The Importance of Having an E-newsletter
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The Importance of Having an E-newsletter
Do you have an e-newsletter list yet?
It surprises me how many authors don’t.
For many, I hear that they are just too busy. They depend on social media to reach their fans. They don’t know where to start with an email list, or why they should try. Many have heard that e-newsletters aren’t effective. (What those who are saying that mean is that they aren’t as effective as they once were. That is not the same as not being effective. Or that they didn’t know how to use them effectively so it must not work. Don’t be those guys.)
We are going to delve into those issues today.
But before we can start with that, here is why you need to consider what I’m going to teach you, despite those objections.
E-newsletters are still the best way to reach your audience on your time table (within reason) and present key messages to them to help continue to build your brand. Those fans that you can get to your list and who stay on that list for six months are more likely to not only be your super fans and buy most of what you sell, they are also more likely to share you and your events and your merchandise with their friends. They are what we like to call Brand Advocates.
Basically, your free marketing and PR department. We could all use more of that, couldn’t we?
There is a reason that, despite all the doom and gloom about the state of e-newsletters, big corporations and businesses are still investing in them. There’s a reason that top players in the e-newsletter game are providing more and more advanced opportunities for you to use that technology to build rather than annoy.
And billions of dollars are made every day through e-mail.
Shall we keep going?
Why an E-newsletter List is Necessary for a Serious Author
(no matter how busy you are)
I know, being an author is hard. It is time-consuming. Just writing a book is time-consuming, but this whole marketing thing? Talk about overwhelming! I get it, I do. We are all just doing the best that we can. Many authors are still on the Social Media Band Wagon, in regards to reaching new fans and keeping them engaged. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to get rid of social media, anyone who knows me knows I have a ridiculous number of social media accounts that I post to and interact with regularly!
However, I prefer to keep my fans as close to my personal control as possible. I don’t want to have to pay Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other social media platforms to find new fans AND to stay in front of them. That’s just crazy!
That’s why I have a newsletter. I own that list. Yes, I have to pay my newsletter emailer, but if I don’t like their prices, or if I develop a problem, I can take my list when I leave their service for another. As long as that reader wants to stay in touch with me, no one can keep us apart.
Can I say the same for Social Media? Nope.
Can I say the same for event marketing? Definitely not. Many authors who relied on the convention market to make their big sales discovered in 2020 how unreliable that market can be.
Bookstores have to be willing to let you have a signing for you to meet your fans there.
You can argue that your website is also a great place for you to be in front of your fans. But only when they choose to check in and see what you’re doing. As crazy as the world has gotten, there is no reason to leave the fate of your career to the whims of a reader’s available time frame or their ability to remember your name.
Most importantly, e-newsletter technology is advancing so much, so quickly, that it is becoming a fantastic automated sales funnel all in its own right. It can put the right content in front of the right reader at the right moment when they are most likely to buy. You now have the power of a mini-Amazon! How amazing is that?!
The most important piece to why you should have an e-newsletter is that die-hard fans love that personal touch. You can give them special goodies or first dibs on hot new content, and they can not only be assured that they will have it first, but they can also be the sound piece that shares that fandom with the world. That is incredible!
Where Social Media & E-newsletters Fall on the Sales Funnel
for those who’ve not taken my other social media courses, let me give you a brief introduction to the reader sales funnel. (Though most sales and marketing professionals will tell you that nowadays the “sales funnel” looks more like a mad windy path that you have to track and follow through cookies and breadcrumbs hoping to eventually guide someone to the sale, they still develop content at each “level” of the funnel so I still use the sales funnel to simplify the understanding.)
The first tier in the sales funnel is to generate awareness. Social media, conventions, book signings, ads are all great ways to create that awareness. This is the point where you are getting them interested. It’s the digital candy shop display, so to speak.
From awareness, you want them to shift to consideration. This is usually done in 7 and 100 touches. (Depending on the cost of the item you’re selling, it could take even more.) That is the difference between them seeing your ad and clicking on it. The difference between them seeing your social media post and clicking to read the article. The difference between seeing your booth and choosing to stop. The difference between seeing you are having a signing and choosing to come to the signing.
Then you have Preference. This is where they add you to a TBR, like your social media page, sign up for your e-newsletter. Sure, as mentioned before many argue that this isn’t a funnel because people may purchase before they make you a preference. They may take preference actions while they’re still in the consideration stage (Like when you offer a free e-book in exchange for the e-newsletter sign up or include liking your page as a point in a raffle.) Customers can float back and forth between these stages for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they prefer your brand and purchase it regularly, but then you come out with a new genre. They have to go through that process again of awareness of the new series, consideration of whether they’re interested in that genre, preference, purchase, etc.
Once you get them to loyalty (for example, being on your list for six months, interacting regularly with your social media content, etc.) It is a simple CTA (Call to action) to take them from Loyalty to Advocacy, from loyalty to purchase. An example, my family owns every single book published by Rick Riordan. We own the movies, even though we were not thrilled with them we still wanted more. We buy merch. When people are looking for suggestions for mid-grade readers, he’s one of our first suggestions. We’re very loyal.
One of the mistakes that many people make when they dive into E-newsletter marketing is focusing on quantity, not quality. They want 10,000 subscribers and hit people at the awareness stage with a freebie (totally fine to do this.) but then don’t understand when people don’t magically act like a loyal customer or don’t automatically purchase. They’ve treated e-newsletters as speed dating instead of treating it as a courtship.
E-newsletters are like Dating
But you’re not going to make that mistake, right? Not with my support, you won’t. You will learn in this course how to create the right world view to bring in the right prospective fans (instead of collecting all the people just looking for freebies.) and develop a system that helps guide them from the very top of the funnel all the way through the funnel to advocacy, while weaning out the freebie seekers and tire kickers along the way. You will learn how to set up systems to promote specific offerings to the right fans at the right time, and how to listen to them and know what they want and need from you. All the key give and take that is the nature of courtship.
If you set up the system right, e-mail marketing can be a huge win.
“In fact, email generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 3,800% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available.”
Seriously, read through that whole post. For a data junkie like me, that is digital porn. Even if you’re not a data junkie, the overall point is that email is far from dead in the right hands.
So, are you sold on why you should do an e-newsletter?
Great, now let’s get started with helping you plan how to do it right and allow you to have the most success.