10 Steps For Producing A Professional Ezine
Checkpoints for producing quality e-mails
Your Ezine or opt-in Mailing List is the most important part of your website - it can make or break your marketing effects. It is your direct lifeline or communication with your targeted market. Don't mess it up! Since it's so vital to your success - you should do everything in your power to produce the most professional ezine you can muster.
Here are 10 steps or guidelines that will greatly improve the quality of your ezine or e-mails:
1. Composing - When composing use a text editor - notepad or wordpad will do. On your computer go into programs -- click accessories -- click on notepad or wordpad. Make sure you use 65 characters per line of text in all your e-mails. Also use a hard carriage return - i.e. press 'enter' after each line.
Why? Because on your reader's e-mail client the default is set at 65 characters and will open to this width. By keeping your lines under 65 characters and using a hard return you avoid having long run on sentences. There's nothing more irritating or unprofessional than e-mails that are broken or uneven.
2. Personalize - The most powerful word in any e-mail is your own name! Always start the e-mail with your subscriber's name - using 'dear friend' just doesn't cut it. Use your reader's name in different sections of the e-mail - just before you make your main arguments or points.
Why? Because the whole purpose of your ezine or e-mail is to build a one-to-one relationship with your subscriber. Over time - this will build up a reciprocal rapport with your reader - you want them to feel comfortable contacting you.
3. Header - Place a Header at the top of your ezine. A Header should consist of the Name of Ezine, who it's written by, website url, the date and edition. Like this:
BizWare Magic Ezine - Volume 25
by Titus Hoskins
Why? - Because a Header will tell your subscriber exactly who you are and the website you are representing. Your reader will no doubt be subscribed to many ezines. Identify yourself quickly and get down to business.
4. Table of Contents - Use a simple Table of Contents - listing the articles and material in your ezine.
Why? Ask yourself - when was the last time you read a magazine without a table of contents. Use the same standard for your ezine - it will bring up the quality.
5. Grammar and Spell Check - The most beneficial thing you can do to improve the quality of your ezine is check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Proofread it or have a friend proofread it for you. You might want to set up a proofread system with an online contact - test and proofread each other's e-mails before you send them out.
DO A SPELL CHECK with every e-mail. Online Spell Check
DO A GRAMMAR CHECK with every e-mail. Online Grammar Check
Why? Nothing will subtract from your product than poor grammar and spelling mistakes so you have to check and recheck your work. It's common knowledge most people will not buy from a site with grammar and spelling mistakes.
6. Spamcheck - You must check your e-mails to see if they will be classified as SPAM. Too many characteristics of spam (i.e. certain keywords, CAPITALIZED SENTENCES, etc.) will get your e-mails filtered, put in the Junk Mail Folder or simply deleted altogether. You need to Spamcheck your e-mails. Here is an online system you can use:Online Spamchecker
Why? Because your ezine or e-mail will not even reach your reader. Spam filters will filter it!
7. HTML - To Html or not to Html? Very tricky problem here - while using Html can dramatically improve the professional quality of an e-mail and allow for all the bells and whistles of a webpage - many e-mail clients can't display them properly or as you designed them. Also, it takes a lot more time to design Html e-mails - text e-mails are much faster to make. Please note many people consider text e-mails to be more personal than html e-mails; similar to comparing a handwritten letter to a typed one.
Solution? Do both if you have the time and ask your subscribers if they want to receive Html e-mails. You can also post your ezine on your website - in full html glory! Then put a link to it in your ezine, it will give your site stats a big boost.
8. Give a Famous Quote! - Include a Famous Quote or saying in your ezine - this is not window dressing or filler. A good quote can emphasize your ezine's theme or purpose. For example, Paul Myers's Famous Wayne Gretzky 's quote: "100% of the shots you don't take don't go in " brings his ezine (Talkbiz News) up to a higher level. Of course, being a topnotch writer also helps!
Why? Well chosen Quotes can lift the quality of your ezine and express ideas or emotions where your own words would fall short of the mark. Quotes improves your changes of connecting with your subscribers.
9. Be Yourself - Perhaps it does need repeating - Be Yourself. The only true way to form a relationship with your subscribers is to be yourself. Provide unique content. Be direct, be honest, be sincere, be as helpful as you possibly can be. Most of all - Don't pretend to be anyone but yourself.
Why? Because over time your true nature will be revealed in your writings. Our main objective here is building a long lasting relationship. Show mutual respect and both parties will benefit.
10. TEST TEST TEST - Always test your e-mails by sending them to yourself first. Make sure you have an 'unsubscribe link' in every e-mail - Don't take hostages. Use different e-mail clients such as Yahoo, Hotmail and Outlook Express to double check your e-mails.
Why? Because your opt-in list is the most valuable part of your online endeavors. Show your subscribers respect by producing the most professional ezine you can muster. Keep this checklist handy and refer back to it when you write your next ezine or e-mail.
Then and only then ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: HIT SEND!
Copyright © Titus Hoskins 2003
Titus Hoskins is a professionally trained artist and teacher. To Boost Your Internet Presence with the Best Marketing Tools Click Here: BizWareMagic.com To discover how to build your OWN list quickly - starting now. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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