Ezine Mailing List Cross Promotional Ad Swaps

Dennis Faas's picture

I've been toying with some different ways to help get the word out about the infopackets web site. I'm on a tight budget, especially after getting $burned$ from a sucky web hosting company.

In fact, I sent the Sucky Web Hosting company an email yesterday asking when my account was going to be refunded because my bank statement reported no activity. Here's two emails I received regarding my refund:

November 29: " Your account will be refunded all but the $99 Setup Fee. Refunds are usually processed within 24 hours of cancellation ... sometimes it can take a while to show up in your bank Records. " December 04: I sent a message asking if my Visa was refunded yet. December 05: I received a reply stating, "Yes, your Visa was refunded ... however I think it will arrive in two stages." And, that was all that was said.

The answer didn't seem to be a very definitive, and the writer surely didn't go into great length to explain himself. This email also came from the same person who told me he'd rather do correspondence through email rather than the phone.

Anyway --

Like I said, I'm on a tight budget, but I'm also contemplating ways to get the word out about the infopackets web site. The next logical question is: how can I spread the word without taking out a mortgage? I thought about that question for a little while.

Inevitably, I came up with a few solutions.

Ask the readers of this newsletter to spread the word: That's easy -- but only effective if everyone participates. I've already receive a few friendly notes from folks who took effort to place an icon on their web site / home page to direct some traffic to the infopackets web site to help spread the word.

Ask owners of mailing lists to mention the infopackets web site in their newsletter: I've done this in the past and it is by far the most effective way of getting word out. In fact, I spent much of today trying to hunt down other web sites that have computer-oriented newsletters. The problem is that it's very time consuming. What to do?

Ask 35,000 readers what mailing-lists they belong to: Before my email box gets bombarded, let me give you a list of sites that I've already considered. If you're a member of a web site and you would like to send me a suggestion, please take a moment to look over my list before suggesting one that has already been mentioned:

All about Cross Promotional Ad Swaps

Usually if a web site / list owner agrees to help get the word about a web site, the favor is returned through a "swap" of some kind. Since infopackets.com and the Infopackets Gazette is a relatively new publication, our list of readers is generally smaller than other publications that have been online for a longer period of time.

How to equal a swap that's not equal?

The Infopackets Gazette subscriber base is 35,000 and growing. There are other publications, such as LangaList (165,000+) and Lockergnome (250,000+ in total) that are much larger in circulation. So, how can a smaller publication swap an ad with a larger publication?

Answer: offer to balance the ad swap through ad placements in the newsletter and solo ad-mailings.

What's a solo ad-mailing?

Solo ad-mailings are sent in the Infopackets Gazette newsletter shell, but only contain a sponsor message from an advertiser. This type of ad placement is quite effective and most sought after from advertisers because it contains only an ad message from the advertiser and no other content.

Unfortunately, this type of mailing is detrimental to the Gazette subscriber base because users equate the solo ad-mailing with the resemblance of unsolicited email (spam).

What differentiates a solo ad-mailing from a spam message?

All solo mailings which are sent to Infopackets Readers come in the Gazette newsletter shell, so you know exactly where it came from. All mailings are pre-screened for acceptable subject matter, and will never contain material that is offensive. Thirdly, you have the option to opt-out of the newsletter at any time.

On the other hand, spam messages are unsolicited advertisements which usually contain erroneous email headers (where the email originated from) and for the most part, offer no way of opting out of the mailing list in order to stop the ads from being sent to you.

So, what's the plan?

If I want to do ad swaps with larger ezines (electronic magazines) online the 'Net, I'm inevitably going to have to offer solo ad-swaps as bargaining leverage. As I mentioned already, there will never be more than 4 solo ads-mailing in a month... and that's *only* if I strike a deal with another publication. I'm letting all of you know this now because I have a few solo ad-mailings booked in the next few weeks and I don't want to raise concern.

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