Recent studies confirm that consumers and business owners alike still prefer email marketing as the #1 way of communicating about their new products and services. But for the most part, only retail chains like J. Crew and Bluefly.com can get away with straight promotional newsletters.
For the small business owner or solo-preneur, the ezine rules. It’s a bit more tactful and delivers a mix of insightful, practical content WITH your promotional updates and info.
Here are seven simple ways to marketing yourself in your ezine:
1. Make sure your MAIN ARTICLE always provides information that your readers will find valuable.
By having a main article as the foundation of your issue, readers will feel they got what they came for — helpful information. Try a list of top 10 tips, a “how-to” article, a list of resources, a review of a trend in the industry, etc.
For more ideas be sure to check out my recent article, “7 Simple Formulas for Writing Articles That Get Read“
2. Begin each issue with an EDITOR’S NOTE or PUBLISHER’S NOTE.
When I first started publishing in 1999 or so, I didn’t include anything personal. Then I began including my Note from Ali, and found it was the perfect place to let readers know what’s happening with my business and life, give them a taste of my personality, and announce any upcoming events they should know about.
An Editor/Publisher’s Note is a personal message from you to them—and because it’s NOT your main content, you have more leeway in being a bit self-promotional. But it’s not a hard pitch.
3. In your articles, include LINKS to related articles you’ve written, blog entries, or media mentions, when appropriate.
Your readers will appreciate the additional information and resources, and it’s one more chance for you to demonstrate your expertise and credibility.
And of course you can take it a step further and directly recommend your paid products or services that are on topic.
4. Directly after your article, give a quick PROMO BLURB, mentioning your products, services, or programs, if you offer them. (Choose one for best results.)
Why right after the article and before anything else? If someone reads your article and says to themselves, “That was great information!” They’ll be ready to hear what else you have to share on that subject.
A great lead-in for your blurb is: “Did You Like Today’s Article? If you did, you’ll LOVE my [e-book, report, upcoming workshop, etc.]…”
Here’s another example, one I use at the end of every Spotlight article. It also encourages others to repost the article:
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com”
5. In each issue, offer a TESTIMONIAL from one of your clients or customers.
If you have testimonials, it’s a great idea to work them into your ezine. Not only do they establish credibility and trust, but they are a subtle reminder that you’re not just a publisher… you do offer services and products.
Plus, when some of your clients see how nicely you highlight your testimonials, complete with the client name and business info (if any), they’ll be more likely to want to take action and submit one themselves.
6. Tell us what YOU’RE all about!
At the end of your ezine, take at least 10 lines and give a concise description of YOU and what you have to offer your readers. (See the end of my ezine for a good—albeit lengthy—example.)
Explain who you are, what you do, how you can help me (the reader), and what to do next (e.g. visit your website).
7. Occasionally, make a special announcement in a SOLO MAILING.
A solo mailing is any mailing you make to your EZINE subscriber list that is NOT a regular issue of your ezine.
If you do send out any solo mailings, make sure they’re newsworthy. Perhaps you’re offering a special sale on your product line, or you’re announcing a brand new seminar you’re teaching.
REMEMBER THE *SILENT* BENEFITS OF YOUR EZINE
Keep in mind that even if you aren’t getting direct business from your ezine at this time, it’s still delivering many benefits that may be less obvious. Your ezine is helping to establish you as an expert in your field. It’s giving you massive online exposure. You’re gaining further credibility with your current clients and customers. And it’s forcing you to package your knowledge into articles and tips on a regular basis, which you can recycle for many other marketing uses!