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Janet Roberts

Discussion-List Marketing: Not as Easy as It Looks
By Janet Roberts

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Of all the marketing efforts you'll make on your ezine's behalf, discussion-posting looks like the easiest. It's fast! It's free! It's foolproof!

Just start posting on some popular Web forums, make sure you talk about your ezine in every post, and watch your numbers soar. Right?

Perhaps that works in some alternative universe, but on the Internet as we know it today, the fastest way to shoot yourself in the virtual foot is to post some ill-conceived messages in front of a jury of your peers.

I could suggest some tactics, but email-publishing expert Mark Brownlow has already done the heavy lifting on this lucrative but tricky promotional tactic.

He has written a comprehensive guide with timely advice both for newcomers to the wild world of Web-forum and discussion-list marketing and for advanced users who need to learn the finer points.

A few of those fine points:

  • Create a unique URL for each of your discussion groups and include it in your signature at the end of each post. You can track the URLs to see which groups and posts attract the most attention to your site. This works better than obvious tracking URLs, which will not impress savvy group members, especially if the group moderator edits them out.

  • Follow posting guidelines to the letter, and read archives to learn unwritten posting rules, writing styles and people whose opinions matter the most or the least on the list.

  • Discussion-list marketing might not cost you money, but you must invest time to create a worthwhile presence in the group and build your reputation as someone worth reading.

Mark has made his comprehensive report free for the downloading, for now, although he suggests a few charitable ways you could show your appreciation if you're so inclined.

Read the summary and download the report here.

Ezine-Tips for August 28, 2002

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