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Volume 1 - Issue 51 3-30-03

For those who would like to read this in HTML format, this issue of Boomer eZine is posted on the Boomer eZine website at and on the Boomer eZine Blog at  

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Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

3.    Make Your Thank You Page Work

4.    Learning About Autoresponders

5.    Tool  for Writing Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing Ads (Video)


Author's Comments


In our last issue, we discussed changes that we were contemplating to Boomer eZine in our second year.


Another change that we are considering is to rename the Boomer eZine.  The reason for this - we get very little traffic from the search engines since “boomer” is not a high volume keyword.  I just checked Wordtracker and “boomer” is 119 per day while “entrepreneur” is 648 per day.  Multiply those numbers by 365 and you have 43,435 for “boomer” and 236,520 for “entrepreneur”.  I hope you see the justification.


When we started Boomer eZine, I thought that the term “boomer” would be a good key word and would grow with the boomer population.  Linda disagreed.  After a year, I admit she was right.  (She will enjoy seeing this admission in print).


Another consideration about the name:  I think that many young entrepreneurs who could use the advice in Boomer eZine, click away when they see the “boomer” association.  They wonder what a bunch of “old folks” could know.  Little do they know that “old age and treachery will overcome youth and enthusiasm every time”.


We plan to start our second year with the name “Entrepreneur eZine”.  We will continue to post videos as part of our offering.


We hope that this does not disappoint anyone.  Our decision is purely a business decision.


BTW – Linda is visiting her Mother this week and I am on my own for this issue.  Any spelling or grammatical errors are mine and mine alone.  I wish she were here since I miss her company and I miss her support.


Q & A, Suggestions and Comments


Suzi from Australia sent an email asking if we knew about Lulu.  Since we did not, I went exploring.  What I found was amazing.


Here is the corporate profile as quoted directly from


Founded in 2002, Lulu is the web's premier independent publishing marketplace for digital do-it-yourselfers. It's the only place on the web where you can publish, sell and buy any and all things digital — books, music, comics, photographs, movies and well, you get the idea. We simply provide the tools that leave control of content in the hands of the people who created the content. You see, Lulu is a technology company, not a publisher. So you can use Lulu to publish and sell any kind of digital content, and no one here is going to ask you to change anything. Ever. Your vision is entirely YOURS.

There is no set-up fee and no minimum order to publish and sell on Lulu. We manage the online business, including printing, delivery and customer service. You set your own creator revenue for each piece of content, and at the end of each quarter, we'll mail you a check for the creator revenues your content generates. Lulu makes a small percentage from each transaction, which means that we only make money if you succeed in selling your work.

Lulu was founded by Bob Young, who was also the co-founder of Red Hat, the world's leading open source company. We mention this only because, like Lulu, open source software is based on putting users in control of technology. In much the same way, Lulu believes in putting authors and independent publishers in control of their digital content, from content creation to pricing to royalties. Lulu simply brings creative content to the world and gives our talented publishers and web visitors the venue to buy and sell independent works. Publishing through Lulu leaves control of content in the hands of the people who created it. Pretty revolutionary, really.

What's In a Name?
For goodness sake, what is a lulu? Well it's not your grandmother's kitty, that's for sure. Ever hear the phrase "Boy, that's a real lulu"? Well, even if you haven't, we think of the word lulu as an old-fashioned term for a remarkable person, object or idea. And quite frankly, that's exactly what Lulu, the company, is. Think of us as an open marketplace for digital content. The web's version of a fresh air market. An on-demand publishing tool for books, e-books, music, images, movies and calendars. A remarkable idea, person or place. Most importantly, Lulu is you.

End of quote from

Suzi, thanks for sharing this information with all of us.  This is a very impressive site.  Take a look yourself at

If you have anything for this section or you have a suggestion for a topic for an article, please go to and give us your input.  With your input, we can improve the Boomer Video eZine.  

Make Your “Thank You” Page Work  

When you fill out the form and click the link to subscribe to Boomer eZine, the click starts a whole series of events.  A message is sent to our autoresponder,  This triggers the confirmation email that is sent to you and at the same time, you are transferred to the first “Thank You” page on Boomer eZine.  

Initially, on this first “Thank You” page, I had a message that basically said, “Thanks for signing up.  You will receive a confirmation email.  Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription”.  Guess what.  Many people did not pay attention and missed the instructions to open the email and click the confirmation link.  

I monitor our mailing lists in Aweber to see how many people are signing up and receiving the first “Thank You” without completing the entire process.  There are many of these first entries that come from robots completing the form.  Obviously, they do not complete the second step, but these are easy to spot.  

The ones that concerned us were the contacts that looked legitimate and never completed the process.  

I began to suspect that the first “Thank You” page was not as effective as it should be when I noticed that significantly more legitimate contacts were landing on the first “Thank You” page than were completing the confirmation process.  

I began to ask myself why this might be.  My thoughts follow:  

  1. They changed their mind between the completion of the form and receiving the confirmation email.  They had time to think, “Do I really want something more to read each week”.
  2. They did not understand how the confirmation process works and did not know to open the email and click the link to confirm.
  3. The SPAM filters put the email in the SPAM folder.
  4. They just did not get around to reading the email and it died a natural death.
  5. Other reasons????

In order to try to get higher conversions from the subscription process, I decided to revise the first “Thank You” page to make it very clear how to confirm the subscription and entice the reader to go ahead and complete the process.  

I also explained that if they did not get the email, check the SPAM folder to see if it was routed there.  

First thing that I did was to subscribe to the Boomer eZine myself so I would be sent a confirmation email.  (I recommend that you subscribe to your autoresponder each month so you can test that the process works, the correct messages are being sent, and the correct web pages are being displayed.  You never know when a small change on the page might disable the script on the page that handles the sign up form. (I have had it happen to yours truly.)  

I used SnagIt, a program to capture screen images, to make a picture of the email.  I then used the editing tools in SnagIt to edited the picture.  SnagIt has editing tools that make it as capable as Adobe Photoshop for marking up a picture.  The good news is SnagIt costs $39.95 and Photoshop costs around $500.  

With  SnagIt, I added a big red arrow pointing at the confirmation link and put in BIG red letters “CLICK THIS LINK IN THE EMAIL” to draw attention to the link.  

BTW, SnagIt has a free 30 day trial.  I used this option to test drive SnagIt before I bought it.  

I then changed the message on the first “Thank You” page to stress the free copy of “Starting Your Own Business” versus asking if they wanted to subscribe to Boomer eZine.  People like getting valuable information free and this will get more clicks than the offer of the subscription.  The subscription goes with the free copy.  

These changes seem to be increasing the number of people who complete the form and then go ahead and confirm the subscription.  

You can check out the new web page at

Learning About Autoresponders

In virtually every piece of advice you read on the Net, you have read that you need to build a list of subscribers and/or customers.  That is not easy to do since people’s privacy has been abused on the Net and people are increasingly suspicious.

Once you get someone to sign up and you list grows, how do you:

        handle the volume of transactions?

        send out emails to everyone?

        deal with SPAM complaints?

        maintain the list when people opt out, etc.?

The answer is an autoresponder.  I think that the very best one is  This is the one we use, and they have a great system.  They have been constantly improving it since we have been customers.  They have a responsive customer service department.  You can actually talk with a human being!  They are even on duty on a weekend schedule!

Let me stop here and tell you that Site Build It has its own autoresponder included in the annual fee.  We started with Aweber before we learned how powerful and all encompassing SBI was.  We have not changed since what we are using now is successful.  To quote the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Aweber has a f*r*e*e test drive so you can learn how it works and see if Aweber is the autoresponder that you need to grow your business.  Complete this form and take the f*r*e*e test drive.  I encourage you to do this even if you do not need an autoresponder now.  If you are going to build an Internet business, you will need one eventually.  It is a good idea for you to understand what an autoresponder is and how one works.

AWeber Demo
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Tool  for Writing Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing Ads (Video)

When you write ads for your campaign, you must write ads of three lines each.  These are the ads that you see at the top of the page and on the right margin of a Google or Yahoo search results page.  

Google ads are 25 characters on the first line and 35 characters on the next two lines.  

Yahoo ads are 40 characters in the first line and 70 characters in the next line.  This line (called the short description) gets wrapped into two lines by Yahoo when it is published.  Yahoo also allows a long description of 190 characters which is published on some of the Yahoo affiliate sites that allow for the longer description.  This will not appear on the standard Yahoo ad on the search results page.  

If you are creating ads, it is a pain to write them and then count the number of characters and then make adjustments when you are trying to maximize the number of characters on the line.  

I suspect that there is a tool on the Net for this, but I created my own using Excel.  There is a function in Excel named “LEN”.  This will count the length of a text string in a cell.  It then enters the count in the cell where the formula is located.  

To explain how this works, I have posted a short video to show how to use Excel to help you write your campaign ads.  

Click this link to see how Excel can help you write ads for your ad campaigns too. (Video is ten minutes long).  

Once you have watched the video, click the following link go to the page where the Excel workbook download is located.  

That wraps up our issue for this week.  Until next week, stay tuned.  

John and Linda Howe

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