Has Your Ezine Passed Its Sell-by Date?
Posted on April 18, 2000
by Marie WilliamsDON'T SELL OUT! So many ezines are basically just one big "buy me" ad - content and care over presentation a mere afterthought. You probably know the type I mean. And, if you've any sense, you'll stick these "sales brochures" right where they belong - in the recycle bin.
BE A SELL-OUT! If you hope to make any money out of your publication, or if you're looking to increase its profitability, you'll need to follow the best B's in selling:
1) BONDING. Who are your subscribers? Who is your ezine aimed at? If your ezine's a teen-zine, you will need to know the latest *in* words and expressions. If your ezine is for newbies, you'll need to offer simple and clear explanations. And, if you're aiming at the business market, your ezine should have a pristine presentation while the content will need to be both professional and to the point. You have to *know* your potential customer - before you try and sell.
2) BASICS. Keep your ezine simple. Stick to plain text. Yes, you can create an ezine with a variety of fonts, graphics, and formatting options, but why bother when roughly 50% of all email users only have access to plain text compatible email clients? And instead of your nicely centered and bright red heading is an unintelligible line of code - hardly what you'd planned!
I use TextPad to write my ezine. It's a great little piece of shareware software. You can download it here: http://www.textpad.com/ . You need to configure the word-wrap between 55-65 characters per line to ensure that all email clients can read your text perfectly - just the way you intended!
By keeping your ezine neat and simple, you'll ensure that your subscribers focus more on the content - and on what you have to offer.
3) BENEFITS. When your subscribers read your ezine, they are constantly thinking "What's in it for me?" I know because I think exactly the same thing. You must ensure that your ezine answers this question from start to finish.
Don't be self-centred, be customer-centred. If you constantly drone on about yourself, chances are that you'll bore half of your subscribers and have the other half clicking on the unsubscribe link. You need to focus on exactly what your subscribers want.
Deliver benefits in your ezine, one after the other. Your subscribers aren't interested, for example, in an ezine that contains 1 article formatted to 55 characters per line - these are features. But they are interested in an article that will show them exactly how to gain 149 new subscribers per day, especially when the formatted text makes it easy to read - these are benefits.
Pack your ezine with benefits, and your subscribers will stick around long enough to read your sales message.
4) BULLETS. Bullets are a great way of breaking down large chunks of text. Most of your readers will scan through your ezine looking for points of interest. Large "text-dumps" make your ezine an unpleasant and tiresome read; bulleted lists get information across quickly and effortlessly.
5) BUILD. In order to sell, you must build a foundation to sell upon. Build a good relationship with your subscribers. Invite them to ask you questions and to give you feedback. Answer promptly and efficiently when they contact you. Don't ignore their message. Many Internet Marketers have lost their credibility simply from failing to reply to my feedback - they've also lost out on sales from me and on recommendations to my own subscribers. It only takes a few moments of your time to thank your subscribers - a few moments that can literally be worth their weight in gold.
GIVE AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE. Your focus needs to be on
helping your subscribers rather than selling to your
subscribers. By concentrating purely on the needs and
wants of your subscribers, you have created an ezine
that can't fail to make sales. If you want to get, you
have to give. Check your ezine today - and make sure
that it hasn't passed its sell-by date.
Article by Marie Williams
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