Even with the rise of social media, email is still an important part of most people’s lives. So, if you are an entrepreneur, one of the best things you can do for your business is build a lucrative email marketing campaign. Many people, however, have no idea how too. Everywhere people look they are met with advertisements, pitches, and all kinds of interruption. Although you might think yours is unique, the reader, most likely, cannot tell the difference. Never forget the space that you are in and always have your best manners. Being in another person’s inbox is like being invited over to their house for dinner.
If your host requires you to take off your shoes, you do not argue. The same case applies to email marketing, it is their personal space and you must be respectful. Acquiring permission is the first step to having a successful email marketing campaign. You need to have a sizable email list. You might do this by giving freebies, offering product updates, or a newsletter. There is no right or wrong way between the two, provided you express a clear purpose when requesting someone’s address.
Make people excited to give their addresses instead of just writing, “enter your email for updates”. Great email service providers strive to ensure that major ISPs do not block your emails. They have no control of where your emails end up; spam box or inbox. Getting whitelisted ensures proper delivery of your emails. You get whitelisted by having your recipient add you to their address book. Always give instructions on how to do this in every email. Set your expectations. A strong call-to-action and consistent follow-up is the ingredients of a positive campaign.
Do not promise to send out one email in a week and then send emails every day—deliver on your promise, whatever it is. Step in your reader’s shoes if you plan to pitch often. Your messaging should be consistent with the expectations you set. Always ask yourself what value you are adding. The best newsletters, for most readers, are those that mix updates and messaging properly. When you are sending out a newsletter with images and product updates, try to include a friendly update or personal message. Instead of talking to your list only when you have something to sell, utilize autoresponder and schedule content for consistent delivery.
It helps to be in touch and have a relationship with your list. The three most crucial analytics are unsubscribers, click through rate (CTR), and open rate. Open rate tells you whether people read or delete your email upon receipt. A low CTR means your message is not getting through. A high unsubscription rate means you have a lot of work to do. Segmentation is splitting your list into targeted groups. Segmenting your list helps you send targeted emails. Your email list is a very valuable resource and if you run your email marketing campaign right, the ROI will be high.
Email is not dead. It is a crucial component of any marketing plan and allows you to reach the audience conveniently when you need to. However, people receive countless emails in their inboxes daily, how do you make sure yours are unique? And where should an email marketing newbie begin? Even if readers have subscribed to your email-marketing program, you still need to outshine the hundreds of emails that flow into their inboxes and make sure yours gets opened.
Captivating subject lines are essential to increasing open rates. Do not be in a hurry and skim through this vital process. It is also the first thing that your readers see. For your email goals to be successful, you need to allow fans to subscribe to your emails. Include a subscription form in your website and on your business Facebook page, allowing customers to opt in your email list. Whenever you attend events, collect as many email addresses as you can. Your readers should know what they are signing up for. An ESP (Email Service Provider) will do a great job deploying your email blasts. Email Service Providers help you create designed emails, view performance records, manage unsubscribe requests, and your address list.
An ESP also offers you a collection of prebuilt templates making it possible for you to design emails without having coding skills. Almost half of your subscribers open their email on a mobile device. Consider your email audience while designing or selecting an email template. Most ESPs indicate whether a template is mobile friendly or not. Do not make an email 100% about selling your product. It is a great opportunity to create a relationship with your audience and promote your brand.
Balance promotional and informative content for you to have a trusting and loyal subscriber base. Have test accounts with the most popular email clients (Outlook, AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo) to see how your email appears to different readers. Send a copy to each of your “testing addresses” before you send to your audience.
Email ending up in spam instead of inbox is a common problem. Subscribe to your newsletter using several email platforms with a testing email or your personal email. After sending an email, check your inbox, and if they land in the spam folder almost every time, you have a problem and you should contact your ESP. What time should you send your email? Should your name be in the subject line? You can only know the answers by experimenting because every subscriber base is different. Know what the law requires of you and adhere to it. For US citizens, there is the CAN-SPAM Act that governs sending out emails.
Be consistent to keep the readers engaged and maintain a healthy relationship with them. Anytime you are developing a newsletter, remember that you are crafting it for people who are curious to hear from you. Your newsletter is an awesome opportunity to make your loyal readers have an interest in your new book or business and maintain a relationship with them between publications.
With that knowledge, here is a rundown of what you might want to include:
- Clear publication and book details
- A short account of the writing process or research
- Current events or articles of interest
- Behind the scene photos and/or information
- Important links: social media links, subscribe/unsubscribe link, retailer links and author website links
There isn’t a definite rule about the frequency of newsletters but to be more effective, let it be regularly and consistently. Some people prefer to send them out more regularly when the publication date is around the corner because they have much to talk about with the audience. Consult your editorial and marketing teams and ask them to help you figure out the best time to share with your audience news of your book just before its publication.
No two publications are the same but the following general milestones are worth considering as content of your newsletter. Send your subscribers a message breaking the news of your book officially. In it; reveal the on-sale date, title, and the book jacket (if available). Share the official book description and anecdotes of your writing process.
Have your marketing team provide links for the readers to preorder the book. Note; wait until online retailers have your book information up before you make the announcement. Your editor might help you choose a short excerpt for your readers. The excerpt can be included in the newsletter’s body or just have a link that leads back to the full excerpt. You should always accompany the excerpt with retailer links for readers to easily order the book.
Remind your subscribers of your book release with a countdown email. This builds up excitement among your audience and reminds them where and how to get the book. Let readers know of any tour or event planned at publication. Reveal the locations and dates and even give links to the platform on which the event will be airing live. Send a newsletter celebrating publication and remind them about buying the book. Even after publications (or between publications) engage your readers regularly. It is not easy to find content to share with subscribers during this period. Hopefully these ideas will help:
- Thoughts on the writing process and research
- Short essays (could be unrelated to your publication)
- The book you are currently reading
- Your social media platforms
- Giveaways/exclusive offers
- Q&As with relevant personalities (like other authors)
The content you share in your newsletter may overlap with what you share on your website, social media, and blog, which is okay. Your newsletter should focus on crucial information or longer-form content. On social media, share content that may not be appropriate for a newsletter. Work hard to grow your subscriber list by making the subscriber button available in every newsletter; having a sign-up form in your website, utilizing social media, and making content more interesting.