Article: Kim Skinner

The Small Business Library

September 21, 2000

The Latest Online Marketing "Fad"

Every few months or so, a new online marketing fad emerges. While some are effective and stick around, others fade away almost as fast as they appear.

A few examples

  • Free for all link pages
  • Free classifieds
  • Automated search engine submission
  • Opt-In discussion lists created solely for ads

The newest fad is free e-zine ads. You've probably seen the offers. "All new subscribers receive a free ad." And now some sites are even offering huge lists of e-zines that offer free ads.

Since it's just about impossible to read any educational marketing material that doesn't praise the e-zine ad, to the untrained eye these offers are simply incredible.

And why not?  E-zine ads ARE a cheap, effective way to get your message out to thousands of targeted prospects. To get them for FREE, well, how can you go wrong?

All you need to do is get yourself a free e-mail address, subscribe to all of these e-zines and submit your ads. It's not like you have to actually read any of them, right? What a smart cookie YOU are....

But wait. Do you see a pattern forming here?

What if EVERYONE is doing the same thing? What if 90% of the new subscribers are only subscribing to receive their free ad? Who is going to read your ad and respond to it?

This isn't the only problem with free e-zine ads. Oh no, it gets worse.

To use my own daily e-zine as an example, I average 10 - 15 new subscribers a day. That's with very little active promotion... and I'm not even offering free ads!

I would have to place 10 - 15 "new subscriber" ads in my e-zine, every single day. This doesn't even include the paid ads I have to place.

Now, remember, MY e-zine is daily. If I published it weekly, I'd receive around 90 new ads to publish each week. Of course, I couldn't place that many in one issue, but I don't want to get too far behind, so I've got to place at least 40 ads in every issue.

Now I ask you, if you received an e-zine that published 40 or more ads, in every issue, would you wade through them all? For that matter, would you even stay subscribed?

My point is this; if you want to utilize e-zine advertising, and you should, don't count on these free e-zine ads to bring you oodles of site traffic. It just won't happen.

First of all, your ad simply won't be seen by enough targeted prospects to do you any good. And the few that may see it won't see it for quite some time. Remember, EVERY new subscriber is placing an ad. When you submit your ad, it's placed at the end of a very long line.

The best way to get a free e-zine ad is to publish your own e-zine... but THAT'S another article.

The Author Kim Skinner has been helping others set up and promote their Internet businesses for almost 4 years. Subscribe to her award winning e-zine "Answers" and get a copy of her free e-mail marketing course here: