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The subject of electronic marketing will not be complete without at least

mentioning the network or all computer networks, known as the Internet.

Founded over 20 years ago by the U.S. military, and managed in part by the

National Science Foundation, the Internet has 20 to 30 million users worldwide

People who use the Internet include, entrepreneurs, executives, researchers,

educators, technicians, consumers, activists, students, and military

personnel. Most use the Internet to exchange e-mail, pursue special

interests, search databases, and conduct business.


One of the most popular uses of the Internet allows you to send and receive

messages to and from people around the world from the comfort of your home

computer. These messages, which are free to send, are almost always delivered

faster and more accurately than regular mail. You can send messages to anyone

who has an Internet address. This includes members of most online services.

It is estimated that over 4,000 e-mails per minute gr through the Internet

What this means to you as an information marketer is that you can conduct

"direct mail" through the Internet to existing and potential customers.

This will eliminate your postage and printing costs. It will also reduce the

amount of time needed to process your mail.

The Internet also has mailing lists to which you can have your e-mail address

added. These mailing lists are made up of groups of Internet users with

similar interests. The users send messages back and forth to each other

regarding relevant topics. For example, if you are selling a publication on

gardening, you might want to join a mailing list of users interested in

outdoor hobbies. Whenever someone sends e-mail to this mailing list, the

e-mail goes to everyone on the mailing list. Sometimes the mailing list is

monitored by an administrator. If this is the case, you may be limited to

the kinds of e-mail you can send. If you can't find a list that has to do

with your publication's topic, you can start your own mailing list and wait

for others to join.

Once you join a mailing list, usually for free, you can receive 1000's of

e-mails from users you have already selected based on their interests.

You can then respond by sending an e-mail to each user's e-mail address.

Your e-mail might be a short message where you mention how your information

products can help them. Rather than responding to each e-mail individually,

you may be able to respond by sending one e-mail to the entire Internet

mailing list.



The Internet also has what is called, USENET newsgroups. This aspect of the

Internet allows users with specific interests to forms groups and share

information with each other, usually by posting messages that others

can read. Unlike mailing lists, you do not need to send or receive any

e-mail. You simply connect to the Internet, locate a USENET newsgroup, and

read or post messages to that particular group.

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Marketers can also use USENET newsgroups by finding a newsgroup that focus

on interest of specific advanatge to the information products being sold.

You can do this by scanning the messages that have been posted. By recording

users e-mail addresses, you can compile a mailing list to which you can

e-mail information describing your product.

The Internet also has 100's of free databases that can be accessed to gain

information on practically any subject. These databases are indexed so that

you can search for information using key words or phrases. Most are run by

volunteers, but, just about anyone can start one. Publishers can use these

databases for two purposes. First, they are an excellent source of current

information. This information can be used to help you write your publication.

Second, experienced publishers can create their own database. Once created,

the database can be accessed by millions of Internet users worldwide. Your

own database can contain your publication(s), much like your own BBS.

Finally, the Internet, like many online services, is scattered with 1000's of

interesting computer files that is accessible free of charge to Internet

users. These files are usually located in areas called special interest

groups (SIGs). There are over 5,000 SIGs on the Internet.

Information Marketers can upload free reports, announcements, press releases,

etc., to these SIGs for others to download. This process is known as file

transfer protocol (FTP).

Using this process, Internet users can send and receive computer files

all around the world. These computer files may contain more complex

information than contained in standard e-mails. These computer files can

contain text, graphics, sound, or they may be actual programs. They have all

been created, saved, and stored by a computer connected to the Internet. You

can send and receive advertisements, small reports, or entire publications

using the File Transfer Protocol.






















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