Re: Shipping Books versus Ordering Books by Mail

Subject: Re: Shipping Books versus Ordering Books by Mail
From: Win Day <winday -at- CML -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 17:28:23 -0500

On Wed, 22 Feb 1995, Harold Henke wrote:

> Hi all, we are considering NOT shipping some books with a printer but
> instead providing a card that a customer can fax or mail to us. Once
> we receive the card, we will ship the customer, at no charge, the book.

> The reasons for this are we want to reduce our product costs and we think
> that many of the books go to waste. For instance, if we sell a company
> 100 printers, chances are they only need one set of books.

> I should add we will still ship the operator's guide and setup guides
> with the printer but we want to only ship the maintenance documentation
> and programming information if a customer ask for it. (If we sell
> 100 printers, unlikely the customer will keep 100 maintenance and programmer
> books lying around.)

> My questions, now that I am off my soapbox, are:

> 1. If we ship a 1000 printers, how many customers will send in the card
> for their "free" manuals? (I have heard response rates are 10 to 20
> percent).

> 2. Is this an industry practice? Anyone out there doing this kind of
> thing. (I know Microsoft will sell you all kinds of books from their
> Microsoft press, but do not recall many "free" books.)

Just a suggestion, but why not include an electronic version of the
manuals so the customers can print or not as they choose? Not an online
version, because that's a whole 'nother product, but a Word6 doc or WP
doc or whatever you choose to include.

A lot of shareware goes out that way. I don't know how long or
sophisticated your manuals are, but I downloaded an offline mail reader
with an electronic manual that ran about 100 pages when I finally printed

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