May 30, 2000
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Tengara Corp. CEO Cliff Kurtzman couldn’t believe how fast his Online Advertising Discussion List grew at first. Now, four years into it, he’s looking to double the 10,000 subscribers by August.
Tengara gets a nice, free promotional boost by hosting the list and Web site, but occasionally, the list directly leads to business. Kurtzman reports that he recently got a $3,500 ad buy when he mentioned in a posting a tennis newsletter he puts out. The company also sells ads on the list, “so it’s definitely a profit center,” he says. “But it puts Tengara in a high-visibility role in the industry. It helps our brand.”
Top-level players in the Internet advertising and marketing business, on both the agency and client side subscribe to this list. Kurtzman says 90 percent of the subscribers never post, but remain faithful readers. “We had one person the other day who said it was his first post in four years.” Then there are 20 or 30 people who always post.
If someone gets overly self-promotional, their posting won’t make it up. This, after all, is a class joint. “It wouldn’t be good for them to say, ‘We’re running a 10 percent discount on our inventory,’” Kurtzman tells us. “Once in awhile that comes in. We don’t allow them to hype their service.”
So how should sales reps interact with potential clients at o-a.com? If you post an item of value, then people will often click through your SIG to learn more about you. “A sales rep could use the list to respond to people’s questions,” Kurtzman advises, “and to show how people have benefited from buying their media inventory or services.”
GOOD GUY AWARD:
“Kurtzman promises to donate 50 cents to the American Cancer Society for every new subscriber to www.o-a.com by August. Scott Brew, president at Adtegrity.com, has promised to match the donation.