With a focus on those publishing multiple ebooks or books, here are my top tips for using email marketing to engage readers.
I’ve heard from several authors that they don’t enjoy receiving emails so don’t send many, only one every few months. But the sending of regular information is critical to building up a happy list of readers, so don’t be shy… just mix it up!
1. Always use an Email Marketing System that’s Easy
Email marketing can easily get out of control with a manual system, like Outlook. To comply with anti-spam laws, unsubscribing must be easy. It is also useful to see open rates, click-through rates, and determine which content is the best performing.
With most businesses choosing Mailchimp, a valid choice, my email marketing system is GetResponse – as it is just the most user-friendly and powerful for my purposes.
The link below is a partnership link to GetResponse, and Jennifer will get a commission if you join up, however this costs you nothing.
2. Automation is ‘the Bomb‘
You could try to send an email with a useful article to a new contact about 5 days after they express interest, but likely you’ll forget. The automation or autoresponder section of your email marketing system is where you schedule these kinds of activities to happen on certain days after ‘sign-up’. This frees up time, our most precious resource.
With Getresponse or similar systems, you can use autoresponders, or if you want to control more aspects, an area called Automation. It is like a workflow, where (for example) when a reader subscribes via any method, they get sent some juicy carrot and then once they read that, 3 days later, they receive some friendly story about you… and how this will relate to their learning journey.
Creating rapport is key, so after 5-7 days, you might send them another insight – perhaps a helpful video so they can see the person and your book, if relevant.
At the bottom of some of these emails, you will have a ‘please reply if you have a question’ or alternatively, a booking form button. Remember, though the reader may like your emails, they are less likely to contact you unless you ask them outright!
Some experts also believe that headers and images get in the way of response, however, I still use my headers for newsletters.
3. Autoresponders can do more than you think
Often a marketer only sets up an autoresponder to send the link to their ‘freebie’ report or guide, then forgets other uses. What about sending a little personal info about the founders/authors, an infographic, or a few emails to make them aware of new vultures circling the arena? What I mean is comparison reviews.
Trust is built over time, so that’s where autoresponder emails (without a lot of promo content) can come into their own.
4. Simply, Give a Book Preview
Another way to interest new subscribers in your book content is to show previews. Most rely on Amazon to do this (Look Inside), but if you already have email addresses, why not send them a three-paragraph preview of your introduction, along with the blurb, and then give the buy link below it. If you worry about all this getting through spam filters, well just host it all on your own website and provided a link to it.
5. Run a Webinar
A while back I ran a free webinar (Masterclass) on Wooing readers to an email list. This was made easier with GetResponse Plus’ feature of ‘webinars’. It includes the ability to add slide deck, share screen, or post live to Facebook or YouTube. You can elect to pay the months you need it, not the whole year.
The registration page is best set up with Landing Pages, another great feature of GetResponse. A further possibility is your own subdomain, but for ease of use you can just select their GR8 address.
People can ask questions on the webinar in a chat, which you may answer by speaking, but you cannot see their faces.
6. Learn More about how to Attract, Interest, create Desire, and propel Action…
With GetResponse, they’re always offering to ‘guide’ or go into their University learning area to find a bevy of video training, helpful ebooks (guides), and even digital marketing certificates! These helped me to learn more about what I can do with the tools, and why some new freebie subscriber items may be needed.
With most of these Email Marketing Systems you can use ‘lists’ to separate one audience from another. Such as… one list signed up at InteriorDesigns and another list of people signed up when they heard you (the author) talk. Keeping these separate will help you form the right email content. You can have a different form for every list. You can also use tags to separate interests.
In summary, when thinking of Using Email Marketing for Publishers, you want to forget about your dislike of emailed promos. It’s not about you. Just remember to create valuable content. Schedule new and varied tidbits to go out through autoresponders, use it for lead magnet freebies, and lie back in your chair while the system goes to work!