October 1, 2002 Circulation: 64,300+ Volume 2, No. 24

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   This Issue's Articles:
1 - Learning to Fail
2 - 3 Steps to Great Copy
3 - What Becomes a Brand Most?
4 - Serial Storytelling: Email Marketing's Missing Link
5 - The New Rules for Direct Marketing
6 - A Question of Value
7 - Dear Tig: Fibs Managers Tell, Sexual Harassment and Too-Many-Meetings Dysfunction
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+ Top articles from our last newsletter - in case you missed it
  A Note to Readers:
Greetings, Discerning Readers!

My favorite email this week served up some pretty pointed criticism.

A subscriber, who disagreed with an article we published, took us to task -- quite harshly, in fact. (Don't worry. I'm healthy enough to know that I'm really not ugly and my mother really doesn't dress me funny!) He felt that the article was both one-sided and a clear manipulation of the facts.

That bit of feedback was valuable for many reasons. I liked the subscriber's passion. I appreciated the different vision of the issue he articulated. But most of all: He gave me a wake-up call about appearing to endorse the opinions of our writers when in fact we are simply offering a forum.

It reminded me of something that I've believed for several years: That usually you learn more about your product from those who complain. Sometimes your most critical subscribers -- or users, or customers, or market segment -- offer the most enlightening feedback. Rather than being a thorn in your side, their words are a sort of gift to challenge you to do better.

As always, your feedback is both welcome and encouraged.

Until next time,

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer

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1 - Learning to Fail
Products fail. Services fail. Even websites fail. This is especially true for technology-based products. The solution? Manufacturing issue-free products is a noble idea, but a very unrealistic one.

A better approach is to understand how your customers deal with product and service failures, to ensure they are happy and satisfied even when the unthinkable happens. Learning to fail with grace is the key.

Learn how here.

2 - 3 Steps to Great Copy
To say a writer could write good copy simply by having access to exact words suggests that having access to Picasso's *exact* set of brushes and paints would beget a great masterpiece.

The formula is more complex, of course. But there are some simple steps which, when taken in the right sequence, can improve your copy.
Read those steps here.

3 - What Becomes a Brand Most?
Many assume that in order to brand your product or service, you must advertise. But -- not true. Many brands have grown and thrived without advertising: Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, and Pret A Manger, for example.
How? Get the skinny on branding without advertising here.

What is Smarter Marketing? How do You Achieve It?
This free guide from NetIQ WebTrends, "Winning on the Web: The Executive Pocket Guide to Smarter Marketing," helps you apply the marketing principles you already know to the Web. It's time to get smarter. Click here to get your copy now!

4 - Serial Storytelling: Email Marketing's Missing Link
The art of serial storytelling has existed since the dawn of time as an effective means of communicating ongoing information to an audience. More recently, it's taken root in TV -- where we tune in to The Sopranos or Six Feet Under each week to watch the story unfold.

There are some valuable lessons in the art form that can also apply to email marketing.

Read how here.

5 - The New Rules for Direct Marketing
Listen up, all you direct marketers now relying on email to deliver your messages. As with any campaign, you need to plan carefully and adhere to best practices.
Here are the rules for those of you new to the game.

6 - A Question of Value
Forget the spin and Dilbert-speak. What does it *really* mean to "value-add"? How do you define value? How do you know if you're successfully adding it? And what do you do to response to the values that are changing and/or migrating?
Read the whole enchilada here.


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    7 - Dear Tig: Fibs Managers Tell, Sexual Harassment and Too-Many-Meetings Dysfunction
    In his debut weekly column, Tig Tillinghast fields questions from and for marketers. This week, Tig advises a chased (but chaste) media seller, exposes the fibs managers sometimes tell, and suggests coping skills for those tortured by endless meetings.
    Read Tig's advice here.

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