Many businesses with an on line presence now offer an ezine from their site. Sometimes the ezine is free to everyone, some are only for members and some are part of a paid membership or subscription.
Regardless of how you distribute an ezine, some basic factors are the same.
One very important consideration is to only send an ezine to people after gaining their permission – never send it out unsolicited as that forms spam. Apart from any potential legal ramifications, spam annoys people and is more likely to lose clients than gain them.
Some important decisions to be made before producing the ezine include the frequency and style of the ezine. Will your ezine contain advertisements from other businesses? Will it be in the body of the email or just contain a link to your site? Who will write all the content – you or will you accept other contributions?
Once you have set a timeline for ezine production, such as fortnightly, monthly or quarterly, it is imperative that you stick to it. Any readers who are interested will notice if it is late, especially if it is consistently late, and it will reduce your credibility. If unsure about coping with workload, even after business increases, it is better to have a less frequent ezine; it certainly looks better to increase the frequency rather than decrease it.
Each ezine you send will need a title or subject line. Having your business or ezine name as the subject is good for branding, but it is a little boring and doesn’t help subscribers archive your ezines. If each ezine has a subject heading relevant to its content, anyone can quickly re-access the edition of interest. Of course, a workable solution is to have the subject as “my business: child safety” for branding and usability.
Make sure that your content is aimed at your audience and that it stays relevant – unless people have signed up to a personal ezine, they won’t want to know about your interests aside from your business.
Using outside advertisers is relevant if your business is a referral service or directory, but otherwise choose the advertisers carefully to compliment your ezine and not overwhelm it.
Ezines are more likely to build customer relations that result in immediate sales increases. Keeping this in mind, don’t make your ezine a series of ads for your products and services – give them some information and the occasional promotional incentive instead.
Asking for feedback and including short surveys are means of ensuring the ezine and/or business are servicing the audience.
© 2004 Tash Hughes
Tash Hughes is a professional writer and co-owner of Save Time Online. Found at www.savetimeonline.info, this is an information portal for busy Australians. There is information, tips and links in categories such as business, parenting, health, gift buying and energy conservation.