Have you been publishing an e-mail newsletter for at least six months but still aren't seeing real results (read: revenue) from it? Don't fret – you may just need a tune up. Here are five ways to kick your e-zine income into gear this year:
1. TOOT YOUR OWN HORN MORE
The adage goes, “If you don't blow your own horn, someone else will use it as a spittoon.” If your focus is providing your readers with useful information that enriches their lives and businesses, bravo! That SHOULD be your focus. But now I want you to look out for yourself as well: Take at least 25 percent of your e-zine space and make it all about YOU.
Give promos for your services, products, books, workshops, etc. List raving testimonials from clients and customers who LOVE you. Weave your business success stories into your articles and tips. Share something funny about your weekend that makes me feel closer to knowing you personally.
2. MAKE ME AN OFFER I CAN'T REFUSE
Let's suppose I'm one of your subscribers. Even if I realize you offer amazing products and services, I may need a kick in the pants to make a move. To entice me, offer me a special, limited-time deal. Examples: three months' of consultation for the price of two, a 20% discount on your latest book or newest service, or one of your usual offers with a few exciting bonuses thrown in. Make the offer obsolete within a few days or by next week. By putting a time limit on it, I'll be more apt to act now instead of later.
Don't overlook how powerful this tactic can be. Some of my most profitable weeks have resulted from running a limited time, special promotion of this type in my e-zine.
3. PACKAGE IT AT A LOWER PRICE POINT
This is a super strategy for service professionals such as consultants and coaches. As your subscriber, I know the way to get the BEST service from you would be to hire you one-on-one, but perhaps I can't afford that right now. BUT consider that I may likely be interested in lower-priced options such as group coaching, teleclasses, online seminars, or a manual/e-book.
This is exactly how I became an e-book author. When I started my first e-zine, my main business was writing for corporate communications. After I gained a few thousand subscribers, I realized that my readers were mostly small business owners and entrepreneurs. So I began creating products and services geared toward them. And now I profit more from those each month than from my corporate work.
4. PROMOTE A PRODUCT/SERVICE THAT COMPLEMENTS YOURS
Do your readers and clients often ask you about a certain topic that's related to – but not exactly – what you offer? Then resell a resource that you heartily recommend and would put your reputation behind.
For example, while my specialty is e-zines, I get many questions about creating and selling e-books online. So I continually research credible resources on this topic to share with my readers. Many of the creators of these products offer a handsome commission on any sales I refer to them. (As an e-book author, I do this myself by paying out up to 35% commission on any referred sale.)
NEVER recommend any service or product to your readers that you haven't personally tried and wouldn't back 100 percent. Otherwise you'll blow the trust that you've worked so hard to build up in your readership.
5. SELL AD SPACE AS IT SUITS YOU
E-zine ads won't make you rich, but they can make for some handy extra cash. (I call it my “margarita money.”) Most e-zines offer one sponsor ad at the top and several “classified” ads at the bottom. Sponsor ads typically cost three to five times more than the classified ad, but you'll see the ranges vary greatly.
Start by offering ad specials to your own readers. Then also list your e-zine in the many e-zine advertising directories on the Web. These services help match advertisers with appropriate publishers just like you. (Need help? My manual gives step-by-step instructions on how to accept and profit from ads in your e-zine.)
Remember that you have every right to be selective about the type of ads you accept. While your readers know these ads don't represent YOUR business, their quality will indirectly influence their perception of you.
REMEMBER THE *SILENT* BENEFITS OF YOUR E-ZINE
Keep in mind that even if you aren't getting direct business from your e-zine at this time, it's still delivering many benefits that may be less obvious. Your e-zine 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 concise articles on a regular basis, which you can recycle for many other marketing uses.
(c) 2000-2003 Alexandria K. Brown. All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, “The E-zine Queen,” is author of the award-winning manual, “Boost Business With Your Own E-zine.” To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at Ezine Publishing Profits.