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Free Publicity: E-Mail Promotion Via the Internet

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If you’re in a business that requires that you contact
potential customers or announce a new product or service, you might
want to step up the process using the Internet. There are tens of
millions of people out there searching for information and thousands
of publications looking for information they can publish. That
information could be a news release, product information, or an
article on you or your company. If you get the right information to
the right person—a client or an editor—you just might
get some free publicity or a sale. Promotion like this basically
works with the numbers: the more people you contact, the more likely
you are to get noticed. If you’re operating on a local level
only, there are local newspapers and magazines and even national
magazines being read by people in your area, so every publication is
a possible market for your announcements.

As a writer, I market my material (articles and books) much like
you market your product or services. I reach out to people (editors
in this case), send them information, and hope they’ll find it
interesting enough to respond. Up until recently, I ran my business
the old way. I’d print out hard copies of my articles or book
proposals, fold them, stuff them in envelopes, lick stamps, and drop
them in the mailbox down the street. The progress gears immediately
bogged down under the Postal Service, and a week or a month or more
later, someone would reply saying they were interested or not. With
less than a 5% acceptance rate, all of this was not only slow and
time-consuming but also expensive.

Now I run my business on the Internet. I have a Web page (you can
set up one free at homestead.com) and contact possible buyers by
e-mail. A few months ago, I found a disk that listed editors and
publishers of magazines, newspapers, and books—over 10,000 in
all, each with their e-mail or Web site address. This included
magazines in the US and overseas countries and daily and weekly
newspapers in the US, Canada, and 60 foreign countries. As a writer
selling words, I figured if I could send an article via e-mail to
editors of non-competing magazines and weekly and daily newspapers
with no overlap in readership, I might be able to sell the same
article over and over again. Example: I wrote a 1200-word article on
why you should investigate potential employees before you hire them.
An article like that should appeal to a variety of magazines
reaching readers like parents who hire household help and nannies as
well as employers in various trades. Since readers of magazines
written for pizza shop owners are never read by owners of auto
supply shops, I could sell the article over and over again by just
e-mailing it to the editors. If they didn’t like it, I told
them, just delete it. To make a long multiple-sale story short, on
my first mailing of 144 magazines, I sold it 16 times for a total of
$1,845. Not bad for one click of a mouse.

In addition to the E-Mail Publisher 2000 disk mentioned,
there are some interesting e-mail programs on the market, including Atomic Harvester, Desktop Server, and List Manager that will take 10, 100, 1,000, or more e-mail addresses and send
them all the same message (an article, a query, a news release,
etc.) in one, giant shot. You can get the addresses of individuals,
companies, online services, or anything on the Internet by entering
key search words. The program called Atomic Harvester has you
enter a keyword(s) and searches the entire Internet for Web sites
with that word. It then extracts only the e-mail addresses and puts
them in an address file. The sister program called Desktop
Server
puts the addresses in one column and a message in the
other and bulk mails them with the click of a mouse. When the
recipient receives the e-mail, they are the only address listed
under “To:”, so there’s no indication of bulk
mail.

Regardless of what you have to offer, the key to getting the word
out is, well, really getting the word out. You can do it the
old way (envelopes, stamps, faxes, etc.) or the new way. This is the
21st century, and the way we did business in the past is obsolete.
Whether you’re selling yourself, a book, a new gadget, or a
service, and whether you’re trying to reach consumers or the
trades, you can reach them through publications who might be eager
to pass on your message. Heck, considering the amount of work
involved, it’s worth a try.

For information on E-Mail Publisher, check http://emailpublishing.homestead.com/email.html or contact writer@white-star.com.

For information on World Newspapers 2000, write to thepress@aol.com.

For information on bulk mailing programs, log on to http://www.godspeed.tech.com and download some demo programs.

Phil Falces can be reached at writer@white-star.com.

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