In my opinion, Electronic Magazine (Ezine) advertising is the greatest, untapped source of online advertising available today.
The reason: Ezine Advertising (EA) matches your product or idea to people with similar interests.
Example: who better to sell your health product to than a large group of people subscribed to a health newsletter? Or, you could pitch a business opportunity to a group already subscribed to another ezine about MLM and Biz Ops!
The idea of EA is fairly simple - but to make yours a success, you have to first determine which ezines or newsletters produce results, and which ones to avoid.
After a year and a half of EA, I've created a formula that produces increasing profit because I’ve learned how to avoid poor performing ezines and rip offs, while revealing the gems.
Strategy for Profit
I used to get ripped off about once for every 2 or 3 ezines I advertised in. They either took my money without running my ad (and ignored my subsequent emails), or my proven ads did too poorly for the money I paid.
The reasons ranged from abandoned ezines with working payment links, unethical newsletter owners, to a lot of ignorance and impatience on my part.
If you follow my proven strategy, you'll discover the best sources of ezines to advertise in - no matter who your target group is. And, you should see positive results every time.
This article outlines the steps to making your EA a successful return on investment (ROI).
Writing Your Ad
I won't go into details about ad writing, but if your ad is poorly written or untested, you should start with the cheapest ezines first. If you’re really unsure of your writing abilities, I further suggest hiring a professional to write your ad for you. Because you can run your ad as many times as you want, your investment in a professional will more than pay for itself in the end.
Target your advertising
If you leap into EA without first researching your target group, you'll end up wasting a lot of time and money. Plus, you probably miss some of the best ezines available.
To determine who your prospect is, take the time to list the possible keywords that directly relate to your product and do keyword searches for ezines, newsletters, and ezine directories.
For example, if you sell herbs, a good keyword search would include: herbs, health, nutrition, supplements, etc.
While doing your ezine research, you will probably stumble upon the offer to use Co-op (bulk) advertising as the means for your EA.
To be blunt, you should never pay to use Co-ops for your EA because they are too difficult to track and usually contain untargeted ezines. Worse still, you’d find that most never run your ad.
Now that you’ve found your ezine target group, you’ll want to know whether the ezines you found are a good option (i. e. profitable) for your EA.
I’ve found the best strategy for making this determination is to subscribe to the targeted ezines.
To keep the subscriptions readily available for further research, I recommend creating a separate folder to store your subscription data.
And because you’ll need to subscribe to quite a few ezines, I also suggest creating separate email accounts dedicated to your ezine subscriptions.
Double Opt-In Subscriptions
In the process of subscribing, you’ll quickly determine possible ezines to avoid. When you subscribe and get a notice that you must confirm your subscription, the ezine is referred to as “double opt-in”.
Double opt-in ezines indicates a better quality of subscribers with a lower risk of bulk email addresses. For you and me, this means better ad responses (yeah!).
Within the first week of your new ezine subscription, you should see solo ads from other advertisers. If not, the ezine may be too new, or worse, no one is advertising because of poor results. Worse yet, the ezine took the advertiser’s money and failed to run the ad.
On the other hand, if you see two or more solo ads a day, their list is probably burned out due to over advertising. You're looking for no more than one ad a day, or a minimum of one ad a week. Keep watching!
Does the ezine put the advertiser’s subject line in the subject of the email or do they just say something like “Solo ad from xyz ezine"?
Your subject line is the most important part of your ad and definitely should be in the subject of the email. No subject line equals no response.
Repeat (or regular) advertisers in an ezine is a very good sign that the subscribers are responsive. To further test responsiveness, I recommend looking through the ezine’s online archives (if available).
Archives are previous email publications that the publisher has posted to their website for visitors to view. The archive search is not only quick and easy, but archives can also provide an extra trickle of visitors when your ad gets archived.
After passing the above steps, see if your prospective ezine has a testimonial page. If the ezine has gotten this far, chances are it will.
The best indicator of responsive subscribers is the waiting period to run an ad in the chosen ezine. If the waiting period is a month or more, this indicates a very popular ezine with responsive readers. You've uncovered a real gem!
I've found that the better ezines have web forms that get your ad to the publisher’s inbox and usually send auto confirmation of receipt. If there is no web form, try emailing the publisher a question first, like when the next ad run date is.
No response may indicate a poor choice in the ezine, or your email was filtered or blocked as spam. Wait at least 2 days and try emailing again using a different email account.
If your emails still don't get through, neither will your ad. (Ironically, your payment always go through). Trust me, if they fail to communicate, save your money and time and move on.
If the ezine offers free classifieds, this is another good place to run your ad. Since classifieds usually don’t produce responses, any activity from your ad here would further indicate an active readership.
Never advertise without using an ad tracker. You can purchase one or better, use one of the many available online for free. Ad trackers give you a url that you use in place of your website address.
The new url gives you important information like how many visitors you had, where they came from, and some list the number of sales per visitor.
This tracking information is crucial to the direction of your ad campaign because you’ll learn of the need to change your ad and/or the sales page. More importantly, you’ll know for certain whether the ezine produced enough visitors for the advertising price you paid.
Run Your Ad Twice
If your ad produced a great response, wait a week or two and run the ad again in the same ezine. I’ve found you'll probably get as good if not better results the second time around.
I would advise against running the ad a third time in a row because most of your prospects will be found in the first two runs.
Once your ad has been tested and you have a base of 5-10 solid, performing ezines, start rotating your ad between your ezines.
For optimal results, make sure 2-3 months have passed before running your ad in the same publication. Keep building your base and watch your profits grow!
Greg Root has been using ezine advertising almost exclusively since 2003 and owns and maintains The Ezine Ad Tester© . See the results of his ezine advertising campaigns to find the best ezine marketing resources on the internet.