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        Another AHBBO Article
        Growing Your List

        © 2013 Elena Fawkner

        So, you're ready to launch your own newsletter.  You've heard that
        a newsletter (or ezine) is a great way to stay in touch with site
        visitors and to develop an opt-in list of your own to promote your
        products and services.

        OK, so far so good.  And you have your first issue ready to go.
        "Go where?" , I hear you ask. Good question. Who are you going
        to send it to?

        Which leads us to the topic of this article.  Subscriber generation.
        We're going to look at how to get the message out that your
        newsletter exists and how interested readers can ask to receive it
        (how subscribers can subscribe).

        Fortunately, there are many ways and places to publicize your
        newsletter.

        1.  ANNOUNCEMENT LISTS

        Announcement lists are, in theory at least, email lists that people
        subscribe to who want to know about new lists (whether they be
        discussion lists or newsletters). Why "in theory"?  Quite simply
        because a lot of people wanting to generate new subscribers to
        THEIR lists subscribe because you have to be a subscriber
        yourself in order to announce your list.  Nonetheless, you will
        still generate a steady trickle of new subscribers from these lists.

        You will find these lists will bring in quite a lot of subscribers initially
        but gradually the rate of new subscribers from these sources will fall
        away so you can't rely on them alone.  Most of these lists allow
        repeat postings, usually once per week but check the rules for each
        list.




        2. DIRECTORIES

        The next place to list your newsletter is in the myriad of
        directories devoted to exactly that. These will bring in fewer
        subscribers initially but will be important to the longer-term
        growth of your subscriber database as they represent a source
        for a slow but steady subscriber influx.



        This is the famous Internet Scout Project and will commonly
        generate a major flood of new subscribers. An initial haul of over
        200 is not uncommon for some lists. You may only announce
        your list once to this list but your announcement is archived on
        the New-List site and you are permitted to announce changes to
        your newsletter. Purely "business opportunity" list announcements
        are likely to be rejected but the moderator seems to have a
        somewhat inconsistent approach to what constitutes a bizopp list
        so give it a try anyway.

        Next, go to JimWorld's Top 1000 Submission Sites Directory
        and submit your newsletter to as many
        of the places listed there that apply to the subject matter of your
        newsletter. Although the site refers to site announcements, most
        are also good places to list your newsletter as well. Obviously it
        will take you quite a time to get your site listed at all these places
        but it will pay off over time in the form of a steady stream of
        subscribers in the longer term.

        Then, for good measure, make sure you are listed in the following
        directories (where applicable). Some of these may already be
        included in the Top 1000 Submission Sites Directory but are
        mentioned here again for the sake of completeness. Not all of the
        sites listed below are "directories" as such. Some are just
        outstanding resources that will assist you with subscriber
        generation.

        http://new-list.com/
        http://www.liszt.com/
        http://www.newsletteraccess.com/
        http://www.promotefree.com
        http://www.virtualpromote.com

        3. ACCEPTING FREE ADS

        An often-overlooked method for initial subscriber generation is
        offering a free ads for new subscribers. You will not start accepting
        paid advertising until such time as your subscriber numbers support
        it (certainly not fewer than 1,000 subscribers). There is no reason
        though why your subscribers should not get used to seeing ads in
        your newsletter and by offering free ads for new subscribers (for a
        limited time), you will find you can generate quite a few subscribers
        this way.

        My initial batch of subscribers came from those wanting to place
        a free ad in AHBBO. By including a free ad reference
        in your announcements (see Announcement Lists), you may find this
        helps you generate more initial subscribers.

        It is NOT recommended that you make any reference to free ads
        in the submissions you make to Directories (see Directories)
        because these are a more permanent listing of your newsletter and
        you don't want people asking for free ads in six months' time after
        you have stopped accepting them.


        4. OTHER FORMS OF FREE PUBLICITY

        In addition to making use of Announcement lists and Directories,
        there are a few other forms of free publicity that will help you
        generate subscribers both initially and over the longer term.

        => Article submissions

        By writing articles and submitting them regularly with a resource
        box that refers to your newsletter, you will generate subscribers
        when other publishers run your article in their newsletter.

        Each article you submit must contain a resource box that tells the
        reader who you are, what your newsletter is about and how to
        subscribe.

        On a number of occasions publishers of newsletters with extremely
        high subscriber numbers (over 250,000 in one case) have run my
        articles. It is not uncommon to receive over 200 subscribe requests
        immediately following an article appearing in one of these
        high volume newsletters. So, the point is, writing and submitting
        articles for use by other publishers is an excellent way of generating
        new subscribers.

        There are plenty of places to submit your articles.  To find them,
        just pretend you're a publisher looking for content for your newsletter.
        Use search terms such as "free content" etc. and you'll turn them
        up.

        => Signature files

        Another way to generate a steady trickle of new subscribers is
        to include a blurb about your newsletter and how to subscribe
        in your signature file and include it at the end of every email you
        send to anyone about anything. These can be particularly useful
        if you regularly contribute to discussion lists or newsgroup
        discussions provided the lists and newsgroups have some general
        relevance to the subject matter of your newsletter.

        => Ad swaps

        Swapping newsletter ads with other newsletter publishers is a
        good way of generating new subscribers provided your target
        audiences are complementary. You can generate ad swaps by
        including a notice in your newsletter that you welcome them
        or by actively seeking out other publishers who accept ad swaps.
        There are a number ad swap lists around specifically for this
        purpose.


        => Publicizing Your Newsletter

        Once you have an established newsletter with several hundred
        subscribers you should publicize your newsletter in as many
        places as you can, whenever you get the opportunity.

        One way is to try and get your newsletter reviewed. A good place
        to get reviewed is at http://www.list-universe.com. There are many
        others too so look around. Many of the directories you list your
        ezine with have a rating system and if you can get yourself rated
        highly you will usually merit a higher ranking in the directory. So,
        invite your subscribers to rate your ezine.  Another good way to
        publicize your newsletter is to submit your original articles to some
        of the many websites that collect articles available for reprint by
        other publishers. It seems that there is no shortage of publishers
        who prefer not to create any original content for their newsletters
        so, if you do create original content, there's a ready-made market
        for it!  By ensuring that your resource box contains a blurb and
        subscribe info for your ezine, every time another publisher runs
        your articles, they are also running an ad for your newsletter. Do
        this consistently and you will become known in your field of
        expertise and this in turn will attract subscribers (not to mention
        advertisers and website visitors).

        => Joint Ventures/Co-Ops

        Joint ventures or co-ops with other publishers are perhaps THE
        best way to generate new subscribers over the longer term. The
        trick is to team up with another publisher who publishes an ezine
        to a target audience complementary to your own.

        Under this type of joint venture arrangement, you provide a
        mechanism for subscribers to your ezine to subscribe to your joint
        venture partner's ezine at the same time. And your joint venture
        partner does the same for you.

        This is not the only way to run a joint venture though. For example,
        you may choose instead to recommend your joint venture partner's
        ezine in your welcome message to new subscribers. Or to have a
        link to your joint venture partner's sign-up page at your website.
        Whatever works for you is fine.

        Co-ops can extend beyond a simple reciprocal subscribe arrangement
        too. Contests are a great way to generate new subscribers.  In
        principle, it works like this. Several ezine publishers get together and
        put together a package of prizes. One may offer a free copy of an
        e-book, another may offer free advertising in their ezine, another may
        offer a free web design consultation.

        Each participating publisher lets their subscribers know about the
        contest in their welcome message as well as publicizing it in their
        ezines. Interested subscribers can then go off and register for the
        contest at one of the publisher's websites. It is a condition of entering
        the contest that the subscriber signs up for the other publishers'
        newsletters, the other publishers thereby gaining an additional
        subscriber.

        Every month (or whatever frequency is specified in the contest rules),
        each of the publishers draws one winner. Each subscriber has x
        number of chances to win each month with x representing the
        number of publishers participating in the contest.

        => Remind Your Subscribers to Recommend You

        Once you generate sufficient subscribers, you will find that a lot of
        new subscribers sign up as a result of a word of mouth
        recommendation from one of your existing subscribers. Although
        this kind of traffic will be kind of slow to start with (it's a numbers game,
        after all), beyond a certain point, say 2-3,000 subscribers, you will find
        that this becomes an increasingly frequent way for new subscribers to
        find you. So be sure to remind your existing subscribers to recommend
        you to their friends, family and associates!

        => Pay Per Subscriber Services

        There are several excellent pay-per-subscriber services available
        now.  Expect to pay between 10 and  20 cents per subscriber
        depending on whether it's single or double opt-in.  A good service
        is WorldWideLists
        By implementing these strategies, you will have laid the foundation
        for a constant and steady flow of subscribers to your newsletter.
        Once you get to that point, all you have to do is concentrate on
        keeping them. And that simply means producing a quality
        newsletter, week in and week out.


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