But affiliates can be very guarded when it comes to their mailing list, we can’t blame them because we jealously protect our own email list too. When it comes to asking someone to promote you over their highly valuable email list you have to make sure that you’re offering them and their audience something that’s worth their time. Which is why we we strove to make sure our lead magnets were as valuable as possible so that their audience wouldn’t see this cross-promotion as spam, but something that’s worth their time.

An email blast is a single email message that is sent to a large group of recipients. Email blasts are no longer an email marketing best practice. Email marketers should segment their lists and send targeted messages to their subscribers.  All email blasts need to follow the CAN-SPAM Act, include an unsubscribe link, and accurately identify the person or business that is deploying the email.
If someone didn't ask to hear from you yet, it doesn't mean they won't want to hear from you later. It's your job to prove to them -- through helpful content and valuable offers -- that they should stay up to date with your company via email. If you force your email content on anyone too early, even if you know in your bones they're a great fit for your products or services, you risk preemptively losing their trust and their future business.
Marketers must first determine whether the goal is to retain customers or attract new ones, who their target audience is, and what they’re looking for. They then look to their budgets to determine which direct marketing strategy would work best for them, whether that be catalog, postcard, or email campaigns. Once they know the answers to these questions, they begin to build a strategic implementation plan.
Whether you already have a list of subscribers or are starting from scratch, email marketing services can help. All of the services we cover let you add contacts manually using copy and paste or by uploading CSV or Microsoft Excel files. Some integrate with third-party software enabling you to import Gmail and other webmail contacts, Salesforce.com and other customer relationship management (CRM) data, or other software where you might have contacts stored. Depending on the size and location of your list, third-party integration could be key. Verify whether you can export contacts as well (and how easy it is to do so) should you leave the service. Managing users who unsubscribe should also be easy so you're not accidentally contacting anyone who has opted out of your newsletters.
4) Treat your list well. Remember that the people you're using email to communicate with have trusted you with their email and name; they deserve your respect. Just as you deserve as a chance to convert them from customers to fans and even evangelists for your brand, people who want to talk about and share your message and get involved in any way they can.
A key benefit of using online channels for marketing a business or product is the ability to measure the impact of any given channel, as well as how visitors acquired through different channels interact with a website or landing page experience. Of the visitors that convert into paying customers, further analysis can be done to determine which channels are most effective at acquiring valuable customers.
I am a scientist. My e-mail has been drawn from publicly-available sites related to science. My name and e-mail is being sold as part of a 7 Million+ e-mail list to biomedical companies and anyone who wants to buy targeted lists. I NEVER gave permission to use my name and e-mail and in fact requested that my name be removed. The company continues to make profits by selling my name + 6.999 million others. I don’t care what country you are from, this is UNETHICAL and ILLEGAL (in my eyes). Of course, who as the money to try and persecute such crooks? Worse yet, if I live in South Africa and the company is selling from India, how can US laws affect or cover me? These guys work across transnational borders because they know that they can operate across international borders online, without any regulation (unless they operate from the US, perhaps). So no fear, no penalties, no recrimination, no fines, just sickening profits from unjust and unfair and illegal marketing methods. Because frauds all abuse innocents.

As opposed to static messaging, chat advertising refers to real time messages dropped to users on certain sites. This is done by the usage of live chat software or tracking applications installed within certain websites with the operating personnel behind the site often dropping adverts on the traffic surfing around the sites. In reality this is a subset of the email advertising but different because of its time window.

Scammers can take advantage of consumers' difficulties verifying an online persona's identity,[98]:1 leading to artifices like phishing (where scam emails look identical to those from a well-known brand owner)[99] and confidence schemes like the Nigerian "419" scam.[100][101][102] The Internet Crime Complaint Center received 289,874 complaints in 2012, totaling over half a billion dollars in losses, most of which originated with scam ads.[103][104]
When writing this guide, we reached out to the marketer community to collect case studies and learnings about creative marketing strategies. Most of these examples are included throughout the guide, but some didn’t quite fit. So we included those loose ends here, from the perspective of four awesome marketers. What better way to wrap up this guide than with you, our community?
Email marketing has always been Permission based, but is silently replaced with its brother; Tease Marketing, continuously building on a brand relationship based on mutual interest. The challenge becomes presenting an – already in itself – appealing and attractive message. But how to benchmark your email marketing efforts to fit that new train of thought?
As a growing business, you may also be looking for a CRM solution, and you'll find that the more advanced email marketing services have begun to crossover into CRM. It makes sense: Both types of software deal with managing and communicating with customers. A handful of these services are one-stop shops, either offering both email marketing and CRM out of the box or as add-on services.
Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic: Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic all are aspects used by marketers to help advocate digital advertising. Cookies are a form of digital advertising, which are tracking tools within desktop devices; causing difficulty, with shortcomings including deletion by web browsers, the inability to sort between multiple users of a device, inaccurate estimates for unique visitors, overstating reach, understanding frequency, problems with ad servers, which cannot distinguish between when cookies have been deleted and when consumers have not previously been exposed to an ad. Due to the inaccuracies influenced by cookies, demographics in the target market are low and vary (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Another element, which is affected within digital marketing, is ‘viewabilty’ or whether the ad was actually seen by the consumer. Many ads are not seen by a consumer and may never reach the right demographic segment. Brand safety is another issue of whether or not the ad was produced in the context of being unethical or having offensive content. Recognizing fraud when an ad is exposed is another challenge marketers face. This relates to invalid traffic as premium sites are more effective at detecting fraudulent traffic, although non-premium sites are more so the problem (Whiteside, 2016).[42]
This ties into the first 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – even if you have what you feel is a great and well-defined target list, you won’t truly know how great it is until you test it. If you operate a business in a smaller community, this won’t be as critical – but if you’re in a medium or large city, it can be crucial. Using the example above, even if you know that the Life Alert bracelet offer is meant for seniors, in a city like San Francisco or New York, you wouldn’t want to send it to everyone over the age of 55 citywide. Instead, select one (or in a very large city, several) small area to test the market out. Start small and measure the effectiveness and ROI along every step of the way.
Great article here. Pls. I’m a little bit confused. All I just need is a vendor that has a Landing page feature, allows for autoresponder, allows for promotion of genuine mlm and affiliate business, and cost effective for beginner. I tried Mailchimp but got suspended just within two weeks with them, and the customer care pretty bad and arrogant. Please advice

Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.


E-marketing can offer more competitive prices than traditional marketing because e-marketing reduces costs by not having to maintain physical store space and by strategically placing distribution centers throughout the country. Second, because the Internet is available 24/7, e-marketing enables shoppers to search for product/service information and buy goods at their convenience, not just when the store is open. Third, research indicates that the cost of Internet-based promotion is one-fourth of traditional promotion, because it does not incur the costs of paper, printing, handling, and mailing. Fourth, e-marketing enables buyers to custom-build products such as shoes, clothes, computers, and automobiles on the Web, options often not available in stores.
Once the direct mail campaign has gone out, and customers have responded, companies track results to determine the campaign's effect. Measuring the number of responses, increased traffic, and profit margin gives marketers important information about whether the direct mail piece produced the desired results, and what else (or instead) should be targeted in future campaigns.
Basic text-based email editors to fully designed HTML or JavaScript templates are just some of the features these packages can provide businesses. You can manage your contacts by simply keeping a list of names and email addresses or you can create a complex database full of subscribers segmented by demographic slices and engagement levels. Which method you choose really just depends on how much of your budget you're willing to allocate towards the email marketing software that can give your company the features it needs.
A trick banner is a banner ad where the ad copy imitates some screen element users commonly encounter, such as an operating system message or popular application message, to induce ad clicks.[34] Trick banners typically do not mention the advertiser in the initial ad, and thus they are a form of bait-and-switch.[35][36] Trick banners commonly attract a higher-than-average click-through rate, but tricked users may resent the advertiser for deceiving them.[37]
The effort you put into building your email list is one of the best investments you can make online. Having access to the inboxes of targeted prospects means you can continue to build and nurture relationships over time, and become a trusted source of valuable industry knowledge. Then, when it’s time for your prospects to buy, you’ll be the first one who comes to mind.
Have a few different buttons on your email template: separate social media buttons that produce pre-written social posts linking to a webpage version of your email, and an "Email to a Friend" button that transfers the email into a compose window so your contacts can instantly forward the message. Just make sure your email has an opt-in button so each new viewer can subscribe to more emails from you if they like what they see.
Electronic mailing list servers may be set to forward messages to subscribers of a particular mailing list either individually as they are received by the list server, or in digest form in which all messages received on a particular day by the list server are combined into one email that is sent once per day to subscribers. Some mailing lists allow individual subscribers to decide how they prefer to receive messages from the list server (individual or digest).[2]
Just one subscriber and something to say, that’s it! Don’t wait to have a “large list”. Email Marketing has no limits in size, BIG or small. When it comes to using a tool like Benchmark, the last thing you want is to have to learn something new. That’s why Benchmark Email was created with familiar tools in mind. Here is how and what you will need to get started
You can now avoid meta keywords because they are no longer as important as they were before for search engine optimization. Many search engines know that websites can “game” their meta keywords field through black hat keyword stuffing. Hence, Google puts no importance on meta keywords in its ranking algorithm. Google puts more importance on meta descriptions and title tags, as previously mentioned. Nevertheless, they still form a helpful part in the communication of your message.
The old formula for direct marketing success was mass marketing: "Mail to as many people as you can; someone has to be interested." However, paper and postage costs are always increasing, and with so much mail ending up in the trash, businesses have changed their way of thinking. Why waste money mailing to everyone when everyone is not a potential customer? You need to target the leads who will buy. That is the difference between mass marketing and target marketing.  Targeted mailing lists pinpoint your best leads.  There is less waste and a higher percentage of prospects responding to your mailing.
Focus on the reader first. You should always write your emails to address the needs of your subscribers, not yours. Offer ways to solve their problems, don’t simply talk about your products and how great they are. (This is a part that so many companies get wrong.) Ask yourself, what are the biggest pain points/struggles for my subscribers? How can I solve their current problem in this email?
The first widely publicized example of online advertising was conducted via electronic mail. On 3 May 1978, a marketer from DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), Gary Thuerk, sent an email to most of the ARPANET's American west coast users, advertising an open house for a new model of a DEC computer.[5][10] Despite the prevailing acceptable use policies, electronic mail marketing rapidly expanded[11] and eventually became known as "spam."

A trick banner is a banner ad where the ad copy imitates some screen element users commonly encounter, such as an operating system message or popular application message, to induce ad clicks.[34] Trick banners typically do not mention the advertiser in the initial ad, and thus they are a form of bait-and-switch.[35][36] Trick banners commonly attract a higher-than-average click-through rate, but tricked users may resent the advertiser for deceiving them.[37]


Take Social, you can leverage Social channels such as Facebook and Twitter to deploy campaigns (you no longer have to be a coded / programmer), there are wizard-based tools for doing this to create Apps that are publishing directly to these channels. When people respond to your App (e.g. Photo Contest, Refer-A-Friend for incentive, etc.) they opt-in to direct communications and provide an email address and address (or whatever it is you customise that you wish to capture). These people are then immediately available for your direct marketing campaigns.


Now that you’re all set up to starting collecting emails, the fun part begins (when I say ‘fun’, I actually mean ‘hard’). If your site receives a good amount of traffic and you have a truly compelling offer, this shouldn’t be too difficult. However, if you’re like most business owners, you’ll need to look outside your own audience to start building your list.
Much of this increase can be attributed to the ability to couple physical mail pieces with mobile and online marketing efforts, resulting in a sound multichannel marketing program. Think of how many pieces of mail you've seen recently sporting QR codes, URLs to social media sites, and SMS short codes. Mail affords marketers greater reach, allows more information to be communicated than most online advertising efforts, and gives buyers the opportunity to respond to a call to action in the way that they want, on their own time.
Ever since the dawn of time, entrepreneurs have been giving away stuff for free. From the “lite” versions of apps, to samples in the grocery story, or straight up assaulting you with perfume every time you walk past the makeup department. Entrepreneurs of all sorts will fall over themselves trying to give you their stuff for free, all in the hopes that you’ll want to come back for more.
To build a maling list, marketers collect information about clients and potential customers through in-house research. Many stores offer a substantial percentage off a first purchase when consumers apply for a credit card in the store, or when they opt-in to an email list. Other organizations and companies might set up a booth at a fair or conference, offering a chance to win an iPad when customers sign up for their newsletters and mailings.
Charities and non-profit groups also use direct mail marketing to fundraise. One common method for charities is to send free return address labels to potential donors—accompanied by a giving slip and return envelope. The March of Dimes has had phenomenal success with this method; representatives there have added that the secret to direct mail contributions is to contact people often. https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/mk1marketing/files/2018/02/email_blasts_header_envelopes_computer-1sbxp11.png
Although there’s no panacea for direct mail’s attribution problem, Simpson says that he shores up his data by matching a list of recent buyers with consumers from the campaign’s direct mail list. This method is more inductive than deductive, in that he cannot be entirely sure the direct mail led to the purchase, but it allows him to have an idea of how effective a direct mail campaign has been. 
While it’s tempting to say that we were able to create such a massive email list all by ourselves the reality is that it impossible to get that far without the help of some friends. As an entrepreneur one of our most valuable resources is our community of peers. While it may be easy to view others in your niche as your competitors, you’ll actually get a lot of more out of your entrepreneur community if you actually view them as potential partners who can help you out. http://fredericgonzalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/email_2.jpg
A lead magnet (a.k.a. an optin bribe) is something amazing that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. This doesn’t have to cost you anything to create– most lead magnets are digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost. It can be absolutely anything you want, so long as it provides value for free.
Charities and non-profit groups also use direct mail marketing to fundraise. One common method for charities is to send free return address labels to potential donors—accompanied by a giving slip and return envelope. The March of Dimes has had phenomenal success with this method; representatives there have added that the secret to direct mail contributions is to contact people often.
Marketers don’t always automatically receive notifications when they’ve been blacklisted, so it’s up to the marketer to monitor their brand’s email sending reputation. There are a number of free online resources that marketers should utilize to check their blacklist status before sending an email blast, such as Barracuda Reputation Block List or MultiRBL.
If you create an email blast that asks your contacts to do something (like call you, fill out a form on your website, or take advantage of an offer), make sure you have that high up in the email.  A good rule of  thumb is that your call to action should appear right away, when someone opens your email. If someone has to scroll to find it, it’s in the wrong place. It’s the same philosophy as the old newspaper theory that the stories “above the fold” are those which get the most attention.
Balancing search and display for digital display ads are important; marketers tend to look at the last search and attribute all of the effectiveness to this. This then disregards other marketing efforts, which establish brand value within the consumers mind. ComScore determined through drawing on data online, produced by over one hundred multichannel retailers that digital display marketing poses strengths when compared with or positioned alongside, paid search (Whiteside, 2016).[42] This is why it is advised that when someone clicks on a display ad the company opens a landing page, not its home page. A landing page typically has something to draw the customer in to search beyond this page. Things such as free offers that the consumer can obtain through giving the company contact information so that they can use retargeting communication strategies (Square2Marketing, 2012).[43] Commonly marketers see increased sales among people exposed to a search ad. But the fact of how many people you can reach with a display campaign compared to a search campaign should be considered. Multichannel retailers have an increased reach if the display is considered in synergy with search campaigns. Overall both search and display aspects are valued as display campaigns build awareness for the brand so that more people are likely to click on these digital ads when running a search campaign (Whiteside, 2016).[42]
If you create an email blast that asks your contacts to do something (like call you, fill out a form on your website, or take advantage of an offer), make sure you have that high up in the email.  A good rule of  thumb is that your call to action should appear right away, when someone opens your email. If someone has to scroll to find it, it’s in the wrong place. It’s the same philosophy as the old newspaper theory that the stories “above the fold” are those which get the most attention.
The primary purpose of a transactional email is to convey information regarding the action that triggered it. But, due to their high open rates (51.3% compared to 36.6% for email newsletters), transactional emails are an opportunity to introduce or extend the email relationship with customers or subscribers; to anticipate and answer questions; or to cross-sell or up-sell products or services.[3]

You want to have a single purpose for your direct mail piece. Often times the goal of a direct mail campaign is to get the recipient to buy a product or use a service. Other goals can be to send people to your website, get people to enter a contest, or let people know about an upcoming event. Knowing your goal will help you formulate what you want the direct mail piece to say. You also need to consider what the recipient stands to gain from the letter.

A mailing list archive is a collection of past messages from one or more electronic mailing lists. Such archives often include searching and indexing functionality. Many archives are directly associated with the mailing list, but some organizations, such as Gmane, collect archives from multiple mailing lists hosted at different organizations; thus, one message sent to one popular mailing list may end up in many different archives. Gmane had over 9,000 mailing list archives as of 16 January 2007. Some popular free software programs for collecting mailing list archives are Hypermail, MHonArc, and FUDforum.
E-marketing is a process of planning and executing the conception, distribution, promotion, and pricing of products and services in a computerized, networked environment, such as the Internet and the World Wide Web, to facilitate exchanges and satisfy customer demands. It has two distinct advantages over traditional marketing. E-marketing provides customers with more convenience and more competitive prices, and it enables businesses to reduce operational costs.

The best email marketing platforms depend on your budget and desired features. Here are some to consider. MailChimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers, so it’s a popular platform to start with. Alternatives to MailChimp include Constant Contact and Aweber. If you need to include other marketing tasks, try Hubspot or Infusionsoft, which many larger businesses use. Whichever you choose, you can easily hire someone to help you set up your email marketing account and create an email newsletter template.


Now, for a lot of people, this may sound like spam, and while there are some similarities, there are also some important differences. An effective email blast/newsletter will actually attempt to offer value to the reader, whereas spam is essentially junk. Additionally, spam is sent randomly to a mass of email addresses with no particular rhyme or reason behind who they send it to; with a business email blast, the whole idea is to target people that, for one reason or another, are assumed to be interested in the topic. Sticking to the fundamental rules for email blasts can help keep them distinguished them from spam as much as possible.
Hi Elaina – Make sure you’re using content in written form in addition to the images. If you’re putting the words of the email in the image itself, then your message may get lost if subscribers read emails as text only. Images are great to add to emails, but the important information should always be written out. Also, remember to include a call-to-action in every email!
Marketers try to measure customer response to direct mail through personalized URLs and coupon codes, but there’s no guarantee customers will visit websites from a specific URL or buy products using a specific code. O’Keefe says that consumers will often receive a piece of mail, get inspired and Google the product they want to buy. The difficulty of attributing conversions may be a reason why the pendulum has swung toward digital, O’Keefe says.
A web-based interface is often available to allow people to subscribe, unsubscribe, and change their preferences. However, mailing list servers existed long before the World Wide Web,[1] so most also accept commands over email to a special email address. This allows subscribers (or those who want to be subscribers) to perform such tasks as subscribing and unsubscribing, temporarily halting the sending of messages to them, or changing available preferences - all via email. The common format for sending these commands is to send an email that contains simply the command followed by the name of the electronic mailing list the command pertains to. Examples: subscribe anylist or subscribe anylist John Doe.
Not only is InVision's newsletter a great mix of content, but I also love the nice balance between images and text, making it really easy to read and mobile-friendly -- which is especially important, because its newsletters are so long. (Below is just an excerpt, but you can read through the full email here.) We like the clever copy on the call-to-action (CTA) buttons, too.
A blast email is a type of electronic mailing that is distributed to a large recipient list, and is sent out over a specified amount of time. Often used by marketers, these types of bulk emails were once considered a form of spam, or junk email. Many companies now use blast emails as a legitimate tool to communicate with their customers, and as a result, blast email has become an effective type of email marketing.
When planning a direct mail campaign, don’t forget that you still need to follow the basic direct mail rules. A good list, a good design and a strong call-to-action are a must in order for your direct mail to be a success. Provide information on how people can use the technology you are including and strong content for them to view. If the content is not well designed, then your effort will have been a waste of time.
Scott Heimes serves as Chief Marketing Officer at SendGrid, where he is responsible for the company's brand strategy, driving demand for its solutions and leading global marketing operations. Scott oversees corporate marketing, demand generation, corporate communications, partnerships and alliances, international expansion and SendGrid’s community development team.
The benefit of that is when you do need to announce a new product or sale, you can count on the fact that you’ve already been in touch, having built a relationship over several weeks/months, and are much less likely to annoy your readers. Of course, it’s important to schedule your autoresponder sequence on specific days so that you know when you can afford to send an email. More than one per day and you’re probably mailing too much.
While almost all reputable email service providers work very hard to make sure that your emails are not blocked by major ISP’s, they can’t control whether or not your emails hit the inbox or the spam box. Although most will help you by providing a quality score to help you determine availability, getting whitelisted is the most effective way to ensure that your emails get delivered properly.
There are many vendors out there who sell lists or rent them (though renting means that the list seller maintains ownership and control of the email list). These are collections of email addresses that the vendors sell to any business or individual who can pay the fees. Your email list is considered to be a purchased or shared list if it’s provided to you by a third party, like an email list vendor or affiliate. There's a few ways that vendors build these non opt-in email lists.
One hundred years ago, companies such as Sears, Roebuck & Co. and J.C. Penny Co. used customer data to send out catalogs and mailers. Back then, the companies possessed small sets of data, mainly names and addresses of customers. Now, marketers have mountains of complex data and are faced with a modern conundrum: How much personal data is too much to incorporate into the content?

He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
3. Email converts better. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers. In fact, email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. That’s huge! And if you are wondering if social media converts even better, think again: the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.
A campaign is a marketing message that you share through email or ads. In Mailchimp, most users start with a regular email campaign, which is a bulk email sent to many contacts at once. When you create a regular email campaign in Mailchimp, you’ll use a checklist-style Campaign Builder to add recipients, choose your settings, and design your content.
This ties into the second 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – now you’re probably beginning to see why that was listed up front and why it’s universally considered the gold standard when it comes to direct mail marketing guidelines. With other forms of advertisements or marketing, it is perfectly acceptable to only go after impressions – a billboard in a highly-trafficked area or a TV spot that is more of a teaser in nature can sometimes go a long way toward educating the public of your existence, which is the first step in getting them to engage. With direct mailings however, you might as well be printing cash to send out to people if you don’t have a compelling call to action to give people.
Customers are often researching online and then buying in stores and also browsing in stores and then searching for other options online. Online customer research into products is particularly popular for higher-priced items as well as consumable goods like groceries and makeup. Consumers are increasingly using the Internet to look up product information, compare prices, and search for deals and promotions.[21]

Couple your sign-up boxes with a clear description of “what’s in it for them.” Let customers know exactly what to expect when signing up, and sell the benefits for being on your email list. This can be as simple as promoting the general advantages of the channel — such as being able to receive information and offers faster and that it’s eco-friendly.


Marketers try to measure customer response to direct mail through personalized URLs and coupon codes, but there’s no guarantee customers will visit websites from a specific URL or buy products using a specific code. O’Keefe says that consumers will often receive a piece of mail, get inspired and Google the product they want to buy. The difficulty of attributing conversions may be a reason why the pendulum has swung toward digital, O’Keefe says.
I am loving this article. I specifically like points 1 and 7. As for number 1, I think a quality list is better than a gigantic list of just anyone like you say. I think this is also true for “followers” and “likes”. Are the people following you genuinely caring about your content or just subscribing just to apease you? As for #7, we have to KNOW if our efforts are working and not just go off of a gut feeling. Great points here Erik. https://www.emailtooltester.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/email-marketing-services.jpg
Emails triggered by milestones, like anniversaries and birthdays, are fun to get -- who doesn't like to celebrate a special occasion? The beauty of anniversary emails, in particular, is that they don't require subscribers to input any extra data, and they can work for a variety of senders. Plus, the timeframe can be modified based on the business model.
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