7 Ways Authors & Publishers Can Create Targeted Email Lists
As an author or publisher, you gather leads from book events, social media, your website, and from subscribers to your blog or newsletter.
You have a good-sized list and you’ve developed some pretty snazzy email campaigns, but you have been a bit disappointed in the open and click-through rates.
It could be that your snazzy campaign wasn’t relevant to everyone. Based on data from MailChimp, segmented campaigns get 14% more opens and 59% more clicks than campaigns that are not segmented.
Segmenting your email list is a terrific way to boost results. Segmenting leads means breaking your target audience into different segments based on similar characteristics. Having a targeted list allows you to fine-tune your messages and provide a more customized experience. The more personalized your messaging, the more engaged your leads will be!
You might be thinking that list segmentation is a complex concept for more sophisticated marketers and how could that apply to your book sales? Isn’t that market already specific enough?
Here’s the thing. Targeting leads doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out these simple-to-implement best practices for targeting leads.
Segmenting based on demographic information is one of the most basic approaches. Information like gender, age, and what someone does for a living can be very useful in breaking down your audience. You should be sensitive about asking for too much information, but decide what is important for YOUR goals.
Let’s say you are marketing a book that is targeted at females. If your email campaign is designed with your target audience in mind and sent only to the females on your list, your results will be exponentially better than if you were to send a general blast to your entire list.
2. Geographic Area
Another basic tool for targeting your list that can come in handy is location. If you’re planning to be at a publishing conference in Colorado, your leads in New Jersey probably won’t find that information relevant. Zoom in on location, and send the right message to the right people. Grab their attention with a great call-to-action or subject line, like “I’ll be in your area next week!”
3. Lead Source
Targeting by where leads come from is a simple way to segment your email list and deliver content that meets the preferences of your subscribers. For example, if they signed-up through your blog, you could cross-promote other channels. Something like, “Hey, we know you enjoy our blog posts, check us out on Facebook for more news about what we’re up to!” The added bonus of segmenting by source is that you get a clear picture of where the majority of your leads are coming from.
4. Past Purchases
Another great way to fine-tune your targeting. If you know a customer purchased a book in the past and you’re releasing another in the same series, who better to keep in the loop on updates as to when the next book is being released?!
5. Email Engagement
Chances are the email marketing platform you use provides reporting on email results. If you segment by inactive and active subscribers, you can easily customize campaigns based on engagement level.
Pick a timeframe that works for your schedule. Say a subscriber has not opened one of your emails for three months. Place them in the “inactive” segment. You can then create a campaign that motivates them to re-engage, maybe by offering a discount on your next book release. Or, focus on active subscribers and create a campaign thanking them for their loyalty and offer a sample chapter or free ebook.
6. Create a Survey
Perhaps when you initially captured your subscribers, you only asked for an email address and you have little to no information on them. You can create and send a custom survey to get more data on who they are or what they’re interested in. Providing an incentive to complete the survey will help your response rate. Try entering them into a drawing if they return your survey!
7. Segment by Genre or Author
If you are a publisher that represents a variety of authors or genres, build targeted lists of your readers based on their interests. For example, if you’re sending out a news blast for Author X’s new book release, the most engaged audience would be a list of their known fans. Or if you’re introducing a new romance title, your segmented romance readers should be the first to know. This is also a surefire way to increase engagement with your campaigns, as you can be sure you're sending content that you know the audience will love.
Your subscribers are busy people. Generic email campaigns that are not relevant to their needs or interests will get deleted. Worse yet, they might unsubscribe. When you take the time to customize your messaging with meaningful content, your subscribers will feel good about you. Speaking directly to your consumers and providing timely, relevant content will improve your email engagement rates and help you build a loyal following!