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by Gerry McGovern
Nua Internet Consultancy and Developer

It's been quite a year. Last January, the new economy made everything seem possible. As December comes to a close, most of us are nursing reality bites. I've been writing for the Internet for nearly five years old. Whatever the ups and downs, I must say it has been a privilege to have been around to comment and participate.

A thing that has consistently struck me is how in all the change so little has actually changed. Many years ago I wrote an article entitled, "Email: The uncrowned king of the Internet." Today, I read an article in the New York Times entitled, "Marketers turn to a simple tool: Email".

Today, I look at the Yahoo homepage, and except for the fact that there are more links on it, it doesn't seem to have changed a lot from the way it looked five years ago. Minimal graphics, lots of hyperlinks on a white background, standard HTML, all add up to a page that downloads quickly and offers lots of ways to access quality content. It's simple, even basic--it does the job.

Email does the job too, because email is about communicating information and that's mainly why we use the Internet--to find out something; to communicate something. Because of bandwidth and technology constraints, the Internet has brought us back to the basics of communications--words. Those who can't communicate their message in words, numbers, and simple images, have a hard time on the Internet. Strip Yahoo of words and you have no Yahoo. Strip the Microsoft website of words and you have no Microsoft website.

Businesses sell things. Before the Internet, we built stores and hired people to go out and sell. Yes, we gave them brochures and other written material, but fundamentally selling was about people selling to people. And fundamentally that's the way it's going to remain. In the majority of situations, quality sales people will always sell more than a website full of words. I read a study recently that predicted that in the long-term ecommerce will account for no more than 25 percent of trade.

That's still an awful lot of business. As the wild funding spree runs dry, marketers are going back to basics in order to capture their share of this business. They've realized that the cost of a 30 second ad in the Super Bowl can buy an awful lot of email marketing.

According to a Forrester Research report, it costs $1 a customer to send out a catalog, while a personalized email costs 5 cents. While the "click through" rate for banner ads has gone well below 1 percent, email click through can reach 5-10 percent. Consequently, marketing managers are planning to triple their spend on email marketing by 2004.

It had better be properly targeted. Spam--mass distributed, unsolicited emails--is the bane of our lives. A white-collar worker receives about 40 email messages every day. IDC recently reported that in 2000, 10 billion emails are sent every day and that this will rise to 35 billion by 2005.

However, if we really get to understand our reader/customer, so that we know exactly the type of products and services they are interested in, we can send them just the right information to help them make their decision to purchase. In such an environment, a simple email becomes a powerful tool.

� Gerry McGovern, Nua Limited. All rights reserved.

Gerry McGovern is the Managing Director of Nua, acclaimed Internet and Consultancy company with offices in Dublin, Ireland and New York. Nua specialise in the creation and evolution of online brands and relationships.

Gerry started Nua Internet Surveys, a free weekly email of emerging trends on the Internet, almost two years ago and it is now recognised as the number one resource for global demographics and Internet statistics.

How Many Online:

Nua Internet Surveys has been quoted or referenced by: San Jose Mercury, USA Today, CNN Online,, Yahoo Internet Life, Mecklermedia, ZDNet, The Financial Times, The Australian, The Irish Times and was recently quoted by the Commerce Dept. of US government in their paper, "The Emerging Digital Economy".

Gerry is also the author of a weekly column, New Thinking, which has received numerous accolades and a book, THE CARING ECONOMY

The Caring Economy
Order Today!

The Caring Economy, by Gerry McGovern, is published by Blackhall Publishing of 26 Eustace Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. ISBN 1-901657-61-2 Price _27.50 or US$35.95
Email: [email protected]

It is also available in the United States from Irish Books & Media, 1433 East Franklin Avenue, MN, USA 55404-2135. Call toll-free: 1-800-229-3505.

Gerry McGovern: [email protected]
Nua Internet Surveys:
New Thinking:
Tel: 00 353 1 6768996
Fax: 00 353 1 6613932
New York
Contact: Niall Swan - [email protected]
Tel: 212 358 1775
Fax: 212 358 1760

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