Top 7 e-Publishing TipsWritten by Wild Bill Montgomery
I write these tips as a reminder to myself, as well as trying to give you a little insight into wonderful world of newsletter publishing. Each of these tips below are items that I have already learned hard way and sometimes still forget. Nobody's Perfect!
1) Write What You Know:
Do world a favor, don't write about auto mechanics, if you're an art designer. Your newsletter topic should be something you have knowledge about. You may be able to fake it for awhile, but sooner or later you'll be found out. You can't operate a newsletter or any business for that fact, if you don't have background to back it up.
2) Listen to Your Subscribers:
I'm not saying that you should change your format because you have one complaint. But, if 75% of you readers don't like something, you had better make changes and pronto. Too many newsletter publishers have misguided opinion that they own newsletter. Wrong, your subscribers own newsletter. Consider them your stockholders. You may be CEO, but your stockholders should have last say. If you go against majority of your stockholders, you'll lose. Whether you agree with reader's comments, answer all emails personally, professionally and as soon as possible. Don't forget to give credit where credit is due. If a reader makes a suggestion that appeals to you, make sure that they know it. Maybe even offer them a plug in your next issue.
3) Speeling and Grammer:
That's right, it looks like crap. It only takes a minute to use a spell checker. Use it! Go through each issue with a fine tooth comb. I have on occasion forgot to use it for one reason or another, usually because I'm in a rush. I pay for it each time it happened, in way of at least one complaint.
4) Word of Mouth is a Powerful Tool:
Always..Always ask your readers to recommend your newsletter to their friends, family and co-workers. Chances are some of them will. Word of mouth is not limited to your readers either. Talk about your newsletter with friends, acquaintances and associates. Tell them what you do and how you think they would benefit from your eZine. Remember every subscriber counts, especially when it comes to advertising prices.
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!