I know I haven’t mentioned newsletters and emails as a book marketing strategy in a while but they remain one of the best tools at our disposal. Sending a regular newsletter is much cheaper than Ads and they let you reach people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
So, I read with particular interest this guest post by Ellie Coverdale and I hope you enjoy it, too. Ellie writes for State of writing and Eliteassignmenthelp on matters of writing and business. She loves sharing her insights on authentic, meaningful business methods and how to approach your personal and professional life. She also writes articles for Australian Reviewer in her capacity as a teacher.
Top 7 Email Marketing Strategies For Self-Published Authors
Selling books as an author is a great challenge. Great as in large but also as in, it offers you an opportunity to be really creative in your approach. You must find excellent ways to capture your audience and find the sales that you want and deserve for your work.
One way that has become increasingly popular in the internet age, is to use email marketing.
Email is such a valuable opportunity for companies and individuals alike. Using it to sell your books is a fantastic idea. Now that you’ve had the idea though, what do you need to do to make it all happen? Let’s look at 7 ways to go about email marketing your book.
1. The List Is Number 1
The first tip may be the most important.
Email marketing is rendered totally impotent if you don’t have a good email list. Getting email addresses should be your absolute top priority.
Once you get yourself a list of emails it’s not like there is a rush to use them before they expire. For the most part, you should allow yourself for a while to focus wholeheartedly on picking up as many email addresses as you possibly can, so that, when you do distribute your marketing material, you’re absolutely as well placed as possible to make sales and connect with customers.
Make this your priority at the beginning.
You can gather email addresses simply by asking people to subscribe to your website and on your social media. This is the simplest way. Then, you can go a step further and offer a lead magnet. This can be anything:
- a few pages from your book
- an ebook specifically created to be a lead magnet
- a short course
- a webinar
- a discount
- anything else you think would attract your specific audience.
People love lead magnets, and not just because they feel like they get something for free. Many are OK with giving away their email address as long as they receive something valuable to them, so make sure that you offer something that suits your audience.
2. Don’t Shoot To Sell Straight Away
The temptation is to get your email list together and to then think, right, sales time. This isn’t the correct attitude and could really turn off your potential customers.
You want to find a way to build up to the sales, to get them interested and then deliver your knockout blow. If you ask too soon, it will seem desperate rather than like you are giving them an opportunity.
This is where content marketing comes in. Send them interesting articles you wrote, interesting articles someone wrote about your work and so on. Helpful tips and instructions are the best things at this stage.
If you manage to help your users in a new and fresh way, they will grow to like you and feel in debt to you. Then you can start sending reviews and testimonials for your book. This will grow their interest and they will be curious to see your book. You can give them different updates about your book – the cover, chapter excerpts that would spark their interest, character illustrations or something similar.
Only when their interest is piqued can you start sending them sales emails.
3. Be Natural
You’re an author, not a multimillion-dollar conglomerate. Don’t come into the emails with too corporate an approach, even though a lot of the email marketing cues you have will come from company approaches. You want to be yourself in the emails, and to speak openly and honestly to your readers. This will be far more effective than trying to make ‘corporate sales.’
When you send your emails, make sure that you are talking to your audience in a friendly tone that will invite them in to learn more about you and your life.
Use simple language and share some of your personal life with them – if you are comfortable with that. You are your own brand so you need to use that. Share some anecdotes about your life, some of the difficulties that you faced as you wrote the book, how you did all of the tasks related to publishing the book, what made you happy, what annoyed you on your journey and so on.
The best way to achieve this is to think of them as your close friend – then speak to them like that.
4. Get A Good Email Service Provider
You may be thinking to yourself that your new Gmail account firstname.lastname@example.org will be the perfect place to start your marketing. However, standard ESP accounts like personal Gmail or Yahoos, won’t cut it for proper email marketing. Check out sites like MailChimp or MailerLite for the real deal.
If you have your own website, install a plugin like MailPoet, which will let you send emails from your own server, at a fraction of what MailChimp costs.
5. Write Accurate Emails
Ok, you’re an author, so, on the one hand, this feels redundant. On the other hand, it’s more important for you than anyone else.
Write well! Don’t be sloppy in your emails in which you are trying to sell your writing, as much as that seems very obvious. If you’ve never acted as your own editor before, here are some sites to help out:
- My Writing Way and Simple grad – Copywriting guides. You may be great at normal writing, but copy is important.
- Ukwritings and Revieweal – A pair of editing tools, for fixing errors before pressing send.
- Viawriting and Writing populist – Grammar checkers, to help clean up this subtle area.
- Oxessays – A proofreading tool, reviewed at Topcanadianwriters.
- Academ Advisor and Australian help – Two formatting tools, perfect for getting your layout right, which can be deceptively tricky over email.
If these aren’t enough, check out these writing tools for bloggers and freelance writers.
Don’t Waste Time, Be Concise
Receiving email marketing can be surprisingly enjoyable or utterly dire. Usually, the default setting for most people on an email list is an assumption of the latter.
In truth, if things are handled well, email marketing can be a genuinely useful and enjoyable experience for the customer, not just the sales team.
The best move is to do everything you can to avoid wasting your readers’ time. They don’t want to be bogged down in swathes of text. Get to the point and deliver everything clearly.
If things have stalled, or never got started in the first place, don’t be afraid to switch things up a bit.
There’s always an opportunity to get more out of your emails by doing things like adding images or video, embedding links or offering sales for email receivers only.
Just don’t let things get stale by using the same formula over and over again.
Overall, there’s a lot you can do to invigorate your email marketing campaign as an author and a lot to be gained by doing so.
Selling books through this method is deeply satisfying and totally doable, provided you put in concerted effort and try your best to observe some of the tips on this list. And if you’re looking for even more inspiration, check out this great post on crafting the perfect email marketing campaign!