Patsi Krakoff, Denise Wakeman

For more leading edge ezine tips go to To learn more about how to create and publish great ezines, go to Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D. is a retired psychologist with over 7 years experience marketing online. Denise Wakeman has been marketing online since 1996. Between them, they write on 10 blogs and publish two newsletters, including

Patsi Krakoff, Denise Wakeman has written 21 articles for SB Informer.
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Recipe for an Ezine: Ingredient #5: The Call to Action Trap

Ezine Marketing and Publishing

Patsi Krakoff, Denise Wakeman

May 10, 2007

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When looking at all the key ingredients of a successful online newsletter, this one often confuses readers. Readers should know what it is you want them to do: click through to another page for more information? Hit the reply key and ask a question? Buy something? Get something for free?

What do you want your reader to do? This is a big challenge for most ezine publishers. Either the ezine is all marketing hype, with a BIG Call to Action splashed throughout the content (BUY NOW! BUY NOW!), or they are all relationship-focused and information without ANY call to action.

The truth is the Call to Action part of an ezine is a big trap for many professionals, especially those not used to selling, or not comfortable with marketing. Why? Because for many people it’s all or nothing. Too much, or completely missing in action!

It doesn’t have to be that way. The more you think of your ezine and your email messages as a conversation with a friend, the more likely you will resonate with readers. Let’s face it, they know you’re in business. They expect you to sell something to them. Just do it nicely. Remember the value you are giving them.

If you read your ezine or email message aloud, it should sound like a conversation – not a commercial!

Most experts advise giving plenty of free information and tips long before you ask readers to buy. Put your information up front, then your call to action last. Try for an 80-20 proportion of information to offers.

Try varying your calls to action, some free, some for a small fee, some larger. Offer them the possibilities to interact with you in more ways than just giving you money. Ask them to submit questions, answer a poll, vote, enter a contest, register for a free teleseminar – all ways to get them more involved.

A key way to boost your list is asking subscribers to forward the email to colleagues and friends. A good example of this is Erik Feder's Parkazine which you can see archived online at

Important to keep in mind is that if you don't ask, nothing will happen: no sales, no registrations, no new subscribers. It's as easy as that.

(NOTE: Be sure to test all your links to your products and services before emailing. People sure can’t respond to your call to action if your links are dead or misdirected.)


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