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Web News & Tips - Issue #236

Web News & Tips
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Lead Generation Tactic: Give 'em An Earful

Web News

A Step by Step Guide to Getting Started on the Web

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Lead Generation Tactic: Give 'em An Earful

By Robin Johnston

Despite the Internet and advances in telephony, we all spend time in voice mail holding patterns every now and then. Sometimes we hear nothing but a periodic “please stay on the line” message. Sometimes we get the radio. And sometimes – just sometimes – we get offers for additional products and services for the company we are calling. Although it does nothing for prospects that aren’t already calling you for one reason or another, on-hold marketing can dramatically lift sales of add-ons or ancillary products or services. 

When developing your on-hold program, it is helpful to refer to the following simple process. Start by creating an overall outline for your program. Decide how long the entire audio loop will be, and determine how many segments will fit in that time. Keep in mind that each segment should be no longer than 30 seconds. This helps ensure that you keep listeners’ interest all the way through each segment, and also increases the chance that listeners will make it through at least one entire message before the party for which they are waiting picks up the phone. 

After you have mapped out the program at the highest level, decide what subject categories will be explored in the various segments. There are several categories you might wish to test, including:

Product or service benefits and recommendations 
New product introductions 
Sale and promotion announcements 
Information regarding upcoming holidays or hours

Finally, count the number of words you can comfortably say in 30 seconds, and then pencil out a draft script for each segment. 

The field is getting crowded with companies providing on-hold marketing services, but the leader is still Muzak. Best known for the adapted tracks playing in elevators everywhere, Muzak provides turnkey on-hold marketing solutions that fit nearly any budget.

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Web News

The Internet broadcast audience is growing, and users are more likely to be early adopters of technology than the rest of the U.S. online population, according to an extensive joint report on multimedia usage by Arbitron and Edison Media Research. The biannual study, culled from interviews with more than 2,000 of Arbiton's survey diarykeepers in July 2003, is evidence that the Internet has become a viable medium for audio and video content, reporting that 50 million have listened or viewed online broadcasts within the month prior to the survey, and 30 million use Internet broadcasts weekly. 

Whether Internet users like it or not, the paid content market is growing, and so is the amount of revenue being generated. The Online Publishers Association (OPA) found that U.S. consumers spent $748 million on online content during the first half of 2003, representing a 23 percent increase over the same period in 2002. 

Impressive as the growth may be, the figures can't match 2002's meteoric 131 percent rise over 2001 — $264 million spent on online content during the first half of 2001, compared to $609 million in the first half of 2002. 

Employees are often using their instant messaging (IM) powers for evil, instead of good, according to research from Blue Coat Systems. Among the nearly 400 firms that were surveyed in the U.S. and Britain, a majority of users were found IMing about topics that didn't include work issues. 

The August 2003 survey revealed that just 27 percent of U.S. workers and 11 percent of UK workers used instant messaging for legitimate business purposes, while more than 65 percent of those in the UK and 39 percent of U.S. participants used IM for personal conversations during working hours. 

Television commercials may become the casualty of personal video recorder (PVR) penetration, the Yankee Group finds, but the ad's demise may not come until mid-to-late 2005 when more than 10 million subscribe to the digital technology. 

PVRs — sometimes known as DVRs (digital video recorders) — are similar to VCRs (video cassette recorders) in the sense that they both record, rewind, stop, fast-forward and pause, but a PVR records to a hard drive instead of a tape. PVRs — like TiVo will search out your favorite programs to record — have higher functionality than VCRs, allowing you to pause a live broadcast, record more to disk, and use an interactive interface to customize the viewing experience. 

Often, viewers eliminate TV commercials with a touch of a button, and ReplayTV, a PVR vendor, has created an "ad-skip" feature on their remote controls. 

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