How To Reach Millions VIA Email
At the risk of sounding sensational, the awesome potential of email marketing is the only real "secret" that you need to know when it comes to marketing your business online. And the only reason it can be called a secret is because so many marketers just don't get it - the fact that email has always been, and still is, the most powerful online marketing medium of all.
Want proof? Just last week one of our new affiliates sent an offer to his opt-in mailing list and generated about 150 new customers and over $30,000 in sales within the first 48 hours. And that's something we'd be hard-pressed to do any other way. We don't say this to brag, but rather to illustrate the point that email is indeed one of the most effective ways - if not THE most effective - way to promote anything on the Internet.
The reasons that email marketing is so attractive are primarily three-fold:
When it comes to email advertising the absolute best way to sell boatloads of anything is to get the publisher of an ezine to endorse your product or service. This will generate more results than any advertisement written by the world's best copywriter-because publishers have the inherent credibility that comes with publishing a good ezine.
- It's extremely easy to reach large numbers of highly-targeted prospects.
- It's fast-you'll see results within hours rather than days, weeks, or months.
- It's easy to test your ad creative and calculate your ROI (return on investment).
This article focuses on buying advertising, but before you buy any ads you should try to see if you can get the publisher to promote your products or services on some type of a revenue sharing basis. It isn't always possible, but we've done it at least 100 times and you've got nothing to lose by asking. If they say yes, it's 100% risk-free for you. At the end of your proposal, indicate that even if they aren't interested in a revenue-sharing arrangement you'd still like to purchase ads in their publication and to please forward their rate card. This tells them that you are serious, and if they say no to your proposal at least you'll have the advertising information you need at your fingertips.
One important thing before getting started-do everything you can to ensure that the email publications you're considering advertising in are 100% opt-in. What this means is that every subscriber who is on a particular list has explicitly asked to receive it (this is also known as "permission marketing"). Aside from the risks of being associated with spammers, low-quality lists that aren't 100% opt-in really throw off your numbers because although the owner claims to have 25,000 subscribers, less than 1,000 may actually read it. And don't waste your time and money with "bulk friendly" ISPs or service providers, spammers-for-hire, or "safe lists"-advertise only in legitimate opt-in mailing lists and ezines.
Ok, here's a step-by-step guide to advertising in ezines:
1. Find three "good" ezines that you want to advertise in.
Even if you're going to start out by purchasing just one ad in one ezine, we suggest that you find at least three-you're going to be doing a little bit of research anyway and chances are you'll have a small list of potential candidates without even trying.
Here is our definition of a "good" ezine to advertise in:
If you've subscribed to all of the good ezines related to your industry, like you should have when you first got started, this first step shouldn't be too difficult. Chances are you're already familiar with many of the ezines you'll want to advertise in, and you'll have a pretty good idea if they meet the above criteria. Generally speaking if you like an ezine other subscribers probably do too... Meaning it's a good candidate. The number of subscribers is not really important-generally speaking as the number of subscribers goes up your ads will simply cost more. If you're just getting started, it is however a good idea to do your testing with low-cost advertisements. Wait until you have a proven winner before you start spending lots of money on ezine ads.
- 100% opt-in subscriber base-this is a must. Do not advertise in an ezine if you're not confident that it's 100% opt-in... You will regret it one day if you do.
- Content is related to what you want to advertise. This should be common sense-you want targeted eyeballs to see your ads. Eyeballs that are pre-qualified.
- Quality, original content-as opposed to nothing but reprinted articles and ads. The ezines that contain nothing but rehashed content and ads are less likely to be read.
If you aren't already subscribed to at least three ezines that meet the above criteria, start your ezine search-such as with the help of our own Ezine Advertising Database located in our Private Site. After that, any of the resources listed below will keep you busy for hours and yield lots of prospects.
Spend some quality time looking for "good" ezines to advertise in-it's an important part of your success. Most have a web page where you'll find archives of past issues, subscriber demographics, advertising rates, lead times, etc. Jot down important information in a notebook for easy reference-it will come in handy later.
Finally, as you investigate potential candidates pay close attention to the ads that run in each issue. If you see the same ad(s) repeated on a regular basis, while not 100% guaranteed, this is usually a good indication that the ad is profitable for the advertiser. After all, not many people will continue advertising in an ezine if it isn't profitable.
2. Write an ad that makes the reader want to know more.
This is the only thing you should be concerned with when writing your ezine ads. You aren't trying to sell anything at this point. You simply can not fit enough information in an ezine ad to sell much of anything-the trick is to use what's called the "2-step" method and direct the reader to a mailbot or web site for more info. The absolute best way to do this is by offering something of value for free. Whether it's a free report, a free download, a free evaluation, or a free consultation-FREE is the most powerful word in the dictionary and encourages a reader to take action.
3. Implement a reliable method of tracking response to your ad.
This is absolutely critical as it is with any form of advertising, and it will mean the difference between success and failure. You need to keep track of the response that an ad generates, or you'll have no idea if it was profitable or not. If you're directing the reader to an autoresponder it's easy, because any autoresponder will provide you with some way of knowing how many times a particular message was requested. If nothing else, you'll receive a copy of each request. If your autoresponders allow you to track the subject line of a request, you may want to use something like: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=tracking_code Use it in all of your ads, with a different code for each ad that you are running simultaneously. If your autoresponders can't do this, just setup a separate autoresponder for each ad. If you're directing the reader to your site, hopefully you already have a site tracking system in place and you can track response to your ads using this same system. In your ads you would use something like http://www.yoursite.com?tracking_code and any
decent web site stats system will allow you to track response based on the query string in the URL (which is everything you put after the question mark).
When advertising in ezines, your tracking codes could be a combination of letters and numbers which tell you which ezine an ad was placed in, and the date it ran. A good example of a tracking code would be "vg510"-which tells us that the ad ran in the VirtualPROMOTE Gazette on May 10th. Just devise a simple system that works for you, and be sure to stick with it.
Using the example above, we would review our web site stats and determine the number of times that our tracking URL of http://www.ourwebsite.com?vg510 was accessed - and this tells us how many responses the ad generated.
4. Place your ezine ad(s), then cross your fingers and wait.
If you selected "good" ezines to advertise in, and you wrote a decent ad, you should start to see some action within 24 hours of your ad(s) being published. Typically, the majority of results will be seen within the first 72 hours, and trickle in after that. In order to get an accurate picture of the effectiveness of your ads, we suggest running each in at least 3 different ezines. If you run an ad in a single ezine and the campaign flops, you really won't know if the problem was your ad or the ezine itself. Another thing to keep in mind is that due to the popularity of ezine advertising, depending on the publication there may be a lead time of up to several weeks or even months. Be sure to plan accordingly, especially if your offer is time-sensitive.
And remember, test your ads in smaller ezines that don't have a long waiting list. You wouldn't want to run an untested ad in an ezine that you had waited months to get in to, only to find out your ad was a complete dud. Once you have a proven winner you can "roll out" by advertising in as many "good" ezines as you can find.
5. Determine if your ad(s) were profitable or not.
Wait a week or two, then decide if the ad was cost-effective or not. If it was you now have an additional, and probably steady, stream of income. You also have your first "proven" ad which new ads can be compared to in order to determine effectiveness. If you ran the same advertisement in more than one ezine, be sure to compare the results of each. This will give you a general idea as to the profitability of advertising in one ezine over another-at least for the type of offer that was made in your ad. You are now on your way to greatly expanding your online business, which we'll get to in just a moment.
On the other hand, if your first ad didn't produce the results that you needed to justify the cost you'll have to go back to the drawing board and try again. Fortunately, there are only 2 possible reasons for this-and they are both easy to identify and correct:
The first thing you should do is check your autoresponder or web site logs. How many people responded to your ad? There really is no average response rate because there are so many variables involved, but if the cost-per-visitor works out to be less than the amount you've previously determined your average visitor to be worth-and the ad still wasn't profitable-chances are that the readers who responded to your ad were just curiosity-seekers rather than qualified prospects. In this case the ad did its job, but the audience wasn't right. At this point you'll want to try the same ad in other "good" ezines.
- You didn't advertise in a "good" ezine as described in step 1.
- Your ad didn't do its job of getting the reader to take action.
On the other hand, if dividing the cost of the ad by the number of responses results in a cost-per-visitor that is much higher than is acceptable-and you know the audience in question should be interested in what you're offering-chances are that your ad did not do its job of getting the reader to take action and you'll need to go back to step 2 and try again. Be sure to read the material on how to write an effective ezine ad. Once you have a proven ad, the rest is easy-just go back to step 1 and find a bunch of "good" ezines to start advertising in. While almost any ad can be improved, and you will want to continue testing new ads, if an ad is profitable in one ezine chances are that it will also be profitable in other related ezines that are of similar overall quality.
Don't run the same ad in any one ezine more than a few times in a row, because response will start dropping off dramatically after subscribers have seen it a few times. If you're constantly testing new ads you shouldn't have to worry about this. Do yourself a favor and implement an ezine advertising campaign as soon as possible. There isn't an easier way to promote your product or service online, and by reinvesting some of the profits into more and more ads you can grow your business in a hurry.
Do it today! You can get started for as little as $10, and we guarantee that you won't miss the late nights you used to spend messing with your search engine rankings.
------- Condensed from the IMC Private Web Site -------
Why reinvent the wheel ... wasting time and money going it alone ... when a bunch of highly-successful webmasters and marketers have SPILLED THE BEANS at a new Private Web Site?... Learn from our mistakes and you'll have more time to actually grow your business!
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