Article: "EPower" The Ezine Advantage

by Heidi Richards




"Regular communication with your customers is essential to your success." Heidi Richards


Ezines The alternative of choice for many companies is a great way to market your company. All you need is an email account and permission from your customers/clients to send the ezine. In fact, I have found ezines to be so powerful that I write and produce 4 a month. And I am working on a 5th one.


They are:


SelfMarketing News www.selfmarketingnews.com


PetalsNCents (a marketing newsletter for the floral industry) www.petalsncents.com


Creating A Legacy (a newsletter for the nonprofit community) www.creatingalegacy.com


Ramblin' Rose (a newsletter for my customers) www.EdenFlorist.com


WECommerce News (a newsletter for members of The Womens ECommerce Association, International) www.WECAI.org


Since the whole topic of ezine production can be overwhelming, I will just touch on the highlights to get you started.


1. The first thing you must do is collect your customers/clients email addresses. We collect them when they call, come in the shop, answer surveys, or enter our contests. We ask for it every time we have interaction with them.


2. We tell them the benefits. The ezine is filled with product updates, trends, surveys, special offers, testimonials, discounts and my favorite CONTESTS.


3. Make it easy to read and brief. Two to three pages max.


4. One of the most important things we had to deal with was when our lists started growing (beyond 250); we were very limited in sending through our original email account (AOL). They have rules and sometimes will freeze an account if you send too many at once. The format would also get botched sometimes. The lists became unmanageable when we had to remove unsubscribers and duplicates. Finding the ones who wish to unsubscribe can be challenging. We switched to another service hoping they could send our newsletters and maintain our lists. It was a good service; however, we didn't like the look of our newsletter. It had limited capabilities (no bold or italic). Since I'm the creative type, I didn't want my ezines to look like everyone else's. We have now found a program we are very happy with. There is no monthly fee, just a onetime purchase fee. It is called Group Mail Pro Mailing List & Group Management Software. And it only costs 79.95 (and you own it).


If you plan your ezine right, give it a great title and offer your customers and clients benefits, your ezine will be a success


PROMOTION


Have a subscription form on your website Have a sign up sheet at the office. Promote it with postcards in your monthly statements. Tell anyone you think might be interested. Offer a free report when they sign up. Buy the URL with the title of your ezine so you can easily direct traffic to subscribe.


Good things happen with ezines; increased visibility, increased business and goodwill. Happy Writing


Excerpted from The PMS Principles Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business 2005 Heidi Richards


Heidi Richards is the author of The PMS Principles, Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business and 7 other books. She is also the Founder & CEO of the Womens ECommerce Association, International http://www.WECAI.org (pronounced weeki) an Internet organization that Helps Women Do Business on the WEB. Basic Membership is FREE. Ms. Richards can be reached at http://www.HeidiRichards.com or heidi@wecai.org


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