Friday, February 12, 2010


It's two days away from Valentine's Day and the expiration of the special offer I made of giving out FREE mini subscriptions to The Chess Reports. Bob Woodworth wrote the other day to take advantage of the no strings attached offer and said he has never gotten anything FREE in his life except from relatives (we always exclude relatives don't we?). So Bob W. has another new experience in his life.

I suppose some wonder why I would write about this more than once or twice in a one week period. It's a marketing thing and the answer is simple: it takes up to seven times (!) before the majority of people are even aware some kind of deal is going on -- that's why people keep advertising in the newspapers every week or every other week and so on. After a while their brain pops on and mutters "Hey, it seems like Department Store D has a sales of 'something' every Wednesday." Or there is a section in the newspaper every Thursday relating what is going on for the coming weekend. You get the idea.

So I will send another PDF reminder today. Not exactly seven times (or nine or eleven by the count of others) but three (in some form or another). Let's see what happens.

So far 21 people have responded out of 650! That's 3%. Remember when I wrote I had 13 and said .2 % ? That should have been 2%. I predicted it would be 20 who answered too and we have 21. Estimation has always been my bag as well as a study of human nature. I suspect with the emailing today I will pick up a few more.

Sometimes it takes a while to notice something OR we invoke that old rut-routine "I don't have time." I know a guy who couldn't wait for retirement; he was anticipating it like nothing I have ever seen. I heard, for years, how he didn't have the time to do this or that, but I noticed he always had time to spend on pursuits such as second hand stores, eating out, gambling, etc. Chess was "in his mind," but waaaaay down the list.

Now he is retired and when I talked with him last week, about some secular (i.e., non-chess) matter, the first phrase from his mouth was, "I don't have the time!" Now he doesn't have that job he hated, but the second hand stores, the gambling, the restaurant life, etc. is going stronger than ever... oh I forgot, he still spends a lot of time online playing chess (in bed, the car, and wherever). He did that before with no apparent success.

Is there an upside to this story? Certainly. He entered his first weekly chess tournament in some years. He has won two games in a row! Some people take time for the whole shootin' match to sink in. So I suspect some more will climb aboard the FREE subscription train for issues #99-100-101.

I've been diligently working on issue #100 but can send #99 to you today! Announcements of new products or new ideas are almost always made in The Chess Reports first because those readers are special to me (they paid!).

I know some of those people who signed up won't get a cheap ($19.95) subscription but several already have by-passed the free issues and gone straight to subscribing. I am aware of that from the getgo. Part of my job is to show them how subscribing will be MORE fun than not subscribing, and not that expensive either. The next issue will have, among other things, some great tips, a note from Laz Munoz on getting older chess programs to work on your machine, etc.

Years ago I had over 500 people who got my Chess Gazette. It was free and would run 4-12 pages! I had it printed and mailed out. It was expensive. 75% of these people never bought a thing... so I had to eventually terminate it (the jaded never think this will happen to them, but, it does). But the customers still remember it. That's why I am asking you to subscribe, it shows some initiative on your part.

Yes, I did pay for the "chess heart" on the chess board. It seemed so appropriate.

Tell your friends, if you have any (as some wag once said) about this offer. Thanks.

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