I say “might be” because it depends on a number of things. Marketing is a fluid part of being an author. Sometimes in person speeches and book signings are number one. Other occasions calls for writing a daily or weekly blog.
Bottom line – whatever you are doing TODAY is the number one way to market your book. So let’s examine email marketing a little closer.
3 Things about Email Marketing You Need to Know
- Email marketing actively puts your name, your book, your message directly in the hands of potential readers. Email marketing makes it easy for your reader to buy your book. They don’t have to search for you on Facebook or look through millions of options on Amazon. Email marketing lands your message directly in their in box – right in the hands of their mobile device, right in their lap on their lap top.
- Your message may be in their in box, but if your subject line is boring or sounds like spam – they won’t open the email. So your subject line is almost more important than anything else your email has to say. You need to be compelling, intriguing, funny, quick, and cause the recipient to click “open.”
- You need to provide a call to action. You can email them all you want, but if you don’t provide them a reason and a method for taking the next step, you might as well have sent spam.
So let’s examine each of these “things” about email marketing.
Creating an email campaign. There are a number of different email marketing websites, but I recommend you start with Mail Chimp if you have less than 2,000 emails. Their service is easy to use and free! Can’t beat free with a stick.
Collect your emails from a variety of places:
- Friends and family
- Social Media
- Chamber of commerce data base
- On your website
- At speaking engagements
For more information about the importance and process for gathering emails, check out this article I wrote entitled The Importance of Emails to Your Book Promotion.
You can enter the emails one at a time in Mail Chimp or put them in an excel file and upload a lot of them at once. It important to have permission to send emails. If you are at a networking event, the exchange of business cards is a non-verbal way of saying “yes, you may contact me.” However, just grabbing emails from some random site that promises to deliver thousands of emails for $5 is not recommended. You are trying to build relationships with potential readers. Having a smaller number of emails of people actually interested is far better than thousands of emails from people who may or may not be a robot.
Mail Chimp has a variety of templates and easy to follow instructions for creating your email but make sure you have a few basics:
- Your name and contact information
- Images that depict your book(s) – check out Judi Ann’s image from the beginning of this article.
- Links to where people can purchase your book
Creating a Great Subject Line
Google is famous for recognizing certain words in the email subject line and flagging them as spam so that your readers never even see your message. So make sure you are careful and clever when it comes to creating a great subject line.
Copyblogger – one of the premier resources for all things marketing offers some great information about subject lines in the article Three Key Elements of Irresistible Email Subject Lines.
I also like to use a tool from the American Marketing Institute called the “Headline Analyzer.” Click here to find the tool – Headline Analyzer
This tool will measure your words against three barometers:
|Words which are especially effective when offering products and services that require reasoning or careful evaluation.||Words which resonate in with Empathetic impact often bring out profound and strong positive emotional reactions in people.||Words which have the strongest potential for influence and often appeal to people at a very deep emotional level.|
Experiment with this tool by creating a variety of subject lines – some that start with a verb, others that are questions – see which offers the highest rating.
Include a Call to Action
Once they have received your email and actually opened it – make sure you give them something to do!
Buy Your Book
Back to Copyblogger, because I just love and trust the information they share…in the article 37 tips to a successful email marketing campaign, the author, HENNEKE, provides nine tips for those interested in selling something with their emails. And that is you, right?
- Don’t sell before the prospect is ready. Become a friend and trusted source of information first; and your readers will more readily buy from you.
- Highlight benefits. Don’t sell your product. Instead, sell the benefit it offers your customer.
- Show what readers will miss. Most people are risk averse. They want to avoid inconveniences, glitches, and complications. Consider rephrasing the benefits of your offer as a problem you’ll help to avoid.
- Don’t follow a strict formula. Because formulaic emails sound robotic and are boring as heck.
- Work toward your aim. Tell interesting stories that lead to your sales message.
- Present a clear deadline. It prevents people from procrastinating.
- Insert multiple links (to the same page). Because it increases your chances of people clicking that link.
- Have an impeccably clear call to action. Tell your readers exactly what you expect them to do next, and remind them why it’s in their best interest to buy.
- Use the power of the PS. Remind people of a deadline. Or repeat what they stand to lose if they don’t take up your offer.
Just like with a blog, you want to be engaging, relatable, transparent, and honest so that the reader looks forward to your emails.
An email campaign is NOT a “one and done” tactic. You should send out emails at least once a month, but if you have something to say – send them weekly. You want to keep your name in front of prospects so that when they are looking for a book to read or recommend, they remember you.
Create a campaign with your emails in which you set the stage for your upcoming book. Email readers and share:
- You have just finished the first draft and how you feel about it
- You have an approved cover design – share the picture
- They can now pre order a copy of your book and why they should
- A little insight into your main characters that creates tension and anticipation in the reader so they can’t wait to read your book
- Announcements of your upcoming book launch, signing and/or speech
- Now available at Halo/Amazon/Barnes and Nobel so be the first on your block to have a copy!
Keep the emails short, informative and conversation. One of the tips from Henneke is that you write FAST:
- Write fast. Because that’s how your enthusiasm and personality come through.
- Keep it short. Edit your emails with rigor. Long and unwieldy emails slaughter your readers’ interest. Challenge yourself to cut your text by half next time you edit.
- Ask questions. Imagine having a face-to-face conversation with your reader. You’d ask questions in that situation, wouldn’t you?
Bottom Line: Using an email campaign as a tool for keeping in touch with your readers, building a community and selling your books and is a great way to build your business. Need help? Give us a call.
p.s. Want to copy the best? Check out Hubspot’s article offering 12 of the best email campaigns.