Bruce Springsteen

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Rock & Roll In Your Email?
by Mike Banks Valentine

You groggily stumble from bed and turn on the computer as you
pass by on your way to the kitchen. Returning with the morning's
first cup of coffee you fire up your browser and log-on to the
web as you take the first few eye-opening sips. Downloading
your personal email, you notice your favorite Bruce Springsteen
song title in the subject line of the seventh email message and
open it first.

There is a photo of the Boss (that's Springsteen to you non-fans)
smiling out at you from the email window above a small button
that is labled "Play". Expecting to hear some good music, you
click the button and Bruce Springsteen springs to life in your
email! He's talking to you! Not at you, but to you, using your
name! "Good morning Mike! It's time for a concert update."

How the *!?*)@(! do they do that? You have been looking
forward to his concert this coming week and can't believe
your ears as Springsteen continues to talk with you, mentioning
your 3rd row, center seat number and reminding you of concert
time this Thursday evening. You are tempted to answer him as
he pauses and smiles but then the opening riff of guitar
begins of your favorite song from the new album and the Boss
is performing for you from your email box!

He pauses and tells you that you can order his newest album
from the form below and as the video finishes and the music
fades you scroll down to find a "Buy it Now!" button. There
is no need to enter any credit card information as it was
saved when you purchased your concert tickets online. You
are just about to click the "Buy" button when you notice
there is a search function just below that. You've been
wanting to find a copy of an out of production CD and type
in the title in the search box and click "Search".

The results come back from the entire music collection of
this record label to announce that you can purchase that
CD online now and pick it up at your local record store
tomorrow! You click the checkbox to order that title and
see that you can buy your concert memorabilia now and wear
that sweatshirt to the concert by picking it up at the
same record store. What the heck. You click the "Buy"
button just as your spouse emerges from the bathroom with
her toothbrush working.

The Boss' voice says "Thanks for your order Mike and I'll
see you Thursday night at eight." Now you have to explain
how you spent $83 before breakfast and scroll back up to
the top of the email to click "Play" again to demonstrate
the process to her and see the toothbrush motion freeze
when Bruce Sprinsteen uses your name during the video.

Don't be surprised if you get an email like this within
the coming weeks. Personalization, music, video, catalogs
localization and overnight delivery for products in your
own interest areas will be the norm within the year as
advertisers, marketing companies and business begin using
the latest available technology for email. (If you allow
it and privacy concerns are addressed sufficiently by
businesses adopting the available tools.)

The above technology was highlighted last week at the
Washington State Convention Center in Seattle by businesses
demonstrating at the Direct Marketing Association show
titled "net.Marketing 2001". The DMA show was halted early
by an 11am earthquake that rattled the downtown area and
shook us all up more than the new technology did. Rock and
roll took on a different meaning and nearly brought down
the house. Bruce can rock and roll, but this was serious
rumbling as if to emphasize the drama of the technolgy.

But we all emerged unscathed by the rumbling of nature to
contemplate ways to harness the latest in compression and
embedded rich media in email. Privacy concerns will clearly
be the biggest hump to dump if companies expect to use these
tools effectively while addressing consumer worries and
finding ways to adequately protect sensitive information
from third parties.

Here's an email from Ed McMahon and Publishers Clearing
House! How long will it take me to get used to celebrities
addressing me by my own name and playing my favorite music
as background to those personalized videos?

WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet
Ezine emphasizing small business online
e-tutorial online at:
By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web!

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July 29, 2001