When it comes to getting the word out about your new book, an article, or your latest blog update, how do you proceed? If you are like a lot of writers, the first thing you will do is to post the link on your social media pages.
After all, social media marketing has eclipsed all other forms now, hasn’t it?
Why bother with sending out email campaigns when these channels can do all the heavy lifting for you?
But is this the best way to go about promoting your content?
Are your posts getting through?
The idea of focusing solely on social media marketing seems to make a lot of sense, especially when you have a lot of followers. And, a few years ago, it would have given you ample exposure. Let’s say you were on Facebook. You would create your post, and it would be seen by all your followers.
Fast forward to now and things are completely different. Thanks to changes in Facebook’s policies, it now prioritizes the posts that it feels are of more value to your followers. That means posts that are liked, shared, commented, or paid advertising.
These days, you can consider yourself lucky if your followers see your posts thanks to this clever development. Of course, if you want to be sure they do see them, you can set up an ad campaign or beg friends and family to go in and like the post.
Either way, it is going to cost you something – money in the case of the adverts, and time in the case of getting family and friends involved.
Social Media is more about entertainment
Even if you do find a way to get your followers to see all your posts, you still might encounter problems converting these views to sales. That is because social media users are usually going to use the sites as a way to connect with people, or as a means of finding some interesting entertainment.
In other words, they are unlikely to be in a buying mood when reading your post.
To sum up, while social media has some benefits, it is not going to be the perfect delivery system for your marketing message.
What else is there?
Time for an interesting fact.
According to Statista, companies in the United States are increasing the email marketing budgets. It is forecast to be increased to $3,07 billion by the end of 2019. Well, costs go up, as we all know, but also the marketers who realize the value of email marketing increase in number.
The increase is not just in line with increasing costs. In fact, it is a billion dollars higher than the historic 2014 figures. That is an increase of just over 148% that shows how confidence in email marketing is strengthening again.
That email marketing campaigns could turn out to be successful is beyond doubt, regardless of others, newer forms of marketing like social marketing.
Email marketing is coming into its own now. Did you know, for example, that 77% of clients prefer to receive marketing communication via email?
Advantages of email campaigns for clients
The reasons for such preference differ from person to person. Email marketing communication might be preferable because:
And, with that last reason, we get an inkling of why some writers might feel that social media marketing meets their needs better. Because you cannot always guarantee that someone will open the email.
But the same can be said when it comes to a social media post as well. How do you know that the person is going to read the post? Or like, or share it? Social media marketing is just as fraught with difficulties and may even be more challenging because people aren’t in a buying mood.
Advantages of email campaigns for writers
Email marketing, when done with the correct tools and organized in the most optimal way, has a number of benefits.
The results can be monitored – You can check back and see which of your subscribers opened the mail and which did not. A good mass mailing system will be able to tell if they clicked on any links within the mail. As a marketer’s goal is to ensure the message is read, this is an extremely important part of the process.
So, an email campaign can benefit both the clients and the marketers, but it is important to get it right. The rules that we lay out below will help you make sure that your email campaigns get the kind of results that you are looking for:
Never spam clients
Remember what we said above about how clients can ignore emails? If you start spamming them, they are more likely to either ignore your emails or unsubscribe. Send out useful emails, once or twice a week. But don’t flood inboxes with rubbish.
Personalize the emails
Here we are talking about more than just using the person’s first name. We mean actually creating targeted emails for the different clients within your database based on demographics, buying patterns, etc. Say, for example, that you have a business that offers haircuts in London. How effective would a voucher be for someone who lived in Scotland?
Keep the subject line short and to the point
You want between six and ten words here to get maximum effect. Give them a reason to read through your email. Be specific rather than clever so that people know exactly what they are getting.
Be wary of looking like spam
You know the emails I am talking about. The ones that start with some claim like “Don’t miss this never to be repeated offer.” Or titles engineered to make you click on. While we want maximum response, don’t resort to dirty tricks to get it.
Provide useful content
Make sure that there is more to each mailing than just an attempt to sell something. What about creating a newsletter? Or how about sending a few emails that are just tips instead of having any sales content at all?
Use buttons for your call to action
A text link is not as effective as a button when it comes to your call to action. Put the “Buy Now,” or “Subscribe Now” as a clear and easy to press button to increase the chances of getting better results.
Tell subscribers what their next step is
This works in a similar way to the one above because it leaves the person in no doubt as to what she should do next. Don’t assume that she knows she must place an order on the site, or that she will know what documents to send through. Tell her.
Make it easy to unsubscribe
This is something that might not seem to make sense here, but you really only want people on your email list who want to be there. If you keep a good balance of interesting content and sales blurb, people won’t want to leave.
Implement A Clever Strategy
To make your email campaigns even more effective, start with a clever strategy.
Who is going to read what you have written? If you have created a course, for example, who is it going to be aimed at? If you have written an ebook, who is your target market?
Say, for example, that you have written a course aimed at teaching people how to rank higher in local SEO searches. Who are the people who are going to be most interested? In this case, you could define your primary market as businesses.
Now work through the strategy you should take when it comes to your emails. Could you single out the subscribers on your list who are self-employed and start there? Or look at people who occupy management positions in the company? Or possibly consider starting with businesses in your area and then expanding the area?
How well you are able to segment your list will depend on the amount of information you are able to get out of people when they subscribe, or what you can find out on your own through the company site or sites like LinkedIn.
So it is going to involve extra effort on your part to whittle this list down. Contrary to what you might think though, cutting the list down could actually increase your chances of making sales.
Why? You are not getting the message out to as many people off the bat, but you are increasing the chances of the campaign being successful by getting more qualified business leads coming in. You can also tailor your message a lot more precisely this way.
Best of all, those unlikely to buy don’t have to worry about being harassed by your company. Interestingly enough, good market segmentation can also help reduce how many people unsubscribe. Around about 24.5% of people unsubscribe because the emails they receive are not relevant to them.
This, however, is not the primary reason why people unsubscribe. The reason that makes about a third of people choose to hit the unsubscribe button is that they receive communications too frequently.
In this fast paced world, overloading your readers with more information than they need shows them that you neither understand them nor care about their needs.
And that is the kiss of death when it comes to a successful email marketing campaign.
Do yourself a favor.
First of all, find out as much about each market segment as you can. Find out what they want and need, and then you can develop a kickass campaign that gets results. The right tools are out there, but they will serve you not if you don’t operate with sufficient, relevant data.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.