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Issue: #4

Niched Out!
This Month's Articles

E-news about the Crazy Niche Print and On-Line Magazine World

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Ad Sales Mania
The Love / Hate Relationship with Email

By Carl Landau

We love email because it's a quick and effective form of communication. But there's a huge battle out there for time and attention. The fact is that people are inundated - even overwhelmed - with email. You need to make sure that YOUR message doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

Here's my top 5 list of recommendations for your email sales message...

1. Make it short. Short and to the point is the way to go. People just don't have the time and patience to wade through a lot of words to find the key message. In our world this is the BENEFIT to the advertiser.  This needs to be front and center, so that even a quick scan can’t miss it.

2. This is not about you.  Emphasize the person you are writing to NOT you and your magazine. Typically ad sales people will use their own magazine as the subject line and the whole message is about themselves and their magazine. Turn it around and use the word YOU a lot and the name of the prospect’s company and product. Use their slogan. Use their everything!

3. End the email with an action item. You will send them the research material they requested. Or a send a sample of the latest successful banner ads. Or you will call them on such a such day.  Be active.

4. Send at the right time! Best to send during the business morning when people are actively working. Your message maybe the only one that shows up at 10:15 AM during their automatic checking process. If you send at night or on the weekend your message will be competing with dozen of other emails.

5. Don’t forget the P.S. The most read part of an email is the P.S. I include one in all my sales messages. It's the key action item. (P.S. This P.S. trick really works!)

And my final advice about your sales emails….

Enough with the emails already! You can't rely entirely on email for your communications. It's too easy for a prospect to turn you down via email. It's not interactive enough of a communication to instantly overcome an objective. Pick up the damn phone at the big closing time.

Good luck out there on the big www. Be smart with your communication and mix it all up with a combination of phone calls, face-to-face calls, and email.  (And, remember, an occasional cat in the mail really keeps the prospect off balance.) You never want the media buyer to feel too comfortable.

Carl Landau is the Grand Poobah at Niche Media.
He is famous for sending cats in the mail. 

Sponsor of the month:

The Digital Oz
What's Wrong With Digital Editions?

By Chris Minnick

You've heard the hype: digital is the future. But, what exactly does that mean? Looking at the way most people are producing digital magazines today, the future appears to be one in which you spend weeks carefully laying out a paper magazine and then turn it over to a digital vendor so they can grind it through their automated process to convert it to their proprietary format.

In this vision of the digital future, the simple user interface of a paper magazine is replaced with a confusing passel of buttons and dropdowns and readers have to zoom in and drag each page around on their monitor in order to read your magazine. In short, everything that makes paper magazines so attractive is stuffed into a computer where it turns into something that's difficult to use-unless you print it out.

Here are some of things to consider when putting your content online:

  1. Most computer monitors are wider than they are tall. Most printed material is the opposite.  As a result: print layouts don’t work well on computers.
  2. The size of text that can be comfortably read on a computer monitor is larger than in print. This is due to monitor resolution as well as to how far our eyes are away from monitors.
  3. Making the best possible use of digital publishing requires just as much thought and care as you put into producing a paper magazine.
  4. Avoid thinking of digital as simply an extension of or replacement for paper. It’s completely different and can be much more than cheap distribution.

It’s clear to me that most of the current digital magazine formats are transitional technologies. Simply displaying a print layout on a monitor may be the easiest and cheapest way to distribute your content on the Internet, but it’s not an effective use of digital technologies.

Chris Minnick is an e-publishing consultant and CEO of Minnick Web Services.

Niched Out Magazine
of the Month

The Hotdog Hockey Post!

So, what are you?  A Manitoba Bisons fan?  A Selkirk Steelers diehard?  Or a Winnipeg South Blues nut?

Hockey may not be big where you are but amateur hockey is HUGE news in Manitoba.  And The Hotdog Hockey Post keeps rabid fans in the know about all aspects of the amateur hockey landscape with regular columns by local hockey experts and timely news about the national game. (Plus, Don Cherry gives the magazine a big thumbs up!)

Congrats to our winner at Hotdog Hockey Post, General Manager Steven Ratson!!!

Our Health Magazine Expands Online Revenue with Brain Swell Media

Our Health magazine and niche publisher Steve McClintic needed help, "I needed a Web expert that knew magazines. I needed help fast and I had a tight budget." Ryan Dohrn and the Brain Swell Media team designed a new Web site for OHM driven by a content management system (CMS) and set up a robust ad serving system that allows the Our Health sales team to sell ad space online. McClintic said, "I just signed a major contract that paid for the site build three times over. Plus, Ryan is there each month with his Publishers Club teaching me and my sales team how to make money using the Internet."

Brain Swell Media LLC is an interactive media consulting firm providing magazine publishers with the tools and resources they need to optimize their presence on the Web and boost revenue.  803-634-3886 or

Emarketing tip of the month:
Capitalizing on a Hurricane:
Personalized, Text Only Emails Work

"More than 1 million households and businesses in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio are without power because of strong winds associated with the storm formerly known as Ike, according to local power companies."

In September, powerful hurricane Ike caused severe damage throughout the US. Lives and businesses were interrupted for weeks. Ad sales might seem trivial when destruction like this occurs, but nonetheless, business still needed to go on. With the help of Proximity Marketing, Mark Branham, sales associate for Over the Back Fence Magazine, reached out to his client base to not only sell them an ad, but also just to reach out to them.

The result: an 8% response rate from a simple, text email campaign.

Click here to see his email.

Why did it work so well?

1. The text only email message was current.
2. The email was perceived more personal than an HTML message.
3. The end recipient had no idea they were a part of a mass mailing.
4. Delivery wasn't an obstacle.
5. Tools like link tracking and reply captures can still be used.
6. The email provided a two way communication tool that was easy
and became an outlet for recipients to tell their story.

Wish you had thought of this? Call Annie Baraona at 800-779-2445 / 232 to learn more.

Proximity Marketing

Want some free advice?
As Carl's friends, you can ask the
Design Squad to evaluate your email and
fax designs for free.
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feedback on your designs.

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Are you tired yet of all those business reports that the sky is falling? I know that it's tougher out there for everyone, but I just don't see that it helps to constantly worry and concentrate your brain power on all the doom and gloom news.

Here’s a newsflash for you… Niche publishers are still in a great position. You just need to focus your efforts on taking full advantage of all the additional revenue opportunities available to you right underneath your nose with your core readership and advertising base.

Great news for niche magazine publishers looking to develop a successful online program!  Ryan Dohrn, our internet guru at Camp Niche, has started his own consulting business specifically for niche publishers. Ryan is the brain behind Brain Swell Media our sponsor of the month. I've known Ryan for 5 years and he’s the best I've met in the publishing internet business. And he is totally DYNAMITE to work with.

Enjoy the Grand Poobah's very favorite holiday of the year. Thanksgiving! Give a little thanks for everything you've got. I just won't buy into the mass media's the world is going to hell in a handbasket. And don't you either.


Carl Landau
Grand Poobah

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