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Janet Roberts

First Step in Ezine Promotion: Read the Directions
By Janet Roberts

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You know what really sets me off? Well, okay, a lot of things do, but today, I'm going to talk about people who don't follow the rules when they want promotion for their email newsletters.

In Wednesday's Ezine-Tip, I mentioned that I am planning to ramp up my own ezine's promotion by submitting to a couple of carefully chosen ezine-announcement mailing lists. You can review that column here.

Before you get started, scope out your potential announcement lists. Subscribe to the newsletters for a few days before you submit your list. (Some require you to subscribe before submitting, anyway.)

This will tell you what kind of company you'll find yourself in and how people who are publishing similar newsletters are promoting them. You can also tell if every submission goes through - if every third posting is a get-rich-quick scheme, head for the hills.

Once you know where you want to submit, here are ways to get your submission noticed, for the right reasons:

  1. Follow the directions on the list-submission form. The three I highlighted yesterday use standard forms which you can reach from the list's homepage. If the directions say the site doesn't accept Web-site-only submissions, adult material, paid newsletters or commercial solicitations, don't bother to submit. If the form requires an email subscription address as well as or instead of a Web URL, provide one. Real people read those form entries, not computers, and real people will trash the ones that don't conform.

  2. Be creative in describing your newsletter, but avoid hyperbole. Every other Internet-marketing newsletter submission I've read for New-List promises to explode my online business!! Yeah, yeah. The ones that stand out are the ones that specify which issues they cover and how subscribing will help me out with my business or my life.

  3. Limit your description to 25-30 words or less. You're less likely to get edited and more likely to appeal to readers who want to see right away what you're all about.

  4. Make it easy for readers to find you by activating all your subscribe links and URLs. Add "mailto:" before your email subscription address and "http://" to your Web address if you use one. See the subscriber info at the end of this Ezine-Tip if you're not sure what this looks like.

  5. Avoid mentioning limited-time gifts or other bribes for subscribing. Your announcement might not go out for several weeks if the list is backlogged. Also, your announcement might live on for years in a searchable archive. Will you be offering that same fabulous ebook years down the road? Instead, put the information on your Web sign-up page, or in your welcome or confirmation messages, which are easier to update.

  6. Proofread, proofread, proofread. I just discarded four submissions last week because the person filling out the form goofed on the subscribe address or the Web URL, and I couldn't track down the right ones.

Ezine-Tips for December 27, 2001

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