Publishing a Newsletter or eZine
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If you have information that changes frequently or if you are able to dig up little tidbits of information regularly that will enlighten your customers and make their businesses more successful, you should consider publishing an email newsletter or an eZine (electronic magazine). The primary difference between the two is that an email newsletter is generally produced entirely in plain text and emailed to people, while an eZine is more like a Web site that includes graphics, nice layouts, headlines, etc., and your customers come to it. (It is, however, possible to use HTML email to send out an eZine, though many people use email programs that don’t understand HTML and can’t do anything with the gibberish they receive in that case.)
Even if you do an email newsletter, you will want to pay attention to little techniques that make it more readable, attractive, and helpful.
One good thing about both of these forms of communication is that they give you an excuse to stay in regular contact with your customer base. Another good thing is that both can contain hyperlinks on which your customer/reader/prospect can click and be transported to your Web site where you get a chance to make a more detailed sales pitch for a specific product, service, or special offer.
Don’t give these things away just to get names into your database, though. This is one of what Web marketing guru Yanik Silver calls a myth: that you have to give something away on the Web to get people to pay attention to your offerings. Either this newsletter or eZine has value for which your customers are willing to pay or you probably shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.
(An exception to that might be that you include a newsletter subscription as a premium when they purchase another product of yours. This is often a very attractive marketing and pricing strategy. Several well-known seminar leaders have relatively costly monthly newsletters but give attendees at their seminars a free one-year subscription.)