10 Hints For Most Successful Advertising by Daniel Clarke © Copyright If you're like most people starting out on the Internet, you have been along this well known path - you have tried free classified ads sites and get bombarded with sp@m by people trying to sell you stuff. Or, you finally get into the top twenty results in the Search Engines, and then a week later your site has dropped back to number 150. The Internet may be the largest market in human history, but how on earth do you reach those millions of people? Well, the answer is ezine advertising. It's the surest way on the Web of reaching your target audience. Ezines (short for 'electronic magazines') are email newsletters that are sent out regularly to subscribers, like the one you're reading. They're sometimes called 'opt-in' lists because everyone who receives an ezine has chosen to do so. The way ezine advertising gets results is that people read those ezines and then read your ad. And, if you matched the ezine with the product you're selling, it's crystal clear... you have reached your target audience. Have a look at the ads in your favorite ezine and ask yourself, why are they there? Well, the answer is simple... Because they get results. There are currently around 90,000 ezines being published every month. So, whatever you're selling, there's more than likely an ezine that will take your ad straight to the audience you want to reach. Ezine advertising is not only effective, but cheap as well. A 5-line ad in an ezine that goes to 3,000 people will cost you between $5 and $20 per issue. As a general rule, you'll always get back at least the cost of the ad, and usually much more. So, there's very little risk. But there are some rules for successful ezine advertising: 1. The first and most important rule in ezine advertising is: "Track your Ads!". You might place your ad in 5 different ezines and get a hundred responses, but if you don't track your ads, you won't know which ezines were pulling responses and which were not. To advertise effectively in ezines, you have to learn from experience. It's a process of trial and error. Eventually, you'll end up with a handful of ezines that you know are bringing you a high response rate. After that, you just keep placing your ads in those ezines and you'll have a guaranteed stream of customers. But how do you track your ads? The simplest method is to place a key or a code at the end of your email address. If your ad was in this ezine (for example), this is the email address you'd place with the ad: email@example.com?subject=freeezine Then, when you get a reply with 'freezine' in the subject field, you know which ezine it came from. For a URL, same principle: http://www.yourdomain.com?freezine However, if you're going to code your URLs, you'll need a sophisticated webstats program to track the coded URLs. Here are a couple of free ones: http://www.hitbox.com http://www.openwebscope.com Here's another way to code your URLs: for every ezine ad, create a duplicate of your homepage and name the page after the ezine that your ad will appear in. So, if the ad is appearing in Ezine A, this is the URL you'd place in that ad: http://www.yourdomain.com/EzineA Again, you'll need to use a good web stats program to track the hits to your coded URLs. 2. The second rule is to target your audience. It may seem obvious but some advertisers do not pay attention to this. If you're selling a marketing course, don't advertise in an ezine that deals with stock options; they probably won't be interested. Use the 'subject categories' in any ezine directory to find ezines that relate to the product you're selling. You can find a list of ezine directories in The Free Directory of Ezines. 3. Once you've chosen a number of ezines that target your audience, subscribe to them and examine the ads closely. If you see an ad that keeps repeating issue after issue, you can be pretty sure that its getting results. You've found a good ezine to advertise in. 4. Check to see how many ads are in the ezine. You don't want your ad lost in an ezine farm at the bottom of the newsletter. You probably won't get much response from an ad in an ezine that has 15 or 20 ads per issue. Readers of those ezines have become hardened to the ads and have learned to skip them. 5. Check to see if the ezine publisher has a policy of never running ads for two similar products in the same issue - your ad will be much more effective if it's the only one of its kind in that particular issue. 6. Small ezines vs. Big ezines: bigger is not always better. The big ezines with 1000's of subscribers tend to have more ads than the small ezines. Also, small ezines with only a few hundred subscribers often have a much more targeted audience than the big ezines. 7. Repeat your ads. Research shows that off the Web, an ad has to be seen about 21 times before someone acts on it; on the Internet it's about 9 times. If your budget allows, try and have your ad repeated at least three times in a particular ezine. Most ezines offer discount packages for bulk advertising. 8. Email address vs. URL. Opinions are divided on this; some people prefer to give an email address, others prefer to give a URL. The advantage of giving an email address is that it gives you the opportunity to send a powerful sales letter to the person who responded to your ad. It's also much easier to track your ads with an email address than a URL. 9. Offer something free in your ad copy. It'll often tip the balance between a response and no response. 10. Keep your ads short, even if you're not using the number of words you're allowed. Short ads are more likely to be read. Keep your sentences short too; they pack much more power. Use the word 'You'. Don't describe your product but tell the reader what your product can do for them. ================================================================ Daniel Clarke is the webmaster of TorontoBizGuide.ca . He wants to share ideas with other webmasters on how to successfully advertise an online business. Subscribe for a free Newsletter at: http://www.torontobizguide.ca ================================================================
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