What do the ones I love have in common?
They feel like they come from a REAL person. These publishers put some heart-and-soul into their e-zines. They share information about themselves. And because I FEEL like I know them personally, I’m more likely to buy from them at some point.
In the traditional sales world, they call this the “know, like, and trust” factor — I abbreviate it to “KLT”.
I was amazed to find that once I began sharing a bit about ME (the real Ali) in my e-zine, my response rates increased dramatically. More readers wrote me back, more clicked on my links, and more bought my products and services.
So, how can YOU put more you in your e-zine? Very easily. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
What’s Going on With YOU?
Quick: Think of three things going on in your life right now that you could share with your readers. Have you won an award? Were you mentioned in a national newspaper? Did you pull a hamstring doing Tae Bo? Are you teary-eyed because your daughter’s wedding is right around the corner? These are all events your readers can relate to and will appreciate you sharing.
One e-zine I used to get a real chuckle out of was Dave Balch’s “Big Bucks in a Bathrobe.” (His business has changed, so unfortunately he no longer publishes it.) In each issue, Dave not only shared useful information on running a profitable business, but also hysterical stories about “life on the ranch.” Dave and his wife own many animals, including horses, dogs, and “the parrot that just won’t die.” Whenever I saw Dave’s e-zine in my mailbox, I read it right away because I knew it would brighten my mood.
Reach Out for Help
Have a question you’d like answered? Why not ask your readers for help? Example: In 2005 I bought a new VW Beetle Convertible, and in my e-zine I asked my readers who had owned convertibles to share their tips on how to care for them.
You wouldn’t believe how many people wrote me back, telling me about their own cars, how much they love them, even sending me photos, and giving me some great tips on “topless” driving! I was delighted with the response.
Readers also love quick polls that allow them to give you their opinion. For multiple choice answers, I have used www.SurveyMonkey.com. It’s free for up to 100 responses, and reasonably priced for more.
Give Us the Picture
Photos help your visitors and your e-zine readers feel closer to you instantly — it’s as if they know you better than before.
Unless you’re ugly as a toad, a decent photo will only help your sales. (Remember you’re building the KLT factor.) If you publish an HTML e-zine, put your photo in your top banner if you have room.
Also don’t be afraid of sharing photos of your family, pets, business associates, etc. (I post mine on a blog which is FREE to create at www.blogger.com.) You’ll be surprised how often your readers will click-through to see them. Example: “Click here to see me in action at my first swing dancing competition!”
After taking my course, one client of mine decided to share a photo of his pet pug, and he said his readers went NUTS! They wrote him back with photos of their dogs and it opened up a new level of communication for him with his subscribers.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have Opinions
Real people have real opinions. So voice yours, and people will perk up. I’ve found that my readers often respond best when they’re provoked and encouraged to see things in a new light.
If some don’t agree with you (and some won’t), their response can lead to a brand new discussion or article topic. Remember, if someone takes the time to write you back to disagree with anything you’ve said, be happy. It means they’re actually reading your e-zine!
Where, and How Much?
A great place to put this personal information is at the beginning of your e-zine in an “editor’s note” or “welcome message.” This welcomes the reader with a warm greeting from you and is the perfect spot to share these positive, personal tidbits.
Once you get the hang of giving more YOU to your readers, you’ll come to enjoy the art of sharing and the increased reader-interaction it brings. Just make sure that it doesn’t take over your e-zine. The bulk of your content should still be your main article, list of tips, etc.
Think of your personal information as the introduction that leads up to the main event!
© 2003-2009 Ali International, LLC
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Online entrepreneur Ali Brown publishes the award-winning ‘Highlights on Marketing & Success’ weekly e-zine with 36,000+ subscribers. If you’re ready to jump-start your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at www.AliBrown.com