AliceB wrote: booboo wrote: crackberry wrote:
foxyeconomist wrote:By comparison, the cost of an email is $0.05-$0.10.
Where does this come from? As far as I know, email is free.
Is this some sort of opportunity cost thing?
Domain costs. Server hosting. Personnel to rig software to send automated messages of some kind.
These are all sunk costs, which they would be paying for whether they used them or not. I agree, email is essentially free. And since when does it take someone 3 minutes to make a phone call?
I don't know why I feel compelled to correct you. It's completely irrelevant to this board, but I'm an econ major, business minor and spent a year and a half doing direct mail and email marketing, so I just want to resolve this.
Actually only two minutes were for the call. One minute was for dialing, waiting, and shuffling papers between calls. And the actual caller probably makes twice what my fictional example does. So maybe it's 2mins*$40/hr*1hr/60min=$1.33
My model did not include the fixed costs (not technically sunk costs) for setting up the network since I'm assuming Duke uses its network for a variety of purposes beyond simply sending email. In this case, the per unit cost of sending email is what's relevant. Otherwise we have to take into account what printers cost, what it costs to hire an admissions officer. We need to assume (and I don't think it's a stretch) that Columbia already has printers, admissions officers and a network and would have those three things regardless of how candidates are notified. Therefore it is the per-unit cost we should be comparing.
Sending a personal email is free. Sending mass emails is not free. Business typically need to use an email management company (and possibly special software) to merge and send mass emails, otherwise their server will get flagged for spamming. For example, all the Duke admissions and acceptance correspondence I've received has come through the LSAC server not directly from Duke. This type of service costs money, and is generally charged per email. (See http://www.constantcontact.com
and verticalresponse.com for other examples of this service.) FYI, I had a job doing customer outreach via email and almost no mass mailings are sent from Outlook or Mail. By comparison, email is very cheap, but not free the way personal email is.
Okay, that's all I have to say about this; I'm not going to correct anyone else on this ever again. I don't want to derail the nerve-wracking discussion we should be having about who's hearing what and when.
Edit: And I'm wishing everyone a mailbox full of large envelopes today.