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Mar 29, 2001
How To

Klocke Uses Guerrilla Web Tactics to Market Print Newsletters

SUMMARY: Despite the craze for publishing email newsletters, as publishing entrepreneur Angela Gile Klocke found out, they are not the best idea for every single marketplace. In fact after testing email she shifted her business model to print. Hear why and how, plus how email still plays a part in her business.

(BTW: This article is also useful if you market to parents and kids online.)
Angela Giles Klocke is an independent publisher who shares her personal passions through her newsletters, such as The Writing Parent and The Writing Child. Although she only got online for the very first time in 1999, Klocke's entrepreneurial gusto and native marketing talents have made her a publisher to watch and learn from.

One of her top Web marketing recommendations is for publishers to place samples of their content everywhere they can on the Web and in email newsletters published by others. She's even started Publish In Yours, a free service to help writers distribute articles to sites and ezines looking for free content. (We've included a link to that below; plus a sample article Klocke herself distributes to other sites and ezines to promote her own publications online.)

While Klocke's online marketing methods have proven highly successful (about 100,000 of her articles on enthusiast info site are downloaded a year alone which brings in just $2000 cash, but loads of name-building) she's learned two hard lessons. First of all only ezines in underserved markets will really succeed. Klocke says, "For example, there are too many parenting ones. There's just not a marketable niche there anymore unless you've got something really tight like hearing impaired ADD children."

Secondly Klocke's learned the paid subscription model may work in print-only for an increasing number of consumer markets -- including her own. She says children and adults alike spend so much time looking at computer screens at school and work these days that the last thing they want to do in their leisure time is stare at a screen some more. After Klocke transitioned all her paid email newsletters to $15 per year print offerings, she saw sales rise significantly. In fact one letter tripled its circulation within a few months.

However, Klocke still considers the Web her best marketing channel, and of all the tactics you can use online, she says, "A free ezine is the best tool."

Here's a sample of an article Klocke is offering to related Web sites and email newsletters to reprint for free. Her only condition is that they use the entire article without cutting and that her descriptive bio, which serves as a marketing tool for her services, is kept at the end:

Looking for Ways to Advertise Yourself for FREE?

The Internet offers endless possibilities when it comes to getting the word out about yourself, whether you are trying to sell a new book, gain new subscribers to a publication or get new visitors to your site. The important thing for one to do is to make sure they aren't falling into the wrong kind of advertising. More than anything, one needs to make sure they advertise effectively without being intrusive. Take the following tips and see if they work best for you:

Signature lines. One of the most effective ways to freely advertise yourself or product is to create a signature file in your e-mail program or with the service you use. By doing so, every time you send an e-mail, the recipient sees your product and may check it out. But when using this method, there are a few things to avoid ...

== Keep your signature down to at least 5 lines. Anything over that will only be passed over.

== Don't try to use the very same signature week after week. Though it may be true that one has to see an advertisement several times before they may show interest, seeing the same ad for too long will only make them start to ignore it.

== Make sure your signature is eye catching. Using plain text may jumble it together whereas perhaps using a divider between your name and the rest will make it more eye pleasing.

Ex. Angela Giles Klocke
Klocke Publishing, blah, blah, blah ...

Release free articles. No matter what your business, you know something about it (one would hope) so write an article on the subject and release it free of charge for other web sites to use. If you write an article on writing, other writing web sites will want to use it on their site since free content is always appreciated. Included with your article is a resource boxthat the person using your article HAS to include (or else they must pay you for your work) and you would place web site information as well as a bit on what you are offering or selling. This is one of the quickest ways to get visitors to your site. A sample resource box would look like this:

John Doe is the author of "How to Advertise Online", available at . John has also lectured on advertising online and offers online classes to help teach others effective ways. This article is reprinted with John's permission. For more information on this topic, please visit his site.

Short but attractive without saying "Please buy my stuff" and "I only wrote this to lure you in". Try to keep resource boxes down to 6 lines or less. Make it too long and no one will pay attention. Also, write it in third person so it may sound as if the publisher added this rather than yourself. And adding your own copyright is not necessary.

Use free classifieds. But wait! Not any free classifieds service. If you visit a site that offers free classifieds but all you see are ads for Pay to Surf or MLM, don't place your ad there! Rather than new buyers or visitors, what you will get is tons of SPAM mail that you don't need. And they will all say something to the affect of "Saw your classified at such and such place and really like what I read. Now check out mine." How effective is this? Not only does it waste you time but it doesn't work. The better route to go on classifieds is to use real services. Yahoo! offers free advertising and the chances of being spammed from placing one there is less than 1%. Other websites may offer free classifieds but always be sure to check them out to make sure you won't be wasting your time. We use Inkspot quite frequently and even though they are free, we never have a problem with SPAM.

Swap ads. No funds to buy ad space? Not a problem if you are brave enough to ask another site or publication if they want to swap ads. Many online do not like to approach others to make such a request but often times, they will find that the person they are asking may have been just as nervous as they were. Taking the jump to ask may lead to several new sales or whatever you are seeking. The worst that can happen is that you will either be directed to the price of advertising sales with the person you are asking (meaning, "No, we don't want to swap because we need to make money instead.") or you will get a flat-out "no thanks".

== Seek out like-minded publications or sites. Ask about ad swapping with these, but do not contact direct competition.

== Trading ads with the wrong site or publication may lead to the wrong kind of reputation. For instance, if you run a Christian site, you would not be seen in the same light if you traded ads with a site about psychics. My children's publication has been approached about ad swaps before by someone from a horoscopes site. These just do not mix well.

== Do not contact a site that you can plainly see receives thousands of hits a day if you only get 100. Likewise, if you have 50 subscribers to a zine and you contact a publication with 50,000, you might as well expect never to hear from them again. It's not a fair trade and if you do hear from them, it will be a price list for advertising.

== Never just assume another site will run your ad for free. I received an ad a week ago from a mother's group that wanted me to run their ad. We had a special at the time for very inexpensive ads but this person was assuming I would just run the ad for free. There was no ad swap offer involved. Then I received the ad again with a thanks for my interest and please send them a copy. What did I do? Did I respond? No. I deleted it after taking note of the e-mail address. This would likely happen to you, too. Make contact with the person even if you can't find ad rates. Ask, don't assume.

With these tips and ideas, you will find yourself on your way to making more sales, gaining new subscribers or getting tons of new visitors to your site. Never stop selling yourself. Never even ease up on your marketing. And never assume your methods aren't working. Once you place all these plans into action, the next best thing will happen. Word of mouth will kick in and you will find others doing free advertising for you without you ever having to ask. If your product or service is worth anything at all, you will make it. But the Internet has to know you are here first. Do your job to let them know.

Angela is the publisher of several FREE online newsletters for writers and parents, available through Klocke Publishing at This article is reprinted with permission.
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