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Software Marketing Newsletter

Software Marketing Newsletter
September 2003 Newsletter

Hi ,
I apologize in advance for the extended length of newsletter, in an attempt to contain the content 2 articles are summaries and you will need to click the link to read the entire article (well worth reading IMO). I had a lot of really great stuff to tell developers about this month. It might be easier to view the content in a browser, in particular the VAT section where I've color-coded the different registration service responses.


The EU VAT directive has caused significant controversy amongst developers and online software registration services. Part of the confusion has comes from the vagueness in the directive and questions with regards to the jurisdiction that the EU has over the US to enforce its policies. The implementation has skewed the playing field in favor of EU companies, while putting a significant burden on US businesses that do not benefit from the tax.

Because of the lack of clarity in the directive, developers are finding that many registration services are interpreting and reacting to the directive differently. In order to clearly illustrate the varied positions of the software registration services, I sent out a questionaire to 5 of the more popular online e-commerce services in the software industry.

The 5 registration services interviewed were (I color-coded the registration service responses so the answers would be easier to discern):

Digital River - including RegNow, RegSoft, and Digibuy (will also cover RegNet once they are fully integrated into DR's system) located in the US and HeadQuarters in England
SWREG - located in England
eSellerate - located in the US
ShareIt / Element5 - located in USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden.
Emetrix - located in the US

The following are the questions I posed along with the varied responses I received -



ROI - Return on investment is what advertising is all about. I mentioned Michael Halls from File Kicker in the SIC issue of SMR and his amazing ability to "track" things. I asked him to share some of the ideas that we had discussed with SMR subscribers. The following is an article that he wrote. We have not yet implemented all of the tracking schemes discussed in the article, but it is something that we will be doing in the near future.

Mining your Sales Channel - A step by step guide to end-to-end sales tracking by Michael Halls

More information on File Kicker -
More information on Emetrix -

GOOGLE ADWORDS - TRADEMARK VIOLATION TIRADE *******************************************
Google -
Once the darling of search engine professionals is now the bane of their existence. The directory has been fluctuating including and excluding listings without any rhyme or reason. One day a site indexes well, the next it doesn't appear anywhere in the directory. The explanation in the search engine forums are varied and really nothing more than hunches. The directories instability while frustrating is critical to most web based businesses driving up to 70% of the search engine traffic, so no one is ready to give up on them totally.

We recently had a Google experience where a competitor was bidding on our company and product names. I know other search engines have been extremely respective of trademarked names so I was surprised that Google had allowed this and it did not violate their terms. I contacted them they assured me that they were *not* responsible for the content that appeared in their directory or ads but if I faxed over a letter, as a *courtesy* they would look into it. Had I been Pepsi, with Coke bidding on my trademark perhaps they would have reacted differently.

In any event, I complied and have followed up weekly for the last 3 weeks, I finally received a response that the issue was resolved, unfortunately after a quick search I realized it was *not* resolved and a competitor was *still* profiting from our established brand and name recognition!

I'm still struggling with Google; they have definitely fallen from grace in my eyes. In fact, I've even begun patronizing other search engines more frequently, their lack of consistency is tiresome and I see it as a personal rebellion. ;-)

I guess you get what you pay for, as I would have been unable to file a trademark complaint with them if I didn't have an adwords account. According to the women I spoke to, they would have no way to track it ( how my advertising campaign is relevent to a trademark violation escapes me). Bottom line is Google only respects trademarks if you are giving them money. Unfortunately these days most small online businesses need Google more than Google needs them. :-(


*********************************************** is just a simple site to post developer's software. We are just here to help get the word out. I have personal contacts with several, very popular news sites. This helps when a developer submits something of very great value. I then can plug their news on other sites. You can look at us like a "news hub" for other sites. More information -


Beginning August 25, 2003 individuals will no longer be able to send advertisements by fax without *first* obtaining the recipient's prior *signed* consent. This requirment is part of the recent amendment to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, enforced by the FCC. Signed consent may be electronic, but must be obtained from everyone, whether or not you have a pre-existing relationship with the sender.


European Shareware Conference - Make your reservations now ! The European Shareware Conference is scheduled for December 08 and 09, 2003 at the Maritim Hotel in Cologne, Germany. This is a great opportunity to network with developers and industry professionals.

Details on the European Conference can be found at The Shareware Industry Conference was a *huge* success.


The first Austin Shareware Schmooze will take place October 16-19 2003. In case you don't know what a shareware schmooze is, it's an informal gathering of 30 or so shareware folks that takes place in various locations around the world.

According to Bill Sturgell, the host of the first schmooze in Columbus, OH, "...there is a lot of networking and socializing. Many deals are made, many tips are exchanged, and most everyone accomplishes something to help their business." The cost for the schmooze is $25 individual registration and $50 for a Corporate sponsorship (includes banner link on the shareware schmooze site). The funds are used to provide drinks and snacks for the event. Let us know what your preferences are and we will make sure there is plenty of your favorite beverage on hand!

Tom Guthery has found a hotel located near all the Austin hot spots (the Capital, the 6th street entertainment district, Town Lake) that only costs $85 per night. You can register for both the event and the hotel on-line. You must reserve your room before 09/26/2003 to get the special price. You can get more info and register on-line at:


Sound early? Now is the time to begin thinking about your holiday marketing strategy. Put together a plan to capitalize on the holidays and tug the strings of impulse buyers. Consider online directory listings or catalogs if your product is commercial in nature.


With spam and viruses polluting email communication, RSS feeds are becoming more popular. I've created RSS feeds for articles on Software Marketing Resource. If the interest persists I'll continue to discuss RSS feeds and how they can be beneficial to online businesses.


There was recently a great article on Software CEO that quoted Dave Collins and Phil Schnyder (along with myself). The article had some great information and I highly recommend it. "You need to get into the shareware business; here are 20 must-have pre-entry tips" - As published by SoftwareCEO on August 12."


I've found some great new marketing articles and will continue to expand the new marketing article secion at:


I recently encountered a newsgoup post proclaiming that cracks were not only good for business they help improve search engine ranking by increasing link popularity! I guess that is an optimistic approach to combatting hackers ;-)


Traffic Ranking - Largest free market research on surfers behavior Ranking the top 900,000 most visited web sites

Thank you for your continued interest in Software Marketing Resource
Sharon Housley
Software Marketing Resource -
NotePage, Inc. -

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