Email Marketing for Authors - A Step by Step Guide + Examples [Chapter 1]
Here's what you will learn in this guide:
Chapter 1. Why Authors should learn and use Email Marketing?
Chapter 1. Why Authors should learn and use Email Marketing?
At the outset, email marketing is exactly what it sounds like marketing through email. But there’s more to it than that. Good email marketing is also about creating and nurturing relationships.
Some of the bad examples of email marketing is something we have all seen. Not sure what I'm talking about then just open your spam email folder. But there are good examples of email marketing too. Anyone who continues to master email marketing can be assured of reaping bigger and better rewards by doing it right.
You know what's awesome - the first marketing email sent in 1978 that resulted in a mind-boggling $13 million in sales.
And you know what else is awesome – email marketing is still the world's best marketing tool for selling things literally even after so many years.
But you know what really kicks ass, especially if you are an author, is even though it isn't as shiny as some newer channels like social and messaging, it's still an effective way to build an own audience that can make you a career in scribbling words.
I know what you're thinking. No, I really do.
Do you want to say it first?
No. Not interested.
You are thinking Chase, so what is Email Marketing anyway or why you should have a newsletter?
You are nodding your head… ohh, so you were not thinking this.
Since I know this, I'm going to tell you anyway. You know, just for our friendship's sake.
So, email marketing isn't just sending emails to your subscribers. Surprised?
[Note: To avoid confusion, I will be using email marketing instead of the newsletter as it is a part of the overall email marketing strategy.]
I was too, but then I realized that email marketing is about communicating with your subscribers by sending them optimized messages through email that will be of interest to them. The process also includes developing promotional emails, testing, and maintaining them as well.
An effective email marketing strategy converts prospects into customers and turn first-time buyers into recurring customers. AND…. you can automate the entire process.
Email today is akin to direct marketing, and in the past, it was used to mass-target your audience but not anymore. Current regulations have placed stricter regulations on how email marketing can be used as a communication channel.
Is email marketing dead?
Email isn't dead, and if you are wondering if the email is still a worthwhile marketing strategy. Then you should definitely read the next lines.
HubSpot, a leading CRM solution and inbound marketing company, says that email generates $38 for every $1 spent - an astounding 3,800% ROI, thus making it one of the most effective options available today.
Still hesitant, keep reading.
1. 3.9 billion daily email users. Expected to climb to 4.3 billion by 2023. (Statista, 2020)
2. Email marketing is 40 times more effective for getting new customers than Facebook or Twitter.
3. More than 5.6 billion active email accounts in 2019. (Statista, 2019)
4. Segmented campaigns can lead to as much as a 760% increase in revenue. (Campaign Monitor, 2019)
5. 35% of marketers send their customers 3-5 emails per week. (Not Another State of Marketing, 2020)
6. 46 percent of all emails are opened on mobile (Litmus.com, 2018)
7. iPhone is the most popular mobile client for reading emails, with 29 percent of all opens occurring on this platform. Gmail is a close runner-up at 27 percent (Campaign Monitor, 2018)
BUT this is not the best thing about Email Marketing. The best thing about email marketing is that YOU OWN YOUR LIST.
Any social media platform can suspend or delete your account (along with all your fans and posts) at any time, for any reason, without notice. But, you own your email list. No one can take those reader email-ids - the ones you have secured using lead magnets or free content - away from you.
When a new subscriber signs up to your list, you have a direct line to that person's inbox.
These stats are nice and all. But you're probably wondering:
"As an author, I'm interested in writing books, and this all looks pretty complicated to me."
Actually, it's not, and in the next chapters, I will explain these steps in detail, so let's go.
1.1 Email marketing vocabulary for authors
As you implement your own email marketing, you’ll likely come across the following vocabulary. Here are some quick definitions to get you up to speed:
Subscribers – people who’ve chosen to receive marketing emails from you
List – your list of email subscribers
Subject line – the part of the email you read before opening the full email
Preview text – the few lines below the subject line that you can read before opening the full email
Spam – marketing email sent to someone who hasn’t elected to receive it
Open rate – percentage of people who opened your email
Click-through rate – percentage of people who clicked a link in your email
Bounce rate – percentage of emails that never made it to an inbox
Conversion rate – percentage of people who followed a CTA in your email, such as, “Buy my book”
Double opt-in – asking subscribers to confirm they want to receive an email from you by clicking a confirmation link in the very first email
Email campaign – a single email or series of emails designed to achieve a certain goal, such as encouraging people to pre-order your book
Landing page – a single web page that a link in an email (or another form of marketing) leads to, usually designed to facilitate a purchase
Refer back to these terms as needed while you read the rest of this guide.
1.2: Ten-Minute Tech
If you already have the technology setup, then move past this lesson.
To start with you need two things:
An Email Service Provider: An email service provider (or ESP) is a platform that stores the email addresses you collect, and allows you to communicate with your subscribers. You must have heard about Mailchimp, Mailerlite Convertkit etc.
When you look for an email service provider also check if it has the autoresponder capability. Don't latch onto tech nobody knows about just to get it for free. You'll need to pay for the autoresponder ability, but this is non-negotiable.
Once you've signed up for an ESP, then create a form in it to collect emails.
While the ESP stores and allows you to send emails, the email capture app will help you collect them on your website through popups, email forms, and top bars.
And BAM. You're good to go.
Additional notes – My Favorite 5 Email Service Providers
MailerLite is a simple, effective, free email newsletter software that does the job. They have an excellent free plan and even on paid plans, it is cheaper than competitors like Mailchimp. Automation isn't as elaborate as for instance ActiveCampaign, but very effective.
Pricing is free up to 1,000 subscribers (with all features).
ConvertKit is described as one of the best email marketing solutions out there for bloggers, creators and authors. So, if you fall in this category, you can't go wrong with ConvertKit.
They also offer a 1000 free subscriber plan. Like most ESPs, pricing is based on subscriber numbers. Plans start at $29 for less than 1,000 subscribers.
SendFox is an email marketing tool designed specifically for content creators that lets you compose and send unlimited customized emails.
With SendFox, you can create, schedule, and automate unlimited customized emails, without breaking the bank.
Specifically for content creators, SendFox is taking a different approach to product features. But SendFox is not AWeber, Mailchimp. and will not have 100% feature parity.
GetResponse is versatile, easy to use, and can cover most small businesses marketing needs in one affordable and fairly feature-rich interface. Plans also come with email marketing tools that actually help you build your list (like landing page software and popups).
GetResponse is a reliable email marketing solution that's well-suited for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) who might just be getting started with digital marketing.
One of the strengths of AWeber that is very apparent is minimalistic easy-to-use interact, numerous features and effective support. That is surely undeniable.
AWeber constantly focuses on updating their integration capacity over time. They are offering more than 850 integrations in different sections.
If you want simple and reliable software for sending newsletters and autoresponder emails, you can't beat AWeber.