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Software Marketing Newsletter

Software Marketing Newsletter
July 2003 Newsletter

Welcome to the June Issue of Software Marketing News. Visit us online at


As many of you are aware, changes have been made to VAT taxes by the European Union. These changes go into effect July 1, 2003. Most people don't really care a whole lot, but simply want to know how the changes will affect them and their business.

Most developers will not need to do anything, others may need to make some decisions. The tax requests voluntary compliance for non-EU countries. If you use an online registration service they may or may not choose to voluntary comply, but regardless of the decision in most cases they are a reseller of your products and would be the ones responsible should any action be taken.

The EU does not have jurisdiction over non-EU companies so its unclear how they intend to enforce compliance, more than likely why the law is written requesting "voluntary compliance". If you process orders directly through a merchant account to companies in the EU you will need to make a decision about whether you wish to comply. If you are located in the EU you benefit from the tax and can be forced to comply.

If your business operates outside of the EU you should talk to your accountant and determine what course of action you should take with regards to the collection of VAT. If you business is located within the EU there is a threshold of I believe $ 100,000, meaning if you sell less than that you are not required to comply. Its unclear as to whether this threshold exists for non-EU companies.

In a quick survey of registration services, some have opted to voluntary comply others have chosen not to. Some of the unanswered questions are:
Will my product now cost more or less than a competitor using a different registration service?
If I decide to voluntary comply for direct orders how do I track the various percentages for the 17 countries involved?
Where and how do I submit and what about exchange rates?
Is the EU just hoping people comply and seeing the funds as pennies from heaven?

There is no simple answer, in short the new implementation of VAT is a nightmare for small businesses and many are struggling with what "voluntary compliance" really means.

SCHMOOOZE - If you are making plans for October, note that the Shareware Schmooze, formerly in Columbus, Ohio, will take place in Austin, Texas, October 16-19. For information about this and other Schmoozes, see the Shareware Schmooze website at

SIC - Its just around the corner July 17-19, 2003 in Rochester, NY. This is *the* industry conference. If you are looking for marketing ideas be sure to register to attend

ISDEF - The annual Independent Software Developers Forum's (ISDEF) conference will be held September 18-22, 2003, at the Hotel "Druzhba", Chernogolovka (Research Center of Russian Academy of Sciences) 30 miles Northeast of Moscow.

ISDEF Conference is an annual event, which gathers independent programmers, computer publications journalists, software archives representatives, registrars and other software trade representatives from Russia and around the world. *note - all foreign nationals are required to have entry visas to travel to Russia. Russian entry visas can be obtained at local Russian Embassy or Consulate, proper authorization (invitation) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or specially authorized travel agencies is required. A simple letter of invitation is not sufficient to obtain a Russian visa! Additional Details -


On June 18, 2003 Avanquest Global Software Publishing was launched. The publishing firm is a conglomeration of a number of regional publishers including Elibrium, BVRP, AbSoft, Kommunicate, Guildsoft, MicroBasic Gmbh, Questar, Manaccom and Phoenix Software. They have an extensive network of relationships and reach into every major distribution chanel including 15,000 retail outlets. If you are interested in localization, distribution and packaging talk to them at SIC. and


OVERTURE - June 27th Overture launched a new service, called Content Match. Content Match allows your listings to be displayed when Internet users are viewing related content on the Overture partners' sites. For example, if the user is reading an article about interest rates, he or she could find links on the side of the page for mortgage-related advertisers. When you login in to your Overture account there will be an indication of whether you wish to turn Content Match "on" or "off".

In addition Overture has expanded its PPC services to include in South Korea. South Korea has over 26 million Internet users and more than 10 million households with access to high-speed Internet connections.

FINDWHAT / ESPOTTING - An announcement has been made to merge two leading industry PPC services. The merger will create the largest international PPC player, servicing a total of 11 markets UK, US, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Ireland and Switzerland. The merger will take effect at closing, which is expected to be towards the end of the year. Advertisers should not see any immediate changes.


Pay Per Click Analyst - PPC search engine reviews and articles.

Pay Per Click Search Engines - 520 pay per click search engines, including industry specific search engines (what they call specialty engines. Worth a look for finding niche markets. Becareful not to invest large deposits in a site with little traffic.

Pay Per Click Directory - a directory of PPC engines this site includes listings for "niche" directories as well as business and shopping PPC sites. The site is significantly smaller but still worth a visit if you are interested in expanding your PPC presence. Includes a review section.


NotePage is looking at expanding their Integration Partner section at . If you have an application that would benefit by adding paging, SMS or messaging capabilities NotePage would be interested in working with you. Integration with NotePage's product line is very simple and rarely requires any coding changes. NotePage cross promotes partners to existing customers and through a network of 60 ancilliary sites. If you have an application that you are interested in adding messaging functionality and think this would be a good fit please contact me at .



I've been doing a lot of research with regards to Search Engine Optimization, and in particular trying to figure out Google and its current status. I've found the following resources helpful.:

Remember when all else fails ... content is king.



A new website that allows you to post Press Releases and news announcements free of charge. Listings can be upgraded for a $ 1.00.



SEARCHSITES - A new version of SearchSites is available free of charge. SearchSites version 3.0 - a free tool for searching software sites. SearchSites is a free, time-saving tool for software developers. It searches software sites for any given program's name, and allows you to quickly and easily see where your program is listed, and where you need to submit or update. The software works by sending your search query to the sites that you select from a list, and opening up a new browser window in a tabbed interface with the results from each site.



An area most developers lack in is communication with existing customers. My computer journal is providing a new service to companies where the produce a monthly non-technical newsletter for computer professionals. The newsletter can be customized to fit your business needs. This is a great way to keep communication channels open with existing customers and an interesting concept. I've not pursued it but would be interested from hearing from anyone who does.



ESC - Every year the Educational Software Cooperative presents the "People's Choice" Award for Best Educational Shareware. This award is selected by online voting. Register to vote at You are welcome to encourage your users to vote by including this link on your home page. (And yes, you may vote for yourself.) Votes must be received by July 12. The winner will be announced at the ESC's annual luncheon at this year's Shareware Industry Conference.

Sharon Housley
Software Marketing Resource -
NotePage, Inc. - (SIA Nominee)
Monitoring Software -
Password Software -

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