One of the best marketing ideas you can apply to your author business is establishing and maintaining a list of readers. You can then turn those readers into raving fans.
But the question is, “how exactly is that accomplished?”
In this article we’re going to discuss, in detail and step-by-step, exactly how to do just that. Here’s what will be covered.
- Email marketing: what it is. More importantly, what this twist is and how it will benefit you
- What is needed to maintain that list
- The steps taken to grow your list (if you’re not doing this currently you are leaving $$$ on the table)
- Combining everything together for a nonstop funnel of leads
Email Marketing Defined
You may have heard of the term “email marketing”. And, no doubt, you’ve probably heard “the money is in the list”. That’s what we’re going to discuss but this approach offers a unique twist.
If you follow this method, step-by-step, you will have the opportunity to grow your readership like never before. Some authors have grown their lists by 500 or more subscribers their first month using this approach.
If this sounds interesting to you then please read on.
Besides, you absolutely have nothing to lose. It costs ZERO to get started and, if you follow these steps as laid out, you’ll have two (2) months lead time to initiate and grow a list which is likely to have around 1,500 or more readers.
Email marketing is, as defined in Wikipedia, “the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email”.
You, obviously, have to have (and maintain) a list of contacts and their email addresses for this type of marketing to be effective. Better yet, if you could utilize a service to accomplish this that is cost effective then you’re ahead of the game and saving time/money.
There are many email marketing services to choose from. Some are more effective then others, while one in particular stands out from all others when it comes to authors and publishers.
That one email marketing service, which is perfect for beginners as well as more cost effective in the long run, is Mailerlite. Here’s why.
Mailerlite is free for the first 1,000 subscribers. It’s also cheaper over the long haul when compared to similar email marketing companies. This simply means, as an example, for 10K or 20K contacts Mailerlite is going to cost you less than others.
It’s also author friendly and isn’t known to shut users down with no notification, like another well known service is. As for the latter, I speak from experience in having my account shut down, with no recourse, by this “other guy”. It was frustrating, to say the least.
I urge you to stop right now and sign up for Mailerlite. Go ahead, I’ll wait right here. 😉
Seriously, though, to continue to the next step and start building your massive list of readers and raving fans who CHOOSE to want to hear from you, you should sign up.
Plus, if you use the link provided then you’ll receive a $20 credit which can be applied to your first and future payments. (Yes, the Mailerlite link provided is a referral link and I receive credit of $20 as well so it’s a win, win for everyone.)
Consider it a business expense (after the first month) and write it off on your taxes. I’m not a tax expert but know business expenses can and should be written off on taxes. Also, you’ll likely have from 750 – 1,000 subscribers. Out of those, you’ll convert some to raving fans and want to buy your books and/or other products/services.
So stop now and sign up. Then we’ll move onto step 2 and start building your list of contacts.
Maintaining Your List
Assuming you have signed up for Mailerlite and verified your account, you can now sign in.
Once signed in, you’ll be presented with your dashboard. Across the top of the dashboard, in white and green, are the various tools you utilize with Mailerlite. They are:
Please click on “Subscribers”. Under subscribers, across the top in black and white, it lists:
- All subscribers
- Clean up inactives
Right now click on “Groups”. Then click on “Create Group” on the right side. A popup will appear for you to enter a name. Please type in the word readers (or something similar). Every person that gets added to your mailing list will be apart of this readers group.
In the future you’ll establish another group to further separate your readers, the ones who have established themselves as extremely interested in your books or other products. For now, simply create the readers group.
Growing Your List
Now that you’ve established your readers group in Mailerlite, it’s time to start adding contacts to that group. The fun part is about to begin.
In order to grow your contacts in readers, you need to have a method of attracting them to join your list. This method is commonly referred to as using a lead magnet. This magnet is offered, normally free of charge, to entice the person to sign up for your list.
There are many methods used in conjunction with a lead magnet but one is BY FAR the most effect for authors. That method involves the use of a cross promotional marketing tool called Story Origin.
There are many methods within Story Origin to assist you in growing your email list. The method we’re focusing on today is called group promotions. An example of a group promotion can be seen here.
Group promotions are a group of authors coming together and offering their books for free or for sale, normally at a discount. Within the group promos, books are displayed and available for immediate download.
To gain access to a particular book, the person must enter his/her email address. That email address is then automatically transferred to your Mailerlite account (no manual transfer is necessary).
Here’s what makes group promotions so effective in building your email list. All authors taking part in the group promo are required to share it using various methods, such as social media or in their newsletters.
So just imagine you’re taking part in a group promotion that has, for example, 50+ authors in it. All 50+ will be sharing the promo with their followers. Can you see the potential REACH this method has to attract readers to your list? It simply phenomenal and works like a charm.
You really have to see it to believe it. Here’s my personal experience.
Within the first two (2) weeks of signing up for multiple group promotions (four total) I had 300+ email contacts added to my mailing list in Mailerlite. The best part is these promotions are continually ongoing, month after month, because it’s such an awesome way for everyone who participates to grow their email list.
I HIGHLY encourage you to try it yourself. The proof is, as they say, “in the pudding”.
Sign up for Story Origin. It’s offered (at the time of this blog post, 7/22/2020) free of charge because it’s in beta test. So again, just like with Mailerlite, you can get started for nothing.
After you sign up for Story Origin you’ll want to create a Reader Magnet. It’s located on your Story Origin dashboard, under “Books” (halfway down the page on the left side). Remember, a reader magnet is a book you’re going to offer for free or at a discount.
There you have it. You’ve just learned what is, perhaps, the most effective method for authors to build their email list.
There are other methods and those will be discussed in other posts so be sure to follow this blog. But if you’re just starting out then this is, by far, the most effective and economically manageable method there is.
The testimonials about Story Origin speak for themselves. All you have to do is read a few and you’ll know the founder is genuine and has the best interests of authors in mind. Here are just a few recommendations from several users.
Do yourself a huge favor and join Story Origin. Then start growing your email list on hyperdrive. 🙂
One last thing…
If you enjoyed this article then please share it with other authors and have them join you in building their massive email list utilizing group promotions.
And after you sign up for Story Origin, make sure to join our Facebook group called Authors Unite. A couple author associates and myself run several promotions every month and we’d love to have you get involved. Within the Facebook group you’ll find out what the name of our latest group promo is and how to join.
TOGETHER, let’s grow our email lists to enormous proportions! 🙂