This story was too good to ignore, but the marketing technique that we describe here definitely falls into the gray area between responsible newsgroup participation and SPAM. We include it here because there was little agreement between anyone who heard about it – some felt that this was definitely a case of SPAM, others felt that the response received clearly showed that it was not. You’ve been warned, so here’s the story.
The web site in question is targeted to a very small, niche market in financial services. There may, in fact, be only 10,000 people in the world that could possibly be interested in the site’s content. The site’s initial development had been completed, but the site’s operators, who were wizards in off-line marketing, were at something of a loss. They knew what type of people they wanted to reach, but they didn’t know how to find them. They tried looking for similar sites, but the search engines turned up nothing. Finally, they hit on a winning strategy involving Usenet newsgroups.