Email marketing is an important form of promotion in the world of publishing. Email scales very well and allows you to resonate with one person at a time. One of the most powerful aspects of email marketing is that there’s a very direct connection between you and someone who wants to hear from you. It’s never too late to build your list, and I’m going to give you seven reasons why you want to get started today.
Get Your Email List Started Today
1. Your Email Subscription List Will Form The Backdrop For Your Future Author Outreach Campaigns.
A list forms a core asset of my author marketing plan. The greatest thing about email marketing is that pretty much everyone checks their email. It’s sort of like how a telephone was for the previous generation. We give them our email address, and even that act of doing it is a very trusting thing.
We don’t give out our email to just anyone. So if they want to hear from me specifically, that email is part of a trusting relationship that implies that I will deliver whatever they’re expecting from me. When I find a person who wants to hear from me, then email is my primary way to do that.
You don’t want to be everywhere, but you need to pick a primary channel that you work through. While I’m building a relationship, I also have their email so I can let them know about my new book coming out or what I am currently writing about. So when social networks change their algorithms to make it harder for my message to be seen, it’s nice to know that I’ve still got someone’s email address.
2. You’re Able To Reach Readers With Email Marketing Who Aren’t Actively On Social Networks.
I know some of my readers don’t like to be on social networks. Writers often choose to work with social media first because most people already use Facebook or a similar social network.
The issue with a lot of social media channels is that you don’t own them. Facebook is impressive in its size, but the problem with Facebook is that you don’t control the message. Facebook controls what they allow you to do. I just posted an update on Facebook, and it’s maddening that all my followers can’t see it. Only a percentage of my posts will be seen by any one follower, all according to Facebook’s proprietary algorithms. That’s not going to cut it. And for certain aspects of Facebook, they change the rules too often. That is why sometimes I will post the same thing two or three times during a 48 hour period.
Knowing that not everyone’s there on Facebook, email gives me a shot of reaching them where they live. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook are great and should be explored by authors, but an email subscriber is always more valuable than a follower.
3. You Can Reach Out To People Who Can Give You Valuable Feedback.
There’s an illusion that writers are writing for perfect strangers. But that’s not how it really works. You have to build something by focusing first on the people you already know. Do they even want to hear what you’re writing about? I would, even before building a list, start emailing the people who I already know. I’d go straight down my contacts list and begin the dialogue.
It’s a great way to steer your adult relationships in a new direction. Soliciting what people like about your writing is how you discover who your true audience is. If you already have an email sign up form on your website direct your contacts to that page and ask them to sign up. Some will and some won’t but the people that are interested in your writing will and that is who you want on your list anyway.
4. Email Is Direct.
I can get my message to go directly to its intended audience with no middle man or gatekeeper between me and the person I’m talking to. A list of email subscribers is still the most responsive way to interact with potential clients. Email is personal. It’s a one-to-one interaction, and, done right, it can build relationships that help build devoted readers.
These people who end up on your email contacts list end up being your fans. They see you start giving value to them in the form of email blasts and newsletters. Whatever it is that you’re giving away for free (it could be a free PDF or a free newsletter), you make their life better by giving value up front. That’s when you start to build a relationship with them. You always want to give them free stuff first, so don’t try to sell them something even before any relationship has started.
Email is also private. You can interact with others in private, sharing advice, knowledge, and ideas that turn list members into devoted fans of your writing. You can then ask the devoted fans to share your email with others they think might be interested.
5. An Email List Gives You A Purpose For Your Website.
I’m proud to have an author’s website that functions like a business, which means I’m getting traffic and making some book sales. Now many authors like to blog, but what is the purpose of putting all your content on your website? Someone probably isn’t going to buy one of my books just because they found an article of mine through the search engines.
But if my post captures their interest, they’re more likely to give me their email address. That gives me an opportunity to develop a relationship and maybe win a new reader. Having an email newsletter turns any occasional visitor of my website into a returning reader.
6. An Email Newsletter Is Great For Reader Retention.
I want to continue the dialogue with my readers in a more informal venue. By allowing my readers to opt into my email broadcasts, I can continue having a conversation with them in a setting that is more casual than a book. Charles Dickens used to release his books in serial format, and a newsletter broadcast for an author’s email list functions in much the same manner to attract returning readers.
7. Focusing On Building An Email List Helps You Learn How To Do Email Marketing Correctly.
Consciously focusing on email marketing means you start learning to do it properly. You should start email marketing by getting a good email service like MailChimp or AWeber. These dedicated email newsletter subscription services are better able to ensure email deliverability across a variety of email providers (using their contractual agreements with Internet service providers). These services also make it easy for your subscribers to “unsubscribe” so that you stay CAN-SPAM compliant.
I personally use and recommend AWeber, but there are many other email companies out there. You can start by adding a hard to miss sign-up form to your website. It needs to stand out prominently, as the main goal of your website is to get potential readers to sign up to your list. You’ll also want to offer an incentive for signing up. This could be an ebook, a video, a preview of your future work or whatever your ideal readers would find valuable.
We’re all trying to get a bunch of new customers, but you have to get them interested in whatever you have to offer first. While you’re building your subscriber list, you need to give value and care about what you’re doing.
The most important thing I tell any author on the web is that the key focus of all of their marketing must be on building their list. Once you got their email, that’s the best way to continue the conversation with them.
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