8 Secrets to an Effective Author Email Campaign

email-keysYou know that email is an important marketing tool for selling your books. But how much do you really know about how to use it effectively? Here’s what you need to know about common email mistakes, and what you can do to maximize your email efforts.

1. Offer incentives for signing up. There’s a reason you hesitate to give out your email address to every Tom, Dick and Harry who asks for it. After all, if you did, you’d be getting hundreds of emails each day, many of which would be trying to sell you Viagra or SPAMming you with promotions from a restaurant you would never eat at. No, you only give out your email address when there’s a good reason for doing so; like a free giveaway or a discount at your favorite store. So in order to build your email list, think about what kinds of incentives you could offer your readers. Maybe it’s a downloadable discussion guide, or a discount off the subscription to your weekly audio podcast.

2. Make it clear that you won’t share email addresses. Sure, you know that you’d never sell your email list. But that doesn’t mean that everyone else knows you won’t share their email addresses. It’s such a simple thing; guaranteeing the security of the information people share with you. And yet, it can make the difference between someone giving you their address and not doing so.

3. Be clear about what people are signing up for. So you’re asking people to sign up for your e-mail alerts. But are you telling them what to expect? Do they know if they’re going to receive weekly updates? A monthly newsletter? Automatic alerts whenever you post a blog entry? Make sure you’re very clear about the frequency and the content of these emails. People will only sign up if they know what they’re signing up for.

3. Offer quality in your emails. This is so key … do NOT send out emails that are purely promotional. That’s a sure-fire way to turn off your audience. Instead, use your emails as an opportunity to share valuable information with your readers; something that they will appreciate. This will ensure that they open your future emails … and maybe actually respond to your promotions.

5. Always offer a call to action! Speaking of promotion; always make it easy for people to take action after reading your emails. Maybe that action is to “Like” you on Facebook. Maybe it’s to buy a copy of your latest book. Whatever your goal is in sending your email, make sure that you make it as easy as possible for the readers to actually do it.

6. Provide opt-outs. This is a legal requirement, so there’s no flexibility here. You MUST give people a way to opt out of your emails. If you don’t you may be reported … and then you’ll never be able to send an email again.

7. Don’t abuse your list. Don’t you hate it when you receive those daily emails from a clothing company or flower service? I mean, sure you like their stuff, but sometimes it’s just too much. They’re “abusing” their lists. And you should avoid making the same mistake. Only send out emails that are full of quality information. Put yourself in the position of a recipient; would you want to read this? Or is it just fluff? If it’s not important, don’t send it.

8. Provide share options. Let’s say you put together the perfect email to go to your readers. And let’s say one of those readers has a BFF that she thinks would love your email. Make sure you offer every recipient the option to share the email with friends. After all, the more the merrier!

Do you have any additional recommendations for a successful email campaign? Share them with us!