Hook More Readers with an Effective Email Campaign

Thanks to the Internet, times are always changing on the marketing front.

Thebestwaytosellbooksbuildyouremaillist

Facebook ad algorithms are making it harder to advertise, platforms like Myspace have rapidly become obsolete while others like Snapchat and Instagram have risen to popularity.

But thanks to its powerful return, it seems email marketing is here to stay. 

Email marketing is the number one form of online marketing, boasting a 73% return on investment. 

So what is it about email marketing that makes it so useful for self-published authors trying to get their book out into the world? 

  • Quality over quantity: When someone gives you an email address, it means they want to stay connected. Emails allow you to perfectly target the people who are interested in your projects. 
  • It puts you in the forefront of your audience’s mind: Your audience will begin to trust you after receiving consistent emails that have quality content. With this trust comes brand loyalty. You’ll be the first author your audience thinks of when they’re looking for someone knowledgeable in your field.
  • Emails are easy to share: When you send an email that excites one of your contacts, their first instinct will be to spread the word. And they can do it with just the click of the forward button. 
  • It’s cost effective: With no printing, postage or advertising rates, the cost of email marketing is minimal.

If your email marketing strategy leaves much to be desired, it’s time ramp up your efforts and start wowing your audience.

Read on for your guide to creating the perfect email campaign that will turn interested readers into dedicated fans who are happy to spread the word about your work. 

Determine Your Goals

The first step in determining your email marketing campaign starts with reflecting on your goals as an author

Close your eyes and imagine yourself 10 years from now. Do you have a bestselling book? Are you planning a book tour? Don’t be afraid to dream big. 

After you’ve envisioned 10 years from now, write down what you envisioned in detail, and remind yourself why these goals are important to you. If money is part of your goal, why is it important to you to earn it? What’s important to you that money will give you access to?

Once your goals are laid out, work your way backwards by listing the action steps you’ll need to take. Evaluate how sharing your work with the public will get you to this place, and how email marketing can help. 

Then, set some easier goals for your email campaign. Some handy go-to’s are:

  • Increase your subscribers: A subscriber is anyone who signs up to receive your emails. These people are your most loyal following in the email world!
  • Increase open rate: The open rate is how often people open your email and spend time reading your content.
  • Increase click-through: Click-throughs are the amount of times email recipients click any links in your email. Be sure to include links to plenty of your content, like your website, blogs, and social platforms in your email copy.
  • Conversions: Conversions happen when a reader decides to buy your book or make another purchase on your site thanks to your effective email strategy! 

Determine Your Audience

You know your audience best, which is important for determining who to speak to (and how) when developing your email strategy. 

Avoid shouting into the void that is 3.7 billion email users and narrow down your audience to the exact people who will care. Take the time to combine the qualities of your ideal reader (or publisher) and turn them into a character.

Begin by developing a buyer persona. Start by looking through customers or followers you already have, even if it’s the neighbors.

Take the qualities you’ve gathered and boil it down into the nitty gritty details. What’s your avatar’s name? Where do they like to shop? What challenges do they face when buying a book? What do they do to relax?

Once you have your avatar, any content you write will come to you as easily as writing a letter to an old friend. 

Having this mentality and audience definition creates a filter for you to process all your marketing materials through and deliver more relevant content. IF you’re debating whether the latest news story is relevant, just ask your avatar. 

Plan your content

Plan your email content now, and your future self will thank you. A comprehensive way to go about this is to create or download an editorial calendar

An editorial calendar acts as a content calendar for your email updates and newsletters. It helps you plat your content from your goals down to the exact links and 

Be sure your editorial calendar includes:

  • How often you’ll be sending emails: This will take a little experimenting. Some companies have found a sweet spot doing bi-weekly emails, while other companies find once a month is just right for their audience. 
  • Deliverables: People will only open emails if they find them valuable, so build value through free downloads, videos, and other educational and entertaining material they can use. 
  • Themes: Content themes not only make it easier for you to organize your thoughts, but it makes the purpose of your emails more clear to your audience. 

Pick a Platform

When it comes to effective email marketing, simply sending one email at a time to your audience from isn’t going to cut it. 

An email marketing platform allows you to plan relevant, strategic content at an affective cadence. You can also segment your email list so that you can speak more effectively to your different types of readers.

Make sure the email marketing platform you choose has a send limit high enough to support your goals, and an analytics option to track your progress. 

Also be sure the platform is inbox compatible, meaning you won’t be sent straight to the spam folder after all your hard work. 

Many platforms allow you to design an attractive layout for your emails, too. Oftentimes, they have some designed for you. 

Build a List

Now it’s time to create your following! 

Start by digging through your personal contacts. Save the emails of the friends, family, and acquaintances that fit under your buyer persona. 

To get more public viewership, create compelling blogs that end with a call to action button. A call to action button is a button that directs interested audience members to an email sign up list. This is a great opportunity to utilize the deliverables you planned in your editorial calendar. 

Try to balance your digital efforts to grow your email list with face-to-face networking at book signings, conferences, and expos.

Meeting people in person gives you an opportunity to get honest feedback, relate to your fans on a personal basis, and makes you much less likely to be filtered into the “spam” folder when sending an email. Stay ahead of the digital marketing game by improving your social media strategy>

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.

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