How To Use The Internet
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 go
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
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
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.
Marketers can also use USENET newsgroups by finding a
newsgroup that focus on interest of specific advantage
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
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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