March 25, 2003 Volume 2 Issue 39
An E-zine in Your Future
You're reading an E-zine.
The full name is E-newsletters ... E-zines for short. An electronic newsletter.
E-zines are"hot". Vs. E-mail marketing, which is currently in a tough sell stage. Still very effective, yet, going through a rough time. I like 'em both - recommend each to clients - use both forms of E-marketing.
This E-zine -The Works of Marketing with Ray - has been around 22 months. It's a weekly ... except for holiday time when I double up. The total has been 48 or so issues a year.
Pulling something interesting together every week is both easy and hard. The work itself takes a number of hours. There are always reasons to repeat-repeat-repeat certain features. Yet, it's the new content every 7 days that gets you to read the teaser paragraph or two - and "click" to the web site for the full story.
There are weeks I have more content to deal with then time to deal with it. And there are other weeks when I truly "reach" to find something that turns me on. As if I'm not interested, how can I expect you to be!?
Because I like to read - and get a considerable amount of my daily reading online - I find things. Ideas. Thoughts. Topics. Subjects. Some directly related to marketing, direct marketing and sales. Some that are side-bar comments only. Some un-related, still, interesting enough to share. Some pure fun. And a few laughable.
So, content is not always easy to find. Yet, when you look for it, you do find it.
The specific reason for this weeks lead article in my E-zine is because Dianne Lucca spoke at the Arizona Direct Marketing Association. Dianne has the world's longest business title;Program Manager, Relationship Marketing, IBM Americas Small and Medium Business. Her expertise includes being the lead for the IBM E-newsletter. Dianne has become an expert on E-zines. She taught me several new things ... reminded me of more.
Such as . . . there are 4 primary reasons for your organization to have an E-zine;
#1). Continuity - regular and unintrusive contact with your marketplace,
#2). Customized - it allows you to personalize your message to individual customers and their specific needs,
#3). Involvement - you provide news to use, inviting news, interesting news, and news to share with others, and
#4). Prospecting - as an outreach tool, as a way to seek and find new business.
No matter your purpose, some copywriting content basics apply;
... use the K.I.S.S. principle - Keep It Simple, Stupid! Do not write over your audience's head. In fact - if anything, write so easy and friendly the 13 year old junior high school kids on your block will get it. Because if they don't, there is a grand chance your audience won't either.
... it's certainly okay to repeat "old" news - as long as your feature something new, too. Forbes magazine is as good as anyone in doing this. I subscribe to several of their E-zines. There are always 2-3 lead articles - and links to those that ran yesterday, the day before, last week.
... material from others is also good. This year, in my E-zine, I've began offering articles from others. Some of these people I know. Some I don't. It doesn't matter. If I like it I get permission to use it - and do so.
No one has a lock on good ideas. Nor is there only one way to do anything. Thus, another point of view, a different side of the net, an unusual way to say what everyone knows and still ignores, is interesting. At least to me. And often to your audience, too.
As with all things marketing, including E-zines, the order of importance is the same;
This is not news. What IS news is that most of the highly skilled and up to the minute business audiences indicate they prefer E-zine messages in text format - not html. This was a big time surprise. At least to me. With all the chatter today about technology, I would have guessed the reverse. My very informal survey of those most knowledgeable says most folks are in a hurry. And "yes", they like html ... yet, it still takes too long to download.
What is not a surprise is that E-premiums as an offer are not as effective as the "real thing" in getting a response. Meaning, offering a 'white paper' online the reader has to download does not get as many hands in the air as offering to "snail-mail" a booklet with the same material. People still like to hold "things" in their hand.
Dianne closed her presentation with a list. You know I like lists. So, here is hers, with my twists:7 Best Practices to Make Your E-zine Work;
#1). Ask your readers what they want. IBM has 93 variables within their weekly E-zine. Very few of us are as large, nor will we have as many needs as they ... still, understand the concept. And do it. Know your readers!
#2). Now give your readers what they told you they want. Without a sales pitch. An E-zine is like a booklet - it is a knowledge piece first. A marketing and sales tool second.
#3). When a prospect opts-in for your E-zine, they are looking for "value". Yes, this could be an overused and misdefined word. Still, you know what I mean. Your prospect is looking for something from you. Make certain they get that every issue. And know - when there is no value, they will go away.
#4). Be patient. An E-zine is a tool in relationship building. It takes time to make good things happen. You will not get a monster response the first time ... nor every time. Sometimes you will get nothing! Know your E-zine is a loyalty marketing vehicle. Measure it over months and years - not days and weeks.
#5). Every issue include several response mechanisms. Allow your marketplace to get back to you. With a question. An idea. A compliment. A complaint! Something. Anything. Allow them to do this directly from the base E-mail/E-zine, as well as from your web site, where you may have connected them. Encourage a back and forth.
#6). Promote every issue in every issue. And promote your E-zine elsewhere, too. The more readership you have, the better. This is not always true ... as often costs limit distribution. Not with an E-zine - let the world know you offer this FREE service, and that it's easy to opt-in. You will benefit when more know who you are and what you offer, vs. fewer.
#7). Now, as Dianne says, Mine Gold. Sure, an E-zine is a soft-sell sales piece. Still, the bottom line reason you have one is to get more business. To spread the news of who you are, what you do, why someone out there should buy what you sell. So, quietly, every time, Ask For The Order
If you want to know more about E-zines and how you can add one to your marketing outreach, send an E-mail to Ray@RayJutkins.com ... I'll be happy to hear from you.
Auto Dealers & Direct Marketing
Target Marketing magazine has evolved over my direct marketing career. And one of the few rags from our business I still receive in hard back. Vs. reading online.
Recently Paul Barbagallo, Associate Editor, did a story on the automobile industry ... a group of folks we love to hate. Rarely does any story about a new or used car purchase go in a straight line. More often than not there is a side-bar comment, or two or three, of poor service, sexism or some other low-life happening.
Yet, Paul has uncovered the news that auto dealers are sticking with a tried and true DM media - Direct Mail.
Aspen Marketing Services, a Chicago based marketing firms, reports 43% of all automotive dealers will spend more marketing dollars in 2003 in direct mail and other measurable marketing programs.
This is big time news. Because, although 98% of the dealers use some form of advertising, 90% said they will either not spend more or will decrease their advertising budgets this year.
Promotions are also used by 71%, 68% use special events, 68% use sponsorships, 64% use branded products, and 54% will use the stand-by ... direct mail.
I find this interesting. My only contact with anyone in the auto dealer world are the few I've met buying/selling. Save one prominent family. Although I haven't talked to Joe about his specific 2003 plans, I "see" his collection of dealerships doing pretty much what these stats say. Using effective, cost-efficient and creative marketing ideas to grow his business. Direct marketing is alive in a tough-tough industry.
A few other stats from the same Aspen survey show these numbers:* The dealers believe - at least 26% of them - the industry will continue to move toward a "cash back with 0% financing and no money down" promotion - a direction they've been building up to for a long time.
This survey - if even half true - is good news for Direct Marketing. Let's help them make these statistics become the real thing.
Ray's Product Offers
My life includes a full time University student. And another returning to school to earn her third degree.
I'm surrounded by learners. And those of us who've been in business more than a day and half ... well, we can learn, too. Many times I find myself being reminded of things I know ... and forgot. Or at least forgot to use. Knowing and doing different.
Well, just maybe my collection of products is something you - or some of your team - can learn from.
For details and to place your product order, OR to book Ray to speak and thus get your BONUS!, visit Marketing Products. Or fax 1+810+815-2520. For questions on quantity orders phone Ray at 1+928+785-9400.
It's getting close to swimming weather in Arizona. Spring has sprung - warmer is close.
So, a pair of thoughts that include water. First an Anonymous Arab Proverb:
"Throw a lucky man into the sea and he will come
And then from "the man" himself, Anonymous;
"We are not sure who discovered water,
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
"It IS What's Next!"
Already I've shared this story with health care organizations, a database marketing business, a direct marketing firm, a DM association - and several others. And I'm ready to bring it to your group. (Visit It IS What's Next!)
When you have a need for a 40-90 minute program, I'll give you this different, interesting, meaningful, warm and true action presentation. To your club. Your company. Your organization. Your association. Any group you have. At any place. At any time. For any reason.
ItISWhat's Next!is available to you as a Keynote Address. As a special program. As an opening or closing presentation. As a different / unique session.
"Stamp Out" Alzheimer's
The last years of my dad's life included Alzheimer's. So, when long time DMer, speaker & biz friend John Jay Daly asked me to include this news - I quickly said "yes".
The US Postal Service is being asked to create a 'semi-postal' stamp to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. To fight the disease that affects 4 million Americans. A petition of 50,000 signatures is needed to make an impact.
Will you please help? Visit the donated web site & sign the
Magic Marketing Minutes
Write Better With M A D E
Acronyms are available for just about everything. Here is one that may help
you write better Direct Mail copy.
The word is M A D E.
The "M" stands for message. Give a sound, firm, meaningful, important message to your audience. And make sure it's interesting. If there is no message, you will lose your audience within the first paragraph!
The "A" stands for action. Have a reason for taking action. Now. We most often call it an offer. A reason to do business with you. Now!
The "D" stands for details. Provide enough details, enough specifics, enough facts, enough figures, so your audience can make a buying decision. So they know who you are, and have enough reason to accept your offer.
And the "E" stands for evidence. Prove that what you have to offer will meet the needs of your marketplace. Provide the evidence. With testimonials. With case histories. Again with facts and figures. Prove the best thing your prospect can do is to do business with you.
M A D E -- Message, Action, Details, and Evidence, for the best Direct Mail.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.