List Building Secret #1 - Make Your Content Relevant Keeps Your Subscribers Happy And Boosts The Amount Of People Who Will Recommend Your Newsletter To Their Friends.
One of the biggest problems I see newsletter and ezine publishers having online is that they write about subjects no one in their market is interested in. They just write about whatever they think people want to know about without doing any of the research, which is a huge no no.
Another problem is, publishers who have a market well defined don't then write the content in their newsletters that interests their readers. There is no use having an ezine on coin collecting and running articles on stamp collecting just because you couldn't be bothered finding the right content for your ezine.
This is easily overcome. Just send out an email asking your readers what they want to read. Also sign up for other ezines in your market and see what they are writing about.
List Building Secret #2 - Add More Subscription Boxes To Your Website
Sounds simple enough, but few people actually do it. If you have a 100 page website, you should have 100 newsletter subscribe boxes on your website.
You can integrate a subscribe box just about anywhere in a website. You could add one just before an article starts, in the middle of an article or even at the end of the article. As long as you have good content on your website, you won't have a problem getting people to subscribe to your newsletter.
An interesting way to do this for a content site is as follows.Have a look at this website and see what he does to get subscribers, it's very clever.http://www.associateprograms.com
List Building Secret #3 - Offer An Outstanding Bonus Or Gift
You can use:
List Building Secret #4 - Use Free Viral Ebooks To Get New Subscribers
Want to get thousands of new subscribers for your ezine without spending a cent on advertising and you've tried all the methods above but you still want more?Viral marketing is the way to go! Writing viral ebooks that get passed aroundWriting viral books is nothing new, but it's still a great way to get your newsletter noticed.
There are a few methods you can use when creating viral ebooks.You can either create them as a free product, or charge for them and give people the reprint rights to the product so they in turn can give your product away while making some money in the process.
I prefer the reprint right route. The key here is tho, once the momentum of the first book wears out, write another and another and another and another! All in the same method, all with reprint rights and all with your newsletter subscribe from plastered in them.The goal really isn't to make money from the sales of the book, it's to get more subscribers.
So again, find a group of publishers in your markets, let them know you created a new ebook with sales letter that they can use and plug straight into their website and give them a mailing promotion to use and tell them they can have the book for free and that they can either sell the book or the book and the reprint rights to their customers.
This is easy money for them and more subscribers for you!
Doing audio interviews with experts in your field also is a great idea to get more subscribers. I'm not going to get into how to create audio products as that's a whole other book, but interviewing experts over the phone and recording it on mp3 will get your newsletter splashed all over the Internet, especially in fields other then Internet marketing where people don't expect to get this much quality information for free
When you take marketing tactics from the Internet marketing field and apply them into other niche markets where they have never been seen before, you will get noticed more. Everything has been done in the Internet marketing field, we are all immune to even the most brilliant marketing tactics as we see them almost everyday, but other niche markets eat these things up.
Creating audio interviews isn't hard at all equipment wise and finding experts to interview is a piece of cake.
Do you know how I find experts in any field almost instantly?Well most FAQ pages at FAQS.Org/faq/ have who its written by and an email address for them. These guys are obviously knowledgeable in their fields, and they would make great experts to interview.
Tell them you want to interview them because you've read information they've written and it was great and you think your subscribers would appreciate the information.Most will do this without charging you a cent if you are outside the marketing field, they will just get a thrill out of being interviewed.
Once you have these interviews, tell all the publishers you've been in contact with recently that you have this great set of mp3's just completed and you want to offer them for free to their lists.Setup a section on your website with the download link to these mp3's and also put a subscribe form near them for your newsletter and you will be surprised how many people will sign up AFTER they listen to your mp3s.
Don't make is so these people have to sign up for your newsletter before they get the mp3s.
List Building Secret #5 - Use Pop Up Windows
Pop up windows are still effective ways to get subscribers, especially in niche markets. Creating popups on your website is as easy as pie. There are however a few different type of popup windows you can use.
The pop up window on exit, which pops up after you leave a website and the popup window on entry which obviously pops up when you first go to a website.
I prefer the exit popup. So when someone leaves a page on your website they get a popup window asking them to subscribe to your newsletter.
This can get annoying so what you want to do is use a popup that allows you to tell if a persons already seen your popup before so it won't keep showing.
You can find these sort of popup scripts at.....
http://www.nowsell.com/pop-ups/exit-popup-scripts.htmlOr if you want a piece of software to do it for you, check out http://www.dynamic-popup-generator.com/gindex.htm
List Building Secret #6 -Use Name Squeeze Pages
Name Squeeze is a big buzz word lately and it's something people having been beating to death, but it really does work.Name Squeeze is nothing new, it's just that Jonathan Mizel gave an old technique a new name and new appeal. Good marketing on his part.The best way to explain a name squeeze page is to show you a good example.http://www.scrapbookingprofits.comThis is a great name squeeze page. Basically, what a name squeeze page is, is a simple subscribe form that then leads them to either a free report or a sales letter.Sign up for the following name squeeze pages to get a good idea of what to do.http://www.doubleyourdating.comhttp://www.scrapbookingprofits.comhttp://www.fireyourweddingplanner.comNotice how these sites have nothing to do with Internet marketing? But they are ALL pulling in tens of thousands of dollars monthly. Doubleyourdating.com is pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly.
List Building Secret #7 - Buy Leads With Co-Registration
Quick and easy way to get subscribers, but not the best way. That's how I describe Co-registration.Some marketers swear by it and have great results, others fail and have to throw out the entire list they brought because it's riddled with fake addresses, spam complaints and basically freebie seekers.
So what is Co-registration?
Basically its building lists by buying subscribers from a 3rd party service.Here is how Dr Raplh Wilson put it....."Co-registration is a widely-used approach to increase the size of your e-mail lists. Co-registration works this way: After completing a subscription form or upon leaving a website, visitors are invited to subscribe to one or more e-zines. If yours is listed among these and the site gets a substantial amount of traffic, you'll begin to receive a number of subscriptions. "Have a look at the two best Co-registration companies to see what I mean.http://www.worldwidelists.comhttp://www.profitinfo.com/leadfactory/
What you do is you pay a fee to these companies per subscriber. So everytime they supply you with a new lead you pay them a fee. Usually around 15 cents to $1 depending on the niche market and if you want double opt-in or single opt-in. Always go for double opt-in if you can.
The best way to make money from these types of subscribers is to first give something away for free. Build trust with your subscribers. Sign them up for a free course, give them some bonus products like you created before and remember if anyone asks to be removed from your list, just do it! Don't argue with them ever!
That's the quickest way to get your newsletter shutdown.
List Building Secret #8 - Write Free Articles
While it's a given you will put your newsletter subscribe address in your resource box at the end of the article, this is not the best way to get people to subscribe to your newsletter.The best way is to write a few free E-courses that people can subscribe to via an autoresponder and weave the links into your article.
Here is what I mean, and I can tell you now, HARDLY ANYONE is doing this. Let's say you have a newsletter on Ice Fishing and you're in the middle of writing a few articles to send out for publication. Here is what I would do.
I would go to i-Autoresponder.com, buy a monthly subscription to their service and then start writing up 2 or 3 free e-courses on all things to do with Ice Fishing and plug them into my autoresponder.
Now why would I want to do this if I really want people to subscribe to my newsletter? Well, article writing has come under attack by people who believe cutting peoples article bylines out is acceptable. They just steal the content as their own. So instead of trying to fight these people everyday of the week, I've accepted this is going to happen and I made provisions for it, and infact, it probably works in my favor.
So in my article while I'm writing it, I would let the readers know there is this great E-course for free they can sign up for. I wouldn't mention it was mine. I would just weave it into my article and it looks like I'm providing them with a great free resource.I would then provide them with the autoresponder link and how to sign up.Also remember that when you write your resource box for your article, you don't have to get them to go to a webpage to sign up for your newsletter.You can put your newsletter subscribe information in your resource box like this....
"To get more information on how to catch more bass on a weekly basis, sign up for our newsletter by sending a blank email to email@example.com"List Building Secret #9 - Use A Sales Letter To Get SubscribersThis is something I've seen a lot of lately. People using direct sales letters to get new subscribers for their newsletter. They are actually creating a sales letter like they would for a product they are selling, and at the end of it, instead of an order button, they have a subscribe here button.
You wouldn't even know by reading the sales letter that its not for a product until the very end.This gives people the WOW factor. You make your newsletter sound so valuable that when they find out it's free, they go "WOW, I can't believe they are giving all this information away for free". This is pure marketing at it's best, and it's exciting. Marketing is meant to be exciting, just like life.
List Building Secret #10 - Using Mp3s To Get More Subscribers
Once you have these interviews, tell all the publishers you've been in contact with recently that you have this great set of mp3's just completed and you want to offer them for free to their lists.
Setup a section on your website with the download link to these mp3's and also put a subscribe form near them for your newsletter and you will be surprised how many people will sign up AFTER they listen to your mp3s.
List Building Secret #11 - Archive Your Newsletter Copies
Sometimes people are hesitant to give any sort of information away over the Internet, especially there email addresses even if what you are offering is free, due to spam.
But if you allow people to read your back issues without having to signup for your newsletter, this will show them what type of content you do write and will make them want to join.You would think having your newsletter issues archived would cut back on subscribers wanting to subscribe because they can get it without giving their email address away, but this is not true.
What you do is tell them on the website that newsletter subscribers get each issue 2 weeks before non subscribers.
List Building Secret #12 - Use A Paid For And Well Known Autoresponder
I can't stress this enough. Don't use free Autoresponders or mailing lists! These services can go down at anytime and are not professional looking at all.Plus they also get used for spamming and are abused badly. I use i-Autoresponder.com and never had any problems at all. They offer all I need.
List Building Secret #13 - Use Free Forum Posting
This is a great way to get not only more subscribers for your newsletter but recognized as an expert in your field. By posting helpful suggestions in forums in your market, you will get a lot of good attention.I'm not going to get into a whole lot about this subject as it's pretty easy to get started.1) Find forums in your niche2) Read some of the back posts and see whos the boss, who posts good content and what the rules are3) Start posting with informative information and include your little newsletter byline at the end of your post or in your signature file. What most people have a problem with is not writing good posts, but finding the forums to post in.
Now that work is done for you. Just enter the topic your newsletter is on into the website address below and you will find all the forums you could possibly want on those subjects.http://www.link-advantage.com/search/
List Building Secret #14 - Trade Ads With Other Publishers
This is a simple method of generating new subscribers instantly. Basically, you place an ad for other publishers newsletters in your newsletter and they do the same for you in return.It's not something I'm a huge fan of, but it does work. But there are a few tips you should know.
Trading ad's for ad's with other publishers works well when your mailing list is small and growing rapidly. It's very hard to find suitable ad swapping deals that are worth your while when you have 10,000 or more subscribers.So how can you find publishers that are looking to trade ad's? Easy! Do a Google search for the following. "your market here ezine"EX"Gardening Ezine""Gardening Newsletter"
Then just contact all the publishers you can and ask them if they are willing to trade ad space in their newsletter for ad space in your newsletter. Don't just spam these people. Actually sign up for their ezine, look at their website, personalize any contact you make with them so they know you're not just harvesting email addresses and you will do well.Some of the time you don't even need to trade ad's with people in your exact market. Let's say just because you run a gardening ezine, that doesn't mean you can't trade ad's with landscaping ezine. Do you get my drift?
List Building Secret #15 - Setup A Contest
This is my favorite method. Basically what it is, is you get a group of publishers all to agree on running a contest to their lists and you run the same contest to your list.To enter this contest, these subscribers from your list must subscribe to the other publishers lists and vice versa.
The contest could be for anything, depending on your market. Perhaps the publishers you contact all have ebooks for sale, you could give a free copy of all your ebooks out to the winner. Anything with value with work.You then setup a domain for this specific contest and put all the information needed on that. You then tell your list about the contest and where to go to enter and how. Everyone on your list who enters then gets subscribed to the other publishers ezine and you get their subscribers.
Here are the steps.....1) Find 4 or 5 publishers in your market2) Contact them and tell them your idea and that you are willing to do all the work, all they need to do is give you there signup information and something to offer for the contest3) Setup a domain name and website/sales letter that tells people how to enter and all the information needed4) Write a mailing piece that each of the publishers can use to promote the contest.5) Get a firm date when these publishers will run the contest mailing piece and how often6) Send these publishers the names and email addresses of subscribers7) Add the subscribers to your list, make sure you check for duplicate email addresses so you don't add people already on your list8) Pick a winner!
List Building Secret #16 - Do An Article Recommendation
This is something I learnt from Greg Schliesmann and I only wish I was one of the publishers he joint ventured with in this deal, as it resulted in thousands of new subscribers for everyone involved.(There is a really great article Kirt Christensen published written by Greg and you can find it at http://www.netgain.co.nz/library/basics_expert.htm or i-bestseller.com/articledirectory/ )
What you do with this idea is get together 4 or 5 publishers again, they could be the same ones as before and get them to agree on running an article that you wrote.That's it, nothing tricky, and if they agree to running this article they will get thousands of new subscribers virtually overnight.
What you do is you write an article about the best newsletters in your market, and those would of course be the publishers who agreed to run your article.Make the article objective, don't just blatantly plug newsletters, write it like a news reporter would. Everyone who runs the article will get subscribers and you will get subscribers and everyone will be happy.
Sometimes you have to make things happen, especially with Internet Marketing, don't wait for people to contact you, YOU make it happen and you can do that, it's not hard, just think outside the box.
This method will also work for paid products aswell. You don't just have to plug newsletters, you could get all the publishers together and write an article about the best products in your market. This way everyone can make sales and affiliates sale just by running the article.
List Building Secret #17 - Thank You For Subscribing Page
Simple enough. Get a group of publishers together and tell them you want to send new subscribers of your ezine to a page that recommends signing up for their ezine and that they do the same.You see it all the time. You subscribe to an ezine you see on a website and once you subscribe you are taken to another page that recommends other peoples newsletters that you should join. This is pretty much a localized version of co-registration, but it costs you nothing.
List Building Secret #18 - Buy Ezine Solo Ads
When ever I advertise with ezines it's usually solely with Solo Ads. These are ads that are sent out by themselves, unlike classified and other ads that go out in the ezine itself.
This ad will go out by itself, so it needs to be a fairly good length. While some people say shorter ads work better for the simple fact the reader has less to read, in reality, a very well written longer solo ad will pull much much better. There are usually word and length limits to these ads so when you are creating them, it might be good to check around at what the normal length of a solo ad is in your industry.
You might even check out the posting guidelines for other ezines so you can know exactly how long they like their solo ads.
The best bet to make a compelling solo ad is to work really hard on the headline. If you can write a very compelling headline for your ad, the rest of the ad should follow.
List Building Secret #19 - Submit To Ezine Directories
The best ezine directories are paid for and they are:Topezineads.com and Directoryofezines.comHere are some free ones:<http://www.liszt.com/submit.html><http://www.go-ezines.com><http://www.ezinelisting.com><http://gort.ucsd.edu/newjour/submit.html><http://www.ezine-dir.com/><http://www.list-city.com/><http://www.e-zinez.com/cgi-bin/hyperseek/hyperseek.cgi><http://www.published.com/index.html><http://www.homeincome.com/search-it/ezine/index.html><http://ezine-universe.com/><http://www.disobey.com/low/addere.shtml><http://inkpot.com/submit/><http://catalog.com/vivian/intsubform2.html><http://paml.net/submissions.html><http://www.ezinestoday.com/freesubs/><http://www.diysearch.com/><http://ezineadsource.com/submit.htm><http://www.ezinesearch.com/search-it/ezine/ezine-add.html><http://www.ezinesplus.com/ezines/cgi-bin/add.cgi><http://www.published.com/add/><http://www.infojump.com/publishers/pub/submit/><http://www.site-city.com/members/e-zine-master/><http://www.listtool.com/cgi/listTool/addList.cgi><http://www.newsletteraccess.com/database/reg.html>
List Building Secret # 20 - Use Classified Advertising In Ezines
These are small ads, usually four or five lines long that go out in the ezine itself. They don't work anywhere as well as solo ads, but they are cheap as chips. The secret here again is to write a very compelling headline.
The best way to use classified ads (the best way to use any advertising on the Internet) is to send them straight to your opt-in mailing list from the ad, where you might be promoting a free course via autoresponder all about your product. Once you have their email address, you can contact them over and over again until they buy or unsubscribe. This is by far the best method of advertising with classified ads.
List Building Secret #21 - Use Top Sponsorship Ad's In Ezines
These ads are at the top of the newsletter and are usually the first thing people read. They usually cost about half the price of a solo ad, but they usually don't pull anywhere near as well. They are also usually 5 to 8 lines long, and you should really concentrate on your headline, and leading them straight to your autoresponder.
List Building Secret #22 - Network All You Can
Every where you go, network with people. You never know exactly who you might run into. Let as many people as you can know about what you do and that your the best at it.Going to seminars and trade events is a great way to network with people in your markets and a great way to start building relationships with key online businesses.You never know who might be able to help you with something down the track.
List Building Secret #23 - Create And Sell Ebooks With Reprint Rights
This is just a very quick overview, but if you want more information on creating Ebooks, I suggest you visit 2 sites.My favorite site is www.e-Bestsellers.com and Bryan Winters’ exclusive membersite at www.pushbuttonpublishing.com. It's full of the best information on marketing and the cost is very low compared to what you get from it. A viral marketing Ebook is a book which sole purpose is to be spread around the Internet quickly, by any means possible. It's not meant to make you money on the front end. You want other people selling it and giving it away to as many people as possible.
Because the inside of that book is full of affiliate links to other peoples products and every time someone gives away your book or sells it, (depending on how you want to do it) more people will be seeing your affiliate links, and this is costing you what? NOTHING? Exactly! The best examples I could give you of this process would be by Yanik Silver. He created 2 marketing books that spread over the Internet like wildfire. He gave everyone who purchased the book for $19 or $17 (depending on the book) the rights to sell it or give it away to their customers.
Needless to say, thousands of people starting selling it and promoting it all over the Internet. To this day, he is still earning good money from that book, plus he became one of the most well known Internet Marketers to date. So how do you go about creating your own viral marketing Ebook?
Here are the steps. 1) Come up with a product idea based on your affiliate program you've already chosen and are already promoting. Coming up with ideas isn't hard. For example, and I know I use this example a lot, BUT, If you are going to be promoting a sports betting affiliate program, why not create a book on becoming a successful punter. Then throughout the book, you can recommend your favorite sports betting affiliate program. 101 insider secrets to sports bettingHow to bet with other peoples money A good way to come up with ideas is to look at what others are already selling and mimic that. You don't need to recreate the wheel here, so PLEASE don't make things harder then they have to be.
2) Get the tools you need to succeed You are going to need a few tools here. A) A domain name I register all my domain names with http://www.namecheap.com for under $9 a domain name, which to me is pretty darn cheap. You want a fairly short domain name that describes the content of your book fairly well. Here's an example for you people promoting sport betting affiliate programs. http://www.sportsbettingaffiliates.comhttp://www.sportsoddbetting.comhttp://www.101waystobeattheodds.comhttp://www.betforfree.com etc....
B) WebhostingLet me say first, you get what you pay for. This has never been more true then with webhosting. YOU NEED a good reliable webhosting company with 24/7 technical support. If your site goes down and you can't contact anyone to help you get it back up, you will lose sales and a lot of them. I recommend you use http://www.LFMHost.com for the simple fact they offer all you need, plus a lot more for a reasonable price.
C) AutoresponderYou will need this so you can contact your prospects that don't purchase straight away. This is where you will give away your free course or someway to entice them to give you their email address so you can contact them periodically. Check: www.i-Autoresponder.com
D) Credit card processor Just use http://www. clickbank .com . This step is too easy. They will let you accept all major credit cards and start an affiliate program for a one time setup fee of under $50. They do take a percentage of every sale, but this is so much cheaper then getting your own merchant account. Just about everyone selling Ebooks online is using Clickbank.
E) Ebook Software You will more then likely want to create your book in PDF format so everyone can read it. Some Ebooks come in EXE format, but mac users can't read that format, so I find it best to use PDF. You can create your book with http://www.createpdf.com for a fairly cheap price.
F) Graphic Design Software If you are anything like me, your artistic abilities peaked at age 7. So instead of busting my hump to create my Ebook covers and website graphics I use http://www.ecovergenerator.comand http://www.headergenerator.com for all my graphics. They are great pieces of software that you can use instead of hiring graphic designers. I do however recommend one graphic designer by the name of Brian Terry. You can view his work at http://www.ebookwow.com.
3) Outline your book chapters into articles Writing a whole book in one sitting is hard, and trying to write a book without outlining the chapters is nearly impossible. My first book I ever wrote took me over 6 months but now most of my books take me less then a week to finish and that is with a sales letter and website up. All you have to do is think up 12 to 15 article topics in sequence and write about them. Each page should be around 700 to 1000 words, full of useful information, not information people could get for free.
4) Write your contentLike I said just before, you need original content. There are too many books out there now where people are just regurgitating information others can get for free and this lowers the value of your book, which means less people will pass it around and even less will read it. If you are really stuck with your writing, I suggest that you do the following. The best way to get a good amount of original information without writing it yourself is to interview experts in the field. For instance, if you were writing a book about improving your golf handicap, I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find some local experts who you could grill in person, over the phone or even via the Internet and you can then put all that information in the book. It's also a good selling point. Also remember when your writing what the point of this book is. The point of the book is to earn you an on going commission with affiliate programs, so don't feel like you can't throw some affiliate links in, because you can, but make sure it's tactful and in place. Another good idea would be to put a "Subscribe to my newsletter" section in your book as well, so not only will you make commissions on sales, but also generate leads without doing any extra work. Make sure you clearly state in the front of the book, that the buyer can sell this book as his own. State that he has Resell Rights to the product and can sell it or give it away if he chooses. 5) Create your sales letterThis is where you will be selling your book from and is critically crucial to your success. Creating a sales letter takes a lot of work, especially if your new to the whole thing. The best way and the way I use, is to mimic successful sales letters.
I recommend you have a look at the following sales letters selling Ebooks. http://www.miniebook.comhttp://www.stuffyourinboxwithcash.comhttp://www.strikingitrichonline.comhttp://www.resalerightssecrets.comhttp://www.websiteconversionsecrets.comIf for some reason you think you can't do this by yourself, you have 2 options.
1) Use software that helps put together your sales letter and
2) Hire a copywriter Software is great and there a 2 options out there. The first one is http://www.instantsalesletters.com by Yanik Silver and http://www.saleslettergenerator.com by Armand Morin. They are just as good as each other. However, if you want to hire a professional copywriter, your looking at thousands of dollars, plus royalties from your book sales. Remember that your selling this book with reprint rights, which means when they buy the book they can sell it as well. This is a huge selling point for you. You will also be giving them your Ebook cover, website graphics and sales letter to use to sell your product.
6) Plug in your free 5 day autoresponder series The best way to write your free 5 day course that your prospect get via your pop up window is to take chapters out of your book and put them in as a free teaser. Remember to emphasize an urgency. You want to make these prospects who don't buy straight away, feel like they are missing out on an opportunity of a life time and considering the low price of the book, if they don't buy, more then likely they weren't really interested or were freebie seekers from the start. Check: www.i-Autoresponder.com
7) Advertise! Depending on your topic, you will want to target different people. However, no matter what topic your selling on, there is one market who will want your book for the sole purpose of selling it, and that's the Internet Marketing group. Your book could be on Hippo's but all they care about is the fact they can sell it as their own. This is why this type of book always does well. The key is to target people in your market and then the Internet Marketing crowd.
List Building Secret #24 - Start An Affiliate Program To Promote Your Newsletter
If co-registration doesn't appeal to you, you could start your own affiliate program solely to promote your newsletter. This has been done before with some success, especially if you know how much your subscribers are worth to you, money wise.
If you know that every subscriber to your newsletter is worth 50 cents to you, you wouldn't mind paying 20, 30, 40 or even 50 cents per subscriber to your affiliates, and that's a pretty good deal for you and them.
Another way, another less risky way is to do the following. Create an ebook, or some sort of digital product, with value, sell it for around $20 to $30 and give affiliates 100% of the sale.You won't make any money selling the product, but you will get a huge mailing list of not only newsletter subscribers, but customers.You can see someone doing this exact thing at DoubleYourDating.com or SecretAffiliateWeapon.com.
Affiliates are sending him thousands of new subscribers everyday and thousands of customers everyday, because he gives them 100% of the sale of his ebook.List Building Secret #25 - Use A Dynamic Email SignatureThis is so simple, yet people forget to even do it or do it properly. If you send out quite a few emails every day, this is a great method to pick up some new subscribers.All you need to do, is at the end of each email you send out, have a 4 line ad for your newsletter. You could use a classified ad you've already written for ezine advertising.You will be surprised how many people will sign up for your newsletter.List Building Secret #26 - Press Releases: Not Dead, Just EvolvedMark Twain once said the rumors of his death had been greatly exaggerated. The same may be said for the press release. It’s not dead, but its mission has evolved.Those PR practitioners who are spreading these death rumors would have you believe that press releases should never be written, nor distributed. I take issue with this old-school thinking.
Now, inundating the media with press releases has not been a good practice since shortly after Edward Bernays opened the first PR firm in 1919. Any competent PR person has known for years that garnering media coverage almost never directly happens due to a press release. However, that is fodder for another article.Let’s talk about the evolution of the press release into a solid tool for helping organizations deliver key messages to multiple audiences in the digital age.In the not-so-distant pre-Internet past, press releases were aimed solely at trade and consumer media outlets. The media acted as the gatekeepers, taking your information and making decisions about how, or if, to use it. Organizations today are able to bypass the media filter in a number of ways, thanks to the net.Consider this: both journalists and consumers use the web for research. More than 550 million searches are done daily via the web. And, every month, US web-users conduct 27 million searches at Yahoo! News, Google News or other news search engines. According to recent surveys by Middleberg/Ross and the Pew Internet Project, we learn that:- 98 percent of journalists go online daily- 92 percent do it for article research- 76 percent to find new sources and experts- 73 percent to find press releases- 68 million Americans go online daily- 30 percent use a search engine to find information- 27 percent go online to get newsBut you need to think differently about writing your releases in this new age. You can extend the power of your press releases beyond the media by positioning them for search engine pick up. In effect, your press releases become a long-lasting, online, searchable database about your organization.
Once properly written with both readers and search engines in mind, you need to distribute the release. PR Web™ and PR Newswire are my two favorite ways to get the message out. Both services help you reach into the newsroom and beyond.PR Web emails press releases daily to between 60,000 - 100,000 global contacts points. Journalists, analysts, freelance writers, media outlets and newsrooms, as well as your average web users are signed up to receive this information. Also, it distributes releases via FTP, XML feeds and through a network of its own websites. PR Web-related sites are in the top 2,500 most visited sites. Every release sent out through PR Web is optimized for search engines, and PR Web guarantees your release will be picked up by Yahoo!, which is the number one most visited website on the Internet.
Does it work, you ask? Let me provide a recent example. I used PR Web to send out a release about my client Brent Dees and his Focus Four training for entrepreneurs. The editor of Leadership Excellence emailed me after seeing the release and asked Brent to write an article for his magazine.The granddaddy of press release services is PR Newswire, which distributes directly into the central editing computers at daily newspapers, newsweeklies, national news services, trade publications and broadcast newsrooms. It reaches a total of 22,000 media points in the US alone. All releases are distributed to and archived in more than 3,600 web sites, databases and online services. Additionally, PR Newswire’s website is in the top 2,000 most visited sites on the Internet.Finally, let’s take a look at the online media room. Its primary purpose is to provide journalists with easily accessible data about the organization, such as executive bios, earnings figures, key contacts and other solid, factual information. An organization also should place news releases here, particularly those aimed at key stakeholders like employees, strategic allies, and investors.
Technology savvy consumers often visit online media rooms for the same reason journalists do: they expect to find factual information there.Churning out releases and dumping them willy-nilly on the media is a dumb practice. But using releases as a strategic weapon to reach key audiences across the digital divide is smart PR. Practitioners who believe the news release is dead need to evolve, or they will be the moribund ones.Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR <http://www.hoover-ink.com>. He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Focus Four, Levolor, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX and Verbatim.
List Building Secret #27 - Give Your Newsletter PersonalityWhat makes you different from any of the other newsletters out there in your market? 1 thing and 1 thing only.YOUR PERSONALITY.Don't be a lifeless drone, add some spark to your writing, be funny, be witty, be controversial, just don't be boring!Tell a story. Stories are a great way to get people hooked before they realize you are actually selling them anything at all.Find below a story I used to promote a work at home affiliate program.Are You Different?I don't know about you, but I've always thought I was different to my peers. This is an amusing story that will probably strike a cord with most people who read this book.When the kids at my school were playing at lunch time, like kids do, I was setting up shop just outside the main oval. The canteen at school never really sold much in the sweet variety, so I use to bring mine to school from the local store as they were much cheaper and had more variety. I use to come to school with a bag full of lollies and let me tell you, I was one popular kid. Kids were always asking me for lollies all day and it was getting very annoying, so I had to do something quick.I got sick of giving my hard earned pocket money lollies out for free, so I decided to set up my own little black market lollies trade. I use to buy all sorts of different lollies you could not get from school and I then raised the price 500%. I purchased lollies for 10 cents and sold them for over 50 cents. The market was so big, I had to actually double my supply. In one day I could make $20 just by selling lollies I brought for $5. Of course, I had certain "high roller" clients that I would give cheaper prices to, which was only fair, as they brought in most of my business. I also had a few people that you gave free lollies too, just to keep the peace.Eventually more people started doing what I was doing and I had a little competition on my hands.I stopped selling lollies after a few months as the demand was getting to hectic and the local store had called my mother. I knew I had a passion in life, but I didn't realise what it was until I was in grade 10 and I quit school to pursue a career in direct mail. Marketing was and is my life, I love it. I read everything I can get my hands on and I have a collection of books that resemble a bookstore. Of course back then I wasn't sure if I wanted to do anything seriously with marketing, but I knew I didn't want to work for anyone but myself.Everyday I stop and think about what I would be doing if I didn't find out about the joys of working from home, and I never would have if it was not for my father who taught me there is more to life then working 9 till 5 everyday.List Building Secret #28 - Make Sure To Keep Your Newsletter Off Spam Lists!
Here are some very useful tips to make sure you stay out of hot water when it comes to being called a spammer.* Make Sure Your Email Message is Compliant with the CAN-SPAM Law.* Make sure your list is double opt-in* Keep detailed records of all subscribes and unsubscribes. IP addresses, when they subscribed when they unsubscribed.* Don't ever purchase bulk email lists or harvest emails from the Internet* If you use co-registration companies, make sure they are reputable and don't use shady methods of traffic gathering.* If you have an Affiliate Program, make sure you include an "anti-spam" provision in your agreement.* Avoid using spam trigger words like "spam, free, special, guaranteed" etc....
List Building Secret #29 - Don't Buy Mass Email Lists
I was just reading a post on a well known marketing forum today and I read a post from one guy who said he had access to a list of 800,000 email addresses from people who were interested in making money.He said his friend owned the list and was willing to let him use it for a mailing, but he said not to mention his name at all in the mailing.
This should have been the first alarm bell for this guy. Not to mention that this guy wasn't sure how the list was compiled or how the people subscribed to this list.It wasn't even just one big mailing list, it was a bunch of lists stuck together.If this guy does decide to mail to this list, he will be accused of spam, he will get into major trouble and he will NOT make any money worth the effort.
Never EVER send emails out to lists you don't know anything about EVER. Never buy bulk email lists.
List Building Secret #30 - Setup A Membership Site Just For Subscribers
Want to really boost your subscription rate? Start your own membership site solely for your newsletter subscribers. You can see a real example at UndergroundInterviews.com.The key here is to make sure your content is fantastic, so much so that you could actually have paying customers for it.
Keep it updated constantly.
The problem with most membership scripts is their security features, or lack there of, and I've found one script that I'm really happy with and it's under $100. http://www.LoginFrequencyMarketing.com/Another thing that can come in handy when running a membership site is an organizational tool. If you've had any experience with running a membership site, after awhile you get quite a lot of content and being able to organize that content for easy reading for your affiliates is crucial.
Article Manager - http://www.interactivetools.com is a content management software tool designed to let non-technical users manage a news-oriented website. Manage articles and categories, multiple writers and editors. Upload images, create content with the WYSIWYG editor, syndicate your content, and more. It can save a busy webmaster hours of tedious HTML edits every day.
List Building Secret #31 - Setup A Free E-Course For New Subscribers
This step doesn't have to be difficult. This free course is the vehicle to promote whatever it is you want to promote, whether it be an affiliate program, your newsletter (which is a given) or your own product. It will also be the catalyst that allows you to contact these leads as often as you want.
I will warn you now, however, that you don't want to contact them everyday, maybe not every week, only when you have something substantial to email to them. This keeps your list happy, and not full of junk emails that no one will end up reading.
First off though, we need a title for your report. No one is even going to subscribe if it doesn't interest them.
This is where a lot of writers really wreck a perfectly good report. You have to make your title as exciting and straight to the point as possible.
Here are a few examples of very poor titles.
I might have been a little harsh to say that they are poor titles, they just lack any spark or imagination.
Here are a few suggestions I have to spruce those titles up, and these can be used in any other titles as well.
The best way to create your free course is to write 5 or so articles yourself on the subject your promoting and putting it into a free course.
The problem most people have when they try and do this is that they try and write thousands of words all at once and they get tired and never complete it. If you break it down into sections, it's a lot easier. For example, if I was to write a free course on creating your own fishing lures for profit, I would write something like this.
Article 1: Why fishing lures are so profitable Article 2: How to create your own fishing lures from your table
Article 3: How to automate the whole lure making process
Article 4: How to market your lures offline
Article 5: How to market your lures on a budget online
And in each of these articles, I would weave an affiliate link into somewhere or mention my newsletter. The information has to be of high quality and not just a blatant plug-a-thon. If you do this, you will certainly get a lot of people unsubscribing from your list.
Of course you can't really just send your prospects a bunch of articles, you have to weave them together. For instance, the first email they get could be a thank you for subscribing email, with a don't forget to get your free gift line in there somewhere. This first email, you should try and hook your prospects, so if you have an article section that's better then the rest, put it in the first day. List Building Secret #32 - Start Your Own ForumThis is a great way to get new subscribers to your newsletter. Building a community within your website brings back repeat visitors, which means people will more then likely sign up for your newsletter if they keep coming back.You can see an example of this at Howtocorp.com and go look at the forum. He has his newsletter signup form there and product recommendations. People love to help other people and answer their questions, so after awhile you won't need to be answering many questions yourself.
The best way to start your own forum is to do it yourself with software and host it on your own webhosting. Don't use a 3rd party service, especially free ones.A good piece of forum software can be found at http://forum.snitz.com/
List Building Secret #33 - Contact Previous Customers And Clients
This is just another simple method most people over look, but they don't realise just how powerful it is.
If you already have a list of customers or prospects, tell them your starting an ezine and let them know they can subscribe anytime they like and get all the information for free.These people have already proven their interest in you or what your selling, so it makes perfect sense they would want to hear from you more often then they already are (if at all!)List
Building Secret #34 - Setup A Continuous Thank You For Subscribing Page
This is something that no one is doing at all that I know of and I'm pretty sure no one is doing it at all or ever.
As you know, when someone signs up for your newsletter at your website, they are then taken to another page that confirms their subscription. Most people just put something like "Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter, why not check out this product" and really don't make use of this extra bit of advertising that they have to use.
The idea I've been tinkering with is to setup a continuous thank you page. After your subscriber signs up for your newsletter and they go to your thank you page, why not offer them a chance to sign up for another newsletter or E-course you might have.This way, you could possibly get the same subscriber on 3 or 4 of your lists. So everytime they subscribe to one of your lists, they are taken to another thank you page that asks them to subscribe to another of your lists, and so on.
I think this is a great idea and it's something I will be using a lot of.
List Building Secret #35 - Give Permission To People To Use Your Newsletter In Their Own Works
Tell people who are already subscribed to your newsletter that they can pass the newsletter on to friends and also use parts or all of your newsletter in their ezine.
Of course you would get credit and a link back to your site. This is sort of like article writing, just with your newsletter issue in replace of your article.
List Building Secret #36 - Send Testimonials To Products You've Used
This is an easy way to get a trickle of new subscribers daily to your newsletter. Whenever you use a product or service you really like, send them a great, glowing testimonial and they will gladly put it up on their website and put a link to your website with it.The trick here tho is to get as many people who read your testimonial to your website and to subscribe to your newsletter.
The best way to do this is to register a new domain name solely for catching subscribers from testimonials, something catchy, and put a name squeeze page as your main page.You will slowly get a nice stream of new subscribers everyday for as long as the product or service is selling for.
List Building Secret #37 - Get Other Newsletter Publishers To Mention You Constantly
One of the best ways to get free subscribers is to get other publishers to mention you constantly. This build a relationship with their subscribers and when they join your newsletter they will already know a lot about you and be looking forward to receiving your emails.So how do you get other publishers to mention you in their newsletters? Do something news worthy! Hold a contest, claim to know something no one else does, tell publishers a little tip that you learn and that they are free to tell their subscribers as well.
Build relationships with these publishers and become their friends!
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