Friday, February 13, 2004
By Terry L. Brock
Ya gotta’ stay in touch.
This is the key to effective marketing. However, it goes beyond that. Way beyond that.
You have to stay in touch with the right people in the right way.
My friend Brian Tracy said, “Your success in life largely depends on the number of people who know you in a favorable way.” The more people who can talk about you, your company, products and services in a favorable way to others, the more likely you are to achieve the goals you have. To attain that favorable recognition in business you have to keep your name in front of them in a pleasant, compelling way.
A great tool for doing that is your Ezine, or E-mail Magazine, that you send to people. You don’t have an Ezine yet? Well, today is your lucky day because this is the article for you!
An Ezine is an Electronic Magazine (hence the shortened Ezine or often called E-Zine, pronounced “ee-zeen”). Unless you’ve been living with a 78 rpm phonograph for the past few years, you have probably been inundated with newsletters on the Net. These Ezines run the gamut from hobbies to marketing to sales to thousands of other topics. Some are useful. Many are junk and contribute to more junk mail.
Before you add to the junk mail that is out there, here are some steps to get you started along with something else that can help you make it happen:
Important Points About Your Ezine:
1. Make it Easy to Subscribe. Your website should have an easy-to-use box that enables visitors to sign up for your Ezine. You don’t want to ask for a lot of information, as people will be scared about giving away lots of personal data. You can get more information later as you prove yourself reliable, credible and worthy of deepening the relationship. Make it simple and easy to do in about 30 seconds or less. Bonus: Have several areas on your website where people can sign up for your newsletter. Always ask if people want to subscribe so you can build your list.
2. Make it Relevant and Compelling. We don’t need another thing to read, particularly not in our e-mail. I was talking last night with a futurist and friend in London, England, Rohit Talwar. Rohit was going through his e-mail last night at around 11:30 London time. He told me he had over 250 e-mail messages but couldn’t bring himself to erase all of them without examination. Once again, he’s right (he has a habit of being right as a futurist). We can’t just throw out all of them. E-mail is a vital form of communication and to just throw away everything we risk alienating ourselves from today’s world, our friends, customers and potential customers. Ezines that get read have to develop a reputation over time of being consistently powerful, relevant and worthwhile. Even if they are “free” they cost us the most precious asset we have – time. Keep your Ezine powerfully compelling. Keep it in tune with what is relevant and powerful to your Ezine subscribers. Bonus: I have a special folder in my Outlook mail called “To Read” where many of the good Ezines I subscribe to go automatically. Then I read them when I have time, not necessarily during the middle of a workday. Set up a folder for your important Ezines so you don’t miss good information but you remain in control of when to read them.
3. Start Small, And Then Build. You can send out less than 100 messages using a program like Outlook, ACT!, Goldmine or other contact management software. If it is under 100 you won’t get pegged as a spammer. Then later you can move to a more comprehensive service.
4. Only Send To Those Who Grant Permission. You don’t want to be labeled a spammer. If you are a spammer and send lots of messages to people who don’t want to hear from you, it can prove fatal in future marketing.
5. Go Beyond What Everyone Else Is Doing. Ezines are quite common today. You want your Ezine to be something that stands out. Do this with compelling content and link to valuable audio and video. This way people can learn a great deal from what you’re doing and it puts you in a different category. Why should I read your Ezine vs. your competition’s? Think about how you can make it stand out in a very favorable way to make me feel compelled to read yours.
I had so much response to my offer for the free Special Report on Ezine Marketing for Small Businesses that I put together a special way for you to get it. For your Special Report on Ezine Marketing send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll get a message with a link to it. This is particularly suitable for small business and independent professionals. You’ll also receive a free subscription to my Ezine (which you can decline, I don’t want anyone there who doesn’t want to be there!). This way you can learn more about how to design an Ezine and tap into vital resources.
An Ezine is one tool, but not the only one you can use to stay in touch with important people. Since the market is changing and being flooded with lots of good content, the challenge, more than ever, is to be brilliant. Stand out and be different by developing content that grabs attention and keeps people looking for more. Your Ezine should be one of the important tools in your arsenal.
Terry Brock is an internationally recognized professional speaker, consultant and author in the fields of business productivity, technology and marketing. He is a syndicated
columnist for Biz Journals across America and can be reached at 407-363-0505 , by e-mail at email@example.com or through his website at www.terrybrock.com .
Copyright © 2004, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission. Permission granted to Biz Journals to use in regular publications.