Email Marketing or Social Media? Writers Need Both

Email Marketing or Social Media? Authors Need Both
Social media workshops are all the rage at writers’ conferences but what about sessions on email marketing?

When was the last time you attended a writer’s conference that focused on email marketing: how to set it up, the benefits, what your giveaway should be, and how to use this tool to make the most of your book marketing efforts?

It seems like conference planners are more interesting in workshops on understanding Amazon, Facebook advertising, and social media marketing in general.

Don’t get me wrong. Those are all vital subjects for authors to master.

Yet, email marketing is also an important component of any indie author’s marketing strategy. In some ways, it’s more important than using social media.

Email marketing is a vehicle for book launches and a way to recruit street teams and mail advance review copies.

ARC readers can review your pre-published books to give you insights on editing, inconsistencies in your story, or input into technical aspects of your book.

According to thriller author Mark Dawson, if he’d had ARC readers when he started out he wouldn’t have made a mistake about a gun that a character used in one of his earlier books.

Whenever I do a social media audit I always include a review of an author’s website and one of the items I discuss is email marketing and whether there’s a lead magnet (also known as a giveaway) to entice website visitors to sign up for an author’s email list.

Consider These Email Marketing Statistics

Email MarketingCampaign Monitor offers this support of email marketing:

  • Email marketing generates $44 for every $1 spent. Think of Joel Friedlander. If you are on his email list, you receive his blog updates via email as well as his marketing emails, which pitch the many products he sells as part of his toolkits and templates. He’s an excellent example of what can be achieved with email marketing. Mark Dawson and Joanna Penn are excellent role models for fiction writers.
  • Email ties all of your marketing techniques together. You can use email marketing to send blog updates, encourage people to Like your Facebook page, and let your readers know about new releases. Email marketing is nimble.
  • Email connects with more consumers than social media. More people use email than social media.

OptinMonster also has data on email marketing. If we compare email marketing to social media and for that comparison specifically use Facebook in our examples, you’ll discover some interesting facts.

  • 58% of adults check email first thing in the morning vs. 11% for Facebook
  • 91% of adults use email daily vs. 57% for Facebook
  • 66% of adults make a purchase as a result of email marketing vs. 20% for Facebook

Collect Addresses for Your Email Marketing Program

What does this mean for you? I have a few tips for you.

  1. Sign up for an email marketing application such as MailChimp (that’s what I use), Constant Contact (I don’t like it, but plenty of people do), or AWeber (many people love this application).
  2. Establish a newsletter schedule and stick to it. If you don’t want to send newsletters – and I don’t blame you for deciding this – then collect email addresses through your email subscription application. You can do this with MailChimp, AWeber or a number of other apps. The idea is to collect email addresses. Don’t use an RSS feed subscription program that doesn’t allow you to identify who’s subscribing to your blog because that would be pointless, and a huge waste of an opportunity.
  3. Use your email list to send quality content to your readers on a regular basis, as well as calls to action for books and contests. The content you select will depend on your genre and niche.
  4. Offer the best giveaway you can create. You’ll notice that on this website, anyone who signs up for my email-based social media course receives a 65-page ebook on Twitter.
  5. Don’t ask people for more than their first name and email address. The more information you request, the less likely they will leave an email address for you.
  6. Never use the word subscribe. You’ll notice that for my free email course my opt-in language is I Want In!!

Are you wondering now whether you should even bother to use social media?

Yes, use both.

email marketing or social mediaEmail marketing is great for selling but guess what’s better at nurturing relationships with your readers and expanding your reach of readers? Yep, good “old-fashioned” social media.

With email, you can speak directly to your readers.

With social media, you can answer questions, share content daily, connect with colleagues and industry leaders, and find new readers.

Remember, email is for your current subscribers.

Social media is for taking relationships a few steps further and for finding new readers.

Number of People Using Social Media Keeps Growing

email marketing

The above graph is from Statista and demonstrates how social media is expected to grow. The numbers are in the billions.

The company states:

“Social network penetration worldwide is ever-increasing. In 2017, 71 percent of internet users were social network users and these figures are expected to grow. Social networking is one of the most popular online activities with high user engagement rates and expanding mobile possibilities. North America ranks first among regions where social media is highly popular, with a social media penetration rate of 66 percent. In 2016, more than 81 percent of the United States population had a social media profile. As of the second quarter of 2016, U.S. users spend more than 215 weekly minutes on social media via smartphone, 61 weekly minutes via PC, and 47 minutes per week on social networks via tablet devices.”

Back in 2014, Pew Research Center noted that Facebook was somewhat of a “home base” for online adults using social media. At the time, it was the most popular site and often overlapped with the use of other social media platforms.

That hasn’t changed. Today, Facebook has 2.2 billion monthly active users, more than any other social media network.

Email marketing continues in importance while social media use is relentless in gaining ground and expanding its influence.

When developing your book marketing strategy, make sure you incorporate both email and social media marketing into your plan.

Email Marketing or Social Media? Writers Need Both

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Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

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