Posted On June 22, 2001

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Subject: Important News–ListBot Service to Shut Down
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 21:39:55 -0700
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PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE. ALL RESPONSES ARE ROUTED TO AN UNMONITORED ALIAS. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS MESSAGE, PLEASE SEND THEM TO LBSHUTDOWN@BCENTRAL.COM.

You are receiving this because you are a registered user of Microsoft(R) bCentral(tm) ListBot. This message contains important information about your ListBot account.

________________________________________________________________________

Dear ListBot User:

We are sending this letter to inform you that effective Aug. 20, 2001, we are discontinuing the bCentral ListBot service. ListBot has become a very popular free service, and we’ve been pleased to offer this valuable tool to both consumers and business users. As a provider of services for small and medium-sized businesses, our main goal is the continual improvement of services to meet the growing needs of business users. To achieve this goal, we have launched the new List Builder service, an enhanced e-mail marketing tool that will take the place of ListBot.

We value our relationship with you and hope that you will choose to continue using our services by purchasing a subscription to the List Builder service. We realize that List Builder may not fit the needs of all ListBot users, so to help ease any inconvenience this may cause, we have provided below a list of options and actions that you can take to ensure that you will have an

e-mail marketing or e-mail community service to meet your needs after Aug. 20.

Special note: Our schedule for discontinuing the ListBot service is intended to give you 60 days to choose another service option and/or retrieve your e-mail list data. The ListBot service will be fully functional until Aug. 6, 2001. From Aug. 6 to Aug. 20, you will have access to your data but the service will be disabled.    

SUGGESTED OPTIONS

OPTION 1–BCENTRAL LIST BUILDER. If you need a business e-mail marketing tool, we encourage you to move your ListBot announcement lists to the recently released bCentral List Builder. You can do this in a couple of easy steps, right from the ListBot control center. You can migrate your data to List Builder and use it for 30 days for free. After that, you will pay just $149 for your first year. To proceed with the migration or to find out more, visit http://bcentralretention.cq0.net/r/default.asp?R=00008bfc600090e23.

List Builder was designed to meet the needs of businesses, large and small. It comes with a greatly improved control center and many enhanced features, including better subscriber database management, improved HTML e-mail capabilities, and more message-targeting options. With List Builder, you will have a complete view of your customers in one centralized marketing database. From this database you can execute e-mail marketing campaigns targeted according to your customers’ interests and demographic information or other factors you choose.

In addition, in the coming year we will release some great new List Builder features, including link tracking to help you understand the return on your e-mail marketing, e-mail personalization, and even more customization options.

FOR YOU TO DO: If you choose to move to List Builder, go to http://bcentralretention.cq0.net/r/default.asp?R=00008bf9200090e23 and proceed with signup and migration. You can even try List Builder for free for your first month.  After that you pay only $149 for the first year.

OPTION 2–MSN COMMUNITIES. If your interests lie more in a free community e-mail service, we suggest you go to MSN (R) Communities at http://bcentralretention.cq0.net/r/default.asp?R=00008bf3500090e23 and create your new community.

FOR YOU TO DO: Go to the MSN Communities site, http://bcentralretention.cq0.net/r/default.asp?R=00008bf3500090e23 , sign up and create your own community. From the MSN Communities control center you can send an invitation to your ListBot members to ask them to join your community.

If you choose to use MSN communities and would like to keep your ListBot mailing list data, click on “View Members” in the ListBot control center to download your lists. Then click on “Download All” or “Download Demographics” to download your list subscribers. If you have problems with this process during peak times, please try again during off-peak hours.

RETRIEVING YOUR DATA

Whether you are migrating to our List Builder service or choosing another option, we realize that the e-mail lists you have developed through ListBot are extremely important to you, and we want to ensure that you can retrieve and save all your data for future use. To do this, just follow the step-by-step procedure below any time before Aug. 20, 2001.

To download your lists, click on “View Members” in the ListBot control center. Then click on “Download All” or “Download Demographics” to download your list subscribers. If you have problems with this process during peak times, please try again during off-peak hours.

To retrieve your archives, click on “View Archives” in the ListBot control center. From there you will be able to access your list archives and copy the messages you want to keep.

________________________________________

LISTBOT SHUTDOWN SCHEDULE

=> BETWEEN JUNE 20 AND AUG. 5, 2001 — Time to choose your e-mail alternative, List Builder or MSN Communities? If you choose List Builder, this is the time to migrate your announcement lists and set up List Builder to meet your needs.

If you don’t choose to migrate to List Builder, before Aug. 6 please remove all ListBot signup boxes from your Web site, along with any mention of your ListBot e-mail alias. After this date, if people try to subscribe or send e-mail to your lists, they will receive a notice explaining that the ListBot service has been discontinued. In addition, please inform your subscribers that as of Aug. 6, your list will no longer be functional and that any messages sent to the list will bounce.

=>AUG. 6, 2001 — All ListBot e-mail and subscribe functionality will be disabled. You will not be able to send messages to or receive messages from your lists. New people will not be able to subscribe to your lists via e-mail or the Web.

=>BETWEEN AUG. 6 AND AUG. 20, 2001 — During these two weeks, you can still download your lists and copy and paste your message archives to a local place on your computer, but all other ListBot functionality will be disabled.

=>AUG. 20, 2001 — The ListBot service will be turned off completely. All ListBot servers will be shut down and all data will be unavailable. Please retrieve any information you need before this date, since it will be inaccessible from this date on.

________________________________________

We realize that this is a lot of information and have established a set of FAQs at http://bcentralretention.cq0.net/r/default.asp?R=00008bf6600090e23 for answers to other questions you may have about ListBot.  Additionally, if you have other questions or comments about ListBot, please don’t hesitate to supply us with this feedback at lbshutdown@bcentral.com — we will use your suggestions to periodically update our FAQs.

We will be sending out reminder messages to all ListBot users about this shutdown. However, we urge you to make a decision about List Builder or MSN Communities soon, to give you ample time to migrate your lists and become familiar with your new service.

Sincerely,

bCentral Member Services

(c) 2001 Microsoft Corp.. All rights reserved. Microsoft, bCentral and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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