What are the benefits of list-building and email marketing?
By: Linda Fulkerson
Professional bloggers and Internet marketers teach list-building as a first principle of successful marketing. If you ask a professional online marketer what his or her number one priority is, they will say list-building.
An Email List is your BEST sales tool! I’m not talking about branding, marketing or promotion – I’m talking about actual book and product sales. And let’s face it, sales are why we brand, market and promote – right?
Don’t feel guilty about wanting to increase book sales. It doesn’t mean you’re engaging in the sin of greed. Book sales are what spread the ministry of your words. Book sales are what will get you more contracts. Book sales are what allow you to keep writing and using your God-given writing talent. Book sales generate more book sales, because once people realize what a great writer you are and how blessed they are by reading your work, they’ll continue to buy your books.
Here’s how a lot of authors work when it comes to book promotion:
1) They plug the book via social media.
2) They ask all their fellow author friends to write reviews. If they are published traditionally, their publisher may send out advanced copies to friends.
3) They set up a blog tour to launch their book.
4) They schedule book signings.
5) They may or may not have a publicist submit press releases and set up interviews.
6) They post about their book on their blog.
6) And when they write another book – they have to repeat the entire process again.
Here’s how professional Internet marketers promote a new product:
1) They send a message to their email list.
Frank Kern (who sells over $20 million/year via Internet marketing) calls it his “money machine.”
What if I told you that statistics have proven that an active email marketing list outperforms social media marketing 14:1. That’s FOURTEEN times more conversions than social media. (source: Social Triggers)
Why is that? The average person receives about 100 emails per day. Yet the average person gets well over a THOUSAND social media updates each day. Most are ignored. Yes, not all emails are opened, but at the very least you’ve put your name and a subject line in front of the people on your list. And, because they’ve actually requested to be on your list (if you set it up correctly), the odds of them opening your emails are higher than in-box bombers. (That’s kind of like photo-bombing, only with email.)
Plus, it’s easier to build an email list than it is to grow a social media following. And it’s not expensive. In fact, using a service such as MailChimp allows you to start for FREE!
I’m not saying don’t use social media. What I’m saying is that social media is not a good sales tool. It’s good for connecting and networking and, well, being social. And I’m also not saying that you’ll never make any sales via social media. It’s just not the best tool for actual selling.
Sadly, many authors I know work hard to grow their blog readership but they never collect any contact information from their readers, so they can’t contact them personally about new book releases or products/services they offer.
I personally know hundreds of authors through writers’ groups I belong to and conferences I attend. How many of those send me an email when they have a new book out? About four. That leads me to believe that email marketing, which is proven to be the most effective sales tool for Internet marketing, is highly underused by authors.
How to get started with list-building and email marketing.
1) Develop a valuable give-away to trade in exchange for a site visitor’s email address.
2) Create a series of email follow-up messages and load them into an auto-responder. (Note: The auto-responder function of MailChimp is not included in the free package, but it’s only a few dollars per month.)
3) Continue to provide valuable, on-going information to your list.
4) When you have a new book, product or service to promote, let your list know and send them a link to the purchase page.
If you’d like to learn more about how to build an effective email list and what to do with that list, I’ve developed a FREE mini-course that will help you get started. You can learn more about the course by visiting this page – List-Building Basics, or if you want to go ahead and sign up, complete the form below and you’ll be reading your first lesson within a few minutes!