Adding targeted e-zine subscribers to your list at no cost to you.
by Troy McDonald

When I first started my e-zine I wanted more subscribers. I didn't want to pay a dime for new e-zine subscribers and I had seen a thing or two about e-zine ad swaps, so I set out to see which e-zine owners would swap ads with me.

I contacted some e-zine owners and while some turned me down, some e-zine owners wanted to swap and so I was off starting with my first ad swaps.

Most of the e-zines I swapped with in the beginning had anywhere from 2-4 times the subscribers I had, so I had to run their ad a total of 2-4 times in my e-zine. (This didn't matter to me, I just wanted more subscribers.)

Well, after about 3 issues of my e-zine, it got a bit tedious for me to remember who I had placed ads for month after month, who I had finished my deal with, what the ad was that I was supposed to run for a particular e-zine, etc. A real pain in the neck!

I needed to automate, so I designed a piece of software (that you too can download and use for free) that allowed me to keep track of the above mentioned problems.

Use tools as much as possible to automate your ad swaps.

  1. Set up an autoresponder to give information on your ad swaps and how to contact you to set up an ad swap deal.

  2. Use the free Ezine Ad Swap Tracker Pro software to manage your swaps.

  3. Use the free Ezine Ad Swap List listserve to find others to swap with.

Is swapping ads the end-all to acquiring new subscribers?

I found that some of the swaps didn't bring me any new subscribers and the other swaps did. (Some of the subscribers I have gained are still subscribers to this day, 2 years later.) But like anything, not all swaps produce. It may have been your ad or it may have been the e-zine you swapped with.

Ad swapping is another tool in your belt, not the end-all answer to subscriber acquisition.

Test ad swap copy to see what pulls the best.

Find an ad that brings in new subscribers and use that ad in future ad swaps. Once you find an ad that works well, use it over and over. I have found that giving something away to new subscribers works best. Giving people a "bonus" for subscribing to your e-zine.

Never leave an ad spot empty, just because you don't have an ad to run.

If you sell ad space in your e-zine and you have a vacant spot in a particular issue, NEVER LEAVE IT BLANK, go for a swap and increase your subscriber base.

Find others that reach your target market and want to swap ads.

In order to find people to swap ads with, I started out by surfing around, but like I said before, I like to automate things as much as possible. I started a listserve of e-zine owners that want to swap ads with other e-zine owners. It has worked well for those who use it. To see how well it works and to join for free, visit here

Treat your new subscribers well or you'll cut your own throat.

Make sure you deliver your "bonus" to your new subscribers (automate it if possible). Some people will join your e-zine just for the bonus. If you don't deliver it, you can bet they won't stay around for long and they will unsubscribe from your e-zine.

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