How to Create Viral Marketing Tools To Promote Your Newsletter

Posted on March 21, 2000

by Rob Willmann

Your online marketing strategy depends on your ability to gain new subscribers to your own opt-in list.

More subscribers = bigger profits.

When your opt-in list grows, your marketing becomes easier because you're reaching a larger audience.

The easiest way to grow your newsletter is by using viral marketing tools.

In other words, if you give away free reports, ebooks, or other items to your subscribers, your free give-aways should be viral in nature.

Here's an example.

Let's suppose that you have an opt-in list related to cooking and recipes. Your subscribers are most likely looking for cooking tips and free recipes to spice up their meal times.

So, offer them a free ebook with 15 to 20 great recipes. On each page of the ebook, place a very visible link to your newsletter subscription webpage. Here's an example ad/link I created using the cooking motif:

Spice up your kitchen with our free weekly recipes! Each week you'll receive original recipes sent in by our subscribers.

Subscribe today at:

When you create your free ebook, offer it to your subscribers first. After all, they are thirsting for this kind of info.

Be sure to include a disclaimer letting them know that they can give away your ebook to their website visitors or to their own opt-in list.

After a few weeks of downloads, your ebook will deliver quality subscribers to your site.

So, what makes your ebook or report viral in nature?

1) You allow others to give it away for free.
2) Each and every page in your ebook *must* have a link back to your newsletter subscription form on your website, or the email address where people can subscribe.

If you really want to kick start your subscriber base, here's a simple 6 step process that works. (I've used this same method to gain thousands of subscribers to my own ezine.)

Step One:

Go to and search for newsletters related to your ebook or free report. (For instance, if you created a free ebook of recipes, you could search for:

"recipe newsletters"
"cooking newsletters"
"free recipe newsletter"

Be sure to visit the top sites 40 to 50 sites from your search results.

Step Two:

Write down the Editor's name, and Email address, website URL, and name of the newsletter for each of the top 50 or so results from *each* search you perform.

After three or four hours of work, you should have a list of names and other contact info on some of the most popular newsletters related to your own publication.

Step Three:

Subscribe to every one of the newsletters that you found from your search engine research. (You'll see *why* this is necessary in a moment.)

If you don't want to get bombarded with email, use a free email account from Hotmail, Excite, or any other free web-based email service.

Step Four:

Write a template email that you'll customize and send to the publisher/editor of each newsletter.

Using the cooking example, here's a possible email that you can send:

Dear [Editor's Name],

I am a subscriber to your newsletter, [Name of Newsletter].

I really enjoy your newsletter, and I wanted to offer you a free gift you can give away to your subscribers.

I recently created a free ebook with 20 delicious recipes your subscribers are sure to enjoy. I would love to hear what you think of my new ebook. You can download it here:

[URL to your ebook]

Once you've looked it over, you have my permission to give it away to your subscribers or website visitors.

Thanks again [Editor's Name]. Email me if you enjoy my ebook or if you have any questions or comments about it.

[Your Name]
[Your Email Address]
[URL to your Free Ebook]

You'll customize this email by filling in the blanks. There are several free software tools that will handle this tedious task for you.

Aureate's Group Mail software is an excellent tool. I still use it extensively for sending out customized direct email marketing campaigns.

You can download a free version of Group-Mail here:

Step Five:

Before you start your email promotion campaign, be sure to create a couple of sample ads and solo mailers for ezine publishers to use when they promote your ebook.

Remember, the easier you make it for others to promote your ebook, the more downloads you'll receive.

Place these custom ads and solo mailers on your website and in your autoresponder.

Step Six:

Customize and send out your message to your targeted list of newsletter owners. Since you've subscribed to their ezines, you're much more likely to receive a response from your marketing efforts.

By subscribing to their opt-in lists, you're *not* sending out spam. Rather, you're sending a targeted email message to the list owner that you've developed a relationship with.

Be sure to use a catchy subject for your email, such as: "A suggestion about your newsletter."

In a nutshell, that's the entire process.

During the first 24 hours, you should get several responses to the ebook promotion email you sent out. When you receive a reply from a newsletter publisher about your ebook, be sure to respond quickly (within two days if possible).

A quick thank you note will help further your relationship with these newsletter owners. (In the future, you can send other free articles and reports to the ezine owners who responded to your initial offer.)

If 10% of the list owners you emailed respond to your email, and you sent your ebook promotion email to 50 newsletter owners, that's 5 newsletters that will promote your ebook to their subscribers.

If the average newsletter size is 2,000 subscribers, you're reaching a targeted audience of approximately 10,000 subscribers. (5 newsletters x 2,000 subscribers average.)

Even if you only convert 10% of the people who download your ebook into subscribers, that's still 1,000 new subscribers to your own list.

Using this six step process, you can literally add thousands of new subscribers to your newsletter.

Rob Willmann's free weekly "Gold Mine Ezine" is packed with articles and tips to help you start and grow your own ezine.

Subscribe today and download Rob's award winning ebook: "Turn YOUR Newsletter Into a Gold Mine!"


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