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==> Feature Article
Seven Mistakes Newbie Ezine Publishers Make
This article may be reprinted in your ezine or on your site
in its entirety so long as the author's credits and all links
Seven Mistakes Newbie Ezine Publishers Make
By Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian
Today the incredible effectiveness of ezine marketing in promoting
online business is an open secret. It has also become extremely easy to
publish an ezine. And so any self-
respecting e-businessperson has one.
With literally thousands of email newsletters clamouring for readers'
attention, it takes something extra-special to get your
subscriber's interest - and retain it long enough to sell them your
product or service. Mistakes won't be tolerated. And you won't often
get a second chance to impress.
In this highly competitive online business environment, let's take a
look at some common mistakes newbie ezine publishers make - and see how
you can avoid falling into the same traps.
1 - Not planning or setting goals
It's a mad rush right from the start. After reading so much about how
important an ezine was in promoting her new Internet business - and
discovering that publishing one is a piece of cake - Jane 'went right
out and did it'. But after a month or two, she is drifting aimlessly.
The reason - she doesn't have any way to assess the success of her
e-publishing efforts. Is 20 new subscribers a week good? Or bad? With
15 sales last month from her 1250 ezine readers, is her conversion rate
average? Below? Or above? More importantly, where does she go from
Solution - Stop and plan before surging ahead. Decide what your aim in
publishing an ezine is. If your primary goal is to sell to your
readers, the numbers that are important are your sales conversion
rates, profitability and responsiveness of your ezine's audience. If
you want to extend your brand awareness, subscriber growth is the
parameter to watch.
> Lesson No.1 -
Set goals and targets first.
Mistake 2 - Not selecting the
right publishing frequency
In a fit of optimism John decided he would publish a weekly newsletter.
It was fun and frolic for the first few issues. But then John found he
was falling behind. He had under- estimated the effort each ezine
edition would involve.
Now that his business was growing, he couldn't devote as much time to
his ezine. Soon he was forced to delay his weekly edition by a day or
two. Or more.
Solution - Make a reasonable estimate of the time and effort you will
put into your ezine. Try creating a few issues to get a feel for the
process. Then choose a relaxing schedule. If you think you can publish
a weekly ezine, go for a monthly or fortnightly one at first. If you
think you're ready for daily editions, begin with a weekly.
> Lesson No.2 -
Make reasonable estimates - and begin with a convenient schedule.
Mistake 3 - Not insisting on
double opt-in subscription methods
Jane wanted more subscribers. And she wanted them quickly. Surfing the
'Net, she found a service that offered to 'sell' her 1000 ezine
subscribers for just 30 cents each - guaranteed. Jane leaped at the
deal before looking into the details.
And got bitten. The email addresses that she was sold had been
'harvested' from websites and newsgroups - without the knowledge of the
owners. Furious at being 'spammed', many sent her nasty email
complaints. And one even reported to her ISP, which threatened to shut
down her email account! Jane had a lot of explaining and apologizing to
Solution - Always get your reader's permission before sending them your
ezine. To make absolutely sure you don't get blamed, ask them TWICE.
This process, called 'double opt-in' is standard practice with ethical
ezine publishers. When potential new subscribers sign-up for your
ezine, they are sent a confirmation message. Only when they reply to
this message - thereby accepting your offer - will their subscription
commence. It is also good practice to keep a copy of this reply on
record, in case of future problems.
See how we implement this concept on our monthly email newsletter,
Ezine Launch Monthly at http://www.EzineMarketingCenter.com/ezlmonthly/
> Lesson No.3 -
Insist on a 'double-opt in' subscribing process. Keep all requests on
Mistake 4 - Publishing in
John liked flashy, colorful email. With his always-on Internet
connection and latest email programs, HTML-email looked great. So he
published his ezine in HTML format.
The problem was that many of his readers lived outside the U.S. They
had slow dial-up connections and old email clients. John's ezine took
them ages to download - and they could only see meaningless HTML code
in their email viewer. Not surprisingly, they asked to be removed from
his ezine list. Hundreds of potential customers were lost.
Solution - Know your audience, their capacity and requirements. If most
of your readers don't need - or want - HTML ezines, publish a
'text-only' version for them. And give them the option of selecting
> Lesson No.4 -
Publish in both 'text' and 'HTML' formats. Give customers a choice.
Mistake 5 - Not planning for
A great ezine can grow very rapidly. Readers will recommend your ezine
to friends. If you learn and follow even a few of the powerful
strategies Paul Myers describes in his fantastic guide, The Amazing
List Machine at http://www.EzineMarketingCenter.com/listmachine/,
you will see explosive growth of your ezine list.
In an amazingly short time, you could have thousands of readers. By not
planning for such growth, you will miss out on many opportunities.
Solution - Imagine a scenario where your ezine has 5000 readers. How
will you market your business to them? Now imagine this number growing
to 50,000 subscribers. What would you do differently? What tactics and
strategies, offers and discounts, co-marketing and joint venture deals
will you put together?
> Lesson No.5 -
Set the substrate in place - so you can move fast when the time comes.
Mistake 6 - Not automating
When your ezine has a few hundred subscribers, handling administrative
duties manually is easy. But once this number grows to thousands, you
could get bogged down with these tasks. This leaves you with less time
to do what matters - marketing and growing your business, launching new
Solution - Automate everything - right from the start. From the very
first subscriber-contact (sign-up request) until the last (unsubscribe
request), all administrative tasks can be set on auto-pilot using
software and technology. Auto- responders, database mining,
mail-merging and powerful software programs can leave you, the ezine
publisher, free to concentrate on important issues.
> Lesson No.6 -
Take advantage of technology. Make things easier on yourself with
Mistake 7 - Not optimizing ezine
It is the rare ezine publisher who can look back a year after launching
his/her ezine and say "There's nothing I would have done differently".
And more often than not, the regrets are about not making the most
profit out of their efforts.
Ezine publishing throws up numerous revenue streams. Advertising,
sponsorships, direct and indirect sales, paid- subscriptions and joint
venture partnerships are just a few of the ways ezine owners can make
money. But in many cases, owners are unaware of the power of their
ezine as a marketing and profiting tool.
Solution - Invest time and effort in learning about ezine promotion and
profiting from the various online resources and books. Here is a short
list of the very best ones:
Yanik Silver's "33 Days to Online Profits" -
Lee Benson's "Ezine Tactics" -
Jim Daniel's "Make Your Living Online" -
Corey Rudl's "Insider Guide To Marketing Your Business On The Internet"
Lesson No.7 - The more
you learn, the better your leverage.
Make no mistake ! Your ezine's profitability will skyrocket.
(c) 1996-2002 by Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian.
About the Author:
Dr.Mani has been marketing with ezines for over 5 years. Join his FREE 7 day Ezine Marketing Email
Course and discover the #1 secret of ezine marketing:
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********** Additional References **********
The Insider Secrets to E-mail Marketing -- Advanced Series - e-mail trade secrets of a mega marketing company
The MOE Manual - complete guide to ezine publishing
Your Lucky List - build your Optin lists for free!
EZ Money With Ezines - comprehensive guide to starting your own profitable ezine.
Viral Email Matrix - free list builder with RSS feeds.
Best wishes for your online success!
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