Monday, October 3, 2011

5 Email Marketing Traps Book Authors Should Avoid

I know it's tough to market your book these days. With all the marketing tools out there for authors, it can get overwhelming. 

This morning I received a query through my LinkedIn for an ebook. Since I market authors, I assumed it was an author inquiring about marketing assistance. After I opened the email, I noticed the author had included a "free copy" of his ebook and asked me to read his book and pass along to my friends and colleagues. I did not know this person and I didn't know anything about his work or his book (despite the fact that he has 600 plus connections on LinkedIn, that doesn't mean anything to me).

Spam is a HUGE pet peeve so it's important to understand what NOT do when you use email to market your book. This also applies to any product or service and not just books. 

1. Do NOT solicit or sell your book to someone you don't know or has not subscribed to your email list. That's just common courtesy and you want to grow your email list and not lose subscribers. 

2. Offer your email subscribers valuable content, articles, and free reports/downloads. How can you help people and offer assistance? Email marketing is not about pitching your book 24,7. It's about making real connections with people. Think of your sales funnel. Only about five to ten percent of website visitors will actually buy the first time they visit your website. You need to provide them with valuable information so they'll stay interested in you, as the author, and your book. 

3. Do NOT give away your entire book away via email. Many people think this is an effective sales tactic and will generate more interest and will make the book go viral faster. If your book sales aren't a priority and you want to use the book to market your business (specifically non-fiction authors), then you can go that route but that's an entirely different marketing campaign altogether. However, if you are a fiction writer and book sales are your number one goal, provide only a sample chapter of your book. You want to generate interest with your sample chapter - just enough to entice the reader to want to buy your book. Why would someone want to purchase your book when they just read it for free? 

4. Include videos in your email marketing campaigns. Viral video is hot for book authors. If you want to try a visual marketing tactic, create a book trailer video (stay tuned - I will be posting an interview soon about the importance of book videos). You can also take on the persona of your character in your video and talk about the book through the eyes of your character. You don't need to spend a lot of money either. Use your webcam or digital camera. The video only needs to be a few minutes long, and it also puts your face in front of your audience.

5. Be consistent with your newsletters.  If you start an e-newsletter, make sure you send them out on a regular basis so you stay in touch with your subscribers. If you only send out emails every few months, then people won't take you as seriously and they will probably lose interest in your book. With the hundreds of thousands of book choices people have out there, it's very easy to lose people's attention. Your newsletter doesn't have to be long but be consistent - if you send out emails monthly then keep up with that schedule! Automate your newsletters through your CRM software, and implement an editorial calendar to help you stay on track. 

If you are a newbie book marketer, take these tips into account before you blast out emails to your email subscribers. You don't want to see people opting-out left and right -- not a good sign! 



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Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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