Friday, February 23, 2007

02/23/07 - Record Keeping SoP, attacks and opportunities

1. Harvard Joins Anti-Nutrient Crusade
2. The Future for Healthcare: $4.1 Trillion!
3. Record Keeping Short Form SoP


The report speaks for itself, but do note how it is being used to create publicity for the idea of implicitly pre-market controls over nutrients, as though nutrients were not as safe as any other category of food.

“The report, "Vitamins and Minerals: What You Need to Know", gives consumer advice…Directed at the general public, the report could stir up the issue in the nutraceutical industry surrounding what body should give a stamp of approval for supplements, and whether an independent body is needed for such a purpose.

“"Choose products that bear the US Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplement Verification Program (USP-DSVP) mark, which indicates that the supplement manufacturer has complied with certain standards," says the report.

“Via its recommendations, the Harvard report is also critical of dietary supplements that go beyond the vitamin and mineral category.

“"Generally, if you're hoping for phytochemical benefits, you'll do better in the produce department than the supplement aisle," according to the report. "There is virtually no evidence that herbs and other nonvitamin ingredients added to supplements, such as echinacea, are essential for your health."

“The report questions another key area for the supplement industry - the benefit of different sourcing for vitamins in minerals.

“"It doesn't matter whether vitamin C is derived from organic rose hips or synthesized in large batches in a laboratory," says the report. "Your body will use the resulting product similarly."”



FDA News reports today: “”Healthcare spending will continue to grow more quickly than the economy over the next decade … according to a report from economists at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Healthcare spending in 2016 could reach $4.1 trillion, representing 20 cents out of every dollar spent, according to the report, which was published in Health Affairs. In 2006, healthcare spending was $2.1 trillion, the economists estimated. … spending growth will reach 7.8 percent by 2009 because of accelerating medical price inflation and increases in pharmaceutical use. By 2016, health spending could be 19.6 percent of the gross domestic product, the report said.



A primary concern of small, leading edge dietary supplement purveyors is how to deal with the new wave of regulation that seems to be sweeping the industry. The first rule of bureaucracy is, “Are your papers in order?” Well, are they? In the context of current Good Manufacturing/Marketing Practices (cGMPs) your “papers” are the documentation of your business activities, from buying your products, through advertising, selling and shipping them. And then, dealing with customer issues, refunds, recalls, adverse event claims, etc., etc.

To make it as simple as possible, I’ve developed a shorter and simpler version of my 50+ page Standard Operating Procedures/Employee Handbook (SoP/EMs) that is made for smaller, Internet oriented dietary supplement and alternative therapy companies. For an hour of my time, I can customize the Record Keeping SoP format for your company, so you will know what documents you need to keep and for how long. Just email me at with “Record SoP” in the subject line and I’ll let you know what information I need and how you can reserve the time for your SoP.

Well, that’s all for now.
Ralph Fucetola JD

Friday, February 9, 2007

02/09/07 - FTC enforcement... Situational Selling


The purpose of the ...VLUeM e-memo is to update the Vitamin Lawyer and Vitamin Lawyer News web sites for my contacts and client list. You got on this e-list by opting in or becoming a client of the Vitamin Consultancy. If you want to be taken off the list, please “reply” to this email with the word “remove” in the subject line. On the other hand, you are welcomed to forward this to your own eList… ;)
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This issue focuses on two areas: (1) FTC plans to police the vitamin market and (2) some more tips from Entire Web.

Updates, see: and

1. FTC Enforcement Plans
2. Increase Conversion with Situational Selling

1. FTC Enforcement Plans from Nutra Ingredients USA (article excerpts below)

“2/8/2007 - The Federal Trade Commission has said that it will continue to prioritize policing dietary supplement marketing practices, thereby sending out a warning to companies making exaggerated or unsubstantiated claims. .

“The deceptive marketing of products that may affect consumer health and safety will continue to be an FTC priority,” said the FTC in its budget request summary submitted to Congress on February 5. “The FTC will focus on health care products, including dietary supplements.”

“The authority rang in the New Year with a $25m-clamp-down on parties behind the deceptive marketing of four major weight-control supplements: Xenadrine EFX, CortiSlim, TrimSpa, and One-A-Day WeightSmart. [The Vitamin Lawyer notes: none of my clients!] . . .

“Going forward, the FTC will continue its aggressive program by focusing its law enforcement on violations that create the greatest risks to consumer health.” . . .


2. Increase Conversion with Situational Selling from EntrieWeb - (article excerpts below)

“. . . [R]eally good salespeople are trained to discover details about the customer before trying to pitch a particular item. A question like, "Hi, how are you? What sport do you play?" is a great opening line. It gets the customer to focus on a general topic, and then persuades him or her to narrow down the choices. And a focused customer is a buyer, not a browser.

“What does this have to do with your online sales? Plenty. Especially if you'd like to increase your conversion by 50 percent or more.

“You see, if you focus just on increasing traffic without increasing your profit per visitor, well, you're missing out on more money. Or more e-mail opt-ins. Or whatever it is that you do to monetize your site. Fewer clicks and more sales should always be the goal. You'll improve those two metrics when your site successfully gets visitors to focus right away on the homepage and then proceed directly to checkout.

“That's where the "situational sell" can be your super-cybersalesperson. On a website, you can give visitors a few choices that best describe their situation, and entice them to click on the description that puts them into a specific segment of the market.

“The situational sell is a way to pitch products and information strictly from the customer's point of view. If you're selling sports merchandise online, you would want to get customers to click on their favorite team right away, and then choose the item they want to buy. … Think of the situational sell as pre-qualifying your visitors, before they get a chance to wander aimlessly through your site. If you pre-qualify them, you can funnel them through the sales process a lot faster.

“One traffic school website who tried this tactic ended up increasing its email opt-ins by a whopping 60 percent! How did they do it? Instead of simply listing the names of the courses it offers, the website asks visitors what type of driver they are, literally. On the site you'll see 3 boxes in a row in the main body area. Each box contains a unique headline, a photo to illustrate the idea, and a description of services within the category.

“Box #1 contains the headline "New Driver?" and includes a picture of teenagers laughing and hanging out in a school parking lot. Box #2 carries the headline "Too Many Tickets?" and includes a picture of a driver getting a ticket. Finally, Box #3 has the headline "Trying to pass the state exam?" along with a picture of a recent immigrant holding paperwork.

“Under the headlines, a series of links appear. This is also a great place to include your top-tier keywords. Once a visitor clicks on one of those links, he or she is guided to a page specifically geared to sell products or services to their demographic

“The beauty in setting up a 'situational sell' website is that it's a very flexible way to market one type of product to a wide selection of site visitors.

“If you're selling e-books or informational products, there will be different features or advantages that you'll want to highlight, depending on the visitor. By segmenting your visitors first on your homepage, you can funnel them to specialized pitches.

“The situational sell sounds logical because it is logical. But in the day-to-day minutia of maintaining a website, the big details sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Take a fresh look at your homepage and give your visitors a fresh perspective. Try the situational sell. It will make your visitors comfortable, they'll feel as if you already understand their point of view, and you'll most likely be rewarded with higher conversions.”


About the Author: Diane Metz writes about website marketing and development. She offers free, unique content to select websites. Her companies include Crown CD Manufacturing, which specializes in CD duplication and CD replication, for marketing, music, promotions and software - .


I am happy to be able to bring you Diane Metz’ interesting piece on Situational Selling. I think it is a useful marketing concept that can help you design a stronger web site. The great genius of the Internet is its ability to connect people and information. The more you are able to link the right people with the right product the more likely you are to have a sale. So good luck on your web site optimization!

Well, that’s all for now.
Ralph Fucetola JD