Book Marketing: How To Use Email Lists To Sell More Books
Despite what you may think, book marketing can still be effectively implemented through email lists.
An email is 40x more likely to acquire new customers than social media, which can relate to book sales as well. An email is also 6x more likely to get a higher click-through rate than a Tweet.
Because a user on a mailing list has given permission, shown interest in you and your writing.
Use your social media to create a community, a following. From here you can direct potential readers onto your website and eventually mailing list.
Try to do most, if not all of your selling to your mailing list. An exchange of an email is a show of intent from a potential reader. Much more than a simple follow on social media.
Too much book promotion can tarnish your image and make you seem unprofessional. Promoting your book through a newsletter which also contains quality, exclusive information is a much better and efficient way to increase book sales as well as build a dedicated, long-term readership.
Create a clean, simple website with email list sign up
The first step to book marketing with email lists is creating a professional author website which is easily navigated and clearly directs people to your mailing list. Less is more when it comes to your website, especially when starting off.
WordPress websites are commonly used by authors. The free service comes with themes and step-by-step guides and statistics, offering an amazing starting point for writers when it comes to online author platforms.
Despite the many pros to Wordpress its flexibility and adaptability if often limited and it can be hard to maximise website optimisation such as SEO and mailing list conversions. Authors usually turn to freelance website builders obtain a more personalised website.
What pages and features should you include on your website?
Every author website should include these five fundamental pages:
Home Page: This page of your website should include large photographs of your book covers along with clear call to action buttons directing potential readers to your amazon page. A brief description explaining to readers what they will find on your website as well as any video interviews, book trailers or even audio clips can also be included here. Also consider including snippets from popular blog posts or even social media widgets showing recent posts.
About Page: The modern-day reader wants to feel a genuine connection with their authors. About pages are vital to creating this and generating a personal feel to your website. Include a picture of yourself on this page as well as a fitting description of your career, let your personality shine through to your readers in this section. Any links to useful information or even other articles should be added to this page.
Books Page: This is the section where you show off your books and entice readers into buying your book. Include a picture of your cover(s) with a brief description explaining the genre, plot and inspiration behind your novels. Include a call-to-action button linking to just one platform, usually Amazon. Keep the path to book sale simple and minimal, don’t confuse your readers. Try to direct them to just one platform.
Blog Page: Your blog is the main tool when book marketing to grow mailing lists. Consistent, quality content will grow an email list quickly.
Think to yourself…
- Why would someone read this post?
- What do they get out of it?
- What value am I providing the reader?
Create relevant blog posts to topics relating to your books, this may be to do with the same genres or themes. This will attract a readership that will potentially be interested in your books.
Talk about similar themes in your blog posts on social media to grow interest in your content and when the time is right promoting your content to your social media, direct your following onto your author website.
From here you can grow your mailing list using incentives. Visit here to find out why every author should be content marketing.
Contact Page: The contact page connotes to readers you are easily approachable and want to connect and engage with your following. A good contact page will include a simple email form as well as links to your social media platforms.
Every page on your website should include your mailing list capture form. Most importantly on your blog. Feature it at the bottom of your page to make your potential readers feel like they are missing out on something. You can also consider a pop-up form, but this can sometimes create a spammy feel to your website, so be careful.
Use an incentive to grow your mailing list
When book marketing, email lists are often underrated and underused. People see them as outdated and they cannot be underestimated. Using incentives to build mailing lists is an excellent way to grow connections and promote your book.
Here are some suggestions to quickly entice readers to hand over the email addresses:
- Audio copies of your book.
- Short stories.
- Deleted scenes.
- Alternative endings.
- Hand-drawn sketches.
- Hand-written notes.
- Never seen before content.
- Character descriptions.
- Writing manuals.
- Writing checklists.
- Cheat sheets.
- Exclusive interviews.
- Free training/consultation.
- Signed photographs.
- Signed merchandise.
Send out quality email content
Once you have begun to develop your email list the next step is to consider the content you are creating.
Consider sending out a thank you email, welcoming new users to your email list. Let them know what to expect and be excited for.
The theory of ‘permission marketing’ is about the right time to sell to your following.
Many people think a simple follow on social media is a user giving permission to be marketed to, but often this is not the case. The exchange of an email holds a lot more permission behind it.
If a potential reader has signed up to your newsletter, they have often show intent to purchase your book. Despite this, just attempting to straight up sell your book is often not enough. It can even ruin your credibility and reputation, making you come across spammy. You must create quality content on your emails which is going to draw the reader’s attention.
How do you do this?
Consider creating a monthly newsletter. By creating newsletter with quality content on it your mailing list will begin to anticipate and look forward to it. This will improve click through rates of your emails and ultimately increase the likelihood of selling your book. Include a promotion of your novel with a link to your Amazon page on the bottom of every newsletter.
How do you improve click rates on your emails?
Use email templates to increase engagements and create a professional feel to your newsletter. Colors and pictures will improve click rates on links within your newsletter and make your readers more interested and engaged with your emails.
Make your links more effective, embed them within text such as ‘click here’ rather than just copy and pasting a URL into text. Although always explain where you are directing your readers, users will be hesitant to click on a link they are not aware of the destination. A good example would be ‘click here to purchase my sci-fi book on Amazon’.
It is important to test links on emails for two main reasons. A broken link will be seen as unprofessional and ruin reputation as well as loose potential book sales from readers. Services such as Mailchimp allow you to test links before sending emails out.
Sign up to email list services and automation
Organisation is key when using email lists to book market. Emails sent by hobbies entities have over a 25% click rate and can often be some of the most anticipated emails by people.
Active campaign is a service which allows you to generate and manage mailing lists efficiently. Use automation to generate email templates to save time and create consistency. Depending how technical you wish to get with your marketing you can categorise your readers, tracking clicks on certain links from users.
Say a user clicks on a link relevant to your book, you could put these into a list of people very interested in purchasing your novel, from here you would know to push a sale further.
Another great service available to book marketers’ is mailchimp. The website is an all-in-one integrated marketing platform. Similar to activecampaign, the service allows automation of emails allowing you to create a pre-written path of emails users will receive. You can also effortlessly integrate mailchimp with over 250+ apps such as Gmail.
Both of these websites also allow you to create appealing landing pages and email capture forms and it is essential you use at least one form of email management service. Here is a list of some email management tools.
Analyse your Results
In order to improve and grow you must analyse the results of your emails. You want to know how many people opened your email, the percentage of people who clicked on your links and how long your users spent reading your content.
There are many services writers can use to analyse data.
When looking to track where people are signing up to my mailing list, I use Google Analytics. This website offers a basic overview of traffic to certain pages and forms on your website. Use the acquisition feature on the website to analyse data, activity and traffic on your site.
Convertkit uses powerful software to show users how many people open and click through links within emails. Conversion rates are necessary information for book marketers’ to improve and upgrade tactics.
Using email lists when book marketing should be seen as an essential step to increasing book sales. Connect with your mailing list, never leave an email un-read if you can help it. Promote your fellow writers and grow your network, they will do the same back.
As a final note, always remember to:
- Keep constant track of your mailing list and use online services to stay organised.
- Create consistent, relevant and quality content for your email list.
- Develop a organised author website with a clear mailing list capture form on the bottom of every page.
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