Self Publishing Questions Logo

SPQ 007: What are the Best Email Marketing Practices as an Author?

Written by Steve Scott on December 31, 2014. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
51 Flares 51 Flares ×

SPQ 007: What are the Best Email Marketing Practices as an Author?

The Question…

Alexis of AlexisGrant.com asked about best practices for email marketing. In this episode, Steve gives a behind-the-scenes look at how he markets his habit books via email.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Email marketing is the lifeblood of Steve’s marketing, but there’s a lot that goes into it. The first thing you need is a lead magnet, or something you give to people who sign up for your email list. Steve uses AWeber, LeadPages and an opt-in box to collect email addresses and market to his list of subscribers. He currently has several traffic sources: Kindle books, SlideShare, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. In the future, he wants to test YouTube, podcasting, and paid traffic.

Opt-in rate is the number of people who have signed up for an email list compared to how many people visited the landing page. If 100 people visit the page and 35 subscribe, that’s a 35 percent opt-in rate. Steve’s opt-in rates range from 35 to 65 percent, which are fairly high. Traffic from his Kindle books converts well because these people have already read his books and shown interest in his niche.

You must figure out how to get more subscribers without increasing your traffic.

There are three ways to do this:

  1. Switch your offer. If you currently offer a free book, consider offering a free audiobook to see if more people subscribe.
  2. Test your templates. LeadPages allows you to easily switch the templates on your landing pages.
  3. Test new headlines. Opt-in rates sometimes increase by 5 to 10 percent with a simple headline change.

Autoresponders are another important tool for email marketing. An autoresponder is a series of messages delivered in a specific sequence. Steve does an introductory autoresponder sequence with light offers. The warming sequence usually lasts from five to 14 days. He sends a short introductory message, a personal message, and a list of tips and tools.

Eventually, Steve sends subscribers broacast messages to let them know what is going on with his business. For example, he sends a broadcast message when he releases a new book, when there is a new post on Develop Good Habits, and when he is offering free or discounted content. He also sends broadcast messages when he wants to poll his audience or solicit questions from readers.

Here’s a screenshot (in Aweber) of how Steve segments his list and sends email only to the people who have completed his autoresponder sequence:

Aweber List Segmentation

Key Takeaways

SPQ 007: What are the Best Email Marketing Practices as an Author? from Steve Scott

Resource Links

Alexis Grant: The website of entrepreneurial author Alexis Grant

The Write Life: A place for writers to learn how to make more money with their craft

AWeber: Email marketing tools

LeadPages: Tool for creating website landing pages

Develop Good Habits: Steve’s blog on habit development

  • Steve,

    So much great advice on email marketing I’m surprised you haven’t written an e-book on the habits of proper email marketing.

    Personally I like the authors/marketers who share unique content to their email lists. I’ve seen plenty who pitch, pitch, pitch when all I want is great content I can’t find anywhere else.

    I respect the fact that you share stuff that is just great stuff – it really shows you care about your audience.

    Any favorites when it comes to books on email marketing?

    It isn’t a book, but Kimberley Grabas over at Your Writer Platform had a great series called Email List Building Series that I found helpful.

    Off to episode 8!

    George

    • Steve Scott

      I do have a book on email marketing, called “Email Marketing Blueprint.” But it’s been almost two years since it was published, so it needs some updating.

      I’ve heard about Kimberley’s course, haven’t checked it out. But will do so ASAP!

  • I do have a book on email marketing, called “Email Marketing Blueprint.” But it’s been almost two years since it was published, so it needs some updating.

    I’ve heard about Kimberley’s course, haven’t checked it out. But will do so ASAP!

  • Prasenjeet Kumar

    Hi Steve, have you ever tried a rafflecopter giveaway to build your list? What is your opinion?

    • Prasanjeet — I’ve heard good things, but haven’t tried it. Running a contest has been on list forever. And when I get back from my trip (in February), I will make it a priority. Then I’ll report back in an episode and report the results.

  • Pingback: TSE 019: Successful Kindle Publishing with Steve Scott()

  • Pingback: How to Launch a #1 Best-Selling Book — The 5-Day Plan That Works | Authority Self-Publishing Podcast()

  • Pingback: How to Launch Your Book--The 5-Day Plan That Works | Authority Self-Publishing()