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How to Select the Right Ezine for Your Ad Campaign

By Angela Wu
Posted Sunday, July 11, 2004

I still remember the jittery excitement of placing my first ezine ad. I imagined the riches I'd have if only 1% of the subscribers bought my product ... that would be a profit of - gulp - over 000! A few of these ads and I'd be able to retire in no time at all!

Since then, I've learned to ignore the hype surrounding "fast money" with ezine ads. Like everything else, ezine advertising is something you get better at with practice, experience and knowledge. Here are a few things to consider before you buy an ad ...

=== How many ads are run in each issue?

This makes a big difference in how effective your ad will be. Newsletters that are content-rich are far more likely to be read than those that are basically a list of ads. Fewer ads also means less competition for your own.

=== Where are the ads placed?

We've all seen newsletters that dump a mass of classifieds at the bottom of the message. This "classified black hole" is pretty much useless; people tend to skip this section entirely. Your ad, placed by itself at a key location within the ezine, is by far the best option.

=== Don't only consider ezine size.

Contrary to what many people believe, a bigger ezine doesn't necessarily give you better results. It's not the number of subscribers that matters; it's the number of people who READ the ezine that counts. Check out past issues of the newsletter so that you can make an educated judgment about the quality of the newsletter, the credibility of the editor, and whether or not it appears that the editor has managed to develop a relationship with his or her subscribers.

=== How often is the ezine published?

Ezines that are published "too often" or "too infrequently" typically give poorer results. For example, daily ezines may cause busy people to automatically delete the message from their over-filled mailboxes without even reading it. Monthly ezines, on the other hand, may not be published often enough for the subscribers to "remember" what it is. My personal experience shows that the best results come from ezines published either weekly or biweekly.

=== Is it opt-in or opt-out?

"Opt-in" is the term used when someone must explicitly request a subscription before joining a newsletter. This is the type of newsletter you want to advertise in. "Opt- out" is also known as "spam". Subscribe to the newsletter yourself first to see how the editor builds his or her subscriber base.

=== How likely is it that you'll make a profit?

This is what it all comes down to. What kind of profit margin do you have? What are your click-through and conversion rates? Consider these questions and others when calculating the likelihood that your ad campaign will turn a profit.

And, of course, it almost goes without saying that picking an ezine that caters to your target audience is an absolute necessity.

While the selection of an ezine cannot guarantee the success of your ad, it's a good start. Ad tracking, sales copy, and all that other good stuff obviously play a major role in how well you do. Start small, choose wisely, and consistently track and improve upon your results ... and you'll be on your way to doing well with ezine advertising.

About the Author
Angela Wu is the editor of Online Business Basics, an exclusive newsletter for eBusiness beginners. Visit ( for tips on building a business on the web.


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