Posted Saturday, January 15, 2005
Everyone and their brother seem to be getting into the ezine (Electronic Magazine, or newsletter) business. Competition for subscribers is getting fierce. Getting subscribers is not too hard. But KEEPING them is a challenge!
Here are five important steps to making your ezine subscribers anticipate, open, and read it every time, rather than looking for the delete button or the unsubscribe instructions.
1. Spell it out. Let your readers know exactly what they are going to find in each issue right up front. Include an easy to scan Table of Contents as near the top of the issue as possible. Try to limit any ads or information that precede your ezine Title and table of Contents to one (or less! LOL)
It's no secret that folks are busy. You MUST inform them of what is included in your issue, in a manner that is easy to scan. Of course, this makes the wording of your titles extremely important, if you're going to catch their attention and convince them to scroll down and read what you've spelled out for them.
2. Be consistent. Set a format, and stick to it for every issue. Decide on some basic categories for content, and don't make changes very often. Your subscribers will know what to expect in each issue, and be able to find the information they have been anticipating.
2. Keep it short. Don't overload each issue. Two or three segments per issue. (as above, repeating the same segments in each issue) Don't overwhelm your subscribers with more than they are able to digest, or browse through.
Consider offering one feature article, and one or two other segments, which will all depend on the theme of your ezine. You only have their attention for about 5 - 10 seconds after they open your email. You MUST catch their attention in that time, or they'll be gone. And you'll only get a couple of chances. Sometimes, even less. One or two issues of not catching their attention, and they're looking for the unsubscription instructions.
3. Pack it full. Just because you offer a short, quick, simple to read ezine, doesn't mean you can't fill it full of great information. There is your challenge! And the bottom line to establishing your publication as the one that's read and anticipated. What you choose to include in the short time that you have their attention, MUST be informational, useful, fresh, inspiring, and entertaining. Write your own articles, if at all possible. If you are not ready for that yet, work at finding content that is full of meat - content that gives the reader something to take with him, something you know he can use. There are a lot of article writers out there. Pick and choose carefully - insist on the best!
4. Avoid advertising overload. Yes, we all know, our ezine is our promotion connection to the internet world. But don't take advantage of your subscribers. Minimize the advertising as much as possible. One or two sponsor ads, and a handful of classified ads (no more than 10!) are about all any reader can handle. And beware of trying to pawn off advertising for all your informational content. It might work on some newbies, but you're not going to pull it over on the more experienced reader who is looking for real information. At least, not if it is all they are getting.
This is an important point, especially if you write your own articles. The most published and anticipated articles are those that contain NO personal promotional links whatsover, except in your bio or resource box that you include with the article.
Think about how its done on television, radio, and in all the hard copy magazines. The advertising is there, no doubt. And there is usually more than we appreciate, but we accept it and tolerate it, knowing it pays their bills. But in between the ads, we are more than likely reading that magazine, watching that program, or listening to that station because we are getting something we can use and/or enjoy.
Publishing an Ezine is an important part of marketing any internet site or Ebusiness. It's not an easy task, or something to take lightly. It takes loads of time, lots of research and/or writing, and genuine dedication to your subscribers! Just give them information that is useful, entertaining, inspiring, or of course, all three! They'll anticipate the arrival of your latest issue, and keep on coming back for more!
About the Author
Mike and Gail of CMYMTC.com, masters in E-Book and Ezine creation along with Internet Marketing, Hosting and Website design, can teach you everything you need to know so you can produce and publish successful E-Books and Ezines. You can share in the profits of their successful products with their top affiliate programs. (http://www.cmymtc.com/affprogs.htm)