E-Power The E-zine Advantage
"Regular communication with your customers is essential to your success." - Heidi Richards -
E-zines - The alternative of choice for many companies is a great way to market your company. All you need is an e-mail account and permission from your customers/clients to send the e-zine. In fact, I have found e-zines to be so powerful that I write and produce 4 a month. And I am working on a 5th one.
Self-Marketing News self-marketingnews.com
PetalsNCents (a marketing newsletter for the floral industry) - petalsncents.com
Creating A Legacy (a newsletter for the nonprofit community) creatingalegacy.com
Ramblin' Rose (a newsletter for my customers) - EdenFlorist.com
WECommerce News (a newsletter for members of The Women's ECommerce Association, International) - WECAI.org
Since the whole topic of e-zine production can be overwhelming, I will just touch on the highlights to get you started.
1. The first thing you must do is collect your customers/clients e-mail addresses. We collect them when they call, come in the shop, answer surveys, or enter our contests. We ask for it every time we have interaction with them.
2. We tell them the benefits. The e-zine is filled with product updates, trends, surveys, special offers, testimonials, discounts and my favorite CONTESTS.
3. Make it easy to read and brief. Two to three pages max.
4. One of the most important things we had to deal with was when our lists started growing (beyond 250); we were very limited in sending through our original e-mail account (AOL). They have rules and sometimes will freeze an account if you send too many at once. The format would also get botched sometimes. The lists became unmanageable when we had to remove unsubscribers and duplicates. Finding the ones who wish to unsubscribe can be challenging. We switched to another service hoping they could send our newsletters and maintain our lists. It was a good service; however, we didn't like the look of our newsletter. It had limited capabilities (no bold or italic). Since I'm the creative type, I didn't want my e-zines to look like everyone else's. We have now found a program we are very happy with. There is no monthly fee, just a one-time purchase fee. It is called Group Mail Pro - Mailing List & Group Management Software. And it only costs $79.95 (and you own it).
If you plan your ezine right, give it a great title and offer your customers and clients benefits, your ezine will be a success!
Have a subscription form on your website! Have a sign up sheet at the office. Promote it with postcards in your monthly statements. Tell anyone you think might be interested. Offer a free report when they sign up. Buy the URL with the title of your e-zine so you can easily direct traffic to subscribe.
Good things happen with e-zines; increased visibility, increased business and goodwill. Happy Writing!
Excerpted from The PMS Principles - Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business © 2005 - Heidi Richards
Heidi Richards is the author of The PMS Principles, Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business and 7 other books. She is also the Founder & CEO of the Women's ECommerce Association, International WECAI.org (pronounced wee-kī) - an Internet organization that "Helps Women Do Business on the WEB." Basic Membership is FREE. Ms. Richards can be reached at HeidiRichards.com or email@example.com
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