I don't have to tell you that email marketing is huge right now. If you are promoting anything that you want people to buy, I highly recommend it. It's very effective and cheap, if you know where to go. Let's talk about the basics.
- Gather emails by asking people to sign up for newsletters from you on your blog/website. Purchasing email lists is very rarely effective. Get emails with permission. If you haven't got a contract to pub yet, it is still a great time to start gathering emails. Gathering emails is a lengthy process. Why not have a head start?
- You can't just email from your own personal gmail/aol/yahoo/etc. account. It's not professional, and, if you are sending a good deal of emails, your email carrier will eventually put a stop to it. You should sign up with an email service. Most cost a monthly fee, and for my clients I generally use Icontact, a very reputable and reliable service. But you can do what you need to as an author for free at Mail Chimp. Mail Chimp is very easy to use and you can do very simple emails to more complex without needing any design skills. Here's a sample email I created on Mail Chimp to show you ( If I were using a paid service, I wouldn't have to have the words "MailChimp" at the bottom.)
- Do not spam your email list! Be sure to only send out emails on a very limited basis. I find you shouldn't do more than one per month. More than that and people start to ignore you or unsubscribe.
- Include a Call to Action in each email. That means you should ask the recipient to do something such as buy your book, enter a contest, or like your Facebook page. You don't have to say "Buy my book" outright, but you need to know what it is you want the recipient to do when you send the email and then make it easy for them to do it. For example, in the email sample above, the call to action is for people to follow me on my blog. Since this is just a picture you can't tell that if you clicked on the email it would take you to my blog. You can do the same thing with a coupon that's $1.00 off your book or whatever. Effective email marketing is never just news.
- Always look at your statistics after you've sent your email to see if people opened it and/or clicked on links. This will help you to figure out what works and what doesn't for next time.
Well, that's email marketing basics. Are you scared of email marketing? Will you/do you use it?