DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN
While there are a number of services out there which will assist with email marketing, the answer seems to be to work with less than more. Some firms will agree to blast out press releases, articles, and a whole lot of other information that essentially amounts to spam. This is not the way to go. nonduiven The goal here is quality, not quantity. As such, a simple email manager such as ConstantContacts.com is probably the best way for the author to go since they offer the tools needed to manage and implement successful email marketing campaigns and for a low cost. While not recommended, if the author has less than 100 email subscribers, they could theoretically utilize their own Gmail, Yahoo, or MSN personal email account. This is not advisable, since functionality is limited and can run the risk of appearing as spam to the email recipients’ email providers. Hence, the email could go into their spam folder and their email address flagged for spam.
The author should keep in mind that these updates need not be glitzy or involved. Rather, a simple email of new content or a simple, easy to use e-newsletter would be preferable since their readers are most likely busy people. If the author desires to offer video or audio, they are advised to link to that content (which would ideally be housed on their author website) from the email or e-newsletter. Attachments or auto-loading software are rarely appreciated. Attachments in particular are looked at as suspect since they have been known to contain viruses.
If an author is having a challenging time deciding which way to go, then conducting relevant market research may be the answer. They could go to several of the websites of the authors which they enjoy, submit their email address, and review what is sent. While some authors might do a bad job, others will do a good job worth emulating. Like everything else authors do, they should search for the good, discard the bad, and improve upon what can be done better.
REVISING EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN ACCORDING TO RESULTS
Quite simply, guessing is not an effective strategy when it comes to email marketing. As such, authors should think long and hard about what appears to be working, what isn’t working, and how to improve it. The author could also consider surveying a sampling of recipients to find what they like, don’t like, and what they’d like to see more of. If the author is utilizing a service like Constant Contacts, they will even be able to see how many of the recipients opened emails within each email campaign and what actions they took (e.g., clicking on links, printing the email, forwarding the email on to an associate) within it. As such, this adds vital data to the marketing matrix and plan moving forward. After experimenting with a few ideas in this regard, the author should start to see differences based upon their revisions. This will guide them on the path forward, and bit by bit the author will come to understand what works as they gain more experience in the email marketing realm.
To assist in analyzing the data, the author should save each email sent and the exportable report from each email campaign (from a service like Constant Contacts, if applicable). This will facilitate the analysis of the subtle differences between campaigns. The differences — and their varying results — are the building blocks upon which to grow. After a time, areas of improvements will become apparent and the application of them will yield results.
The goal of effective email marketing for authors is the same as the goal of an author website, Twitter feed, or Facebook profile. It is the same as the books which the author publishes and hopes readers will buy. It is all about value. Readers desire value in whatever activities they engage in. This is regardless of if they desire an escape through an engaging science-fiction novel, a dream through a text about starting a small business, or genre-specific writing tips through an email newsletter. They want value in whatever form they seek it. It is the author’s job to provide this value. If the author can find an effective way to provide value through an email campaign, their readership will grow, their sales with it, and their own dream — the dream of a valuable career — will present itself. All that is needed is a little time, effort, and dedication to make it happen.