When you start an ezine, you realize after a few short weeks
that you will actually have to promote it in order for it to be
successful. But how do we do that? We have all asked ourselves
that question. When you begin to seek out solutions, most of us
quickly discover Announcement Lists. But, how effective are they?
New List Announcements are great, but you can only use them once!
When you start out with a new list and begin promoting on the
announce lists, you are thrilled by each new subsciption. But
after some time passes, you begin to notice that your new
subscriptions are waning. Most list owners will reach this point
and start playing with their ads a bit. This is a good excercise,
it will help you learn to craft a better ad. Let me give you some
of what I learned when I started trying to create a better ad.
You can learn alot by watching your own methods for looking at
announcement posts. If there are certain things in an ad that
trigger certain reactions in you, then you can be fairly certain
that other people will react in a similar fashion.
Take for example white space. White space is wonderful. It is much
easier on the eyes than an ad that runs along for miles without a
break. It provides a clean appearance and seems more professional.
Subconciously, we may be equating white space or the lack thereof,
to the different subconcious reactions we have towards a clean
person versus our reactions towards a bum in an alley way. By
paying attention to my own reactions to various ad styles, I have
learned that you do need that white space to break things up, or
people will skip your ad altogether. My ad efficiency increased
by 25% by learning just this one lesson.
You need to try to cycle your ads and try different things. Each
week, try a different approach for your ads. By doing this, you
will begin to see what works best for your particular ezine.
Different ezines will need a different style of ad, to represent
the differentiation of subject materials and the people who read
them. Despite the differences of the various genre, some tactics
will be effective for all of them. The remainder of this article
will continue to address some of those constants.
Some of my early growth explosions came as a result of using
testimonials in my ad copy. I know you have heard people talk
about that before. I know, because I have read more articles on
the subject of using testimonials than for any other subject
I highly recommend that you will want to include the single best
testimonial you have received from your subscribers. It is not
important how many testimonials you have, as long as you have one
that is really descriptive and informative. It only took me one
ad with one testimonial to understand the importance of using
testimonials in my ad copy.
Because my own newsletter appealed to such a wide audience, I
wanted to make sure that I was able to include testimonials from
folks from every level of computing experience. I had found the
four best testimonials from my readers, and the testimonials
represent all levels of computer users from the new computer
user, to the experienced computer enthusiast, to the computing
professional. Two of the four testimonials address the new user,
each from a different perspective.
Depending on where I placed an ad swap or announcement, I had
enough range in my testimonials to provide incentive to anyone
to subscribe to my ezine. I had even updated my subscribe page
to include all four testimonials, so that anyone contemplating
subscription, will discover at least three more reasons to
My readers tell my story the best, and the vast majority of folks
who will be reading my ad want to know what my readers think of
my ezine, before they are willing to consider subscribing.
The point is, you need to try out different ads all the time. In
their order of importance, the two ad structures that provided
the best returns from my announcement ads have always come
1. testimonials, and
2. ads that included tips or materials from my newsletter,
Announcement lists are a great source for testing out your ad
structure, and discovering what works and what does not work.
But, in time, you will notice that what has worked before, does
not seem to have the same pull that it used to. It is at this
time that you need to start exploring the other great avenues
available for producing new subscriptions.
One day I was cruising around, and I realized why, after a time,
why we get such a slim return from our postings on announce
lists... Between all 20 or so lists that I submit to, there are
maybe 2000 subscribers between them, and my bet is, most of
those subscribers are people like you and me looking for their
In the end, the announcement lists are a great starting point
for testing your advertising materials and working out any bugs
you might have in your pitch. But, when all is said and done,
announcement lists can only carry you so far. There will come
a time when you will need to leave the announcement lists
behind, and to use your tried and tested advertising materials
in paid advertisements in other ezines and on other websites.