM): Scott, you can contact me offline later, if you want.

Scottm cosimall.com (12/14/98 9:59 AM): Thanks Rob... See everyone email later.

Muhammad (12/14/98 10:03 AM): C you guys later

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