As we discussed last time, lists are very important to our online business, but how do we keep them interested? That is what we will be talking about today.
E-zine Or Newsletter: The e-zine, or newsletter, is a list of people that you gather, and send information related to your target market on a weekly, bi-weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. The idea is the useful content that you send them will have them want to keep reading and open your mail each time, keeping your response rates and read rates high.
Ok so here we have it. The staple of most online marketers before they hit it big, and sometimes even after, the well-known e-zine list. I’m sure you’ll already know from reading other information is that this method in itself can actually become a lot of work. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of work, but when it gets to a particular point, it may not be prudent for you to run an e-zine anymore. This however is a good place to start if you have the time.
Expect to write an issue of your e-zine every week or two weeks and avoid leaving long, long gaps in between mailings, otherwise, quite simply people will forget you. This is a great place to start if you’re starting out, for the simple reason people like free info, and it’s so much easier to get people to subscribe to this type of list compared to others, even when there’s freebies involved. Of course, you will have to know a lot about your field of expertise to present regular useful issues, or even pull in outside articles from publishers to use as content.
The catch is you’ll have to be on top of things, and it does take some time to come up with good content for issues. The up side to this is people will be waiting for your e-zine. If it’s good and keeps people reading content wise, it’s a surefire way to keep response rates up and to make a connection with your subscribers, the personal touch, which in turn will add up to trust and a higher purchase rate for your own products.
The next upside to this is that you can sell ads for cash. To whom? To your subscribers of course. It’s an instant quick way to earn cash, by selling large solo ads that go out separately from the e-zine, to smaller ads that precede each issue, and even cheaper, mid and smaller ads contained within the issue. It’s a good all rounder in fact. The downside here is many e-zines turn into ad lists. When the ads massively outnumber the useful content, subscribers start to feel cheated and leave. I’ve been there before, and if you’ve tested out or subscribed to some e-zines before you may have seen this.
Another great thing about the newsletter and e-zine is it can be quite personal. As the readers and subscribers get used to you as a publisher, and you become white listed (In their spam filers and in their minds) you’ll see a greater interest in your products, because after all, you’re not just another marketer out there spouting rubbish to everyone to make a quick buck. You’re a trusted publisher in an authoritative role, and people will listen to you, and buy your stuff. This takes time though. Don’t expect to become well know to all your subscribers overnight.
Personal List – Mixed Content
Personal mixed content list is a list gathered by you, that you don’t use to sell outside ads to on a regular basis. Mailings contain research, new product information for your customers, a few articles that you write, the odd tips here and there, testimonial requests, and of course the ads for your own products. Mailings are very similar to an e-zine, except for the mixed content and the lower sales of ads to third parties. They also require less content on your part.
One of the most highly used list types by specialist marketers, definitely one of the most interesting and robust of methods. Imagine having a list of your own, which generally comprises of customers that know who you are, trust your word, many of them having bought from you before or subscribed to your list for the simple sake of following the progress and watching what you do as an authoritative figure in your chosen field of expertise. All of these factors come together to make a highly responsive list and one heck of a joint venture bargaining tool.
Keep in mind that you are working towards being an authoritative figure, taking the time to build up trust, and after one bad decision, one bad joint venture with the wrong person, and your rep is in tatters, and you have a lot of groveling to the subscribers to do to make up for it. I can think of several examples where marketers’ reputations have been tarnished, some even to the point of them quitting the business, because this important resource they built up over the years was destroyed by a JV with someone unreliable or that has a bad reputation that they didn’t know about. Do your research, don’t take big joint ventures lightly, and this won’t happen to you. The biggest risk, but with the biggest reward, as always.