SoftwareMarketingResource

Software Marketing Resource Articles: 2008

You wrote the code, now how do you sell it?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Making Cents Out Of Your Ad Copy

Through my experiences working with various companies I have found that many make big mistakes with their ad copy. Many businesses are willing to spend thousands of dollars to have their ad copy displayed to web site visitors, just to convey a faulty and ineffective message. I have seen hundreds of different problems that people have made in their copy and decided to write about some of the ones that I seem to see the most often.

Don't be a used car salesman (no offense).

As tempting as it may be, please stay away from exclamation points. If you find that it is absolutely necessary, one is more then plenty. Also stay away from all caps in your ad copy. I certainly don't like to be yelled at and potential customers don't either.

People Are Wary

Many times making an "I can't believe it" offer in your ad copy will attract less potential customers then just a "very good" offer. The Internet is a scary place and everyone has either been burned on the Internet or knows someone who has been. If you see an offer that says "YOU JUST WON'T BELIEVE IT!!!", I'd imagine you don't click through to see more. I don't know anyone who would. On the other hand when I read about a good deal, I am much more likely to investigate further.

Be Professional

I have talked about making your whole site professional looking in the past. Think of your advertisement copy as an extension to your website. You want visitors to feel comfortable with your products and/or services, and the same rules apply to ad design as to site design. Here are a few rules you should try to follow:
1. Make the information clear and concise.
2. Avoid bright colors especially in your text.
3. Make sure that you don't have any misspelled words and that your grammar is correct.
4. Try to leave some white space in your ad if you can spare any.

Avoid Information Overload

Remember, that advertisements should be designed to give visitors enough information that they want to know more, not educate them about everything you offer. It should not be an essay but a brief statement of what your product or service is about. It should be designed to get them to click through to get all the details.

Target Your Visitors


I have conversed with many people about their advertising campaigns and many believe that the more visitors, the better. While this is true to an extent, you don't just want the average web surfer to visit your site, but the surfer that is interested in what you offer.

Many online marketing firms will target your traffic for you, but you can do some of the targeting yourself. If your ad is displayed on a site about sports cars, but your site specifically deals with Porches, you want to have something in your ad that specifies that your site is for those interested in Porches. Even further, you can geo-target to a certain level within your ad. If you are advertising for a Porsche Club in San Francisco, then tell potential visitors that your site is for visitors in the San Francisco area right in your ad copy.

Unless you have a service that everyone is interested in (if such thing exists), try to target your visitors as much as possible. In most cases you are paying by the click and the more dead ends that you can weed out before they click through, the better.

I am in the business of delivering high quality visitors, but I know that my customers will have a much better campaign if they spend more time on their ad copy and less time on worrying about other details. If you do not feel confident in being able to create effective ad copy, find someone who is and have them do it for you. Also, make sure that you dedicate some of your resources to reviewing and refining your ad copy on an ongoing basis.

About Author: The author, Jason D. Huhtala, is the Vice President of Operations for Target Blaster, Inc., an Internet Marketing firm specializing in inexpensive targeted pay-per-visitor web-site traffic. http://www.TargetBlaster.com.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Press Packet (Press Kit)

Ideas of what to include in your press kit:

Cover Letter - (really a form letter, but personalized for each editor)

"What you Should Know About My Software"
color printed on letterhead, including newsworthy information on products.

Press Release on letterhead

Screen Shots - color printed on letterhead

Company Profile - Color printed on letterhead

Promotional Item (if available)

The Software (registered version as packaged for customers)

If you're sending your press release to a forgign publication you might want to use these disclaimers:

ENGLISH
Please forgive me for sending you this press release in English, but I don't speak or write Italian/French/German/Spanish/Russian/Swedish. Please use English if any reply.

ITALIAN
Chiediamo scusa per avervi inviato il nostro comunicato stampa in inglese, ma non conosciamo l'italiano. Per favore usate l'inglese in eventuali comunicazioni.

SWEDISH
Ursakta mig for att denna press release skickas pa engelska, men jag kan tyvarr varken tala eller skriva svenska. Vanligen anvand engelska vid eventuella svar, tack.

FINNISH
Pahoittelen että tämä press release on kirjoitettu englannin kielellä, mutta valitettavasti en puhu enkä kirjoita suomea. Käyttäkää mahdollisissa vastauksissa englantia, kiitos.

FRENCH
Désolé de vous adresser ce communiqué de presse en anglais, mais je ne lis ni n'écris le français. Utilisez SVP l'anglais dans votre réponse éventuelle.

GERMAN
Ich bitte um Verständnis dafür, dass ich Ihnen diese Pressemitteilung auf Englisch schicke, aber ich spreche leider kein Deutsch. Bitte antworten Sie mir gegebenenfalls auf Englisch.

Thanks to Dan Veaner of Emmasoft for the above contributions
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Monday, July 28, 2008

International Considerations: Australia

SUMMARY OF AUSTRALIAN MARKET - Rated (Per-Captita) as one of the fastest populations to adopt new technology. Not overall supportive of their own products and services - tendency to see imports as being of superior quality. A lot of work needs to be done with both the public and press perception of shareware. While there is a reasonable acceptance it is often seen as being of lesser quality to "Shelfware".

LANGUAGE - English is spoken by almost all Australians, there is a strong preference for Australian English - which has tended to become a mixture of UK English and US English peppered with colloquialisms. The second most prevalent language would be Greek and Italian.

CURRENCY - Australian Dollars. Exchange rates tend to make US Dollar purchases unatractive. Very little support from the banking sector for e-commerce and where it exists it is prohibitively expensive. Tend to be quite unaware of the existance of, and relative exchange rates for, foreign currencies and will assume that a US dollars price is the same in Australian Dollars.

HOLIDAYS - The following list of holidays affect normal business operations- all other holidays are typically observed on Sundays, or do not heavily impact business operations for the whole country.. Full Holidays
January 1 - New Years Day
January 26th - Australia Day
March 25 - ANZAC Day Easter - Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday
June 26 - Queens Birthday
First Tuesay of November - Melbourne Cup Day
December 25 - Christmas
December 26 - Boxing Day

A plethora of state based holidays (Melb Cup Day is an exception as it tends to affect the whole nation at least for part of the day).

COMMON FORMS OF ACCEPTED PAYMENT - The following are common forms of payment accepted in the Australia. Cash Credit Cards - Visa, MasterCard, Bank Card and American Express Cheques (Checks) - Corporate Cheques, Bank Cheques, Money Orders Purchase Orders - Wire Transfers - (Very expensive)

TAXES - Each State's laws may vary. All products sold within Australia to Australians are subject to the GST (Goods and Services Tax). The impact of this on E-Commerce is still pretty much undefined. Australian

BUSINESS LINKS - Links that are business related Australian Tax Office (ATO) http://www.ato.gov.au Australian

SHAREWARE SITES - Very few. Currently - http://www.aquarian.com

DOMAINS - Below are the most common domain extensions

com.au (company) - by far the most popular extension.
only available to ASC *registered* Australian business.
.net.au (networks) - only for ISP's
.org.au (organizations) - ASC registered non-profit only
.edu.au (educational) - reserved for educational institutions only

This page was created and is credited to Scott Kane of Micronexus Software Australia
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Saturday, June 28, 2008

International Considerations: Eastern Europe

SUMMARY OF EASTERN-EUROPE - market for the general purpose software is in the infant state, and there is little hope it will develop into something more developed in the near future. There are some business opportunities for expensive, vertical-market applications (like specialized accounting software for enterprises), but such customers prefer buying such software from local producers.

LANGUAGE - Russian is the official language in Russia, Ukrainian in Ukraine, etc. Most people from the neighborhood countries (former USSR republics) understand Russian as well, and can use it, if needed. Most people working with computers understand common English terms used in software, and can read English manuals and Help files.

CURRENCY - US Dollars is the preferred currency to keep and save money. It is not accepted in shops, though, so you have to convert US dollars into the local currency before shopping. The currency exchanges are available at almost every street corner.

HOLIDAYS -

Russian Full Holidays:

January 1 - New Year
January 7 - Christmas
March 8 - Women's Day
May 1,2
May 9 -Victory Day
June 12 - Independence Day
November 7,8 - Reconcilation Day

COMMON FORMS OF ACCEPTED PAYMENT - Cash. Credit/Debit cards begin to take off, too. Checks are used almost exclusively for inter-business operations. Wire transfers are possible, too. Purchase orders are unheard of.

SOFTWARE PIRACY - is a common way to acquire software. Pirated discs are sold at supermarkets and bookstores. For example, you can buy a disc with MS Office for about $10.

SHAREWARE SITES - There are typically two kinds of shareware sites Upload vs. Traditional, below are examples and the pros and cons of each.

Russian Registration and Shareware Services

Examples of traditional and registration sites:

http://www.download.ru (will only list russian titles)
http://www.tfmik.ru (Feelix Moochnik)

DOMAINS - Below are the most common domain extensions

.ru (russia) - a popular extension for Russian sites
.ua (ukraine) - extension for Ukrainian Sites
.yu (yugoslavia)
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

International Considerations: USA

SUMMARY OF US MARKET - Technological world leaders in both software and hardware an excellent market. Shareware is becoming much more popular and registration rates appear to be increasing.

LANGUAGE - English is spoken by almost all Americans, there is a strong preference for American English. The second most popular language would be Spanish.

CURRENCY - US Dollars. No tolerance for other currencies, almost all transactions are in USD.

HOLIDAYS - The following list of holidays affect normal business operations- all other holidays are typically observed on Sundays, or do not heavily impact business operations..

Full Holidays
January 1 - New Years Day
Last Monday of May - Memorial Day
July 4 - Independence Day
First Monday of September - Labor Day
Fourth Thursday of November - Thanksgiving
December 25 - Christmas

Partially Observed Holidays (observed in some corporations - No US Mail and Banks are closed)
3rd Monday of February - Presidents Day
2nd Monday of October - Columbus Day
November 11 - Veterans Day

Please Note:
The friday after Thanksgiving is frequently a vacation day
The week between Christmas and New Years is a very popular vacation week
The week of the fourth of July is also popular for vacations


COMMON FORMS OF ACCEPTED PAYMENT - The following are common forms of payment accepted in the US.

Credit Cards - Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express
Checks - Corporate Checks, Bank Checks, Money Orders
Purchase Orders -
Wire Transfers -

TAXES - Each State's laws may vary; the following is a summary of US tax laws. If your company has a physical precense (location) in a state and you sell to an individual in that state you are required to collect sales tax. In addition you must file (and pay) taxes in that state. If you sell to an individual in a state where you do not have an office, you are not required to collect tax. The customer in that case would be responsible for paying a use tax, this is their responsibility not yours.

Taxes w/Registration Companies - If you use a US registration company, you will see that they will charge taxes in the states that they have a location in. They will collect and submit taxes for those states. They will not collect taxes from customers in your state (unless they have a location there). You are not required to charge them tax regardless, because their is no charge when items are for resale (assuming they have a resale certificate).

Other Exempt Sales - Non-profit organizations including schools, government agencies, and hospitals are all considered not for profit and are tax exempt. If a company is tax exempt you should request a copy of their tax exempt number.

Information on Companies requireing VAT collection - VAT is a sales tax the rate of which varies in each EEC country. Anyone registered for VAT must charge this tax at the point of supply (note that was supply, not point of sale). That is called Output Tax.

On the other hand that same vendor can claim back his Input Tax on any invoices he has received for goods or service she has purchased from other VAT registered vendors (usually only within his own country unless he buys a lot from the others).

If (the author) is an EEC resident he can elect to be registered for VAT. At a certain point monetary sales level (about 60,000 Euro I understand) he *must* register for VAT. There can be advantages in registering for VAT even
if sales levels do not make it compulsory.

If he is not registered for VAT he is not required to collect VAT.

If he is registered for VAT he only needs collect VAT where he is the supplier to another EEC resident.

The definition of supplier is that he actually makes the supply in the form
of a product or a service.

If he sells to a non-EEC resident the sale falls outside the scope of VAT. That would apply if he "sells" to a US based registration service like Soft Shop for instance. However if the arrangements with Soft Shop require the author to make the actual supply (keycode, CD, software by email, etc.) Then that falls under the rules of Triangulation. Under Triangulation the point of supply and receipt are critical and if these are both within the EEC then VAT must be accounted for (Soft Shop can automatically calculate this and collect it).

There is an exception to these rules. Even if the vendor is a VAT registered EEC resident, if he is able to quote a valid customer VAT number on his sales invoice or supply document, he need not collect the VAT must declare the sale
in his EEC VAT monthly sales report.

US BUSINESS LINKS - Links that are business related

US Patent and Trademark Office http://www.uspto.gov/
US Copyright Office http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/
Small Business Administration (SBA) http://www.sba.gov/
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) http://www.score.org/
Idea Cafe http://www.ideacafe.com/

US EXPORT RESTRICTIONS - Legally if your company operates in the US you can not sell to entities in the following countries Iran, Iraq, Libya, Serbia, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba.

The Bureau of Export Administration http://www.bxa.doc.gov/

SHAREWARE SITES - There are typically two kinds of shareware sites Upload vs. Traditional, below are examples and the pros and cons of each.


Upload Sites - You transfer the program file to their server for access

Pros - Hosts your file, typically very large
Cons - Can be selective on the type of software that they choose to list, takes longer to update, requires file to be in specific format, difficult to monitor download stats.

Examples of upload sites:

http://www.hotfiles.com (ZDNet)
http://www.simtel.com (Walnut Creek CD ROM)
http://www.tucows.com (Tucows)

Traditional Sites - Links to the program located on your server.

Pros - popular
Cons - Tend to be smaller, submissions can be time consuming

Examples of traditional sites:

http://www.softseek.com

Specialty Sites - Typically a traditional site, that is geared to a specific market or application type.

Pros - Popular with niche markets
Cons - Tend to be much smaller, typically has strict requirements to be listed

Examples of specialty sites:

http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com

DOMAINS - Below are the most common domain extensions

.com (company) - by far the most popular extension
.net (networks) - supposed to be reserved for ISP's but becoming more common as .com becomes saturated
.org (organizations) - non-profit connotation, although anyone can register as .org
.edu (educational) - reserved for educational institutions

DISTRIBUTION - Number of different distribution methods available to authors.

Catalog Companies - A number of catalog companies sell large volume. Typically you purchase ad space in their catalog, and still discount your products. Ad space can be pricey and you still need to establish a branding and market demand in order to be successful in selling through catalogs.

Resellers - Depending on program type, system integrators or vertical added resellers (VARS) can be an excellent sources for multiple sales. A discounted from 20-40% off of list is usually expected. Developing a strong reseller channel can be very time consuming.

Distribution - In order to be accepted into distribution a market demand and reseller base must already exist. Marketing is still the responsibility of the author.

Tech Data - http://www.techdata.com
Merisel - http://www.merisel.com
Ingram Micro - http://www.ingram.com
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Friday, March 28, 2008

International Country Codes


Country

Code

Country

Code

A

Afghanistan

93

United States

1

Albania

355

Kazakhstan

7

Algeria

213

Russia

7

American Samoa

684

Egypt

20

Andorra

376

South Africa

27

Angola

244

Greece

30

Anguilla

264

Netherlands

31

Antartica

672

Belgium

32

Antigua

268

France

33

Argentina

54

Spain

34

Armenia

374

Hungary

36

Aruba

297

Italy

39

Ascension Island

247

Vatican City

39

Australia

61

Romania

40

Azberbaijan

994

Switzerland

41

B

Bahamas

242

Austria

43

Bahrain

973

United Kingdom

44

Bangladesh

880

Denmark

45

Barbados

246

Sweden

46

Barbuda

268

Norway

47

Belarus

375

Poland

48

Belgium

32

Germany

49

Belize

501

Peru

51

Benin

229

Mexico

52

Bermuda

441

Cuba

53

Bhutan

975

Argentina

54

Bolivia

591

Brazil

55

Bosnia

387

Chile

56

Botswana

267

Colombia

57

Brazil

55

Venezuela

58

British Virgin Islands

284

Malaysia

60

Brunei

673

Australia

61

Bulgaria

359

Christmas Island

61

Burkina Faso

226

Cocos Islands

61

Burma (Mynamar)

95

Indonesia

62

Burundi

257

Philippines

63

C

Cambodia

855

New Zealand

64

Cameroon

237

Singapore

65

Cape Verde Islands

238

Thailand

66

Cayman Islands

345

Japan

81

Central African Rep.

236

Korea, South

82

Chad

235

Vietnam

84

United Kingdom

44

China

86

Chile

56

Turkey

90

China

86

India

91

Christamas Island

61

Pakistan

92

Cocos Islands

61

Afghanistan

93

Columbia

57

Sri Lanka

94

Comoros

269

Burma (Mynamar)

95

Congo

242

Mynamar (Burma)

95

Congo (Dem Rep of)

243

Iran

98

Cook Islands

682

Morocco

212

Costa Rica

506

Algeria

213

Croatia

385

Tunisia

216

Cuba

53

Libya

218

Cyprus

357

Gambia

220

Czech Republic

420

Senegal

221

D

Denmark

45

Mauritania

222

Diego Garcia

246

Mali

223

Djibouti

253

Guinea

224

Dominica

767

Ivory Coast

225

Dominican Republic

809

Burkina Faso

226

E

Ecuador

593

Niger

227

Egypt

20

Togo

228

El Salvador

503

Benin

229

Equatorial Guinea

240

Mauritius

230

Eritrea

291

Liberia

231

Estonia

372

Sierra Leone

232

Ethiopia

251

Ghana

233

F

Faeroe Islands

298

Nigeria

234

Falkland Islands

500

Chad

235

Fiji Islands

679

Central African Rep.

236

Finland

358

Cameroon

237

France

33

Cape Verde Island

238

French Antilles

596

Sao Tome & Principe

239

French Guiana

594

Equatorial Guinea

240

French Polynesia

689

Gabon

241

G

Gabon

241

Congo

242

Gambia

220

Bahamas

242

Georgia

995

Congo (Dem Rep of)

243

Germany

49

Angola

244

Ghana

233

Guinea Bissau

245

Gibraltar

350

Diego Garcia

246

Greece

30

Barbados

246

Greenland

299

Ascension Island

247

Grenada

473

Seychelles

248

Guadeloupe

590

Sudan

249

Guam

671

Rwanda

250

Guantanamo Bay

539

Ethiopia

251

Guatemala

502

Somalia

252

Guinea

224

Djibouti

253

Guinea Bissau

245

Kenya

254

Guyana

592

Tanzania

255

H

Haiti

509

Uganda

256

Honduras

503

Burundi

257

Hong Kong

852

Mozambique

258

Hungary

36

Zambia

260

I

Iceland

354

Madagascar

261

India

91

Reunion Island

262

Indonesia

62

Nambia

264

Iran

98

Anguilla

264

Iraq

964

Malawi

265

Ireland

353

Lesotho

266

Israel

972

Botwana

267

Italy

39

Swaziland

268

Ivory Coast

225

Antigua

268

J

Jamaica

876

Barbuda

268

Japan

81

Comoros

269

Jordan

962

Mayotte Islands

269

K

Kazakhstan

7

British Virgin Islands

284

Kenya

254

St Helena

290

Kiribati

686

Eritrea

291

Korea, North

850

Aruba

297

Korea, South

82

Faeroe Islands

298

Kuwait

965

Greenland

299

Kyrgyzstan

996

Cayman Islands

345

L

Laos

856

Gibraltar

350

Latvia

371

Portugal

351

Lebanon

961

Luxembourg

352

Lesotho

266

Ireland

353

Liberia

231

Iceland

354

Libya

218

Albania

355

Liechtenstein

423

Malta

356

Lithuania

370

Cyprus

357

Luxembourg

352

Finland

358

M

Macau

853

Bulgaria

359

Macedonia

389

Lithuania

370

Madagascar

261

Latvia

371

Malawi

265

Estonia

372

Malaysia

60

Moldova

373

Maldives

960

Armenia

374

Mali

223

Belarus

375

Malta

356

Andorra

376

Mariana Islands

670

Monaco

377

Marshall Islands

692

San Marino

378

Martinique

596

Ukraine

380

Mauritania

222

Serbia

381

Mauritius

230

Yugoslavia

381

Mayotte Islands

269

Croatia

385

Mexico

52

Slovenia

386

Micronesia

691

Bosnia

387

Midway Island

808

Macedonia

389

Moldova

373

Czech Republic

420

Monaco

377

Slovakia

421

Mongolia

976

Liechtenstein

423

Montserrat

664

Bermuda

441

Morocco

212

Grenada

473

Mozambique

258

Falkland Islands

500

Mynamar (Burma)

95

Belize

501

N

Namibia

264

Guatemala

502

Naura

674

El Salvador

503

Nepal

977

Honduras

504

Netherlands

31

Nicaragua

505

Netherlands Antilles

599

Costa Rica

506

Nevis

869

Panama

507

New Caledonia

687

St. Perre & Miquelon

508

New Zealand

64

Haiti

509

Nicaragua

505

Guantanamo Bay

539

Niger

227

Guadelope

590

Nigeria

234

Bolivia

591

Niue

683

Guyana

592

Norfolk Island

672

Ecuador

593

Norway

47

French Guiana

594

O

Oman

968

Paraguay

595

P

Pakistan

92

French Antilles

596

Palau

680

Martinique

596

Palestine

970

Suriname

597

Panama

507

Uruguay

598

Papau New Guinea

675

Netherlands Antilles

599

Paraguay

595

Turks & Caicos

649

Peru

51

Montserrat

664

Philippines

63

Mariana Islands

670

Poland

48

Guam

671

Portugal

351

Antartica

672

Puerto Rico

787

Norfolk Island

672

Q

Qatar

974

Brunei

673

R

Reunion Island

262

Nauru

674

Romania

40

Papua New Guinea

675

Russia

7

Tonga

676

Rwanda

250

Solomon Islands

677

S

San Marino

378

Vanuatu

678

Sao Tome & Principe

239

Fiji Islands

679

Saudi Arabia

966

Palau

680

Senegal

221

Wallis & Futuna

681

Serbia

381

Cook Islands

682

Seychelles

248

Niue

683

Sierra Leone

232

American Samoa

685

Singapore

65

Western Samoa

685

Slovakia

421

Kiribati

686

Slovenia

386

New Caledonia

687

Solomon Islands

677

Tuvalu

688

Somalia

252

French Polynesia

689

South Africa

27

Micronesia

691

Spain

34

Marshall Islands

692

Sri Lanka

94

St. Lucia

758

St. Helena

290

Dominica

767

St. Kitts

869

St. Vincent

784

St. Lucia

758

Puerto Rico

787

St. Perre & Miquelon

508

Midway Island

808

St. Vincent

784

Wake Island

808

Sudan

249

Dominican Republic

809

Suriname

597

Korea, North

850

Swaziland

268

Hong Kong

852

Sweden

46

Macau

853

Switzerland

41

Cambodia

855

Syria

963

Laos

856

T

Taiwan

886

Trinidad & Tobago

868

Tajikistan

992

Nevis

869

Tanzania

255

St. Kitts

869

Thailand

66

Jamaica

876

Togo

228

Bangladesh

880

Tonga

676

Taiwan

886

Trinidad & Tobago

868

Maldives

960

Tunisia

216

Lebanon

961

Turkey

90

Jordan

962

Turkmenistan

993

Syria

963

Turks & Caicos

649

Iraq

964

Tuvalu

688

Kuwait

965

U

Uganda

256

Saudi Aravia

966

Ukraine

380

Yemen

967

United Arab Emirates

971

Oman

968

United Kingdom

44

Palestine

970

United States

1

United Arab Emirates

971

Uruguay

598

Israel

972

Uzbekistan

998

Bahrain

973

V

Vanuatu

678

Qatar

974

Vatican City

39

Bhutan

975

Venezuela

58

Mongolia

976

Vietnam

84

Nepal

977

W

Wake Island

808

Tajikistan

992

Wallis & Futuna

681

Turkmenistan

993

Western Samoa

685

Azberbaijan

994

Y

Yemen

967

Georgia

995

Yugoslavia

381

Kyrgyzstan

996

Z

Zambia

260

Uzbekistan

998

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