Looking for the fastest way to get your Internet sales to take off? Advertising in ezines might be the answer. But to make it work for you, you'll need to play by the ezine marketing rules. Otherwise your investment could turn out to be a flop. Here's what they look like and how you can use them to your advantage.
1 Ensure that your product and your audience are compatible
This sounds really simple. After all, if you're selling car parts, you would probably think twice (or more) about advertising in an ezine for CabbagePatch dolls. But look at little further than that. Perhaps you've identified your car fanatics ezine, but are you also sure that you'll meet their expectations of delivery, service and guarantee?
2 Work with an ezine that's targeted and trusted
Target your prospective customers as we described in part one of this article and make sure that the ezine targets them as well. Look for evidence that people receiving the ezine trust and appreciate the contents. When that's the case, the door is already open for your endorsed product to sell. On the other hand, if that trust is not apparent (which may be indicated by a lack of user correspondence, forums or other interaction), your sales work is going to be uphill.
3 Plan your budget
Yes, that's right, ezine advertising costs money. Different ezines charge more or less according to different factors, but look for some sort of rule about the size of the circulation and the cost of an ad. Be wary of ezine editors who announce high circulation and very low ad rates. It might be a good offer, or they might be exaggerating or stuffing each ezine with a bucketful of ads. You don't want to be lost in the middle of an advertising extravaganza either.
4 Track what happens
This is where many people don't take the appropriate action. If you decide to use one or several ezines, you need to know what works and what doesn't. Then you keep what works and you stop the rest. To do this, consider using links in your ads that have a specific format for the particular ezine concerned, or at least some identification to let you know that your new customer came from that ezine. If you don't do this, you're condemning your self to budget wastage, loss and possible outright failure.
5 Avoid spam like the plague
Do some checking up. How does the ezine that you are thinking about get its readers? Does it use recommended methods where users sign up if they want to? And then the ezine sends an initial email to ask them to confirm the subscription? (the “double opt-in" method). It's an important point. Readers who took the initiative to ask for the ezine and who confirmed their desire are readers who are genuinely interested. That's your buying audience. People who are spammed by an ezine don't care a fig about you and your product. So look for the genuine article, the sincerely interested reader.
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