Email lists are a crucial and strategic communication tool in the arsenal of any business, especially for a published author.
When you become a published author, you are put in a unique position of credibility, authority, and expertise. As such any content shared by you comes with an implicit badge of trust and quality. Thus, an email communication with you would be much desirable for the audience. Building an email list is not only useful means of furthering your entrepreneurial and branding agenda, but a great segway for creating a dedicated reader base for your future literary adventures.
Advantages of an email list
On the surface, email might seem like a redundant idea in the social media age. You will not be blamed for assuming that 2000 Facebook followers are much more important than 200 email subscribers. It also looks ineffective – crowded inboxes and busy people are not exactly the recipe for visibility.
But, the most crucial aspect of emails is that it is ‘permission marketing.’ You have the go-ahead by the receiver to communicate with them about your book and related things. Once you have established trust and credibility, emails give you an excellent opportunity for influencing the decisions of your audience. That is a powerful position to be in.
To convince you further, here are nine specific advantages of building an email list –
- Email is one of the most effective and trusted options for one on one communication with the reader.
- When people have subscribed to your email, it means they have deeper engagement and are invested in your work. They are more likely to share your books and buy them.
- Emails are under your complete control. You and only you will decide what to share when to share and how to share. No external service provider is policing your communication.
- Email is super personal. It is one on one and sits right next to the emails from the people that matter to the reader. They also have scope for building great emotional connections because of this.
- Emails have high rates of conversion over the long term with minimal or zero cost outlay.
- Email is permanent. Followers of blogs and social media can unfollow and unlike with just a click and you wouldn’t know. But, an email address is forever in your database.
- Email gives you an opportunity to communicate your entrepreneurial brand’s message and presence, piggybacking on the credibility of your author brand.
- Cost and time efficient way to communicate relevant info with the target audience.
- Email outreach will help you keep your book relevant and in circulation for longer time – as you can build email content and freebies around the content of your book.
How to use your published book to build an email list?
Your published book provides you access to a robust author platform (website, social media, etc.) that will help you build an email list which you can convert into a book or product sales. Here are the two major author platforms that help you leverage your book to build a mailing list –
- Author website – You can add email subscription options in relevant sections of your site. Pop-ups and headers with subscription prompts are an efficient way of drawing reader’s attention.
- Social media – You can post a direct email subscription link to your social media posts. Be mindful of the social media ecosystem while deciding on the structure and frequency of subscription prompts.
In the sign up prompts keep the information collected to a bare minimum as detail after detail to be filled become a roadblock for the readers.
What to share in your Emails
The quality of the content you share is the ‘make or break’ factor in building audience trust. Your space in the reader’s inbox is a privilege; you have to design your content to justify it. As an author of a published book, you are in the prime position to offer such content.
The purpose of your email is to primarily build relationships and occasionally to sell your products and services. The central principle of emails is that they should be the magnet content – that hook the reader and lead them to your goals. Accordingly, your emails should kindle the interests of the audience but leave them wanting more.
Freebies or discounted contents are ideal for emails on two accounts – they promote an immediate purchase, and they also arouse interest in your larger body of work. They could be a short novel, free printables, workbooks, products mentioned in your book, apps, free consultations, samples of your work and so on. Your imagination is the limit here. Your publishing agency will in a position to advise you regarding the structure and timing of your content depending on your target audience. Another crucial part of email content is customising it for targeting audience. Your emails should be designed for audience actions – whether they are buyers, commenters, casual readers, or social media sharers, etc.
The Best practices of Email outreach
The purpose of an email is to motivate the reader to take action – it could be to purchase your book, buy an allied product/service, or to simply share/promote your book and brand on their networks. To achieve this, an email has to be three things –
- Intimate – You email should be personal and intimate about you as an author speaking directly to the reader.
- Exclusive – Your email should offer the reader the content and opportunity they cannot find anywhere else.
- Repeat – Persistent and regular outreach that focuses on follow up is crucial for making your voice heard.
Based on the above conditions here are five components that are non-negotiable in designing an effective email –
- A catchy subject line that instantly draws the attention of the reader.
- Layout and format that are on a brand regarding colors, logo, your photograph, signature, etc.
- Keep it personal – do not be all business.
- Relevant content that adds high value. Limit sales emails to big events like book launch or speaking engagements.
- A call to action linking to your website or a book sales page depending on the content of the mail.
Here are a couple of etiquettes you need to adopt from day one into your email outreach strategy to stay in the inboxes and on the minds of the readers –
- Inform the reader in advance about the frequency and timing of your email and stick to that schedule.
- Do not spam reader’s inbox with sales emails once a day – this access is a privilege, treat it accordingly.
- Be regular in your communication; do not let the readers go for long periods of time without hearing from you.
- Be prompt in your replies to reader queries and discussions – even to the negative ones.
- Keep your emails targeted to provide highly relevant content and elicit a better response.
Why engage a publishing agency for your email outreach
As with any other book publishing function, an experienced and efficient agency like The Books Factory brings the much-needed professionalism to the table.
Your publishing agency will have market research and industry insight which will be invaluable to you in designing and executing your email outreach. They will have highly qualified web designers and marketing strategist with proven track record on board. This will save you invaluable time, money and resources in finding the team that is a right fit for your publishing goals. Your emails will also be cohesive with the overall messaging of your book promotion.
Your publishing agency can also help you devise long-term email engagement strategy involving your book and brand. Moreover, usually, self-publishing contracts can have email outreach as part of author platform services and will be highly cost effective.
To know more about designing an effective email outreach by your published book, schedule a free 30-minute strategy call with The Books Factory by Clicking Here.