How Much Is Too Little?


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As a publisher and ezine co-op owner, I've been studying ezines and co-ops for some time now, and I've arrived at the following conclusion:

How much IS too little?

This morning a well-known internet marketer's ezine was brought to my attention. The ezine is a small one-page affair with an excellent marketing tip. Attractively arranged online, he has strategically placed top, middle, and bottom sponsor ads. His mailing goes out to 150,000+ subscribers who are emailed every other week.

Out of curiousity, I clicked through to his advertising rates, and here's what I found:

Top Sponsor ad:
Total Price: $675.00

Middle Sponsor ad:
Total Price: $675.00

Directly above the weekly feature article:
Total Price: $360.00

Bottom Sponsor ad:
Total Price: $360.00

There is no option for a solo ad.

Now you might be saying, “Wow! There's no way in the world I can afford that!" or “Yikes! How could I even dream of charging that much?!"

The answer is quality content and a heavy dose of personal name branding.

This marketer's ezine is looked for in inboxes. People wait to hear his next bit of advice, the next tip, trick, idea, resource, or product. He tells his readers what works, they try it for themselves and agree, and they look forward to his next publication, eager to stay ahead of the pack.

So imagine placing an ad in an ezine that well read, that sought after. . .

Who wouldn't want to advertise inside such a publication if they can afford to?

Okay, now let's bring this a bit closer to home for the majority of us with more limited funds.

First off, many growing ezines accept free ads and paid ads from outside sources. It's a good marketing practice in order to grow one's list to the size of this example or head quickly in that direction before it's no longer necessary.

We “handle" this additional advertising in various fashions, some by designated areas inside the ezine and others send out additional classified mailings.

So, what IS a fair market value for an average-sized ezine?

Using the only algebraic formula I walked away with from high school, and the prices in the above example, an ezine with a subscriber base of 5,000 subscribers could easily charge:

$22.50 for a top sponsor ad
$22.50 for a middle sponsor ad
$12.00 for an ad above their featured article
$12.00 for the bottom sponsor ad.

The key to being able to set these prices?
An ezine's originality, heart, and quality content!

A looked-for ezine is a valuable ezine - for it's readers and advertisers alike. The entrepreneur above knows that well enough! And so do his advertisers. . .

And the solo ad?

Though the gentleman above declines solos, this form of advertising is wide spread on the net. It has become a mainstay for many publishers, and much sought after by advertisers.

My personal advice?

An ezine's solo mailing needs to stand out from the rest to justify ANY cost.

I'm a firm believer that the solo ad should be pricey because I also believe most of us are tired of reading the $5 wonder solo ads.

I believe an ezine and an ezine co-op should price the solo ad high enough to make the average advertiser stop and think can they really afford it, and, if so, to ask themselves, “Is this program or product really worth the extra expense?"

I believe it is our responsibility to do this.

Veteran publishers, subscribers, and advertisers have been on the net long enough to have already gone through the “school of hard knocks, " or with any luck at least be coming out the other side :)

We've spent money and time and resources on the fly by night programs that abound on the web. We already know what it's like to be taken to the cleaners. . .

I believe it is our responsibility to help those new to all these “sc^am in a box" offers avoid the errors we've already made whenever possible.

As publishers, we need to provide what we set out to provide - quality content, worthwhile information, and help.

As subscribers, we need to provide feedback to our ezines - also offering our wisdom and insight for the benefit of others.

As advertisers, we need to figure out what's worth advertising and what isn't - and turn a profit by being selective.

By working together, we can all ensure the intrinsic value of the ezine - now and for many years to come.

Let the FFAs have the rest. . .

© Theresa Cahill - All Rights Reserved. Feel free to distribute this article. Please keep it intact and with the resource box included below.


Theresa Cahill, a two decade veteran of marketing, is the owner of and invites you to take a look at the services of MWA and download fr. ee helpful information and more at


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