The End of Email, Ezines and Online Marketing?
Ok, it's time to bring out my soapbox.
Something has been bothering me for over a month now, and it just keeps getting worse, so I am afraid it's time to talk about it.
Some of the readers may not appreciate this, but I think it's something that needs to be looked at and I think you will appreciate it, when others may start thinking I have lost my marbles again.
I want to apologize in advance to any of my fellow ezine publishers. If I rub you wrong with my comments and thoughts today, I truly don't mean any one person, nor do I think any less of any of you. I know you are doing what I am going to discuss, so you can bring quality content to your readers that will benefit them and also to grow your own business while helping others.
Have you noticed lately how more and more ezines are full of spelling errors (or so you would think at first)? Seeing articles with 'f.ree' or 'mo.ney' and so forth?
At first I thought I was seeing things, because even some of the most experienced and well-known marketers were spelling all these words wrong, but it's all on purpose, and you know what?
It makes me sick!
Yes, you heard right, it makes me sick. Let me explain.
Over the past couple of years, email has become more and more unfriendly as a tool to bring you valuable information, all because of 'SPAM'.
I remember when these little surfprograms like NetNanny came out and started blocking websites and don't get me wrong, I think control is needed, but I am a firm believer that parents are not doing their job either. When a site such as the Breast Cancer Research group is blocked and students can't even do their research for homework, there's something wrong.
Then came the spam blockers and you as a reader could decide what would be spam and what not. But for many people that was too cumbersome, so many of the ISP's built in their own blocking criteria, like the words 'free' or phrases like 'make money'.
Spam is a major problem, that is true, but I feel it should be up to you, the reader, to decide, as an adult of a free country, what you want and what you don't want to read.
There's something very worrying to me when companies and governments start to take over our decision making. The sad truth is that honestly, they are only doing it to protect everyone from the unsavory practices of Spammers and the likes, however, I am an adult and would like to choose for myself as I am sure you do too.
So, what does that have to do with the spelling errors? Simple.
To be able to get you the latest issue of that ezine you have been looking forward to receiving, you can either 'white list' the sender, the publisher can misspell words on purpose, or change the medium that is being used to bring you the newsletter.
Let's have a look at each of these....
Depending on what ISP you are using, how to 'white list' (meaning to declare a certain email address as not being spam and that you would like it to come through) varies and in some cases is next to impossible for the average person to do, and in other cases, still doesn't mean that you will see that next article you are waiting for.
Misspelling the words, to me personally, looks very unprofessional and even makes me think more of spam, even though it's from publishers I read all the time. Granted, because I know the reason behind it, I don't think any less of the author, it just looks like crap!
Changing the medium used to bring you your latest issue is something that seems to be the way forward, but even there challenges await. Some publishers send just a link with the comment that here's your next issue waiting for you (which really bites if you are reading your email and ezines offline). Others will start an article and when they've gotten your attention and hooked you into it, there's a link waiting that you have to click to read the rest of the story. Some publishers will send you a follow up or two as well, to make sure that you even got their newsletter and if you didn't they tell you nicely that you may have a problem with your mailbox and here's the link to the online version, so you don't miss it. I don't mind the occassional email like that, but when you subscribe to a lot of ezines, like I do, it can get annoying pretty quickly.
Some have moved to sending an email with a link to a pdf file version of their newsletter. Now that's something I feel is a good idea, because if you are offline, or using your PDA, you can still catch up on the latest news and information.
Others have begun to publish their newsletters on their blogs. Like in my case, most of my articles appear on my blog at http://blog.makemoneymarketingonline.com sometimes days before the latest issue of the eBusinessCornerNews is sent out.
The downside to this again is that you have to be online. The good thing about this is that there's a way around that, via services that allow you to bring copies of websites or xml feeds to your computer or PDA. For example, I use Avantgo on my PalmPilot to do this and Mozilla's Thunderbird helps too on the desktop side of things. Some publishers are even moving to 'podcasting', which are audio versions of their newsletters that you can stream on your computer, or download to a portable player for example (I just got my own podcast station set up recently to test this medium).
Some authors have even gone as far as using services like the Private Mail Reader that will push newsletters and ads to your computer, bypassing your email system altogether, and while I don't think this is a bad idea, I don't like the fact that I, as a publisher, have to pay to do this (at least I haven't found a free service yet, so let me know if you know of one please), but I also don't like that many of these authors not only push their newsletter to me this way, but they also send me an email version of it and even follow up in the new service with an email saying they hope that I got the latest copy and if I didn't then here's the link and on and on, you know what I mean.
Another downside with these services is that not everyone is willing to download yet another piece of software to their computer just to read your messages, especially since there are several and each publisher wants their reader to download a different one (it reminds me of having a bunch of different messengers on my computer).
So, the question of the day, and I do want to hear from you, so please see the bottom of the email on how to send me feedback, is...
What would you like to see happen as a reader, what bothers you the most, what are you doing if you are a publisher, considering that you want to read the ezines you subscribe to and if you are writing one, you want to make sure your readers get it?
But wait, there's another problem that has crept in....
Now some ISP's limit the length of an email that can get through to your mailbox, so if you like to rant and rave in your articles (as you well know I love to go off on a wild rave), then you may not see it either, because it's too long.
Now tell me, what does that have to do with combating SPAM????
So, since some of you won't see this article because I used those bad words like 'free' and others won't see this article because it's too long, I am going to close this out for now.
Here's to your success,
Xavier Nelson is the publisher of eBusinessCornerNews, your source for reviews, articles, free resources and more. Get your free subscription at http://blog.makemoneymarketingonline.com right now.
Also, proudly presenting "The Complete eBusinessCollection". Visit http://www.MakeMoneyMarketingOnline.com today for a great collection of tools and resources that will take you to the next level and a very generous and free 2-tier affiliate program you can actually make money with!
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