E-ZINES - The alternative of choice for many organizations are a great way to market yours. All you need is an e-mail account and permission from your stakeholders to send e-zine. In fact, I have found e-zines to be so powerful that I write and produce five a month. They are:
Self-Marketing News - a marketing newsletter for small to mid sized businesses
PetalsNCents - a marketing newsletter for floral industry
Creating A Legacy - a newsletter for nonprofit community, and
Ramblin' Rose - a newsletter for my retail customers.
WECommerce News - a newsletter for Women Who do Business on web
The first thing you must do is collect your customers/clients e-mail addresses. We collect them when they call, visit my retail business, answer surveys, or enter our contests. We ask for an e-mail address every time we have interaction with them.
Formatting your E-zine
Keep it basically same from issue to issue. Consistency in format – can apply to many marketing strategies on web. That includes keeping it consistent with colors and look of your website to consistent categories in your newsletter. Consistency helps your stakeholders understand what is coming next – so they continue to look forward to receiving it.
Test new strategies with your newsletter – but you also need to keep certain things similar so that you do not confuse your stakeholders. This will decrease amount of un-subscribes you will receive.
Length and frequency of delivery – Make it easy to read and brief. The length of your e-zine will depend on frequency in which you publish. If you publish your e-zine once a month including two to three articles is norm, however if you publish on a daily or weekly basis, then I recommend only one short article and or a tip. Too much or too little content will quickly drive readers away.
Subject Line – The subject line of your e-zine should be consistent. You can use name of your e-zine, your organization or another catchy title. The main thing is to use same subject line with each issue.
Table of Contents – "Table of Contents" or “In this Issue” should appear at beginning of e-zine. This to let people know what is in this issue. Most people scan table of contents see if there is an article that interests them..
Categories – Should remain same from issue to issue. They could include:
Editor's or Executive Directors Remarks – A great place to welcome people and thank them for their support.
One to three articles – Lead with most important or interesting article. This will get people to read rest of your e-zine.
Volunteer recognition and Thank-you’s
What's New in organization – Such as events and happenings.
Resources – Things your readers would appreciate receiving such as complimentary reports, notices about upcoming seminars that would be of benefit to them as well as a book review or two are great items to put in resource section of your e-zine.
Advertising and Sponsorship Support – Here’s where you thank your supporters of organization and advertisers of your e-zine. Getting sponsors and advertisers to put ads in your e-zine can make it cost you virtually nothing to produce. One word of caution, follow 80/20 rule so people won’t feel that all you are trying to do is sell them something – that means your e-zine should be 80 content and nor more than 20% advertising.
Questions, Comments, Reader feedback – A great place to answer stakeholders questions that other may also be interested in knowing, comments and by all means any testimonials you receive from your readers.
General Information – How to contact organization, subscribe, unsubscribe, refer others to organization, privacy statement and how to support e-zine or organization.