| by Jim Daniels
Like many small business owners, I work with a small
marketing budget. Okay, truth be told, I hate to spend money on advertising! Especially if
I can get better exposure at a very low cost, sometimes even FREE!
During the past three years online, I've learned some great ways to do just that. I wrote
this article to share them with you. Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you to spend days
and days at free classified sites or newsgroups. The methods I'll be sharing with you are
much more powerful. So how does the cost-conscious marketer get the best free and low-cost
Simple. By utilizing various forms of the best free
marketing tool ever invented... Email!
There are many ways to utilize email marketing. For
the most part, email marketing can be broken down into two distinct categories... Targeted
and Untargeted. Let me first touch on untargeted email, just to show you why it is a waste
marketing on the internet usually takes on the form of "Unsolicited Bulk Email".
Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring one of the thousands of email blasting
companies online, it makes no difference. Bulk email is NOT a smart way to market. Let me
explain exactly why...
or sending mass email to "unqualified" email addresses is considered bad
"netiquette". If you send unsolicited email to addresses that do not want
commercial email, not only do you risk the reputation of your business, you can get into
more trouble than you would expect.
What kind of trouble?
Well, since many ISP's do not allow this activity, they will discontinue your account as
soon as the inevitable complaints start to trickle in. If you want better results without
the risk, consider using methods from the "other" category of email marketing...
|Targeted email marketing
works. Truly targeted email means getting your email to recipients that HAVE approved of
it. Not only do your get better results, you won't have to worry about ISP cancellation
and more importantly, the reputation of your business. Here are the best targeted email
marketing methods I've used during the past three years. They really work. I've listed
them from most expensive to least expensive.
Opt In" email list rental
- Ezine advertising
- Ezine publishing
- Email Discussion group participation
Here are details on how I utilize each...
are details on how I utilize each
|"Opt In" email
Did you know that you can actually rent email lists of people who have approved email
about certain topics? (Just about any topic imaginable!)
This method is not the cheapest form of targeted email marketing, but it works! On
average, you'll have to spend about ten to fifteen cents per address. The companies that
rent the addresses even do the mailing for you. You just sit back and wait for the orders!
When I released my book, "Insider Internet Marketing"
I used this method and sold a few thousand dollars worth of books in a two day span. The
company I used is called PostMaster-
Direct . Here are three more companies that offer direct "opt-in" email
|I'm a big fan of ezine
advertising and regularly utilize this low budget technique. I'm not just saying that to
drum up advertisers for my own newsletter, actually I have a waiting list of about a month
just to get an ad in mine. Why? Quite simply, email advertising works!
Take a look at the advertising section of your favorite
email ezine. The reason there are so many ads there is because the advertisers get
results. Not only do you reach your target audience, you reach them by the thousands. Of
all the online marketing methods available, ezine advertising could be the most effective.
Many larger companies are just starting to realize
this and are entering into this exciting new advertising medium. Compared with the high
costs of web site banner advertising, ezine advertising is a real bargain.
|One step better than
"advertising" in ezines, is actually publishing your own. If you are not already
publishing your own e-newsletter, I highly recommend you do so. It is much easier than you
might imagine. Your customers and prospects will constantly be "in touch" and
your ezine can keep them abreast of new products and services as you make them available.
You can also generate income offering classified or sponsorship advertising if you wish.
Unlike traditional newsletters, there are no printing or
postage costs. Since your own cost is zero, you can offer free subscriptions, thus
insuring a steady flow of new prospects. To get started publishing your own ezine, you do
not need to pay for list management. You can manage and deliver your ezine yourself with a
good email program like Qualcomm's Eudora
or Pegasus Mail by David Harrris.
Once you have your email program installed,
practice mailing to a few people at once by using the BCC (blind carbon copy) feature.
It's important to use the BCC field when mailing to a list. This insures that everyone on
the list does not see the other email addresses on your list. No one wants their email
address publicized all over the net. After you've perfected your emailing skills, you'll
need to drum up some subscribers. That's easy too! Simply post a message announcing your
newsletter to the "NewList Announcement List".
discussion group participation
|An email discussion
group is delivered via email like an email newsletter. But a discussion list is different
in one major way -- you are allowed to voice your own opinions, usually through a
Discussion lists also allow you
to ask for help from others with similar interests. What's more, you can assist people in
need while your sig file (the footer you include at the end of every email message you
send) invites readers to your site. Discussion group marketing works because the posts are
delivered directly "TO" a targeted audience. Like all the other forms of email
marketing above, discussion lists are a perfect example of push marketing at it's finest!
In addition to 'posting' to discussion groups you
can 'pay' for exposure. Many discussion lists offer "sponsorship" advertising,
and since readership is usually high on these lists, advertising results can be excellent.
No matter what you are marketing online, participating in discussion lists makes sense.
Not only will you learn some valuable information, it's is a great way to soft-sell some
of your wares. To find some discussion groups on your particular area of interest, visit http://www.e-groups.com. While you're
there you can even start a group of your own!
Now that you are armed with the facts about
low-cost email marketing, go out and start your email marketing campaign today!
Article by Jim Daniels
founder of JDD Publishing. Jim's
site has helped 1000's of regular folks profit online. Check out their FREE
"how-to" cybermarketing assistance, software, books, web services & more at Bizweb. No time for the web? Subscribe to
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