Top 7 Rules Broken by Newsletter AdvertisersWritten by Wild Bill Montgomery
I write a lot of articles about copywriting and marketing on Internet. I have always believed you're best at what you love to do, if you spend your time doing what you love. Here are what many may believe are obvious rules, but these are 7 rules I have most often seen broken. Since I'm far.. very, very far from perfect, many of these rules I have repeatedly broken myself as well.
Knowing rules does not necessarily mean following rules. Read, Recite, Retain and Recycle. 4 words a previous professor used 1000 times. He constantly stressed point, and I quote, "Just because you've read it in book young blood, doesn't prove you've learned a thing.
1. Know your Audience.
The first rule of advertising is to know your Audience or better put, "Target Audience". Know where and how to find them. I know this seems to be a simple and quite obvious rule, but never a day goes by that I don't see it broken. I read and scan approximately 10-20 newsletters each day, and each day I see those ads, thinking to myself, "what are they doing here"?
OK, maybe you will find someone reading a B2B newsletter that is interested in Antique Crystal, but don't you think your efforts and advertising budget would be better served finding a newsletter on Antiques? You may even gain exposure to a businessperson who likes old crystal, but more than likely they don't have that on their mind at time. Now, I may be a little on dramatic side, but you get point. Know where your advertising will best suit readers and their present state of mind.
2. How do I really know they have that many subscribers?
Well friend, I may be cutting my own throat here just a little (as I use an email publishing program of my own design), but one sure way to know, is to advertise with newsletters who use a neutral service such as eGroups or Topica . There are many services free and paid. Some editors also use a bonded service that tracks and guarantees an honest count of a subscriber base. Being what I consider a small fish yet, I do not yet worry that much about advertising quite that much. I don't yet use a service of any kind. At present I'm more interested in gaining a loyal readership, than selling advertising. That's not to say I don't sell advertising, I just don't push it that hard....yet. But what it comes down to is that if newsletter doesn't use an independent service that keeps and displays subscriber count, then you have to rely on trust. Trust, my friend, can sometimes be a hard thing to come by these days.
3. Avoid Nuisance Publications.
This could be anything from an opt-in ad list, to solo-ads, to a monthly service mailing. Although many of these have large, sometimes very large subscriber bases, they get a great deal of no-show readers. These are publications that quite often get deleted by a large portion of people receiving them. I get them all time. How many other opt in advertisers do you think really read those endless emails of advertising garbage.
Solo ads do get read, but think about it, how many do you read? I may read 1 out of 50. As soon as I see a Solo Ad or any of those other names they're given I delete on contact! What about you? You do get premium space and exposure, if enough people read them, but after talking to other webmasters, I found that a great deal of them usually delete them without ever being read. So consider what you have to pay for that premium space, and that probably only 10% of people see it.
Suppose you sign up for a free service and one of stipulations is that you agree to receive their "occasional" mailings. You know; those are ones you receive every month, week or even daily that you tolerate only because you enjoy privilege of their service. If you are deleting these, how many other subscribers do you feel may be doing same?
This is not to say that you won't get a response, but too many of these mailings demand higher rates for their advertising space. You must decide just how much exposure you will really get and whether price is worth service.
4. Bad Contact Information Sucks.
Another obvious but often abused rule. This is as common sense, as common sense can get. Make it easy to respond. I don't know about you, but it really irks me to read and respond to an ad, only to find that there is no such web address or I've emailed an unknown address. Oh well, their loss. I've encountered everything from misspelling their email or web address to having none at all. I've even seen one Einstein who published his social security number in place of a fax number. Hey, I guess (most of) it happens to best of us, but it still sucks!
HAS YOUR EZINE PASSED ITS SELL-BY DATE?Written by Marie Williams
DON'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 type I mean. And, if you've any sense, you'll stick these "sales brochures" right where they belong - in 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 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 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 business market, your ezine should have a pristine presentation while content will need to be both professional and to 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 centred 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 word-wrap between 55-65 characters per line to ensure that all email clients can read your text perfectly - just way you intended!
By keeping your ezine neat and simple, you'll ensure that your subscribers focus more on 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 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 other half clicking on unsubscribe link. You need to focus on exactly what your subscribers want.