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Telli Development & Product Summary (Questions & Answers)

Questions & Answers About Telli's History, Development & Growth

Address: PO Box 1088
Tiburon/Belvedere, CA 94920
Phone: 415-435-1280

TELLI DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCT SUMMARY
Questions and Answers from Management

See Telli's Business Plan at www.telli.com/summary

What is Guinness Telli*Phone?

Guinness Telli*Phone Corporation, incorporated in the state of Nevada on September 13, 1993, is a developer of interactive networking systems and simple automated Internet advertising and website development tools (Telli Systems). We are also publishers of online educational content.

Why did Guinness develop Telli Systems?

Replace Yellow Pages: We developed Telli Systems to build and maintain comprehensive local information websites to replace yellow pages directories with local online centers containing more than just business listings.

Current local details and social media: In addition to details on all local businesses, groups, schools, and associations, a local Telli website displays current information on movies, events, activities, classes, meetings, reviews, coupons, and classifieds, as well as service providers operating exclusively from cell phones,

Instant do-it-yourself promotions: Through the site, people have access to do-it-yourself listing tools and simple-to-use advertising and web page design tools to add and update information that appears on the Internet instantly so there is no waiting for search engines to find it.

Affordable and simple web pages: To serve the 50 percent of small businesses who still don't have websites, due to the cost and complexity of creating them, Telli websites provide an affordable advertising platform for local businesses to create simple TelliPages to highlight themselves in their communities and on the Internet.

What is the yellow pages marketplace?

Miniscule amounts of media time is spent with print yellow pages, yet advertisers still placed nearly $8 billion worth of advertising in them in 2013, equating to almost $19 billion per minute of consumer usage versus only $1 million per minute of TV usage.

Over the last five years, daily usage of traditional media has fallen by over 25 percent. Borrell Associates predicts another 25 percent or more in audience usage of old-time media is likely to occur by the end of 2018.

Why target local markets?

In 2013, the ability of cable companies to deliver a specific commercial to a specific neighborhood became a reality.

Borrell reports that online media holds the same potential, which we are seeing in display and video advertising targeted to specific users based on sites visited, location, search terms entered, or other personal data.

Does Telli have an operating local prototype?

The Company created the first online variable micro-search local information site, Telli Marin at www.telli.com. Telli Marin is available on computers and mobile devices and offers comprehensive information on the communities of Marin County, California (population approximately 260,000).

Thousands of people visit Telli Marin every day to access businesses, movie schedules, events, classes, and activities from its 3,400 micro-categories and view pages of information from its 20,000 local listings and related details, making it the “number one” site for finding information in Marin.

How is a local Telli Site managed?

Local operators, with a marketing and advertising background and who live in the areas that their sites cover, manage their sites using the simple Telli Administrator software program.

They provide personal advertising and design support to subscribers while managing, modifying, and maintaining their local online sites remotely on their computers or laptops at a secure Telli Internet URL Site Address.

How is a Telli local information site different from other Internet sites and search engines?

  • A Telli local information site is a variable search site focusing on local content to serve the people and businesses in the communities of a specific geographic area. (See, www.telli.com/variablesearch).

  • As well as listings with extensive micro-details on all businesses in the area, a Telli site contains movie schedules, reviews, classifieds, coupons, and current information on community events, activities, lectures, classes, theatre productions, and the arts. (See, www.telli.com/microtags).

  • Telli’s simple and secure listing tools, allow people in a community to enter and update their own basic listings and TelliPages of limited promotional information on a Telli local site themselves, at no charge.

  • New information appears on Telli Sites and on the Internet instantly.

  • For a small monthly subscription fee, people can highlight their businesses, products, and services on a Telli local site’s affordable Advertising Platform using Telli’s do-it-yourself advertising and automated design tools to create and update colorful web TelliPages to promote their products and services throughout their community and on the Internet.

  • Borrell Associates, a major Internet research firm, reported that, "a local search company established like a large TV network with multiple local affiliates could readily establish a strong foothold in individual communities than nationwide players. Google doesn't have that. Local media and search firms that work from a truly local level would relegate everybody else to mere content providers.".

  • Most sites don't participate in the community they enable, reports Marchex in a Local Online Advertising Report. "Local sites need to understand the customers' needs. Participation (in the community) is what makes the most popular portals successful."

How does Guinness set up a Telli local site containing comprehensive information?

  • Telli’s Editorial Team establishes a Telli local online information site on Guinness servers to license to a qualified local manager who lives in the area covered.

    • All local listings are downloaded from current telephone installation records, not outdated mailing lists, and

    • The listings are modified by Telli listing editors into Telli’s extensive micro-categories making Telli information the most up-to-date and comprehensive available in the area.

  • The Telli System automatically creates a basic Telli web page for all listings that provides a location map, website link, contact information, and pertinent details from Telli’s micro-categories to give people an instant overview of the specific products and services offered by every business or organization in the area.

  • The Telli System displays local movie listings and schedules through an Internet feed that downloads the information directly to a Telli local site and updates it every week.

How does a Telli local site accumulate additional information?

A Telli local online information site contains a comprehensive database of basic information, with extensive micro-categories relevant to the area served and grows from the following:

  • New telephone installations, installation changes, and telephone disconnects are downloaded monthly from the local phone company records, and

  • New listings and updates are entered using Telli’s simple listing tools at no charge by local businesses (especially those operating from cell phones), professionals, groups, non-profit organizations, and places offering entertainment, classes, and events.

What Telli Systems products are available to the public to add information to a Telli local information site?

Listing Tools:Telli System’s do-it-yourself listing tools are available to businesses and members of the community to post their own information at no charge directly on a Telli local online information site to:

  • enter and update their listings, categories, website links, and information taglines,

  • publish TelliPages of community events, classes and training programs, lectures, activities, and meetings,

  • offer products and services in a classified directory, and

  • post customer recommendations, referrals, and reviews.

Advertising and Design Tools: Using Telli System’s simple-to-use advertising tools, businesses can sign up for an affordable monthly subscription to the Telli Advertising Platform through Telli’s secure electronic payment system and highlight themselves in their community to promote their products and services by:

  • displaying their businesses, services, and news on the Telli home page, at the top of their categories, and on major search engine sites for greater exposure on the Internet,

  • developing colorful, do-it-yourself web TelliPages of current information quickly and easily, and keeping them up to date,

  • showcasing their latest deals, news alerts, specials, and coupons on the Telli home page,

  • publishing news articles, promotions, and blogs,

  • creating event calendars tied to their TelliPages containing additional information and schedules for events, activities, and sales,

  • sending automated email notices and updates to their followers and members, and

  • tracking the number of users accessing their information.

What kind of information can people find on a Telli local information site that may not be available elsewhere?

  • Information on a wide range of specific services is available through Telli's extensive 3,400 micro-categories.

    (e.g. local restaurants with event rooms, beauty salons offering Japanese thermal hair straightening, Trichotillomania therapists, food truck owners, apartment hotels, in home cooking caterers, unique wedding ceremony locations, African dance classes, etc.)

  • Information on people or organizations not listed in the Yellow Pages or any other local directories who operate service businesses from their homes or exclusively through cell phones.

  • Details on people working under the umbrella of larger organizations whose listing information, skills, and personal services are not listed independently.

    (e.g. hairdressers in hair salons, attorneys in law firms, doctors in medical centers, real estate and insurance agents, etc.)

How does the public make use of a Telli local information site?

  • find local products, services, movie schedules, and special deals,

  • find local schools, health and fitness classes, adult training programs, and kids’ programs and activities,

  • find and enter, at no charge, business listings and information on local events, meetings, lectures, and workshops,

  • find and offer products and services in a free classified directory, and

  • post customer recommendations, referrals, reviews and blogs.

What organizations benefit from a Telli Local Information Site?

  • Local businesses and organizations wanting to be found by people searching the Internet for the local products and services they offer.

  • Small businesses that do not receive Internet exposure on the major search engines.

  • People who operate businesses from home or exclusively through cell phones.

  • Non-profits and small businesses unable to afford the expense of creating and maintaining websites (50% of small businesses do not have websites).

  • Local businesses and professionals not willing or able to pay large fees for national Internet exposure but willing to pay modest fees to target customers and clients in their areas. (See next section for Telli national Internet exposure.)

  • Major companies and large organizations wanting to create unique advertising campaigns designed for individual communities.

  • Major retail chains wanting to create unique ads and offer different specials for each of their stores.

  • Local website owners wanting to increase traffic to their websites.

What kind of exposure does a Telli site offer its advertisers through the Telli Advertising Platform that they can't get elsewhere?

  • Telli gives its advertisers a predominant promotional position in the Telli local search results, frequently displays their listings on the Telli home page, and places them at the top of their category lists.
  • Advertisers receive predominant exposure on the major search engines..
    • Google and the major search engines access Telli Marin over 500,000 times a month to copy Telli listings on their sites and display links that send people to Telli.

    • Telli local listings appear at the top or near the top on most major search engines for Marin information. (See, Marin Doctors, Marin Dentists, Marin Hair Salons, Marin Massage, Marin Contractors, Marin Furniture Stores, Marin Sporting Goods, Marin Tax Consultants, etc.)

  • People in Marin County (100,000 households) view thousands of listings every day in Telli Marin. No other local Internet advertising platform comes close to providing as many viewers.

  • The ability to display inexpensive do-it-yourself TelliPages of information that are more effective than websites. (See graph below.)

What Internet issues does Guinness address with Telli Systems, Products, and Tools?

  • Surveys report that 96 percent of consumers use the Internet to find products, services, and activities before actually buying. Moreover, they complete 90 percent of their purchases at local establishments.

  • Internet advertising revenues in the United States totaled $48.2 billion in 2013 and local online advertising revenues represented over 50 percent of the total Internet advertising market.

  • Despite the demand for information online, more than 58 percent of the 23 million small businesses in the United States don’t have websites, according to a 2012 Google report.

  • Most information on the Internet is about businesses and individuals who maintain and promote their own websites.

  • Establishing and maintaining websites is expensive, time-consuming, and beyond the budgets and expertise of most small businesses.

  • Search engine sites don’t offer personalized local Internet marketing assistance and web-design services and approximately 50 percent of small businesses report that the Internet advertising telemarketers who do call them don’t know their communities and fail to understand their business or their needs.

  • Even small businesses with websites report that using the major search engines to promote their sites is expensive and ineffective in attracting customers. They find that the sites don’t focus adequately on their communities or offer a wide enough choice of search engine categories to allow consumers to target their specific products and services.

  • Most Internet search engine sites and local online directories provide only landline telephone listings, addresses and only sometimes, links to websites.

  • It is almost impossible to find businesses or providers of local services that operate exclusively from cell phones.

  • Viewing websites is time consuming and most users limit the number of websites they visit, thus limiting their ability to target specific information and therefore, reducing the value of websites.

What is Telli’s competition?

Many of Telli’s features can be found on national online networks like

  • Google’s Search Engine,

  • Yelp (pages of consumer reviews at www.yelp.com),

  • Facebook (social networking pages at www.facebook.com),

  • Linkedin (professional networking pages at www.linkedin.com),

  • Groupon (pages of discount coupons at www.groupon.com),

  • Twitter (a limited social announcement site at www.twitter.com that allows business and others to send short pieces of information (Tweets of 140 characters) to their followers,

  • YellowPages.com (a national directory of business listings at www.yp.com), and

  • Local.Com (a directory of limited business listings at www.local.com).

How does Telli stand out over the competition?

In addition to having the entire social and business networking features of the above companies combined, Telli one-stop local information sites:

  • focus exclusively on the detailed and extensive current information of individual communities,

  • are managed by local operators who provide personal hands-on assistance and advertising support at subscriber’s places of business,

  • are more comprehensive and up-to-date,
    • The Telli system automatically creates a free basic web page for all listings in the area to provide people with an instant overview of the specific products and services offered by each business and organization in their community,

    • Global search engines or local directories do not have a physical presence in the area, are usually not up to date, and offer listings with only names, addresses, website links (if a business has one), and only land-line phone numbers,

  • display enhanced listing content through inexpensive do-it-yourself colorful web TelliPages that subscribers can create and constantly update instantly without any programming or website design skills,

  • are an easy and quick way for people to communicate and find all forms of local information, events and activities, without having to sift through large amounts of irrelevant global information,

  • offer micro-category and multi-dimensional search, powered by a combination of keyword search, menu search, and simple micro-category click-through filtering systems, and

  • provide a variable search system. People can choose an array of micro-categories to create a unique page of information adhering to multiple variables assembled from their own criteria. (e.g. Telli users can display a list of seafood restaurants close to shopping that offer fish and chips, outdoor dining with a view, a full bar, are child-friendly, and serve hamburgers – in less than 60 seconds on Telli Marin.)

What are the advantages of TelliPages?

People find TelliPages offer summaries of information that they can access and view more quickly than it takes them to search through many websites. The average Telli Marin basic listing with a website link is viewed 2 to 4 times per month but a listing with a professionally designed TelliPage is viewed from 30 to 400 times per month.

How do Telli local information sites generate income?

Local organizations purchase affordable subscriptions on Telli Marin's advertising platform to promote themselves on the Internet inexpensively and highlight their products, schedules, events and services in their communities through colorful TelliPages of information associated with their listings.

The Telli revenue model generates the following income streams:

  • a monthly subscription fee for access to Telli's simple software advertising tools to be highlighted on the Telli Advertising Platform and create and update TelliPages of information for the purpose of promoting their products and services above the thousands of free listings on a Telli site,

  • a monthly subscription fee to place click-through banners at the top of a selection of the 3,400 various Telli micro-category listing pages that, when clicked on, lead to their listings,

  • a design fee for experienced Internet marketing design editors to produce TelliPages on behalf of those businesses that want professionally designed TelliPages. (See, www.telli.com/marin/listings/B38612.

  • a maintenance fee charged to subscribers for Telli design editors to keep their TelliPages up-to-date and their TelliPosts and email alerts constantly compelling.

How do owners of Telli local information sites make money?

Operators generate income from royalties on advertising revenues generated through Telli's automated electronic Advertising Subscription Payment System as well as from fees for providing professional advertising and design assistance to local advertisers.

How do Telli Advertisers evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising on a Telli’s Advertising Platform?

Telli local online information site tools allow advertising subscribers to access their daily and monthly viewer statistics to show the number of people who viewed their information.

What places Telli in a position to be a leader in the local search and advertising industry?

  • Borrell Associates, a major Internet research firm, reported that "a local search company established like a large TV network with multiple local affiliates could readily establish a strong foothold in individual communities than nationwide players. Google doesn't have that," commented Borrell. "Local media and search firms that work from a truly local level would relegate everybody else to mere content providers.".

  • Most sites don't participate in the community they enable, reports Marchex in a Local Online Advertising Report. "Local sites need to understand the customers' needs. Participation (in the community) is what makes the most popular portals successful."

Guinness has invested in only research and development without promoting its products and services in the marketplace. What was the purpose of this limited approach and what has Guinness accomplished?

Historical Background

1983-1991: Building on its previous years of publishing many successful educational textbooks and programmed learning materials, Guinness developed a computerized directory of educational information and programs residing on the company’s mainframe computer. Guinness intended to connect its system to other computers in schools, libraries, and kiosks through the telephone lines (before the public Internet).

1992-1995: Development of a data base service managed by a search engine to distribute information through a system called the World Wide Web using specific telecommunications protocols.

1996-1997: Moved to a standardized Internet Protocol and HTML to deliver information through the Internet.

Development of Telli Marin - A Prototype Local Information Site

It is well known that the radio and television programs, the newspapers and magazines and the Internet sites with the most viewers, attract the largest amount of advertising dollars. Guinness spent time learning how to attract the most viewers to local information in its model site, Telli Marin, by experimenting with various inexpensive promotions.

Today, Telli Marin attracts thousands of viewers every day making it the most viewed site in Marin County for information (population 260,000).

1998-1999: Established and trained a staff of programmers to set up Telli Marin, a local information site managed by a multi-level, user friendly search system at www.telli.com.

1999-2000: Established a staff of editors and programmers to

  • download AT&T business phone installation records for Marin County into Telli Marin,

  • create a category search system with extensive micro-focused categories, and

  • organize the downloaded entries into Telli's new expanded list of over 3,400 micro categories.    

2000-2001: Maintained a small staff of sales and marketing people to develop and test various promotional and community joint venture programs to generate viewers for Telli Marin.

2002-2003: Developed simple do-it-yourself programming systems and tools for people to be able to

  • enter their own information in Telli Marin, and

  • create and design colorful Internet TelliPages.

2003-2005: Created the Telli Administrator and a secure automated subscription payment system to simplify the management of entering, updating, modifying, and managing information in Telli for the purpose of licensing others, without computer programming skills, to operate Telli sites in their areas.

2005: Conducted a multi-level advertising campaign throughout Marin County, created by advertising professionals, and running during an 8 week period (from May to the middle of July) to determine the most successful and cost-effective means of encouraging people to use Telli Marin.

We began offering online subscriptions for businesses to add information to their listings in Telli Marin.

2006-2007: Experimented with various targeted, inexpensive direct mail programs to familiarize potential advertisers with the advantages of "do-it-yourself" advertising in Telli Marin.

2008: Discontinued all advertising and promotion of Telli Marin to evaluate the following factors on Telli's growth.

  • the effect Google has on the number of viewers using Telli Marin,

  • the number of businesses continuing to sign up for advertising subscriptions, and

  • the results Telli may experience when Telli local sites are first established and become operational, before being licensed to local operators and without any marketing support . 

2009-2014: Upgraded Telli software and systems to comply with the latest financial regulations and security standards. In addition, reprogrammed the Telli Administrator and set it up to reside on our servers ("cloud computing"); thus making it far less expensive to establish, maintain, and operate licensed Telli sites.

Doing no "traditional" promotion since 2005 was a significant factor in our researching, testing, and documenting the success of various targeted marketing approaches. By not promoting Telli Marin throughout the county, we were able to accurately assess the results of the many-targeted tests we did to learn the most effective way to:

  • brand a Telli local information site in a community as a successful targeted advertising platform and a comprehensive local information center, and

  • sell TelliPage development services to local subscribers by offering professional, hands-on consulting and design services.

How much is invested in the development of Telli Systems, Products and Tools?

Over $20 million has been documented in Guinness Telli*Phone's audited statements.

What significant knowledge has Guinness obtained while operating Telli Marin?

  • Users comment that the information is comprehensive and always up-to-date.

  • They report that the Telli Home page gives them a complete overview of Marin's products, services, and local events.

  • They find Telli's multi-dimensional search system is fast and easy to use and gets them the specific information they need to meet their individual needs without having to be computer literate.

  • Almost all users of Telli Marin learn about it by word of mouth from others in the community or when they search for local information on Google and other major search sites.

  • 90 per cent of people who enter their own information in Telli Marin, do so without assistance.

  • Businesses that don’t enter information in Telli Marin feel they are not capable of creating or managing effective online advertising programs.

  • Business owners must be reminded constantly of the presence of Telli in their community and the local online advertising opportunities it provides.

  • The value small businesses place on advertising in Telli is proportional to Telli’s visual exposure throughout their community. If they don’t see it, they don’t believe others use it.

  • Most small businesses ignore “traditional advertising” and “calls from telemarketers."

  • Initially, most local businesses familiar with the Internet feel that just creating a website, a Facebook page, or joining a Linked group (brand names) is all they need to do to generate business. However, many soon discover that the expense and effort they put out does not bring in the business they expect for the work they do, as these sites are not local advertising platforms providing significant local exposure.

  • Most Telli subscribers,

    • learned about Telli Marin's impact on local advertising while searching Google for local information (Google copies Telli listings for display on its site.),

    • enhanced their free listing information and created their own TelliPages online using Telli's do-it-yourself programming tools without contacting us for any assistance,

    • never cancelled their paid subscriptions (80%), unless they moved out of the area or closed their businesses, and

    • began with a month to month subscription and then moved into an annual subscription within six to nine months (50%).

  • During small direct selling market tests we conducted, 100% of businesses we approached wanted to advertise in Telli Marin immediately after we offered to create and design a TelliPage for them in return for a small design fee of under $300 (a website page purchased through a web designer can cost a minimum of $500 for one single screen page).

Why is Telli raising new capital?

  • To increase advertising revenues for Telli Marin substantially and establish it as a profitable model by,
    • displaying visual promotions of Telli Marin throughout Marin County to constantly remind people of the presence of Telli Marin in their communities (branding), and

    • setting up commission sales consultants to sell Telli advertising subscriptions and offer personalized customer service to assist advertisers with TelliPage designs,

  • Establish and train a team of editors to set up Telli local information sites in counties adjacent to Marin beginning with,
    • Sonoma County (2 months, 8 editors @ $4,000/mo each = $64,000), and

    • Napa County (1 month, 8 editors @ $4,000/mo each = $32,000).

(We anticipate that new Telli areas will be profitable within 6 months of being established.)

  • Establish a Telli site for West Los Angeles to complete a joint venture with the Brentwood Media Group of local newspapers. Through this project, we expect to show that local newspapers can manage a Telli site and increase their revenues with almost no additional overhead ($50,000 set up and coordination).

  • Complete the licensing of one Telli site to a trade magazine for the purpose of operating an information site for their members and discover how a Telli site can increase revenues for magazines serving targeted marketplaces (Administrative and Marketing = $40,000).

  • Retain our auditors and securities attorney to complete Guinness Telli*Phone’s SEC reporting documentation and file a Form 10 with the SEC to return TELI to the trading on the OTC Board ($100,000).

What does Telli hope to achieve with this new capital?

  • Provide benchmarks and positive statistics for the successful growth of Telli through various methods of licensing to build significant stockholder value.

  • Within 6 months Guinness expects to announce significant and ongoing progress and stand out as a leader in the field of “local search and advertising” to accelerate the establishment of Telli sites in other areas around the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout California.

Why doesn’t Telli sell franchises for Telli local information sites rather than licensing them?

  • Under Federal rules, the Company cannot receive more than $500 for the sale of a license. A fee of more than $500 makes it a franchise and requires the filing of documentation with the Federal Trade Commission and the Commissioners' of Corporations for many states before offering a franchise for sale.
  • Telli’s approach initially is to establish local Telli sites in various areas itself, and then license them, without any upfront fee, to qualified individuals living in the areas served..

    • Licensees will promote, manage, fund, and maintain their operations and growth in exchange for royalties on all revenues.

    • Telli will maintain the Telli servers that house the Telli sites, administer the Telli subscriber Automated Electronic Billing and Payment systems on behalf of Licensees, manage the electronic distribution of royalties, and develop new Telli System products and tools.

After building a successful revenue-generating model involving a number of sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, Telli will be qualified to offer a franchising program and attract franchisees so it can expand rapidly, using capital from sale of franchises, not funding from private investors.

Based on Telli Marin's present operations, what is the cost to operate a Telli local information site covering an area of 100,000 households?

  • Cost to maintain Telli servers = $650 per month.

  • Cost of movie feeds = $60 per month.

  • Cost of AT&T updates = $50 per month.

  • Cost of editor with TelliPage design skills to manage local area = $3,000 per month.

  • Cost of local targeted mailings to businesses in the area = $1,000 per month.

  • Cost of visual advertising for Telli throughout the area = $1,000 per month.

  • Base salary for commissioned marketing and advertising consultant = $3,000 per month

Total cost of maintaining each area = $9,000 per month.

What is the minimum potential for each new Telli local information site servicing an area of 100,000 households?

Present Telli Marin Revenues (monthly subscriptions to the Telli Advertising Platform based on $19.95 per month) = $1,000 per month. Temporarily, most of our original subscribers remain on our old billing plan of only $5.95 and $9.95 per month.

  • Potential new advertising subscriptions = minimum of 60 per month @ $19.95 each = $1,200 in new revenues each month. (reaching $7,200 per month after 6 months of new operations).

  • Potential advertising banner ads = minimum of 20 per month @ $19.95 each = $400 in revenues each month.

  • Potential TelliPage Design Fees = minimum of 20 TelliPages per month @ $300 per TelliPage = $6,000 per month.

  • Potential maintenance fees to manage TelliPages on behalf of subscribers = minimum 10 TelliPages per month @ $50 each = $500 in new revenues each month (reaching $3,000 per month after 6 months of operations).

Total monthly revenues for each area after 6 months of operations = $17,000 per month.

Comments to Questions from others.

The “local advertising” market seems to be packed with many players. Some very big and a multitude that are very small. The real question is whether the big will effectively get bigger at the expense of the smaller ones. 71 per cent of all online advertising is controlled by 10 companies. That leaves a much smaller pie for the thousands of smaller companies vying for the 29 cents of every dollar left in the pie.

We are not dependent solely on the smaller pie. We will take advertising dollars from the major companies in the marketplace whose sites are simply stagnant local “directories” and from expensive “one-time” media ads placed in newspapers and magazines.

e.g. The Marin Independent Journal (the Marin County newspaper – 40,000 subscribers) had a local site identical to many of the larger directories you are referring to above. A few years ago (2006), Marin IJ closed down their local directory because, as their own people admitted, they could not compete with the Telli Marin, do-it-yourself, TelliPage local information site.

I tested out a few keywords on Google to find Telli Marin listings. Some keywords seem to work quite impressively while a few others brought no results on the first page. For example “Marin County builders” or “Marin County contractors” seem to get no showing of Telli on the first page but with “Marin County hairdressers” and “Marin County cinema” you were near for at the top on the first page.

Google results keep changing every day and you get a different set of results depending on your search entry.

e.g.In regard to your search for “contractors”, enter the words “Marin Contractors” in the Google Search bar and you will see what I mean.

I noticed several other local competitors. One in particular was offering a monthly listing with a link to the advertiser’s website (assuming the advertiser has one of course) for only $2 or $5/month depending on the content.

As I mentioned earlier, and as our statistics show, website links are no big deal. TelliPages and Telli’s “Local Advertising Platform” generate considerably more results for local advertisers than their websites do.

See, http://www.telli.com/marin/listings/B24961 and http://www.telli.com/marin/listings/BB37703.

You mention admin software and design tools that don't require programming skills to operate. These kinds of software packages are available free all over the web. BlueVoda is a typical example that will enable you to design and build your own website free and with no training. It is just intuitive software. There are many examples of these. An organization like Clickbank can do all of the billing and collection.

 

First, I refer you to the above comment on the success of TelliPages vs. Websites whereby people view businesses with TelliPages over 20 times more often than they view businesses with websites.

 

Second, the Telli subscriber development tools are more than just design tools and are available through the Telli website, making Telli a do-it-yourself "Advertising Platform" and not just a website creation tool. Below is a list of the Telli Subscriber Advertising Platform tools that subscribers access through their subscriber advertising platform menu page.

 

My Favorites

Link a TelliPage to your Favorites List so you will be automatically alerted by email to any changes, updates, specials, new products, etc., posted by Telli Subscribers.

My Alerts

Read alerts that have been sent by your favorite businesses, clubs, groups or associations.

My Reviews

Read, edit, update or delete reviews that you have posted.

My Calendar

Create a calendar to display your special events, sales, etc.

Edit My User Profile

Change your email address, password, etc.

Post, Edit or Delete a Classified

Classifieds are displayed for a limited period and automatically removed if not updated.

Post, Edit or Delete an Event

Event listings are automatically removed at the end of the last day of the event.

Banner Campaigns

A list of your banner campaigns with statistical information. (Telli banners must by created and placed on Telli Marin through a local Telli Advertising Consultant.)

Account Profile

Notification Settings

Edit My TelliPage

Create, modify or update your TelliPage.

Edit My Listing

Change your listing name, address, hours of business, phone numbers, tag line, add a listing icon, add a website link, confidential email contact link and more.

Edit My Categories

Add categories where you want your listing to appear or delete categories.

Post an Alert

Send an email alert to viewers who have saved your listing as a Telli Favorite.

Post, Edit or Delete a Coupon

Subscribers enter the expiration date for the coupon, which is printed on the coupon, and it is deleted from Telli Marin on that date. However, they can remove it themselves from Telli Marin at any time.

Viewer Statistics

Track the visits to your listing and clicks on your website link.

Related Listings

Link your TelliPage to other business listings on Telli (e.g. attorneys with major law firms can can set up their own listings and link them to the listings for their law firms so they show up on their law firms' TelliPages.)

TelliPage Links

Place a Telli link on your website that, when clicked on, sends people to your TelliPage (so you can keep your website up to date through your TelliPage without having to pay web design fees). Also place links on your website to your Telli Events Calendar.

Set up your own TelliPage Internet Address: e.g. www.telli.com/name of business

Third, we have learned over the years that potential subscribers need help to promote themselves. Most are not marketing people with experience in advertising. That is why so few small businesses have websites; they just don't know what to say about themselves.

 

Half of the 15 million local US businesses still don't have a website. Telli Advertising Consultants (Licensees) in the area will help these small businesses overcome their problems and assist them in creating effective advertising campaigns through face to face consultation.

 

Fourth, the Telli Administrator is not just a design tool. It is a "management tool" that allows licensees to update their Telli Information Sites and modify them to support the uniqueness of each community. In addition, Licensees use the Telli Administrator to establish electronic billing systems, establish accounts with variable billing plans and manage electronic payments. To see the main menu page of the Telli Administrator program, see below or see the Guinness Telli*Phone Business Plan.

 

Telli Subscriber Menu Screen