Consumers are now familiar with the fact that if they provide their email, they will begin receiving messages from you and so the power rests in their ability to withhold that vital piece of contact information.
Following are three techniques for collecting emails from prospects:
- Offer something of value in exchange for their email. Some business people, entrepreneurs and self-published authors, like you, are now offering a free download of information in exchange for emails. It could be the first three chapters of your book or a prequel e-book that offer insights into your character’s back stories. It might be an instructional how-to guide for those of you writing non-fiction books. Or it could be clever instructions for throwing a party to introduce children to your latest picture book. Whatever the give-away, it has to have, not only a perceived, but a real value to the reader.
- Collected business cards. There is an implied agreement when two people exchange business cards, that there will be future contact between them. This includes adding them to your email list and periodically contacting them with information. As with all email marketing, as long as you have a clear and easy way for people to unsubscribe, this is not considered spamming. Yet, you would be surprised how many people fail to realize that all of the business cards they have collected and stuffed in their purse, pocket or briefcase are potential buyers of their book. Invest in a business card scanner or a business card scanner app for your handheld devices to quickly capture the information.
- Collect emails and/or business cards when you give a presentation. This is one of my favorites and frequently a missed opportunity. When you give presentations, host a book signing event or conduct a reading, make sure that you collect the emails of the people in attendance. One of the simplest ways to do this is by giving one copy of your book for free. Send around a bowl or basket to collect everyone’s card or have them write their email on a piece of paper to be eligible to win a copy of your book. At the end of the program, draw one name, sign a book and offer it to the winner. Send a follow up email to everyone in the room with a link to directly purchase your book. People love to enter to win something for free and this is a great way to collect more emails.
- Modify your email signature to include a link to your website where you capture emails.
- Have a link on your social media sites to a place where people can share their email.
- Have a newsletter sign up on your website to collect emails.
- If you are a member of an organization or a chamber, ask the administrator if they have a digital listing of all of the member emails. Request a copy.
Bottom line: Emails are a great way to keep your name and your books in front of prospective buyers. Make sure you are mindful of what you send so that it isn’t perceived as spam and be respectful of people and their time by not inundating them with a barrage of emails. Once a week is plenty. I’ll talk more this week about different ways to use these emails, so come back and visit!