Email book marketing is a great way to get the word out about your brand, your books, your events, and other unique things happening in your life that are critical to helping indie authors make personal connections with fans and potential readers.
But most of us can’t open our inbox without seeing dozens of emails for products, services or promotions.
So how do you break through the noise?
Below are my tips for ensuring your emails get opened.
Keep in mind, I’m referencing emails because not every indie author needs to do an official newsletter, certainly not when you’re just starting out. But these tips also work for you folks with newsletters, so keep reading!
Think about the last few promotional emails you opened. What made them stand out? Was it simply brand loyalty? A limited time discount? Or a new product announcement?
If you find yourself just throwing random ideas together because you have a book marketing email to get out you’re not doing it right, and to be candid, you’re being lazy and wasting a good opportunity to grow your audience and sell more books.
Have a goal.
Know Your Audience
Always keep in mind who your readers are and who your potential buyers are.
Yes, they like books like yours, but they’re not one-dimensional. Readers of particular genres and topics tend to have other similar interests, follow similar trends, etc.
They even respond positively to certain color combinations and font styles, all these things strengthen your connection with them and make you stand out. (Download my free reader profile worksheet here.)
Be Savvy With Promotion
You want to sell books, but don’t make that the only goal of your email unless you’re offering them a screaming deal.
If you’re focusing on brand awareness stick to the 95/5 rule, so 95% useful, engaging, entertaining content, 5% sales content.
Quality is Key
This goes back to understanding your audience. What do they find interesting, helpful or entertaining? Don’t just fill space to hit a word count. If it’s stronger and more meaningful because it’s punchy – that’s totally fine. I recently posted about living in an 8 second world. Click here to read about demanding attention in this space.
Sometimes indie authors just need to remind our readers to post reviews, this message should be short and sweet with a link to your book page on Amazon.
I’d also suggest sweetening the deal by entering them into a drawing for a gift card if they send you a screenshot of the review!
Mix it Up with Collaboration
I’ve encouraged you to swap promotions with fellow indie authors on social media, and you can certainly do the same thing for your book marketing emails.
Reach out and ask if they’d like to swap promotions in your respective book marketing emails or newsletters. The worst you could hear is ‘no’ so what have you got to lose?
The benefit here is two-fold. You get more content for your emails and your readers see you as a resource for great book recommendations. Click here to read up on this and so many other book marketing tips we suggested for indie authors to sell more books.
Get the Frequency Right
Watch this one very closely. The general rule of thumb is that the more often you send out your newsletter the shorter it should be.
If you’re going to do something weekly keep it shorter and try to have more discounts, special announcements, giveaways, etc. that really make it worth their time.
If you’re aiming for monthly you can make it longer but I’ll touch on this in a section below as well.
Email marketing services like MailChimp can give you stats on how many people open your emails, how many links are clicked, and even the time of day that seems to be most popular with your recipients.
Let Your Personality Shine
Your emails should be written in your voice.
Are you known for a certain phrase? Do you have a motto? Can you make a sailor blush?
If it fits your genre and target reader – it makes you relatable.
Respect Reader Time
If you have multiple things to address use clear headings and after each heading include a concise, single sentence summary of what you’re going to address.
This gives readers the option to skim and get what’s most important to them right away, and hopefully come back for the rest when they have more time.
Get it Edited
This is a big one. Ask a friend, your spouse or partner, a fellow author, someone who is good with words or at least good with details, to read through it for any glaring errors before sending it out.
Respect People’s Privacy
If you’re going to send the emails from your private email then use the bcc option. Don’t blast everyone’s emails out. And keep in mind some private email servers don’t like it when a single email is sent to too many recipients, and this is when services like MailChimp also come in handy.
When done right, email book marketing can be a critical and a very effective piece of your overall marketing strategy.
Just keep these tips in mind and don’t get lazy on the creativity and be hard on yourself when assessing what kind of value you’re really providing your recipient.
Need more help on how to sell more books? Contact us for a personalized assessment.