Guidelines for Your Advertising

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Once you have found e-zines that reach your target market, you should consider a number of other factors before you make a final decision on placing your ad, including:

  • Check the ads displayed in the e-zine for repetition. If advertisers have not advertised more than once, then they probably did not see very positive results.
  • Respond to some of the ads and ask the advertisers what their experiences were with advertising in that particular e-zine. Be sure to tell them who you are and why you are contacting them. If you are up front, they will probably be receptive to your inquiry.
  • Talk to the e-zine publisher and ask questions (for example, how many subscribers there are). Ask what other advertisers have had to say about their results. Find out what types of ads they accept and if there are any restrictions. Check to see if the publisher has a policy of never running competing ads. Maybe the e-zine has a set of advertising policies that you can receive via email.
  • Find out if the publisher provides tracking information and, if so, what specific reports you will have access to.
  • Find out if your ad can have a hyperlink to your Web site. If the e-zine allows hyperlinks, make sure you link to an effective landing page —one that is a continuation of the advertisement or a page that provides details on the product or service you were advertising. Provide a link to your order form from this page to assist with the transaction.
  • In some cases e-zines have an editorial calendar available to assist you with the timing of your ad. The editorial calendar will tell you what articles will be included in upcoming issues. If an upcoming issue will have an article relating to your products or services, you could choose to advertise in that issue. You might contact the editor regarding a review of the services you offer or submit an article relevant to the issue topics.
  • Make sure that the advertising rates are reasonable based on the number of subscribers, and ask yourself if you can afford it. Find out the “open” rate, or the rate charged for advertising once in the e-zine. Ask what the rate is for multiple placements. If you are not in a position to pay for the advertising now, ask if there are other arrangements that could be mad. For example, the publisher might accept a link on your Web site in exchange for the ad.
  • Develop your ads with your target customer in mind. They should attract your best prospects. Wherever possible, you should link to your site or provide an email link to the right individual within your organization.
  • Develop a mechanism to track advertising responses. You could use different email accounts for different ads to determine which ads are bringing you the responses. You can also use different URLs to point viewers to different pages within your site. If you have a good trafficanalysis package, you can track the increase in visitors as a result of your ad.
  • Make sure you are versed in the publication’s advertising deadlines and ad format preferences.
  • Check to see if your ad can be integrated into the content of the articles in the magazine. These types of ads are often seen more as part of the article and less as an advertisement. They are also in front of your target market as they are reading the article if there is a close correlation between your ad and the content of the article.