How often are your marketing emails missed or ignored? In a time of digital over saturation, it’s important to take the time to create an effective email marketing campaign.
This is especially true for authors. At Sticky Branding, we have successfully launched two bestselling books: Sticky Branding and Brand New Name. For both book launches, email was essential to our marketing strategy.
You want your emails to be read by both established and potential fans of your writing. That’s why it’s crucial to create a successful email marketing plan that builds and maintains relationships with your readers.
Email Marketing Options to Promote Your Book
There are countless ways you can use email marketing to engage readers and sell your book. Sending out an occasional message is not one of them!
Your email campaigns will be more successful if you plan ahead and strategize your content.
A few examples of how you can use email marketing to launch your book includes:
Emails about pre-orders create buzz about your book. And because pre-orders aren’t counted as sales until the day your book is released, they help boost the chances of having a bestseller on launch week. Use email to build anticipation and market your book before it’s available, and encourage your readers to pre-order your book via handy links.
Monthly or Weekly Newsletters
Regular, well-written email newsletters are a great way to keep your name top of mind. Schedule a frequency that works for you and your readers. Don’t be afraid to get creative and be engaging! There’s already too much crappy email content. How will you deliver exceptional value to your readers that they look forward to week after week?
Talk About You and Your Book
Your emails should feature your book in a variety of ways. For example, use one email to introduce yourself and why you wrote the book, another email to talk about why your readers need the book, and another email to talk about why you value your readers. Rotate your features and explore different ways to group your promotions for future emails.
Personalized Thank You Messages
Readers love hearing directly from their favorite authors. An email with a personalized thank you message makes readers feel appreciated and helps to maintain the author-reader relationship, which can equate to increased book sales.
Contests and Giveaways
Schedule contests that reward winners with your book or author swag. Offer free chapters and giveaways on a regular basis so readers know there’s more ahead.
Use email to keep your new and future releases on the minds of your readers. The more often they hear about your book, the more likely they are to buy it.
How to Create an Email Marketing Plan
Here are my tips for an effective email marketing strategy for authors:
Set realistic goals. Don’t commit to a weekly email if you can’t stick to it. And don’t expect a bestseller due to your email marketing strategy alone. Use feedback and data to set goals.
Be engaging with your subject lines and messages. Use the subject line to ask a question or offer something of value, and use words that create buzz and excitement such as “exclusive,” “special,” and “new.” Your subject line and message should be relevant, personal, and creative — every time.
Segment your email lists. Use targeted email lists to reach various segments of your readership, including loyal fans, potential readers, and those in certain geographical areas.
Select an email marketing platform that fits your needs. Email platforms like ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, and MailChimp help to automate the process and provide valuable analytics that you can’t get from sending emails through Gmail or Outlook.
Be honest and protect your readers’ privacy. Make sure readers know what they’re getting when they sign up for your author email updates, and don’t share information about your readers unless they’ve authorized you to do so.
Monitor Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Track your open rates, click-rates, and unsubscribe rates.
Access and utilize the marketing data analytics to see if your emails are doing the job you expect. If your unsubscribe rate is high, you may want to experiment with rewriting your subject lines or reconsider your audience and, most importantly, the quality of your content.
Email marketing to launch a book can be highly effective when it comes to boosting sales. Readers don’t read every email newsletter they get, but they do read the ones they like.
Take the time to create an email strategy that fits your objectives. In our experience, email marketing is one of the best routes to launching a bestselling book.