HOW MANY WAYS TO PROMOTE? (Part 2)
By Mark Idzik
The first part of this article focused on two ways to promote
your web site: Opt-In Email and WebCards.
Here are some more of my favorites:
Email newsletters are truly one of the most popular,
and in many cases a very effective way to promote your
In addition to a well designed and well positioned web site,
a regular newsletter keeps your name, web site address and
products or services in front of your potential customers.
It's more a "push" marketing technique where search engine
positioning is a "pull" technique.
In order to maintain your subscribers, you'll need a
good list manager. Don't think that maintaining a list
without software will be a breeze. It can be time consuming.
Try to make your list management as automated as possible
by allowing users to subscribe and unsubscribe automatically.
Keep copies of your subscription requests just in case a
user forgets they subscribed (or was added by someone else!).
If you're starting out, you can use shareware or a database
service that your hosting company provides. For this list,
we use an MS Access database and Cold Fusion to automatically
add, remove and notify our subscribers. To mail, we use
WorldMerge to mail and personalize each email.
Publish as regularly as you can and continue to ask for
feedback from your list. Keep your readers updated on
industry news and events, special offers that may be
of interest to them, and services you have available.
If you have a newsworthy product or service, then press
releases can be a powerful addition to your marketing
Now by newsworthy, I mean that you should be able to
write a "story" about how your product or service helps
your customers. News editors get hundreds of press
releases each day, and if you can't grab their attention,
it won't get published. Come up with a specific angle on
how your product or service was invaluable, funny,
a cost savings, a time saving, a direct source for
specific information, or helped someone.
Here are some ideas to publish a press release that will
- spend as much time as necessary to create a
"heart stoppping" headline. If you spend an hour writing
the article, spend four hours on the headline. Make it
grab your readers attention. Show it to others and get
- make the article short, 3 to 4 paragraphs.
- include the 5 w's in the first paragraph - what, why
where, who and when
- include a quote from you or a testimonial from a
- write the article just like you would like to see
it in print. Most editors will print it "as is" if it
is written in a "newspaper" style. Read some articles on
your topic to get an idea of what gets published.
If you have trouble writing a release, hire a good service
or journalist to write one for you. Here are two good
Internet News Bureau:
Now that you have a press release, you need to get it
into the hands of journalists. There are many press release
distribution services, but they are not equal. Some services
will only distribute regionally, some will spam newspapers
and online editors, and some will only publish your release
in their own database. You want to have your release sent
to journalists that sign up and request releases, as well
as having confidence that the source of the email is from
a respected and legitimate company. Here are a few services
we've used and highly recommend:
Internet News Bureau:
The advantages of INB is that they have over 2,300 journalists
that request releases, they publish a database of press
releases so you can view them for ideas, and the company is
run by MMGCO, an internet marketing pioneer.
The company is run by Tina and Michael Koenig. They seem to
have relationships with certain editors and can "recommend"
that they write about the releases. Also they have a good track
record and abundant journalists on their distribution list.
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