By Scott Hughes
Most experienced web professionals cannot think of a worse way to market an online business than with spam emails, or anything that seems like spam emails. Spam earns a business a bad reputation, the risk of getting black-listing, and pissed off customers... nothing more. There is a way to get your business links into the email boxes of potential customers without self-destructive spam. That method is publishing an ezine, an electronic newsletter or electronic magazine, sent out via email.
As an internet business owner, having your own ezine gives you the promotional benefits of email marketing without the drawbacks of spam-like email ads. By sending out an ezine, you regularly remind old customers and potential customers of your business, by providing them with a complementary service. You not only retain your respectability with your market, but also increase it. A long list of interested potential customers happily receive a free magazine/newsletter from you. Talk about win-win.
In addition to the amount of benefits an ezine entails, starting one is rather easy.
First, you decide your ezine's subject (e.g. sports, news, or etc.). Obviously, you should choose a subject that relates to your online business. For example, if you have a website selling fishing equipment, you can make an ezine about fishing.
The second step is to create an opt-in option on your website. If people register at your site or purchase something, a great place to put an opt-in option is on the registration or check-out page. Otherwise, the best place to add an area where a customer can sign-up is on your website's homepage or a common-element (i.e. a part of your website that's on every page of your site, usually a header, footer, or sidebar). You should not need to create a separate sign-up page, because you only need the customer's' email, and perhaps a name.
The third step is to begin writing your ezines. Unless you have a staff of writers, you probably will have to get some of the articles for your ezine from third-party sources. In most circumstances, you can just get free articles from a multitude of online repositories (e.g. ezinearticles.com). Your ezine doesn't need to be long, just a few articles per issue. Remember to include any news with regarding your business and a link back to your website.
Done right, ezine publishing offers internet business owners a great way to honestly market and promote their website.