Hello, indie authors! Today, I’m presenting your with five tips for email marketing campaigns. So many indies cringe at the thought of having to write an email to their growing subscription list, especially when we’re relative unknowns early on. Which is why I’m writing more and more articles regarding email marketing, as to this day it’s STILL king, over texting and social media – and definitely cold calling.
If only the fitness industry recognized this.
I mean, if you receive a random email from a stranger you barely know and may’ve joined an email list solely to get your hands on a free book, what’s happening when they start sending emails to your inbox constantly?
And how will readers respond?
Positively? Negatively? Cold shoulder? Unsubscribe?
This was my motivation for writing this post, the first of many that will be like it, but today, I just want to hand you five ideas intended to put you at ease when you start writing to your audience.
Tip One: Email Often, But Don’t Go Overboard
Especially early on, you want your subscribers, especially new subscribers, to know you’re not just some random person trying to sell them something.
And it’s where so many authors go wrong.
They email only when they have a new book out and they often hear crickets.
Well, why would they respond to a CTA to an author who emails them twice a year and doesn’t even attempt to make a connection with their readers.
Which is what I expect you all to do here.
Frequent, but not too frequent emails are perfect relationship builders.
I like to email my growing list one to two times per month.
Often, it’s because I’m running a cross-promotion or joint promotion with other authors, or I might be emailing them a special offer, such as the chance to join a launch and review team or something similar.
Note that I’m rarely selling my work here, and if I launch two books a year, I want my subscribers to know that with frequent emails in between launches that I’m not here just to sell them something. I’m there to build a relationship and possibly introduce them to other authors in my genre as well.
Each email should have a purpose, and an email 12-24 times a year will build a relationship with readers without ending up in the spam folder. Some authors like to do weekly emails, which might work when your base really gets to know you, but early on too frequent might be negative.
Keep them coming, but again, don’t go overboard.
Tip Two: Be a Pleasant Distraction
As I said, don’t be a sleazy salesperson.
Subscribers probably won’t like this approach, just as I’m sure you aren’t a fan of this approach.
Which is why we need to email in between launches and special deals.
Like I said, value needs to take center stage.
Constant selling isn’t adding value, but offering a giveaway for a Kindle Fire adds value. Or signed copies of your latest works. Incentivizing book reviews through your own site (Amazon prohibits this) is another way of adding value.
Cross promotions and joint promotions are also great ways to add values, such as a joint promo with twelve other authors in your genre consisting of free series starters.
A pleasant distraction is simply an email that offers value, not a sales tactic, though when launch day comes this is a different story but can be done properly.
Tip Three: Be Concise
Don’t send an essay for an email. Instead, be short and to the point. Subscribers probably have lives and I’m sure these lives involve full-time jobs, kids, and other commitments, so to bog them down with a 2,000-word email might lead to a scroll down to ‘Unsubscribe.’
I like keeping my emails short. Just introduce the subject, why you’re writing, and what’s in it for your audience – definitely tell your audience what’s in it for them. It’s a good way to keep them interested in you.
For instance, if I’m cross-promoting, I’m simply going to say this:
I hope you’re having an awesome week. Thank you again for being part of my readers’ group and thank you again for your kind words for my work. Being that I’ve received many positive reviews, I thought you’d enjoy the work by (author), author of the (series). This is their free series starter which you can download here: (Insert Link). Here’s the blurb (Insert Blurb).
Thanks again for being part of my readers’ group and tell me what you think of (insert book title).
Author of the Lord of Columbia and Prodigy Series.
And that’s it.
Readers on my list now have a new work to discover and the first book is on online retailers for free.
I benefit from cross-promoting with the other author and getting in front of their email list, preferably doubling my exposure.
Tip Four: Offer Irresistible Deals
Okay, let’s talk about launch day and getting a little salesy here.
Give your subscribers a reason to buy and the best way to do this is to create a sense of urgency.
But your readers still need to benefit.
For instance, I’m kicking off Trilogy II in Lord of Columbia with a book entitled ‘Raven’s Flock.’
I’d probably write something like on launch day. Launching is the only time you really want to send a few emails, four or five beginning at two weeks out. This would be my penultimate email, as I’ll send one more later in the week, again creating that sense of urgency.
Hi, Happy Monday!
As you know, Raven’s Flock is launching today at the special price of just 99 cents! As mentioned in my last email, when you download Raven’s Flock, you’ll also receive a bonus novel entitled ‘Taking Back Saturday’ for free.
You can download your copies at the link here: (Insert Link).
But, I decided to pile on the bonuses. Not only will you get Taking Back Saturday for free, but as a thank you for joining our email list you’ll also receive my entire First Trilogy, Episodes I-III of Lord of Columbia for just 99 cents as well! So, that’s $1.98 for five novels, or roughly 40 cents per novel, at a retail value of $18.96.
That’s an astounding 89% off.
Note that this offer is only good until March 7th, 2020, so act fast before everything returns to its original price.
(Insert Download Instructions)
Thanks for your continued support,
Okay, so you should notice there’s a little bit of urgency here. My readers can get my entire series for an awesome deal, which is what’s in it for them. What’s in it for me is not necessarily profit – yet.
What’s in it for me is to leverage my email list into getting my new work into the Hot New Releases category.
Better yet, I will have sent Advanced Reader Copies to my review team two weeks prior, so they’ll be putting reviews up the second the book is launched.
Tip Five: ALWAYS Have Something in It for Your Readers
Your readers should always benefit from your campaigns, not just you, and it’s where so many authors make a mistake.
They email only on launch days or only when they have a special deal going on.
If I get emails like this, I’m probably going to say, ‘who the hell’s this person?’ and I’ll either ignore or if being consistently bombarded with valueless sales, I’ll probably throw them into my spam folder.
Give me value, and I won’t be afraid to drop $600 on the spot.
Seriously, I’ve done this several times over the past few months.
I’m still very new to the email game, myself, and it’s something I wish I’d come across last year when I launched Trilogy I between August 2018 and April 2019.
The good news for me is that Lord of Columbia is literally still in its infancy with a planned 13 books plus the Prodigy Series, which is going to be connected with Lord of Columbia, so there’s of redemption to be made here.
So, even if you have a few books out but not much of a list, don’t worry. Use the tips shown in this article to build your list and trust me on this one, if you take action you can build your subscription list very fast, as in 5-10 new subscribers a day. Multiply that by 365 and you’ll gain between 1,800 and 3,600 new subscribers per year, so this builds fast.
Start today, and you’ll be thanking yourself this time next year.