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Christopher Knight

Ezine Publishers Honorarium Strategy
By Christopher Knight

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If you truly want to be an email list publisher, you must accept the fact that the title "publisher" means "sales rep." I've studied and interviewed many of the most successful email list publishers, and the common thread I've discovered that contributes to their success is this: They know that earning the "publisher" title means becoming the publication's best sales representative, sales manager or group sales team manager.

It's no wonder why so many email publications fail when they are run by EXCELLENT email list publishers who haven't embraced the "sales function" of their title.

In the last month I've noticed many top respected publishers resorting to an "honorarium" system -- or, in other words -- asking list members to help absorb the list's production expenses by contributing between $1 to $15 per year via various payment methods such as Amazon's Honor System.

Right now, Amazon charges $0.15 plus 15% of the total transaction amount on any honorarium's paid. As you can tell via my bias, I don't believe in this concept. However, I also believe that there is little to lose by attempting to test or try this concept.

Maybe it's the "groveling" that makes me uncomfortable. If you are going to try this concept, I suggest the following:

1. Do NOT give a sob story as to why you are being forced to ask for money from your list members.

2. Do NOT give any negative reasons why you are asking for the honorarium.

3. DO position it as "a way to show their support" for the "value they have received" from your newsletter. You do not need their contribution to survive, but you'd appreciate it just the same.

You don't want your list members to assume your list is failing because your content isn't valuable enough to attract a large enough audience or to sell enough advertising to support your expenses. Rather leave your readers with the impression that you are giving them a way to show their appreciation.

This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur. Get your weekly dose of Email newsletter publishing, marketing, promotion, management, email-etiquette, email usability and deliverability tips by joining the free Ezine-Tips newsletter:

Ezine-Tips for March 02, 2001

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