The Seventh Commandment of Ezines: Integration
If you want your ezine to be a great marketing tool, it has to serve your overall marketing objectives. Staying in touch with your market is important, but the information you give them should always be tied to a specific goal, whether it’s driving awareness of your newest (or most lucrative) offerings, publicizing a sales-boosting special offer, or showing off whatever unique expertise you have that sets you apart from your competition. Remember, you have their permission to market to them because they expect something useful from you.
And, thus, we come to our next commandment:
Commandment #7: Thou shalt treat thy ezine as part of thy overall marketing plan.
But how do you do that? Here are a few suggestions:
Tie your articles to seasonal issues. If your business has any seasonal component (say, tax season for accountants and financial planners), center your article ideas on issues that relate to that season. For example, if you’re a CPA or financial planner, you could feature an article in your December ezine on how much more return on investment your clients might earn if they make their IRA contributions in January rather than waiting until April 15th. Sit down and brainstorm the possibilities for tying content to time of year. You might be surprised at how many you come up with!
Write articles about special offers. One business owner I know features an article on a subject, then ties it to a special offer for that month, usually a discount on a related service. For example, if you’re a veterinarian, and you usually offer a September discount on pet dental work, an article on how poor dental hygiene impacts a pet’s overall health would tie in nicely. Again, do a little brainstorming.
Show off recent work. If your work lends itself to showing samples (photographs, etc.), and you’ve done a particularly good job for a recent client, show it off! These work even better when you have a great testimonial to go with the sample. Either way, your work samples may get the wheels turning with other prospects on your list. Who knows – perhaps one (or more) of them will call you on the spot!
Whatever you do, be sure that any articles you include in your ezine are directly related to your business. While you can (and arguably should) be warmly personal in your opening remarks, going off-message by including such things as political content or personal observations in the main body of your ezine is risky at best.
Don’t be afraid to give your ezine “personality” (which we’ll cover next month), but keep it professional.