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· Products and services can also be grist for your mill. Just remember to stay within guidelines - relevant and useful to your reader. => Website Updates
An e-zine is an excellent way to get readers to visit your website again, and thereby create "stickiness" to your site.
Why should you encourage repeat visits?
There are two major benefits from running a "sticky" website:
· if you sell advertising space on your site, repeat visitors would generate more page views, and therefore additional revenue
· if a visitor comes to your site again and again, and becomes loyal to your service, he or she is more likely than others to respond to offers on your site, and to buy products from you.
Publishing an interview with an expert is exciting, valuable content. And it is easy to conduct one via e-mail.
Here's how it works:
Identify your expert
Learn more about your expert - special interests, experience, achievements, status in field, etc. This allows you to modify your interview to suit individual.
Decide upon a topic for interview. Prepare a set of questions you'd like to ask.
Contact your expert with an interview request. Most experts would be happy to participate in your interview. For those who seem hesitant, mentioning exposure they would get from your publication is enough to get them to agree!
E-mail a copy of your questions to expert and review reply.
Make editorial changes suitable for your readership. Rearrange questions so that there is a smooth flow of thoughts.
By intelligently interspersing additional queries and comments, you can make it appear as if interview was carried out in person!
Ask additional questions, or for clarification when necessary.
Get approval from your expert for final version of interview.
=> Interactive Features
What sets apart Internet and e-mail from traditional media (television, radio, newspaper and magazines) is potential for "two-way" communication, or reader interactivity. And this is even easier with an e-zine.
Why should you interact with readers?
Easy. To improve your e-zine's quality.
· You can establish closer, more personal relationships with subscribers · You can find out about their preferences, likes and dislikes · You can listen to their complaints and suggestions · You can request their feedback on your performance · You can collect valuable demographic data on your audience
AND.... you can get fresh content to use in your e-zine!
All of this allows you to make improvements, additions and enhance value and utility of your e-zine to your reader.
Leveraging Interactivity for your E-zine
By employing interactive tools, you can generate content to use in later issues of your e-zine. There are many different ways to do this. Here are a few ideas:
Survey your readers. Ask a question. Request a vote on an issue or topic.
· an article in e-zine - "Did you find this week's feature helpful ?" · current events - "Will you vote for GOP in next election ?" · a controversial issue - "Do you believe in religion in schools ?" · user preferences - "Would you like to receive this e-zine every week ?" · demographic data - "Do you have young children ?"
Be imaginative and creative.
· Be brief. Ask no more than 7 or 8 questions
· Offer choices. Frame questions to have a YES/NO option
· Provide an incentive to reply. A discount, a freebie, a trial membership
· Compile results and announce them to list. Your readers will enjoy hearing about what their peers think and feel about these issues.
· Show that you are acting on feedback received
Reader feedback is extremely valuable - if you listen to it with a mind open to change, and act on it.
Criticism can stimulate you to improve standards. Questions and requests can indicate areas where you must provide content that helps your reader.
A good feedback loop between e-zine publisher and subscriber is worth a lot - probably as much as trans-continental cables that wire world together!
How can you get feedback from your reader?
· Make it obvious that you welcome feedback.
· In every issue, ask them to write back with their comments, opinions and suggestions for improvement.
· Provide an e-mail address to write to, or send them URL for a web-based feedback form they can submit.
How do you turn feedback into content?
Use your creativity to come up with new ideas. Here are some suggestions:
· Write a feature article that answers questions your reader asked
· Print out questions or comments your reader sent in, and answer them. Take care to request their permission to use their words. Most often, they'll agree - especially when you promise them a moment in spotlight by mentioning their name, e-mail id or website URL in your post!
· Act upon suggestions readers make; then write about these changes
=> Discussion Lists
Building a discussion group around your e-zine is another way to promote interactivity while generating usable content in process. While feedback is a one-to-one communication, a discussion group permits many-to-many interaction, since every e- mail sent to group is distributed to each member.
Here's what you can do:
- Create a discussion group using one of free or pay-services.
- Announce it on your e-zine and invite your subscribers to participate.
Readers could debate controversial articles and news stories, discuss other issues related to your topic and share their views and opinions with other readers.
The material generated in such lively debate could again be used as seed to grow content for your e-zine.
One more method of growing an online community around your e-zine and promoting interactivity is a Forum or Bulletin Board.
An electronic bulletin board is a website where a visitor can read messages posted by others, and respond by writing another message on board. This reply is also displayed for others to read, producing a growing list of discussions on related topics.
After a reasonable period of time, messages under a particular topic could be encapsulated into a feature article or other form of content on your e-zine.
Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian, M.D. Editor, THE HEART BEAT Health-E-Zine http://www.DrMani.com/ezine/heartbeat.shtml E-ZINE LAUNCH: the e-book to jumpstart your e-publishing career How to Create, Publish and Market YOUR OWN Profitable E-mail Newsletter on the Internet!