Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Writing 101: Email Marketing

Indie authors have to promote as much as they write (maybe even more) in order to sell books. But if you restrict all your marketing to Twitter, you could drive yourself insane. Don't miss out on email marketing. For indies, it's an invaluable promotional tool. If you do it the right way, it's also a fun way to stay in touch with readers and other writers. 


Pen Pals

Everybody checks their email. I've actually had trouble managing my own email time in the past, because I can just get lost in my own inbox. So I happen to know that email promotions work -- I'm one of the people who clicks the links you send me. 

And good news for you indie authors, I read books. So you'd better start using email marketing, and get more purchases from people like me. There's a simple way to do it: add a widget to your blog. Sites like this one (Blogger) and WordPress allow you to create a mailing list of your readers. Put all these people into a contact list in your email program, and send mail to them when you have a new book or a new promotion that you want to market. 

If you're going to send out emails, make them worth reading. Check your mails for key components to make sure your message is being sent out successfully.

  • Short and sweet. Brevity is incredibly important when you're marketing through email. If I've got 50 emails to look at, what are the chances I'm going to read every word of your crazy 3-page epic letter? Keep it short, and that will be really sweet. 
  • Funny. Make your email interesting by making it humorous. I'm much more likely to read a funny email than one written with plain, straightforward language. Be irreverent, be weird, make jokes, write puns. Be funny, and you'll get more clicks.
  • Appeal. The world of the Internet is not black and white, so don't make your emails that way. Change the fonts, add colors, include images. Don't forget the links!

Keeping track of an email mailing list isn't so difficult, but it is one more thing to do. If you like, there is an easy way out. Amazon automatically generates emails for your books. If you want to keep your readers up-to-date with very little effort, just point them toward your Amazon page and tell them to sign up. This way, you don't have to write the emails. But use email marketing in some way, and sell more books any way you can.

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