Want in on a secret? Email marketing rocks!

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Rock your readers' world with email marketingWould you like to know a secret? One that social media managers might not freely reveal?

Here it is: Email marketing is in some ways more effective than social media.

Really? Let me backtrack a bit.

Admittedly, they are two different animals. If you send too many emails to your list or the information isn’t relevant to your audience, you’ll lose your subscribers fast.

But, if you send promos, freebies, and relevant information, they will love every email you send.

Social media can refer traffic – it certainly sends traffic to my website. But what social media is best at is engagement. By its very nature social media is social so if you’re not making time in your day to socialize with your readers, well, you’ll losing out on a huge benefit of the social platforms.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Social media is best at engagement – email marketing at traffic referral” quote=”Social media is best at engagement – email marketing at traffic referral”]

But back to my original assertion: Does email outrank social media?

Let’s look at what a post by MailMunch had to say on this topic:

About 60% of the internet marketers we asked told us that they believe email marketing outperforms social media.

The theory is that if you send an email to 2,000 subscribers, 2,000 people will receive the message. That’s theoretical because as we know not all 2,000 people will open your email. Maybe 51% will or 21%.

But if you write a status update on your Facebook author page and you have 2,000 fans, unless you buy advertising you’ll be lucky if 4% of your fans see the message.

Either way, email marketing outperforms.

But with email marketing, you lose the immediacy of interactions. Someone tweets you a question, and you answer right away, right? Someone responds to a Facebook post and you reply. All of this can happen in a matter of minutes, boosting engagement and increasing the connection between you and those readers.

4 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List

So how do you grow an email list? There are several ways:

Offer a freebie on your website, enticing visitors to reveal their email addresses in return for a PDF or cheat sheet. I offer two different freebies on my website.

You’ll find the first in the right-hand column. The call to action for a PDF on the four keys to successful social media marketing for authors will add you to my blogging email list. Here’s the call to action:

You’ll encounter the second call to action as you leave my website. The trajectory of your mouse to close a window will trigger my popup, which will ask you to enroll in my free email course. As a surprise, enrollees receive an ebook for free, too.

Insert a call to action at the front of your books. Before the table of contents in several of my ebooks, I add a call to action. In my Goodreads ebook, the call to action says, “Pick up my FREE ebook Twitter Just for Writers and get monthly updates on what’s new in social media and book marketing strategies.” (At the end of the book I have a second call to action asking readers to leave a review.)

Add a Tab to your Facebook page. On my author page, I created an email sign-up tab. I note that when readers sign up for my free email course, they’ll receive a free ebook.

email marketing

Create a Facebook ad. You can also use Facebook advertising to boost subscribers on your blog subscription or another email list. I haven’t done this, but I know that Mark Dawson has done this quite successfully.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Create a simple template for your email marketing via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Create a simple template for your email marketing”]

3 Tips on Email Marketing for Authors

Here are my best tips:

  1. Sign up for an email 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. Offer a premium for signing up for your newsletter or blog. People these days are more willing to turn over an email address if they receive an item – a book, a list of best practices, a template, a free first chapter of your new novel, a free short story, etc. – of value in return.
  3. Use your email list to send quality content to your readers on a regular basis and include one call to action per newsletter. The content you select will depend on your genre and niche. Make sure that your call to action has a focused objective and the link should lead to a landing page where there won’t be any distractions.

3 Email Marketing Best Practices

HubSpot is a top-notch tech company. Check out these three parameters before venturing into email marketing.

  1. Create and use a simple template. You want to focus on your content, not the form.
  2. Keep your template within 600 pixels. This way your recipients, if they use Outlook, can see your content in the vertical preview pane
  3. Don’t neglect to follow CAN-SPAM rules. All of your marketing emails, including your series of gratitude emails, must contain the word “unsubscribe.” In addition to providing an unsubscribe option in every email, you must also include your  name and address.

Have you started building an email list yet?


Frances CaballoThe author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including The Author’s Guide to Goodreads and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Kevin TumlinsonThe next free webinar, Conversations with Frances, featuring Kevin Tumlinson of Draft2Digital, is March 1st. Plan ahead by signing up now.

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