As I’ve mentioned many times before, collecting email addresses is a great way for an author to stay in touch with a ready-made audience of followers. By putting together an email list, an author can contact readers (instead of waiting for readers to come back to their website) when they are ready to announce a new book, a media appearance, etc…
In fact, even when compared to Facebook “fans,” each email address on your newsletter list is golden. According to BrightWaveMarketing.com, too many companies are giving up their “Register” buttons and replacing them with “Follow” buttons.
But, get this: A prospect’s email address can be worth anywhere from $23-118, while the average Facebook fan is only worth about $3.60. Remember, though: email addresses are only worth that much when you use them effectively. Here are some guidelines:
1. Track your emails! Make sure to send out your mass emails through an email client that allows you to track open rates, click-thru rates, etc… One such company is Vertical Response, but there are many others. This information is invaluable — it allows you to compare how different emails and subject lines perform, and adjust accordingly.
2. Personalize, whenever possible. People respond best to emails that seem to be personalized to them. If you have someone’s first name, use it in the subject line or the beginning of the email. If you know that a certain user either has or hasn’t purchased your book already, you can send them a customized email based on that information.
3. Think quality. People are going to read your emails if you have something of value to share with them. Maybe it’s an informative article. Maybe it’s a special deal on your new book. Make sure that your emails aren’t just promotional; they need to offer something to the reader as well.
4. Be consistent. Use the same “from” line in every email. If possible, keep the same format, too. People like knowing who they’re getting an email from and what to expect within it.
5. Don’t overdo it! There’s one thing that you really want to avoid in an email campaign: unsubscribes. Legally, you’re required to allow someone to unsubscribe from your email with one click. However, what you can do is learn about why people unsubscribe and avoid making those mistakes. The most common reasons people opt not to receive your messages any more? 1. Nothing of value in them (see point 4 above); and 2) They receive far too many messages. Ask yourself how often you’d like to be emailed by a company, and adjust your frequency accordingly. Anything more than once a week is probably too much.