Junk e-mail, or "spam," shows no sign of disappearing any time soon. But new research from polling company Esearch offers a stern warning to Net mass mailers: A staggering 77 percent of 2,041 users polled said junk e-mail "offended" them. Nearly half (46 percent) of Net users find spam so bothersome, they support regulations to ban it.
One especially significant finding, according to the survey, is that higher-income users were more apt to never read unsolicited e-mail and viewed it as offensive. "For online marketers," the summary continues, "it may be wise to contact the upper-income target audience in a medium other than the e-mail box." For more information about the survey, contact Esearch at http://www.esearch.com
To contact Robert McGarvey, visit his Web site at http://members.aol.com/rjmcgarvey/
Alive And Kicking
Making your e-mail stand out amidst the deluge that floods most in-boxes isn't easy. One attention-getting solution is The Print Shop LiveMail ($29.95), a user-friendly program that helps you create snazzy, even animated, e-mail built around an included library of 550 animations, 1,400 images and 200 sound clips. Lack artistic skills? No problem: There are 200 templates, and, with a click or three of the mouse, you've got e-mail that combines a medley of Web art components.
Because these files take up a lot of space, LiveMail posts the resulting message--much like a multimedia postcard--on a private Web site, then sends out an e-mail inviting the recipient to visit. Granted, not every e-mail lends itself to this treatment, but LiveMail provides a powerful tool for creating memorable thank-yous to customers who place big orders and other important e-mail. See for yourself if LiveMail can win you notice--a free demo is available at the Web site (http://www.broderbund.com).
Want to get your hands on the same sophisticated marketing communications data the corporate giants use to fine-tune their product and sales strategies? You can't get that high-powered data for free, but you can get a taste of it for no charge with a visit to USADATA's site. Paying members (reports start at $75) get customized data, but for free viewing, you can get some fascinating data, such as what type of cars are selling best in Fresno, California. With this kind of data available, what are you waiting for? Go to http://www.usadata.com
Ease your tax-time headaches with free advice.
Baffled by the IRS' ever-changing tax forms and codes? Frustrated by constant busy signals on its help lines? Skip the busy signals and go online for free help provided by members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), who offer fast feedback to questions posted on the message boards of AOL's Tax Channel (keywords: NAEA or Tax Channel).
One board section is exclusively devoted to business tax issues, with most information pertaining to small business. Get even faster responses via the Tax Channel's real-time "chats," where users can ask questions that get answered immediately by tax professionals. (The current chat schedule is posted on the Tax Channel's welcome screen.) Still more data is found in the Tax Channel's well-stocked online library. Net-only users can find some of the same resources (but no bulletin board or chats) at NAEA's Web site, http://www.naea.org