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  • Are Announcement Lists Effective?
    Copyright 2000-2005, Bill Platt

    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
    material. 
    
    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 
    subscribe. 
    
    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 
    from:
    
    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 
    own subscribers!
    
    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.
    

    Bill Platt owns http://thePhantomWriters.com . Do you write your own articles? Let us distribute them for you to our network of 18000+ publishers & webmasters http://thePhantomWriters.com/distribution



    This article was originally written: March, 2000


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