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Todd Kellner

What Do Your Advertisers Really Want?
By Todd Kellner

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What do your advertisers really want?

I can remember back when ezine publishers rarely asked this question. Why? The dollars were there for the asking; traditional offline advertisers were far less wary of throwing money at online properties; and *we* knew what was up -- these interlopers simply didn't understand *our* business. We needed merely to educate them -- conventional offline demographics are unnecessary because newsletters offer content-based profiling, right?

Times certainly change. Right now, it doesn't matter that you believe the subscribers of your widgeting newsletter are a sound target for a widget manufacturer. If you don't know your demographics, you are at a distinct disadvantage in regard to your competition in other media. The pool of online-only advertisers willing to do CPM deals has shrunk down to a puddle. The majority of legitimate offers coming through right now are from media houses which would love to use email newsletters as part of the mix, alongside TV, radio and print. What is the single largest stumbling block? Demographics.

It's time for us to deliver what advertisers have been asking for all along. There are two basic ways to gather demographics on your subscriber base:

  • Have all your subscribers fill out a form as they subscribe.

  • This method is best implemented at the genesis of your list, and you'll need hosting that is able to handle your databasing needs, but this is the most effective way of gauging your audience.

  • Survey your readers.
    This might not be as accurate as the mandatory form, but it's certainly a more viable option for the majority of us. Create a simple form, come up with questions relevant to your targeted advertisers and get as large a percentage of your audience as possible to fill it out.

Whichever method you choose, make your results easily accessible, either via your media kit or a direct link to your demographics page.

Ezine-Tips for April 19, 2001

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