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Ezine Readers Not Biting? Try a Change of Bait, Part 1 of 3

By Jessica Albon

A newsletter can be a fantastic way to lure new customers, but without the right bait, you can send out line after line (or issue after issue) and not get a single bite.

What should you be baiting your newsletter with? Let’s take a look:

1. The right list. How are you getting your subscribers? Some people run contests or give away e-books. Both are great, but you need to choose them carefully.

If you sell candles to retailers, you wouldn’t hold a monthly drawing for a 12-month supply of candles. Rather, you might offer an e-book on increasing sales 50% with small display changes. The monthly drawing will result in more subscribers, but few of them will be in your target market.

2. The right content. Again, generic is bad. Let’s say you sell mechanical steps for short people buying tall vehicles. Your audience will likely be middle class, educated commuters, and you’ll probably have more female readers than male. Thus, an article on how investing in your car is a good idea (the Wall Street Journal reports older SUVs are skyrocketing in value) would be more appealing to readers than an article describing the proper way to tie down a load of wood.

Not only will the article on investing in automobile upgrades appeal more to the audience, it’ll also result in more sales because it’s more highly targeted.

3. Ask for the sale. We get a lot of newsletters that don’t explain what they’re selling. If you don’t tell your readers that you sell marketing services, how are they going to know they should hire you?

Why not use your top sponsor spot for your own advertisement every so often? Or mention in your editor’s letter that you’re having a special.

If you use testimonials, why not introduce them with a brief description of the product or service the customer purchased.

Whatever else you do, commit to making it clear in each issue that you are a company that does X. Then allow yourself some open promotion every few issues.

For more on how you can increase your newsletter’s sales ability, check out Part II and Part III of this series.

Email marketing works! As long as you do it right, that is. I highly recommend Jessica Albon's guidance and advice on starting and running a newsletter at

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