It’s all about numbers – or so some ezine publishers would have you believe. 10,000 subscribers and counting! 20,000 subscribers and counting! 30,000 subscribers and counting! You get the picture…or do you? Now let me ask you – how many of those are actually READING your newsletter? Do you even know? Have you checked? You might really be surprised! I’ve got bad news – especially for those publishers who use free ads to entice their readers to subscribe. If your publication is business-oriented, you’re lucky if 10% ever lay eyes on that wonderful work you labored so long over. And if it’s filled with dozens and dozens of ads from all the free and low-cost ad placement programs now available, I have three words for you – – can you say, “scan and delete?” Because that’s exactly what the majority of your subscribers are doing. I promise. That is, those who are even GETTING your newsletter. Now I know that most of you, especially the ones who are currently still running those free ads, know that what I am saying is true. Yet there are those among you that insist on hanging on to all those precious subscriber email addresses for dear life (even the ones that have bounced five times) on the outside chance that one day that email will gloriously begin to start accepting mail again and your count will be a true one. Fat chance. I’m not saying that all publishers do this; I know many that clean their lists on a regular basis. The long-time publishers who have grown their lists by traditional means certainly do. That’s why they can command good prices for advertising – and get it. But how many of you have the guts to do what I did? MAKE THEM RE-CONFIRM EACH YEAR. Go ahead – I challenge you. Make them take some sort of action that REQUIRES them to say “Yes, keep me on your list.” Or else they don’t get the newsletter. Period. No exceptions. Watch those subscriber numbers drop like a rock – and watch your “open rate” climb. Because what you’re really after is sustained, loyal readership. Trusting subscribers who know that you are going to provide them with good, solid information. And you’re going to have to give it to them – otherwise, you’ll never accomplish what it is you intended to do when you started publishing your newsletter. Like making money.