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Old 12-05-2001, 10:36 PM   #1
Edwin
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Question New revenue opportunity?

Here's an idea for anyone running a BUSY free greetings card site: charge your users!

You may not have seen the news yet, but the greetings card network of American Greetings, Blue Mountain Arts and another site (I forgot which...) have just begun charging an annual membership fee to send all but the most basic of greetings cards. Since their combined audience numbers in the 10s of MILLIONS, the average web user is going to very quickly have to adjust to the idea of paying to send e-greetings!

So you could seize the momentum and implement some kind of charged access to part of your site - or take the opportunity to make the "FREE" nature of your site more prominent so as to catch unhappy greetings card users from other sites on the rebound...

Just a few ideas to get you started.
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Old 12-05-2001, 10:50 PM   #2
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I was recently approached by my favourite e-greeting site for a reciprocal link, I am just waiting on them to tell me when they put the link up. (I won't send them free traffic till they do)

BUT, having just been to the site to send a birthday card to a friend of mine in Tasmania, I was shocked to be inundated with popups. So I went to another site.

So your second suggestion seems to be a very timely one
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Old 12-05-2001, 11:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jan
I was recently approached by my favourite e-greeting site for a reciprocal link, I am just waiting on them to tell me when they put the link up. (I won't send them free traffic till they do)
Don't give them free traffic full-stop.

I know I'm being harsh in this case, but I know exactly which company you're referrinig to (ahem, 123), as they've seemingly spammed thousands upon thousands of greeting/freestuff/festive sites this year with their reciprocal link pitch, and have thus far failed to reciprocate with all but one of the links that I enacted in response to the request. (I received about 15 copies of the email in all, and had active links promoting the site from about 10 of those properties before receiving the offer.)

In fact, the one site of mine to which they did link has been linking to their service since this time last year (and I expressed this fact quite angrily, since they pitched the same offer to my last year, took the traffic, and never reciprocated). They responded by adding the link, only after I expressed my disdain, but did so to an obscure sub-sub-category page rather than the one to which I was forced to link on the pretence that the return link would appear there.

Looks like a state of ad-induced desperation is leading the company to behave in an unethical manner. Personally, I'd love to see them charge if it means that they both stop deceiving those publishers who are kind enough as to promote their service at no cost, and reduce the endless stream of DoubleClick pops and banners present on their site.
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Old 12-06-2001, 12:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Czar
I know I'm being harsh in this case, but I know exactly which company you're referrinig to (ahem, 123), as they've seemingly spammed thousands upon thousands of greeting/freestuff/festive sites this year with their reciprocal link pitch, and have thus far failed to reciprocate with all but one of the links that I enacted in response to the request.
Darn and I thought I was special

I don't think they could charge for the use of their greetings anyway.

The site is a mess, I was very surprised when I went to the birthday page, all the pics were broken

And have no fear, if I do get an email to say the link is in place, I will reply with a nice 'love letter'
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Old 12-06-2001, 08:21 AM   #5
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I just noticed yesterday that another big greeting card site, egreetings.com, that I used all the time, is also charging for most of their cards. They only have a few free cards, so the user can evaluate their service. Guess this is really a new trend, and a positive one, too. If users start realizing just because they pay for their ISP they are NOT entitled everything free, I guess the whole picture might change really soon.

Cheers,
Paulo
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Old 12-06-2001, 08:42 AM   #6
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eGreetings is also owned by American Greetings (as is BlueMountain post-Excite decline). I'm guessing that this was the site that Edwin forgot.

It will be interesting to see whether or not 123's popup-mania and AmericanGreetings' subscription service has a significant effect in boosting traffic to the smaller free cybercard sources this Christmas.

Jan, Rhea, Spence, Steve_S and I can only hope so.
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Old 12-07-2001, 01:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Czar
Jan, Rhea, Spence, Steve_S and I can only hope so.
I'll drink to that
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