I'm a HUGE believer in email marketing - always have been. I don't believe it will EVER be replaced - not by blogs, RSS, social networks or anything else.

Problem is, due to the spam filters, things have changed in the world of email. It appears to be very difficult to get your email delivered. It's why so many folks have given up on sending ezines.

BAD mistake!

I learned a couple of things in just one week of using a blog ONLY. I wanted to be able to stop concerning myself with whether every issue got by the spam filters - especially when I refuse to word-check for the ISPs.

When I gave that further thought, I remembered something I already knew. I use an email service that has a 99% delivery. Mail-List.com has a reputation with the ISPs that relieves me of that worry.

If I need to make adjustments, Mark McCreary, owner of Mail-List.com, lets me know. This man is a pro - not a rinky-dink internet marketer list service. I know it, and the ISPs know it. So, I get delivered.

What Do Subscribers Want?

This is the question that blows me away. I will soon have 11 years of weekly ezine publishing. There isn't much I haven't tried in that period of time, so I feel like an expert on the subject.

I've done multiple surveys on the issue of how subscribers wish to read. When asked, they'll say they prefer to read it online - every time.

However, when given a choice of either reading online, or requesting an autoresponder for the full issue, response level falls off. Usually, only those who want to keep issues ever click for the autoresponder.

But, surprisingly, very few subs go to the website, either. It may be a matter of thinking, “I'll read it when I have a few minutes ...” and we all know how that goes!

Even sending a notice with a Table of Contents - or a “teaser” - via email, with a link to an online version, cuts my response rate.

When given the choice of having the full issue delivered - with a link to an online version - I get the greatest response. Why?

Because, no matter what folks think they want, they are actually most apt to read a full issue once it's put in right in front of them in their email inbox!

I know this for a fact! I can check the site stats and see how few go to the online version, yet my over-all response is greater than any other type of delivery when I just provide a link in a FULL email version of the newsletter.

Of course, I COULD prove that by sending the issue in HTML. Then, I could count how many are “opened.” Even though many companies do this, Mark tells me the ISPs still tell HIM they block HTML at a much greater rate than text messages. So, why lower my delivery rate?

Why did I bother to put up a blog? It seems to have become necessary for article marketing.

When I write the Journal as an email issue, I feel like I'm just writing a letter to friends - because I am. On the blog, I feel I need to write in a more formal manner because of the strangers who will come along and read it.

Four Things to do for Best Response to an Ezine

  • Use an EXCELLENT delivery service with at LEAST a 98% delivery rate
  • Send a full issue via email - in TEXT
  • Add a link at the top to an online version
  • Be personal so your readers will grow to know you
That's it! It IS that simple! You might want to check your text for filter trigger words. But, if you use a reputable enough email service, it isn't really necessary.

Which Brings Us to RSS

I've never had any use for RSS. I've used RSS many times to be notified of someone's blog updates. All that happens is the updates go to my bookmarks.

Weeks or months later, while in the bookmarks, I see the blog has 50 entries I never knew about! They were silently placed in my bookmarks.

Do I read them all to catch up? Absolutely not!

You may have noticed, although everyone seems to have a blog, they nearly ALWAYS send you a direct email when they're selling something. Why do you think that is?

NOTHING beats email for response rate!

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* dr. jl scott is the Founder of Chamber of Commerce - on the Web™ http://www.ChamberofCommerce-ontheWeb.com - and also the publisher of the Online Business Trade Journal™ - the blog that keeps you up to date with online business coming of age. Visit: http://www.OnlineBusinessTradeJournal.com

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