Email Marketing Tips for Booksellers
In an earlier post we discussed the importance of email marketing for publishers. Now we’d like to discuss execution of your email marketing campaign.
This post will cover the types of emails you should send and offer a few email marketing best practices. By learning these two elements you should be able to:
- Sell more books online
- Always offer value
- Build relationships
- Stay off the blacklists
Types of Emails to Send
At this point we’re assuming you’ve built a decent email list using your connections or other opt-ins, and have permission to send emails to everyone in this list. Getting permission is a big step forward in your relationship with customers, so let's make sure you don't blow it on the first date.
It’s a good idea that your first email be a templated ‘Welcome’ message. Use this to give your subscribers a refresher as to who you are and what they’re in for. From there, the sky is the limit.
The types of emails you send can and should vary. They should also do their best to relate to your customers and offer the value you promised.
Email marketing is a multipurpose approach. Types of emails cover a wide range and can include:
- Industry Newsletters
- Announcements—new products, giveaways, and contests
- New & Curated Content—blogs and other outlets
- Quizzes and Surveys
- Social Media Sends — Like options to Retweet Twitter posts from within an email
- Dedicated Sends — Which contain information on a singular offer
This list is pretty basic, but should be enough to get you thinking.
Email Marketing Tips
Hopefully by now you believe email marketing works. If it didn’t, billions of successful companies all over the globe wouldn’t be doing it. That being said, we’d like to impart on you a few tips that will help you not only increase book sales, but also keep you from getting blacklisted.
- Spend time on your subject lines.
No matter how great your content may be, if your subject lines are crap nobody is going to see it. Instead of focusing on length, spend time crafting engaging subject lines that tell subscribers what your email contains as concisely as possible.
This is one of the tougher parts of email marketing and conversely, one of the most important.
- Send emails when people are more likely to open them.
A study by Experian stated that emails sent on the weekends had higher open and click rates. Logic says people are more likely to open emails when they have time to read them—weekends, morning, lunch hours.
To find that sweet spot, play around with times and see what the data tells you about your subscribers.
- Segment your emails.
An email segment is a special subsection of your email list that receives targeted messaging. For example: Readers only interested in Historical Fiction.
This goes back to providing your subscribers with information that has the most value to them and will also help keep them from clicking on that nasty UNSUBSCRIBE button.
Email Marketing to Increase Book Sales
These are just some basics to get you started. Email marketing offers tons of flexibility. It can be as simple as product updates, or as complex as campaigns focused around a single title or a series.
Your main purpose is to increase book sales, but you also need to keep your subscribers engaged and offer relevant content.
Email marketing takes a bit of experimentation, so get ready for some highs and lows, but don’t get discouraged. Concentrate on making sure you are giving subscribers what they want and need without overloading their inbox. Once you find that healthy balance they will open, click, and buy!