Publishing your own e-zine (an electronic magazine or
newsletter) is one of the most effective ways to gain publicity online. E-zine and
discussion group publishers are increasingly gaining ground over those who don't utilize
these tools, and you should definitely look into publishing one if you are not already
With the Internet -- and particularly email -- comes the ability to produce your very own
"free" publicity channels with which your expertise in your specific niche or
industry can be easily developed. In fact more and more media personnel are using such
channels to find stories.
Aside from the publicity you gain by delivering expert information to eager subscribers,
by narrowing your focus the media will seek you out rather than the other way around. Why?
They do so because they particularly like stories from people who are uniquely qualified
-- this is especially true with specialized, topic-specific media, since they love to
report information that appeals to their specific audience.
Nevertheless, publishing an e-zine for your prospects and customers has a number of
benefits. It builds credibility, establishes you as an expert in your field, keeps you in
frequent contact with your audience, positions your company or product, and develops good
Out of Sight is Out of Mind
E-zines are no-cost marketing tools that can provide you with large amounts of free
publicity as well as create a new profit center for you by selling advertising space
within it. It will allow you to contact your prospects as often you want and develop a
relationship with them.
By supplying a regular stream of specialized information, you will be able to turn
prospects into customers and customers into referral-sources. In essence, the e-zine is
simply a platform through which you increase your exposure and thus create trust,
credibility, and, of course, sales as well as referrals -- and do so very quickly and
When someone subscribes, you at least get their email address. But you may also get their
mailing address, which can be used to mail your offers outside your e-zine. Whether you do
so electronically or physically, since a relationship exists between you and your
subscribers you will naturally get a higher response rate from offers to subscribers than
you would with offers to non-subscribers.
You can also make product or important update announcements in your e-zine. But more
important, you can use it as a tool to gain marketing intelligence. Research is the key to
success in direct marketing; it is to find what information, products, and services your
prospects are looking for, and then to offer them what they want. E-zines therefore can
help supply you with that kind of information very easily in a number of ways.
For example, one way is by hosting other company products in your e-zine and then finding
out the kind of response they have generated. You can also gain key information by
including surveys or conducting polls, and then offering free bonuses to your subscribers
Let's Swap, Shall We?
But one of the most useful ways to grow your e-zine is by swapping ads with other
publishers. Cross-promotion between publishers is quite effective and for many reasons.
First, the savings gained from advertising for free can be tremendous. But more
significant is that your ad will be viewed by a specific readership -- people who not only
fall into your target market but also love to read e-zines, which increases the chances of
your ad being noticed.
The one thing you will need the most when starting your e-zine is, of course, subscribers.
Therefore, swapping ads is a great way to promote your newsletter and build your
subscriber-base. Another great way is to register your publication with e-zine
directories. Fortunately, there are many popular search engines and directories that only
list e-zines, even web sites dedicated to them as well.
Here's a partial list of electronic newsletter directories, indices, listings, and other
sources to which you can submit your own e-zine listing (of course, there is also the
"alt.ezines" newsgroup) -- you can also use these directories to isolate
newsletters for your article submissions:
(And of course, there is our very own e-zine database located in our private site which is
There are also publisher and writer newsletters, directories, and web sites in which you
can submit and solicit articles that cater to your publication's theme (see
http://www.icopyright.com and The Writer's and Publisher's Connection at
http://homeincome.com/writers-connection). There is also the Email Publishers' Discussion
List which can be found at http://onelist.com/listcenter.cgi?listname=epub -- it's a good
And by writing articles in other publications, your byline can advertise the fact that you
publish your own e-zine and thus invite readers to subscribe. Nevertheless, you can also
have strategic marketing alliances promote subscriptions for you. In exchange for a
certain number of new subscribers, you can "pay" them with free advertising in
Originally published in IMC's Internet Marketing Chronicles.
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