Toolbox: Increasing e-zine subscribers, virtual launches and user reviews


How do I increase number of subscribers to my e-zine?

“Publishing an e-zine is a great way to stay in front of your prospects and clients,” answers Meredith Liepelt, president of Rich Life Marketing.

To increase an e-zine subscriber list, she says, “Have a hook — a bonus you offer to subscribers. It can be a free audio course, e-course or whitepaper. It must have a catchy title and be full of valuable information that is relevant to your target market.”

Liepelt also suggests placing a “subscribe” button on each page of your site. “Make it very easy for people to subscribe. Require only their name and e-mail address. You should also include a ‘forward’ button in your e-zine, [or] include in your copy that you appreci­ate readers forwarding the e-zine to colleagues. Your best prospects and clients are referrals.”


Should I add user reviews to my Web site?

Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar, replies, “Our research shows that potential buyers prefer user reviews from a trusted source over any other kind of information. If you’re doing e-mail marketing, it might make sense to summarize and display user-generated reviews or rates in the e-mails you send.”

Good user reviews will help validate a consumer’s positive feelings, McCarthy says. He adds, “Strong re­views have a big impact on giving undecided custom­ers the confidence to go ahead and buy. This is even more true with expensive purchases or purchases with longer-term consequences.”

And, don’t worry too much about negative re­views. “A few not-so-great pieces of feedback mixed in with good ones prove to media-savvy buyers that you’re not candy-coating. Most people can see past a negative review from someone with an unreasonable axe to grind,” he says.


How do I launch a marketing campaign in a virtual world?

Ben Richardson, VP business development, Makena Technologies, says the first step is research. “Start by entering your target worlds on your own, to get a feel for the community, economy and policies,” he says. “You should also check out the current mar­keting campaigns running in the world. This will help you choose which worlds align best with your brand and company mindset.”

He continues, “Virtual worlds hold endless possi­bilities for marketers. It’s not just about buying virtual land and building a storefront, it’s about completely immersing the consumer into your brand or experi­ence. Campaigns that have been successful in virtual worlds attract and keep the attention of members and can range from selling branded virtual merchandise to events that bring a group of virtual consumers together. Banner ad models really don’t work in vir­tual worlds — in fact, many consumers come to virtual worlds in hopes of avoiding blatant ads.”

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