Got a letter today

The letter was from Thomas Publishing Company announcing their new local representative. Looks like my old representative dumped them. The Thomas Register is a dying breed of directory. I was seriously considering killing it off this year, anyway. But if we spend $10,000, that’s the same as two trade ads, so it suddenly doesn’t look that bad.

I had turned on my old Register rep to the “Industrial Quick Search” business (see previous post), which apparently they are making a killing on. Ace for me to spot a trend, and a big F for not taking it on myself.

Cool email list to join

Zooba is an email newsletter list that is a cut above. They offer what I think are truly interesting, readable emails. I am signed up for the “Biographies: Leaders” and “Harvard Business School”.

The writing and focus is on par with some of my favorite magazines. They market books relating to the subject matter on each email, which has nice synergy. (Is it an effective business model, I wonder?)

Glad I’m not LookSmart

LookSmart is a web directory that powers some search engines, primarily They changed their listing price from a one-time $299 to 15 cents a click-thru.

Customers are irate. Here is an article by an search-marketing industry-leader that politely rips LookSmart a new one:

WebPosition Newsletter

Anyway, found this interesting from a business and web perspective.

Postcard deck advertising anyway

Despite my questioning bingo-deck’s future, I made another insertion order for one. I do see activity on my tracking URL that I use for my advertising (, so I think I can justify continuing this promotion venue.

Email from

How much of this is true and how much is a sales pitch? I think I’m starting to believe what she says is true.

Traditional marketing tactics – like print advertising and trade shows – are on the decline. Why? They don’t reach your target audience. Now engineers are searching online for the components they need during their product discovery phase.

Many leading product and component suppliers already know this . . .


Advertising spending and ad pages in engineering trade publications are significantly down. Ad spending in Design News was down 55% year over year. In ENR was down 38.43%. That’s just two examples in the trend among leading publications. (See others.)


Trade show attendance is down. National Manufacturing Week 2002 drew 35,784 attendees this year, only 56% of the 63,510 that registered to attend. The number of companies attending dropped 5%. That means fewer prospects to see your products.


Engineers aren’t going to trade shows and reading magazines as much. Instead, they’re embracing the Internet as their preferred way to search for products and components. 85% of engineers go online to search for products and 74% say it has shortened their design cycles (Design News 2001). GlobalSpec’s own experience supports these facts: our visitor traffic increased 1,000 percent in 2001.


If you change your marketing mix to maximize the use of the Internet, you’ll reach more of your target audience faster, more cost-effectively and at the moment they are looking to buy.

Postcards are dead?

Got this email from my ad agency:

SAE Automotive Engineering Intl Postcard Deck is offering a discount for a

card in their May deck. Regular rate is $1955 (net), discounted rate is

$1249.50 (net). First come, first served. Closes now. Let me know if


Are card decks dying as a form of advertising? My last effort at card decks returned ALL JUNK!

Even right now, I am looking at a lead report from a trade-pub with four names on it, and they all look realatively legitimate. But there is no “Kzoptronilis” company that I can find. Oh, well, well send it out and see.

Following is my post to newsgroup biz.ecommerce

I have been a webmaster for a smallish company since 95. I haven’t ventured out in the “woods” of this biz.ecommerce newsgroup before, but am starting to feel like I need to discuss things with others like me. (I am currently in an MBA/ecommerce program, too.) I also started a blog (I’ll share URL later).

I market b2b expensive capital equipment and have been pretty successful with the search engines. Now, I a being beat at the game by *pros*. Let me explain:

“Industrial Quick Search” is a search-engine-optimization service that runs directories for a lot of smaller businesses, then charges us in that industry thousands of dollars to get on their directory. Of course they are experts at keywords, so they are at the top of every search engine (nearly anyway).

I really hate to lay out $400 a month to attract the leads I should get anyway, as I am still close to the top of the listings. But they do offer a convenient platform for searchers, so I don’t want to dismiss it either.

Any opinions about such services and tactics? How would you respond?


FTP is such a simple, but unforgiving technology. I could drag and drop on my desk using PowerDesk (, but that wouldn’t be as cool.


Today I am working on sending out an email survey to a list of recent customers who I have email addresses for. Is this spamming or not? Not sure, but it probably isn’t very good marketing. I should have a comprehensive customer-relationship program going, shouldn’t I?

But I’m not trying to sell something and I already have some relationship with the person.

The survey isn’t my idea, either. But we really need some feedback from the market as to whether we should expect a recovery soon. The salespeople want the survey generate leads to follow up –ick! I am offering a Palm M125 as a prize to those who respond.

Notice how Oveture doesn’t let you know how many searches are made any more, just how many clicks you get. You have to use the search-suggestion term to get an appoximate number on each term.

My email is: (student account to give some anonmyity). Let me know if you are reading this.