Sunday, May 26, 2019
     Interactive Web Design, Database Integration, Online Promotion, ECommerce Tools & Business Resources


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:

  • E-Zines

Email newsletters are truly one of the most popular, and in many cases a very effective way to promote your site.

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.

Press Releases

If you have a newsworthy product or service, then press releases can be a powerful addition to your marketing toolbox.

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 get noticed:

  • 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 their reaction.
  • 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 satisfied client
  • 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 resources:

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.

XpressPress: 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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