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Do You Really Need an Ezine?

ezine

You’ve probably been told that as a small business owner, you need to start publishing an ezine (email newsletter) every week or two. But do you really?

Before I answer that, let’s define what an ezine is.

Typically, it’s an email that is formatted with a pretty header—usually with your business logo and picture—and includes a number of different sections. These are often a personal introduction, a feature article, links to recommended resources, and maybe a special offer or promotion.

Are ezines effective?

Well, let’s look at the facts. Here are two clear benefits of an ezine:

1. Your prospects and clients are reminded of your existence. They stay connected and aware of what you’re doing.

2. They may contact you for an appointment or purchase a product because they are reminded of your existence.

Those are good benefits—no argument there. But the question we really want to know is, Can we get these same benefits without all the hassle of creating an ezine?

Because what I’ve found over many years of producing an ezine for a major diet guru is that it takes a surprising amount of work to put out just one issue. I’ve heard this from many of my coaching clients too.

To publish an ezine, first there’s your introduction to write and that pesky feature article, which should probably be well-referenced. Then your recommended resources to put together, special offer to create, and maybe a recipe dropped in for good measure.

But you’re not done yet. Now everything’s got to be formatted nicely in HTML (have fun!) and pretty pictures to be found, resized and inserted. Don’t forget to do a thorough proofing of spelling, grammar and links before you hit send!

This is a fair amount of work for a small team. But for a solopreneur? It’s potentially an entire DAY (or more) worth of work. So it makes sense to question whether it’s the best use of your time.

If you were to ask me (and since you’re reading this I’ll assume you are asking me), I say…

Don’t bother.

That is, unless you LOVE to write and all of this is easy breezy for you.

But for the rest of us mortals, you can get both of the benefits listed above (awareness and sales)—often more effectively—by sending out simple, one-topic emails.

These are emails that look just like an email you would write to a friend or colleague. You address your recipient directly and personally (“Hi Sara, I think you’ll like this….”) and include a short note about something of interest—a new blog article on your website, a commentary on a recent news item that’s relevant to your niche, or a special offer on a product or service.

It’s really that easy and the advantages are many. For one, it takes just minutes to write this kind of email. And there’s no fancy formatting or images to hunt down (although you can certainly include an image or two if you wish to, but most often it’s not necessary).

Even better, you’ll find your response rates soar. That’s because you’re writing about only one topic and your reader isn’t distracted by all of the different sections and links and eye-candy. Instead, they’re completely focused on just the one message that you want to get across.

Relieved?

I hope so.

You’re off the hook. You can release all of that guilt you’ve been carrying around, berating yourself “I’ve just got to get that ezine going!”

But do get started with email marketing because it’s the KEY to building a strong relationship with your audience and to generating income.

Here’s an article on the 5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts of Email Marketing that will make sure your emails are opened, read and responded to.

 

Comments

  1. Great advice as always Julia!!! I send out a combo newsletter/ezine every few months and boy does it take a lot of time – way more than 1 day! This is a wayyyyyy better alternative that I will definitely try (as soon as my webinar launch is over 🙂 ).

    • That’s right, Jacqui, it can be an incredibly time-consuming process and often not worth the return. Let me know how it goes when you try it!

  2. Great to hear, Jeanne! Curious how it went.

  3. So happy to read this great advice. I have also been struggling with a fancy HTML newsletter that I dread to have to publish even monthly. It would be so freeing to simply do what you are suggesting. If I admit it, I much prefer getting simple email newsletters just like yours, instead of the ones with various topics and links. I am definitely feeling relieved. Thanks Julia!

    • So glad to hear it, Cheryl! As I mentioned in the article, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised too with the better response, particularly when you’re promoting something.

  4. Hi Julia,

    I have a bi-weekly ezine with all that you have described but I don’t do email marketing and this is something I can do periodically to offer my supportive products for sale.
    Thank you.

  5. Hi Julia, Thanks for your information. If I send out one email to everyone on my list, instead of doing an ezine-newsletter, how does their first name appear on the email?
    Thanks for your help, Donna

    • Hi Donna,
      This is just a little bit late! There was a bug with my comments where I couldn’t reply for almost a year. It’s fixed now, thankfully!

      To answer your question, you would use a merge code to automatically insert the first name, just like you do when you send out a newsletter. It’s just that you’re inserting the merge code into a simple email with no fancy formatting.

  6. Great and freeing article, Julia! I was one of those people that spent 5-6 hours non-stop writing and formatting those pretty but pesky pics…and I am giving it all up for the next 3 months and see what happens. I’ll keep you posted, Julia.

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