If you think email marketing is old-fashioned or way too complicated, we have news for you. Not only is email one of the most popular and widely adopted forms of marketing, but it’s easy to use. In fact, with the right systems and automation processes set up, you’ll be sending emails in your sleep. And that’s not even the best part. With email marketing, unlike social media, you own the information. You wouldn’t lose all your followers if you were hacked, as you can export email addresses and take them from platform to platform.
If you’re a social media whiz, have built a stunning website and sold on amazon but haven’t considered the power of email marketing, you’ll want to keep reading.
What is email marketing?
As it sounds, email marketing is using email to market your business. Depending on your business, this might look like sending weekly, fortnightly, or monthly emails to your email subscribers. Updating them on your business and selling what you offer.
How to use email marketing
With so many email platforms and tools at your disposal, getting started with email marketing has never been easier. All you need is an email address you can use and a subscriber list to send to. There are no hard and fast rules for email marketing, but it’s a good idea to do what works for you and your audience. You may prefer to have a set schedule and plan emails ahead of time, or perhaps you’re more of a ‘fly by the seat of pants’ kind of author who sends emails sporadically. Regardless of your style, here’s a rundown of how to use email marketing
Step 1. Choose your platform
There are so many excellent and easy-to-use platforms to choose from. The right one will depend on your budget, the number of subscribers, and your desired features. We’ve listed the most popular platforms below.
Step 2. Grow your subscriber list
It can take time to grow your subscriber list, but the effort is worth the reward. One of the easiest ways to get emails is by adding a consented email opt-in form to your website. You may want to offer a discount code to entice sign-ups, have a free book or chapters or get creative with a quiz to tempt interest. Becky Robinson, the host of The Book Marketing Action Podcast, has some fantastic tips on growing your subscriber list here.
Step 3. Choose your email type
There are three main email types – acquisition, retention and promotion.
Acquisition emails – might also be referred to as welcome emails, a series of get-to-know-you style newsletters to help build an initial connection with your brand.
Retention emails – are the most common. These are your weekly, fortnightly or monthly information drops to keep your audience engaged.
Promotion emails – as you may have guessed, these contain specific information about the product and services you offer, particular the launch of any new books.
Step 4. Design your email
One of the best parts of using an email platform is its user-friendly template builders. Drag and drop text, images, gifs and links to your books and create an engaging on-brand design. Think of a catchy subject line, choose your audience and hit send.
How to set up email automation
While setting up email automation can take time, once you have everything set up, you can literally send emails without lifting a finger. Whether you want to make a good first impression with a welcome sequence or set and forget the promotion of a new book, you’ll love email automation. We’ve included an example using the sequences tool below to show you how it’s done.
How to set up an email welcome sequence
A welcome series drip feeds content to your new audience member over a set timeframe. For example, four emails over a week. They’re worthwhile setting up as subscribers are more likely to remember you if they’ve received even just one welcome email introducing the brand.
Email 1. Welcome your new audience member.
Make them feel welcome with a unique new member promotion, or set the tone for what they can expect from being part of your email community. Keep this email light, entertaining and most importantly, on-brand.
Email 2. Introduce yourself
This is your time to shine. You’ve let your latest subscriber know about your business, and now it’s time to let them know about you! Get creative, showcase your personality and give them a reason to look forward to hearing from you.
Email 3. Something unique about your business
This third email is an opportunity to share something unique about the business. Maybe it’s a sneak peek into an upcoming project or your greatest hopes and dreams. Start to build trust and exclusivity with your email list – they’re in this relationship for the long haul.
Email 4. How to get the most out of x
The fourth email in a welcome series is optional. However, if you feel you have more to say to welcome your new member, go crazy. One idea we find works well is a “how to get the most out of x” style email or share your tips for x.
Remember to personalise emails
It’s probably not a surprise that you can add a person’s first name to your emails, which we recommend doing. However, you can take personalisation to the next level with email marketing. To do this, we recommend adding questions to your email opt-in form to collect audience information. Details like date of birth, favourite genres, or other interests. This way, you can segment* audiences and only send them the content they’re interested in, making them feel special.
*Most email platforms will have tutorials and advice on adding segments to your email list.
The most popular email marketing platforms
Need help getting started with email marketing?
Building a successful business is about finding the balance between doing the tasks you’re good at and outsourcing the ones you’re not. If you need a hand with getting started with email marketing, we can help. At The Daring Press, we offer various author marketing services, including email marketing support. If you’d like to explore how we can help support you feel free to book a complimentary discovery call.