Email marketing is a strategy where a company or individual sends information or promotions through email with the hope of developing a relationship with potential customers. It’s the first step in building trust with an individual and converting them into a customer.
Some businesses are very successful with email marketing campaigns, and I have witnessed product-based companies build a loyal following and have participated in some of their growth myself. When I look back to what attracted me to these companies in the first place, it was a combination of a necessary product and a free offering to try it. Although I cover this topic with all of the authors I work with, only a few have experienced success. One of these companies is Yoast which develops and creates SEO based products for WordPress websites.
When Authors can expand their readership, they not only increase sales, but they also increase the chance for reviews, word of mouth selling, and building a loyal following of supporters that will be interested in future releases of books. It also gives authors a way to keep these followers engaged in their work.
One strategy that works well in collecting email addresses is to offer something valuable in exchange. Creating a ‘Lead Magnet’ is the strategy of providing and promoting ‘something of value’ in exchange for an email address. Authors can offer a free eBook or valuable writing tips right from the home page of their website. Authors who have a series or several books have an advantage over the first-time author who might not have something of value to offer. More information can be found in the article we wrote several years ago so if you are set on moving forward with this strategy it’s a great read. How to Start and Email List.
Note: Use an email platform like MailChimp to handle all of your email marketing needs.
Keeping in touch with your audience and creating a platform to engage them can benefit any author. You can keep your followers involved in future projects, fun promotions, or educate them somehow. The best way to achieve this is to develop a strategy that consistently puts you in front of your followers and offers them information that is of value. This information can be delivered to your followers on a branded template through a monthly or quarterly newsletter.
Note: Don’t be discouraged if your engagement rates are low. Not every one of your followers will be active participants each time you send out a communication. Open rates average between 10-15% but depend highly on the industry. A lot will depend on how consistent and creative you are with this communication.
The quick answer is yes for some and no for others. There are many factors in having a successful email marketing program, some of which might be out of your control. So, like all strategies, you should research the pros and cons for yourself. Some factors that might play into your decision are 1) Are you a first-time author? 2) Do you already have a following from this or a previous business? 3) Do you have other strategies that are yielding results but take up a lot of time? 4) Are you overwhelmed with your current marketing efforts? 5) Do you have an expert in email marketing you can hire to run the program for you?
Just because a strategy works for some does not mean it is right for everyone. There is no such thing as one size fits all. Be careful not to blindly listen to advice that suggests email marketing is a must to be a successful author. It’s just not the case.
Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.