|Volume 3: No. 28|
Some books recommended by Jeffrey Tarter: "Illustrating Computer Documentation" by William Horton (John Wiley & Sons); "Total Customer Service" by William H. Davidow and Bro Uttal (Harper, Collins); and the "Software Industry Salary Survey" by the Software Publishers Association (SPA), (202) 452-1600; $200 to members. [Soft.Letter, 9/24/92.]
Approach Software (Redwood City) tested several price points for its introductory offer of the Approach 1.0 for Windows database. $199 was too much, but $149 did as well as $129. Advisors recommended against $99 for a product of this quality. Approach continues to sell well -- about $10M/year -- at the full street price of $279 ($399 list). [Susan Greco, Inc., 2/93, p. 23.]
"Our telemarketing in the book business is tele-ordertaking, whereas the telemarketing in the computer [software] business is sometimes an auction on the phone." [Bronson Ingram, Ingram Industries. Soft.letter, 9/24/92.]
Todd Merriman, moderator of the Software Entrepreneur's Mailing List (SEML), has a list of about 450 publications that might be interested in software press releases. firstname.lastname@example.org, (404) 889-8264. [Bill Park, 4/6/93.] I have a spreadsheet dump of 404 software-related editors and publications. Bill Park got it from SEML on 5/8/93.
You can learn where your competitors are advertising -- and what they're saying -- by paying a clipping service $200-$300 per month. [Ed Niehaus. Glen Shires, SEF Forum, 12/92.]
For lists of high-tech publications, see "Bacon's," "Media Map," and "Computer Media Directory." [Ed Niehaus. Glen Shires, SEF Forum, 12/92.] These are good when you're researching a service you might offer, or are looking for places to advertise one.
MarketPlace Business is a CD-ROM service, updated quarterly, for selecting mailing lists of 700M US businesses -- most with fewer than 25 employees. The D&B data does not name corporate officers, but you do get unlimited use of addresses -- guaranteed 90% accurate -- for less than $.10 each. Most brokers will charge that for a single mailing. The starter price of $1,095 lets you select 3,000 names by location, 8-digit SIC code, size, etc. (617) 894-4100. [Susan Greco, Inc., 4/92.] (3-digit SIC is the government-defined Standard Industry Code.)
CorpTech (Woburn, MA) publishes a leading corporate directories for identifying sales/consulting leads (or resume targets). Corporate growth rates are included, so you can identify the 5K fast-growing companies that created 502K jobs last year. Call (800) 333-8036 for a free fact kit. [BW, 10/5/92.] Or check with your library. It's a three-volume directory.
Need a mailing list of the top 1000 high-tech companies? Upside Magazine will send you addresses and phone numbers for $495, or full financial information for $995. Software and services companies only are $195/$395 for a floppy. (415) 377-0950. (Renting a mailing list for one mailing is cheaper than buying a list -- usually around $.10 per name, 3,000 names minimum. Contract law rather than copyright law keeps you from "capturing" names you've rented. You only get to keep the ones who respond to your mailing.)
MELISSA Data Corp. (San Juan Capistrano, CA) is the only distributor specializing in software for the direct mail industry -- address correction, ZIP+4 coding, etc. The six-year-old company distributes more than 1M 32-page catalogs per year. (714) 661-5885. [IDG PR Service, 3/10/92. agentsee.]
"Money Making Marketing" by Jeffrey Lant is a good book for new consultants. $35 from (617) 547-6372. [Dale Worley (email@example.com), online, 3/1/93.]
Ron Richards of Venture Network (San Francisco) talked to the SEF Marketing SIG about writing advertising copy. Much of his advice is recorded in the 1-2/93 issue of PC World's Marketing Edge magazine. He also recommends Burton and Purvis' "Which Ad Pulled Best" workbook (NTC Business Books, IL, 1991) and its instructor's manual. [Bill Park (firstname.lastname@example.org), 5/4/93.] (Ad copy is like tennis -- easy to critique but hard to do. There are only a few principles -- such as "long copy sells" -- but writing good copy is a search through an enormous design space. Jeffrey Lant's "Cash Copy" is an excellent introduction, also a book-length example of his approach. Lant presents approximately one idea per chapter -- perhaps fewer -- but the multiple viewpoints, repetition, and even ridicule help move the reader from understanding to action. The most important steps are to know your customers, know your product, and know your competitors' products. Then just tell potential customers why your product better serves their needs. Professional copy writers and graphic artists can supply the final polish at little cost. Professionals from the mail-order industry will generally do the best job, as they're used to producing measurable results for a demanding industry.)