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[epub] Snippets
Hi Girls and Guys

Mike's and Willie's recent questions can, despite the different 
reasons for which they are asked, be answered by pretty much the same 

Ultimately, your ezine is a promotional tool.  Sure, you hope to 
accomplish reader enlightenment along the way, but unless you're one 
of the few who publishes "just for the love of it", the raison d'etre 
is to raise (and retain) awareness of your site, and therefore your 

Moreover, what you send has to be accessible to as wide an audience 
as possible.  HTML mail does not really meet that criterion, so the 
choice is between sending plain email containing your full ezine 
content, or a summary of your ezine content and a link to the page on 
your site where that content can be found.

More and more publishers are choosing the latter option.  So sending 
your subscribers something along the lines of "Here's a summary of my 
latest article.  You'll find it in full - and pages more really 
useful stuff - on my website at ", must be a good 
thing, right?

Well, nearly...

In principle, using your ezine to develop traffic for your site is a 
great idea:
   you get to control the layout of the content;
   your users only have a small message to download;
   you can break your content into bite-sized chunks;
   you get all the benefits of monitoring your viewing stats
   your latest content is available for all site visitors, if desired.

But here are some considerations which may dampen things down for you:

Preparing a summary and a web page for every issue is more time 
consuming for you than just sending plain text email, though arguably 
no more so than sending HTML mail.

If you post your "webzine" in a private area on your site, you may 
have to issue usernames and passwords; if you post it on a public 
area, you all-but eliminate the need for new readers to subscribe - 
they'll just read what they want, when they want.

If your existing subscribers originally signed up for a comprehensive 
newsletter, delivered to their inbox, don't be surprised if you lose 
a few of them upon making the transition to only mailing summaries.

Don't forget the number of people who connect to the internet on 
demand, using a 56k modem or ISDN at best - myself included, until 
ADSL becomes freely available in the UK.  I'm sure I'm not alone in 
making a habit of not reading messages until I'm offline.  Can I then 
be bothered to reconnect specifically to read your newsletter? 
Maybe.  If not, will I remember to look at your newsletter the next 
time I am online?  Probably not (but don't take it personally).

Lastly, there remains a minority of readers who do not have a browser 
integrated with their mail client in the same way as, say, Outlook 
Express and IE, or Netscape Navigator & Messenger.  To these few 
readers, having to copy and paste the link into their browser's 
location bar is a frustration.  Can you afford to upset them, and 
risk losing them?

The reply I've just given is exactly that - a reply.  In the same way 
that Mike and Willie approached the group for input, the only way to 
ensure your users are happy with what you're giving them is to ask 
them - and listen to their reply.

In case it's not apparent, personally I love snippets.  Precisely 
because it then depends on the writer to make an impact in the 
headline/ opening sentence, snippet mail is an effective way to cut 
out all the dross.  It might be a crude judgement, but to me, if the 
headline doesn't make me want to read it, it's not worth reading.

Very best wishes for your ongoing success

Andrew Whyte
Exactly what the name suggests

PS Isn't a sig file a kind of snippet?
You're giving the reader a teaser of what your site holds for them, 
and leaving the onus on them to find out more by paying you a visit.

Willie Crawford wrote:
>  I was  just curious as to home many list members have
>  experimented with sending out just a snippet of articles in
>  your ezines instead of the full text.  I see a lot of
>  publishers requiring readers to visit their website to get the
>  rest of articles.  I am considering doing this too, realizing
>  that this would both increase my website traffic AND allow me
>  to run more of the tons of articles that I get every week.
>  Any negatives to publishing just snippets??

Mike Merz wrote:
>  My preference has always been to use an html format, which has
>  it's drawbacks, as not everyone can view it through their
>  respective e-mail clients, browsers, etc.
>  To combat this, I send each edition out with only a basic
>  summary, and a link to it's archived web location.
>  Using this method has totally eliminated adverse subscriber
>  feedback regarding it's viewability, and reduced my unsubscribe
>  numbers to a scant few. One of the "cons" is making my
>  subscribers, and potential subscribers, leave my initial message
>  in order to access the rest of the newsletter.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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