I had a funny conversation with my 14-year-old step-daughter recently. I asked her to email me a photo that she’d taken. She looked at me like I was insane. Her plan was just to upload her pictures to Facebook. In fact, she told me that she never sends emails. She doesn’t even know how to attach a document to an email. Boy did that make me feel old.
In today’s world of Web 2.0, we’re moving away from contact via email and into a world of Facebook, Twitter and text messages. Which is why fewer and fewer authors are using email to communicate with their fans. Instead, they’re just posting on Facebook or Tweeting.
But is that really a good idea? Has Facebook become a more effective means of communication than email? Some recent research indicates that’s not the case. Now this doesn’t mean that you SHOULDN’T use Facebook and Twitter, but it does mean that the good old-fashioned email newsletter shouldn’t be neglected.
In an issue of Internet and Marketing Report, it was reported that businesses who contact their customers — or potential customers — via email get a return on investment (ROI) of $43.62 per dollar spent. The numbers don’t lie. Email still pays off!
Here are just a few ways that authors like you can use email newsletters to your benefit:
- Promote radio/TV appearances
- Announce the release of your next book
- Provide special offers/discounts to “members”
- Run contests
By putting these things in a newsletter — instead of on Facebook or in a Tweet — you are putting the information you want to convey right in your readers inbox. This newsletter can be designed as you like, read as you like, and be as long or short as you may like (flexibility you don’t get through social networking). And, as the numbers say, there is still some serious financial benefit to sending those e-newsletters.
What do you think? Have you found email communication to be effective in promoting yourself or your books? Share your thoughts!