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Internet Marketing - High Tech Direct

Mal Keenan

2005-01-03 - Almost everyone has received unsolicited offers in the mail. These are what many call "junk mail", and more often than not, end up in the "circular file", more commonly known as the trash can.

But anyone who is considering Internet marketing as either a part-time or full-time business may want to at least give a moment's pause before the big toss. Better still would be to study and reflect on the material you've received, and in some cases, store it in a real file for future use. The reason is because Internet marketing today is, in reality and when done properly, a high-tech enhancement and expansion of old-fashioned direct mail.

Those sales letters that arrive in your mailbox aren't randomly sent there, nor are they sent to everyone in your country or state. Instead, successful direct mail operators rent carefully selected mailing lists. These lists may be buyers of a particular product, people who've expressed interest in topics and products through surveys and registration forms, magazine subscribers, people who live in a certain postal code, and so on. The underlying principle is that the direct mailers target a select audience to receive their offer, and a certain percentage of the recipients, known as the response rate, will then accept that offer. Then through continual testing and refinement of the sales letter, pricing, terms, colors, and other variables, direct marketers work to improve their response rates over time.

Marketing on the Internet is much the same. The bottom line is that marketers need to find a "group" of people with similar tastes and interests, find out what they want, then sell it to them, just as the direct mail marketers do.

In direct mail, as on the Internet, it's certainly possible, and in fact probable, that some marketing campaigns will fail. But, once you've sent out direct mail pieces, that postage is lost forever. On the Internet however, you can quickly assess and halt losing campaigns until you make adjustments. Or, as Robert G. Allen puts it, "On the Internet, you can fail fast for free!"

Internet technology has now made it possible to reach a new, worldwide audience, at much lower costs than direct mail postage allows. Your prospects are online, surfing, searching, reading, and hopefully shopping, around the clock. And the Internet itself has created new markets, such as the need for broadband connections, networking equipment, instructional material, and yes, even Internet marketing information products!

Perhaps the most important new capability the Internet offers marketers is the sheer speed at which marketing campaigns can be launched, tested, revised, and tested again, until maximum response rate is achieved. Web sites can be very fast and easy to set up, and through pay-per-click search engines, visitors (known as traffic) can be directed towards your marketing site literally within minutes. Software allows for instantaneous tracking of clicks, visitor "paths" through a web site, time spent on each page, and hundreds of other factors. Software can help marketers follow up with their leads (through autoresponders), and can, through email lists and RSS syndication, also foster relationship marketing, much more so than mailed catalogs and letters in the past.

For marketers, the Internet is the still-new frontier where high-tech, old fashioned marketing, low costs, and a worldwide audience converge to create new opportunities for those willing to look for them.


About the Author:
Mal Keenan is editor and publisher of Home Business Tips Newsletter:

Melissa Data to Mail Catalog of Data Quality Products

More than 50 products and services are featured

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CA (April 25, 2005) — Melissa Data, a leading provider of data quality software and services, today announced the release of its 2005 catalog featuring more than 50 products related to data management and list hygiene.

The new edition of the 32-page glossy catalog, which will be mailed to 300,000 recipients, features mailing software, data enhancement services, programming tools, and other solutions that help companies manage their information assets.

“According to Forrester Research, the information quality market has grown about 14 percent since 2001 and is set to top the $1 billion mark by 2008,” commented Ray Melissa, president of Melissa Data. “The growth of this market is a reflection of the value that companies and enterprises are placing on clean, accurate data.”

Unique to the Melissa Data catalog is a two-page “product finder” which makes it easy for shoppers to identify the solutions that meet their needs. Among the most popular products are MAILERS+4 CASS-certified software, NCOA Link for change-of-address, Zip Data, Address Object, Occupant lists, and Phone Append services.

Melissa Data also offers business and consumer mailing lists, ZIP Code maps, databases, and various products for online marketers. Melissa Data’s catalog has been published since 1988. A free copy of the catalog can be requested by visiting

About Melissa Data
Celebrating its 20th year in business, Melissa Data, the Data Superstore, helps companies manage and optimize their contact data. Melissa Data provides solutions for address and phone number validation, postal coding, data enhancements and sales leads. Every day more than 70,000 people visit the company’s Web site. A powerful line of software, databases, programming tools, and hygiene services has made Melissa Data a recognized leader in the data quality industry. For more information, or to request trial software, contact Melissa Data at 1-800-800-6245 or visit

Answer the Phone: Your Identity is on the Line

Beverly Hills, CA -- (ArriveNet - May 06, 2005) -- There hasn't been much good news in the battle against identity theft lately, with fraudsters staying one step ahead of the game. But don't panic, our old friend the telephone has come to the rescue.

We're all aware of the problem of identity theft, but did you know that your local pizza chain has had a solution for years? You recognize it as the system that prevents little Johnny from having twenty pizzas delivered to your door at midnight: the pizza chain calls you immediately after the order is placed to verify the validity of the order. Because little Johnny is afraid to be caught, he'll think twice about causing this pizza-related havoc.

TeleSign's patent-pending verification system has transferred this pizza concept to the high-tech world. It works like this: after filling out a form on a website, the user is prompted to enter his phone number. A robotic system then places a call to that number and speaks aloud a unique three digit code. Once that code is entered into the website, the authentication is complete. This system can be implemented at any point on a website: at registration, purchase, a specific time interval, or at the request of a user.

Email verification is the current standard for user authentication, but email may end up filtered, junked, bulked, or trashed. Because of spam, viruses, and phishing, email filtering has become so aggressive that even legitimate emails don't reach the inbox. But a telephone call cannot be stopped, making this the perfect time for the introduction of TeleSign’s solution.

The future of ecommerce is threatened by rampant fraud and lack of trust. TeleSign will force anonymous users to expose their faces by revealing their working phone numbers.

To try an interactive demo, visit ( and have your phone ready.

For more information about TeleSign’s products and services, visit ( or email

About TeleSign Corp.
TeleSign is a leader in innovative internet security solutions and provider of intelligent telephone-based verification solutions for any entity conducting business online where trust is essential and where fraud is a concern. TeleSign’s patent-pending Verification System provides a critical layer of security for the e-commerce world and is a proven deterrent against ill-intentioned web users. The company’s first product, the TeleSign Verification System, blends the latest internet, security and telephony technologies into a powerful new tool to combat fraud and enhance trust in e-business.

TeleSign Corp. seeks to provide simplified solutions for any company conducting business online where trust is essential and where fraud is a concern. TeleSign’s patent-pending Verification System provides a critical layer of security for the e-commerce world and is a proven deterrent against ill-intentioned web users. TeleSign’s Verification System is able to legitimize a web user’s claimed identification at a miniscule cost and with little inconvenience to all parties involved.

TeleSign’s Verification System is based upon the premise that ill-intentioned web users hesitate to disclose their working phone numbers. By placing a computer-generated telephone call coupled with a unique security code, we insist that a web user provide a legitimate telephone number or be rooted out. The company’s first product, the TeleSign Verification System, blends the latest internet, security and telephony technologies into a powerful new tool to combat fraud in e-commerce.

Visit or call 310-276-5900 for more information.

TeleSign Corporation
Contact: Sam Gonen
Telephone: (310) 276-7843

Jeffrey E. Epstein Named Chief Financial Officer At ADVO, Inc.

WINDSOR, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 6, 2005--ADVO, Inc. (NYSE:AD), the nation's leading direct mail media company, has named Jeffrey E. Epstein Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective June 6. In this position, which reports to Chief Executive Officer S. Scott Harding, Epstein will play a key role in ADVO's continued growth, providing leadership on strategic business development and corporate planning issues while directing financial planning, analysis and reporting, treasury, tax, accounting, and investor relations.

Epstein brings more than 25 years of experience in senior financial and general management positions at leading media and consumer services companies. He joins ADVO from Revonet, Inc., a New Canaan, Conn.-based database company, where he most recently served as Chairman of the Board and in 2004, as Acting President and CEO. He served as CFO at VNU, Inc.'s Media Measurement and Information Group; Doubleclick, Inc.; and King World Productions, and also held general management positions at companies such as CUC International and the Washington Post Company.

"Jeff's breadth of financial and operations expertise, along with his experience in the media industry, will be important as we continue to strengthen our position as a print medium of choice for advertisers," said Harding. "He will be a key member of ADVO's leadership team, playing a critical role in developing and directing strategies aimed at driving the company's profitable growth.

"With the recent hiring of a CMO and now, our CFO in place, ADVO's leadership team is complete," added Harding, who joined the company in October 2004. "All are seasoned leaders, and all are energized about working together and with their teams to translate ADVO's unique strengths into even more growth for the company."

Epstein received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Yale College in New Haven, Conn., and earned his M.B.A. in Finance from Stanford Business School in Palo Alto, Calif. He sits on Priceline's Board of Directors, also serving as chairman of the Compensation Committee and as a member of the Audit Committee.

He assumes the role from Donald E. McCombs, Executive Vice President and President, Operations Group, who has been Acting CFO since March 2004 and served as ADVO's CFO from 1997-2001.

About ADVO

ADVO is the leading direct mail media company in the U.S., with annual revenues of more than $1.2 billion. Serving 20,000 leading national, regional and local retailers, the company reaches 112 million homes, 90 percent of the nation's mailboxes, with its ShopWise(R) shared mail advertising. At the same time, the company's industry-leading consumer database technologies, coupled with its unparalleled logistics capabilities, enable retailers seeking superior return on investment to target, version and deliver their ADVO print ads directly to consumers most likely to respond. Demonstrating ADVO's effectiveness as a print medium, the company's "Have You Seen Me?(R) " missing child card, distributed with each ShopWise (R) package, is the most recognized mail in America. Created 20 years ago in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the U.S. Postal Service, this signature public service program has been responsible for safely recovering 137 children. ADVO employs 3,700 people at its 23 mail processing facilities, 33 sales offices and headquarters in Windsor, Conn. The company can be visited online at


Mary Lou Dlugolenski, 860-285-6197

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