From Loren Nelson, NelsonEcom
Internet Solutions | Visual Design
Web Sites, Podcasts, Multimedia, & Usability Engineering

September 14, 2007 – Vol. XI, No. 23


NetBits is the weekly newsletter keeping your informed of various chatter and other tidbits of potential relevance.


In This Issue:

Item One: Beat the Email Tax
Item Two: Holidays Email Marketing Tips
Item Three: Fitness Tip – Quick Stress Buster
Item Four: Word of the Week
Item Five: Nutrition Tip – Build a Lean Burger
Do you know…

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1. Beat the Email Tax

While taxes may be one of life’s certainties, the internet has, so far, miraculously managed to escape the clutches of revenue-hungry government tax collectors. That may change if Congress doesn’t get its act together – and fast.

Back in 1998 the Internet Tax Freedom Act came just as some local governments began to extend their very high telecommunications taxes to internet access. State and local governments want to tax your cable modem or DSL bill, as well as internet services, and the internet backbone, but the bill stopped them cold. The goal was simple: encourage the spread of the internet by preventing government from strangling it in its crib with high taxes.

Since then Congress has passed multiple extensions of the internet tax moratorium, the latest of which expires this November. This time around, Congress should make the ban on internet taxes permanent. Two bills, S. 156 in the Senate and H.R. 743 in the House, would do just that, but movement thus far has been stagnant and the clock is ticking.

State and local internet access taxes could add 20 percent to 25 percent to the average internet consumer’s bill – a tax hike of about $150 per year. That may not sound like much in Washington, D.C., but it could strand millions of low-income Americans on the wrong side of the digital divide. And higher internet charges could hinder small business from gaining access to the technology they need to compete with larger companies. Schools, libraries, and other educational and research institutions with limited budgets would also take a hit.

Supporters of new internet taxes make the case that Congress’ “Hands Off the Internet” strategy has served its purpose. The internet is no longer an infant technology, they say. After all, internet use in the United States has soared from about 36 percent of the population at the end of 1998 to over 70 percent today.

But in the warp-speed world of the internet, that’s yesterday’s news. America still lags far behind our economic competitors when it comes to wiring homes and businesses with high-speed internet access or broadband. Even though the internet was largely invented here (but not by Al Gore!), America still ranks 16th in the world in terms of broadband deployment, behind countries like South Korea and Japan.

Widespread broadband deployment is the key to unleashing a new round of internet-driven gains in productivity and entrepreneurial activity. Respected economists estimate that 1.2 million new jobs would be generated by the broadband build-out, enough growth to generate more in taxes than states and localities hope to raise by taxing your internet access, e-mail, and other online services.

So why not just extend the moratorium for another two years or so? Because making broadband available on a near-universal basis will require billions in private investment by technology companies willing to build next generation networks like fiber-to-the-home. And companies are hesitant to put that capital at risk as long as the tax man keeps lurking right around the corner, always threatening to milk consumers and potentially destroy a good portion of the mass market for broadband.

Members of Congress have a choice to make. They can give the green light to state and local governments to saddle internet users with myriad new taxes and fees. Or they can lock the tax man away permanently and throw away the key. That should be a pretty easy call.

Contact your U.S. Representative and Senators and let them know how you feel about taxes on your email.

2. Holidays Email Marketing Tips

Reports have shown that email is the most used medium for online shopping during the holiday season. Email marketing, due to its affordability, effectiveness and straightforwardness, is much exploited to benefit the most from the holiday traffic and spending, hence generating a positive impression about the company as well as a higher revenue. Email marketing supplies the tools to target clients who are ready to spend money over the holidays. This period thus provides a plethora of prospects to boost your business. You should employ an efficient holiday marketing stratagem which solves your customers’ problems and target their interests. Sending holiday email campaigns is an excellent way for you to stay connected with your clients.

Tips to increase sales during holidays, making use of email marketing:

Email Eearly

Send your campaigns early, before the holiday shopping rush to grab more customers. You should avoid sending emails during the holidays as people do not tend to check their email regularly. A number of emails pile up and the chance that your email is deleted without being read increases. Therefore, emailing before the holidays is more efficient. Include a sense of exigency in your emails, such as limiting the time period, so that your recipients respond and buy quickly.

Email Frequency

If you have a propensity to rise the frequency of your mailing during the holidays, inform your recipients beforehand. Do not increase your email frequency without notification as this might irritate the receivers.
Notify About New Issues Or Updates

You should notify your recipients in case you plan not to publish issues during the holidays. You can also seize the opportunity to invite new people to subscribe to your email or newsletter. If new updates or offers are expected after the holidays, outline them before the holidays to whet your subscribers’ appetite.

Basics Of A Good Email

* A good "Subject" line which outlines a benefit and is free from spam-like words, such as free, or bad formatting, that is all capital letters and excessive punctuation.
* A fine and recognizable "From" line, which includes your brand.
* Send personalized HTML emails. The latter leads to a higher response rate and allows the tracking of opens and click-throughs. oemPro provides the ability of personalizing all your emails.

Holiday Greeting

You should send holiday greetings to all your prospects and customers. The latter will appreciate your thanks and regards.

3. Fitness Tip – Quick Stress Buster

Feeling stressed going back to work after a vacation or just a long weekend off? No one else will notice this yoga exercise in the elevator — but it’ll keep you from the panic button. Rest your right hand on the elevator wall for balance and stand on your right foot. Cross your left leg over your right shin, but don’t let your foot touch the ground. Take a few deep breaths.

4. Word of the Week

thwart • \THWORT\ • verb

1 a : to run counter to so as to effectively oppose or baffle : contravene
*b : to oppose successfully : defeat the hopes or aspirations of

2 : to pass through or across

Example Sentence:
At the end of the episode, the fleeing villain told the hero, "You may have thwarted me this time, but I’ll be back."
Did you know?
"Thwart" and its synonyms "foil" and "frustrate" all suggest checking or defeating another’s plan or preventing the achievement of a goal. "Foil" implies checking or defeating so as to discourage future efforts ("foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her"), while "frustrate" suggests making all efforts, however vigorous or persistent, futile or ineffectual ("frustrated attempts at government reform"). "Thwart" usually indicates frustration caused by opposition ("the army thwarted an attempted coup").

5. Nutrition Tip – Build a Lean Burger

For lean burgers, chose ground sirloin (around 90 percent lean meat/10 percent fat). Leaner ground beef tends to make dry burgers. When using higher-fat meats such as ground lamb or pork, add an equal amount of ground turkey breast to make the overall burger leaner. Turkey is quite mild, so the flavor of the lamb or pork still comes through. Because they are lower in fat, poultry burgers can dry out over the high heat of the grill. Add ingredients that lend moisture, such as mashed plantains, chopped chickpeas, dried fruit and chopped onions.

6. Do You Know…
On this day:

  • Harun al-Rashid Is Caliph of Greater Arabia (786)
    Considered the greatest Abbasid Caliph, Harun al-Rashid was an educated scholar, lover of poetry, and patron of the arts who ruled Baghdad from 786-809. With a vast empire spanning SW Asia and the northern part of Africa, he was known around the world and had diplomatic relations with both China and Charlemagne’s Frankish empire.
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