The Woe's of Online Advertising
by :  Ruth Townsend (c) 1998
LifeStyles Publishing, Cortland, NY

mailto:rutht@clarityconnect.com

Being an online advertiser like most of you reading this, I started my advertising campaign with the free classified ad sites.  I had a great business opportunity that I could advertise and not spend a dime to get my message out and I would be making money hand over fist!  Needless to say, all that time I spent placing free ads only brought me responses for other business offers...no one gave a hoot about what I had.  The wind sure went out of my sails in a hurry.

Then I heard this word ezines.  What in the world does ezines mean?   I contacted Gary Christensen, the "keeper" of the ezine subscribe list at mailto:new@yoken.com and got enlightened to the meaning of that word.   He simply explained that an ezine is an electronic magazine; hence the  word ezine.  Ezines are sent only to those people who have voluntarily requested to have it sent to them.  Anyone can publish an ezine...it   can be about advertising, marketing, food/wines, MLM, parenting, sports, business opportunities, web development, anything that a person wants to write about.  Plus some of these ezines accept classified advertising.

I started subscribing to some of these ezines and started learning about ezine advertising and marketing methods.  Ads that are displayed in these ezines are seen by thousands of businesses and opportunity minded people  who have voluntarily subscribed to newsletters!  A targeted market unlike the free ad sites which are hit and miss!  I think the only people reading the free ad sites are people who are looking to send you their offer, which of course you didn't ask for.  When was the last time you browsed the ads at the free ad sites because you had nothing better to do?

To say the least, I decided that the subscribers of ezines was the market that I wanted to pursue. My first attempt at ezine advertising brought me 18 responses from 4 ezines that had free advertising and circulation a little over 3,600.  I was in heaven...I finally got some  responses from people wanting to know more about my business opportunity  and not the other way around!  I had a 100% response increase over the free classified ad sites.  This convinced me that ezine advertising was  the way to go!

BUT, I quickly found out I was faced with a new challenge and again, the wind went out of my sails and my little boat was drifting.

With thousands of newsletters out there, and I've seen the number as high as 18,000, how was I going to find just those that accepted  classified ads?   Well, I started the routine of subscribing and  unsubscribing to find just those that accepted advertising.  Once I started gathering and compiling data on the ezines, it was easy to see that each had their own "rules and regs" on the "how-to's" of advertising with them.

Working on a shoe-string budget, I wanted to test my advertising with those ezines that offered free advertising or those that were relatively   inexpensive.  $20.00 for a 3 line ad or $20.00 for up to l0 lines was   within my means but it really didn't mean that much without the circulation numbers.  If the circulation is 2,000 and it cost me $20.00 that's a $.01 each for each subscriber to see my ad...on the other hand if the  circulation is 500 and it cost $20.00, that's $.04 each.  Circulation is worth knowing.

Next, I wanted to know what the subject content of the ezine was...no   sense advertising a fishing lure in a food/wine newsletter! 

Publication and ad deadlines are important if you want to balance   the amount of advertising that you have out each week...I didn't want one week feast and then the following week famine with my responses.

Where do I place my ad...send by email or place it on-line? Now you need the email address or the URL.

What are the payment options...pay online, check by mail, fax, or email?   Maybe I don't want to give my credit card online or maybe I don't have a fax machine.  Maybe the publisher only accepts checks by mail.  Any way that payment can be made, you need mailing address, email address, fax number, or URL.  Don't forget if you are trying to balance out the number of ads you have out each week, its important to know which ezines will only accept payment by snail mail...you need to plan ahead.

It's nice to know if my ad is going to posted on-line for added   exposure...if so, maybe the cost of the ad isn't so bad!

Well, you get the picture...lots of time is spent researching for all   of this information.  By the time you go back through the newsletter,   and this is if you kept it in your mailbox, you start reading through  it to find out how to place your ad. 

Maybe you find what you need, but if not, you need to send an email   to get more information.  Now you wait for a reply...maybe it will be  a day or two before you get a response.  Remember, you are not the only one asking for this information.

I was getting confused and most frustrated to say the least!  I was spending more time trying to gather information than I was actually  placing my ads.   We have all been through this...just think how much  time you waste each week trying to get your ads placed.  Just think too,  how FEW ads you place...because you too are looking for the missing pieces of the puzzle when it comes to spending your hard earned dollars on  advertising!  Remember, I was on a shoe-string budget and every penny  counted and I was looking for the biggest bang for my buck...I had to  spend time researching for the best deals.  I couldn't place my  ads in just any ezine that happened to come along without knowing all the facts and being able to do comparison shopping! 

After spending considerable time with the search engines trying to find a resource that had ALL of the advertising information in ONE place on the ezines that accepted classified ads and not being able to come up with anything, I contacted my friend Gary Christensen again. I figured if anyone would know, it would be Gary.  The answer I got was  not what I wanted to hear...

Then Gary suggested something...why not create that resource yourself? I gave it some thought, "tested the waters", and I found that there  were other people, just like myself, that wanted to have all of the  advertising information at their fingertips and in ONE place too. Publishers also saw the benefit for themselves...their newsletter would no longer be lost in that "sea of ezines", subscriptions would increase and advertisers would be pulling out their credit cards to place an ad!

Since I had already gathered and compiled the profiles of over 60 ezines   at that time, I decided that I would offer my service to my fellow online advertisers and started marketing the Directory of Ezines.  Take a look at some samples of all the information you get on each ezine at: http://www.lifestylespub.com

As of 7/31/98, we have 192 ezines that accept classified advertising and   for $29.95 you can have at your fingertips all of the rules and regs on  these ezines and all in one resource tool too!  That's about $.15 per ezine  and you have everything you need to place your ad.  Plus, with the growth factor of 20%-25% per month for new additions being added to the Directory, your cost  per ezine keeps going down!

Isn't it worth the investment just to have the information on these ezines?  The time element alone in checking all of their data is liable  to cost you more than you care to imagine.  If you attach a dollar  amount to what you're spending researching the ezine issues, you may come up with a figure you'd wish you hadn't seen.  But how about $.15 per  ezine...what we are giving you is the road map of where to go so you can  place your ads...we've taken the work out of the process of finding all the pertinent information you need!

The competition is fierce on the Net and you'd better hit them with your   best shot!  And do it first before the next company jumps in front of you. This is ezine info at it's best and no online advertiser should be  without it!

               ****************************************************

Ruth Townsend is the Publisher of the  Directory of E-Zines and the author of  several advertising and marketing reports  to assist the online advertiser.  "We are  in the Business of helping "YOUR BUSINESS   GROW"!  We do this through the timely  offering of Information and Services that  will assist you in your Internet Marketing needs." http://www.lifestylespub.com   mailto:rutht@clarityconnect.com


 
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