selling books

Selling Books with Email Marketing: 6 Great Tips

Salmaan Ahmad

Salmaan Ahmad

January 10, 2024

Writing and publishing a book might seem like the most critical parts of becoming an author, but selling books into the hands of readers is equally important. Writers who self-publish today can use one strategy that allows them to interact directly with readers and potential readers regularly, something that authors just a few decades ago could only dream about called email marketing.

What Is Email Marketing?

Sending curated content to a group of subscribers for various purposes is called email marketing. Authors and businesses of all sizes use email marketing strategies to connect directly with their audience, tailor the message and content to the reader, and focus the recipient on making specific actions like purchasing a product.

Authors can benefit from email marketing by creating content to strengthen their brand as an author to help drive sales. However, marketing through email campaigns is especially beneficial for self-published authors because it offers a unique opportunity to build a dedicated audience for their work.

Email Marketing for Selling Books

Connecting with readers through carefully designed email messages is a great way for an author to work toward selling books. However, email marketing strategies help self-published authors in ways that other marketing tools cannot.

Budget-Friendly: Partnering with an email company and writing your own marketing content is a cost-effective way to reach potential readers. Without spending much money, self-published authors can create and send content to directly impact selling books.

Direct Contact: Email marketing subscriber lists are the only kind of marketing that goes directly to the consumer at their request. And since most people access their email regularly, if not daily, this type of marketing is highly likely to be read or reviewed by the recipient, unlike mass marketing strategies that hope to connect with a small percentage of the targeted audience.

Engagement and Conversion Rates: Authors that use email companies like Mailchimp or ConvertKit to send, organize, and monitor their email campaigns have access to metrics that will help them understand who is opening each email as well as what kinds of engagement results from each message. Authors can adjust their marketing messages to be more effective or reach their target reader with each email, making this type of marketing strategy very nimble, ideal for an author selling books.

Expertise: By crafting content to demonstrate their niche knowledge, personality, and writing voice, authors can use email marketing campaigns to position themselves as an expert in their field.

On-going Opportunity: Email marketing doesn’t have to begin or end at any time, making it the ideal platform for brand awareness year-round. Instead of only creating excitement around a book launch or an in-person event, email messages can be sent out for many different purposes so authors can stay in contact with their audience and to help in selling books.

Relationship Building: While the ultimate goal of email marketing may be selling books, authors have the chance to build authentic relationships with their readers through targeted marketing messages, asking for feedback or input from readers and speaking directly to their audience through their email content. Readers love to feel like they are learning behind-the-scenes content or hearing directly from their favorite author, and this type of marketing gives readers this opportunity.

Steps to Selling Books with Email Marketing

Developing a plan to use email marketing for selling books begins with finding the right platform to use.

1. Set Up Email Marketing Account

Many authors use low-cost email, marketing, and automation platforms to develop, launch, and monitor email campaigns. Choose a platform like ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp or Hubspot and create a basic account to create a homebase for your emails and provide access to critical metrics that will allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns for selling books.

2. Begin Acquiring Subscribers

Email marketing is more effective than other types of marketing because recipients choose to be added to the email list. Building a list of subscribers is key, however, so working your list from all different angles is the best bet to reaching those who will be interested in your content or those who already know and love your work.

  • Website Landing Pages can help capture subscribers who have visited your author or book website organically. These can be configured to pop up for new visitors or when a visitor not on your list arrives at the site.
  • Point of Sale pop-ups can ask customers if they would like to subscribe to your email list as they are checking out. This is a great way to offer added value to selling books by reminding readers that they can also receive free content from their favorite author via future email content.
  • Social Media offers a simple but very effective way to link a subscription sign-up. Utilizing genre, keyword, or thematic hashtags to loop in non-followers can expand the visibility of social media posts, widening the potential subscriber pool even further. Pinned posts or links posted in a bio can make subscription links easily accessible as well.
  • Live Event Signups can be a good way to offer a digital benefit when attending in-person events with potential readers. A QR code linked to a subscription sign-up, the sale page, or the website’s new visitor landing page can all further an author’s email group list and facilitate selling books at the same time.
  • Referral Incentives can be offered to subscribers who share the sign-up like with others who also join. Discounts on merchandise or books or offers for early access to content or book launches are all benefits that fans love to receive.
  • Blogging provides a consistent platform for gently reminding readers of the extra content they can receive through an email subscription with an author.
  • Collaborations with other writers, genre groups, or organizations can give an author the chance to exchange shoutouts to encourage new subscribers to join each other’s groups, expanding each’s potential readership exponentially.

3. Welcome New Subscribers

Create an email specifically to address new subscribers that feels personal and authentic. Tell them about the community they have joined and a little bit about yourself to build excitement about the upcoming content.

4. Develop a Follow-up Strategy

Once new subscribers are on board, develop a handful of emails to introduce your brand and lay the groundwork for future communications. These emails may run concurrently with regularly planned content, so let the recipients know how many of these “extra” emails they can expect.

5. Craft an Email Plan

Deciding what to write to your new subscribers should be calculated to build relationships and help your readers see you as an expert in your field. Emails generally fall into six basic categories, and your email design should include a mix of these to keep engagement high and increase interest in your brand and, ultimately, selling books.

  • Content about your current projects, characters, or stories you have in the works that will build excitement about your books and your brand as a writer.
  • Sales emails that are focused on directly encouraging selling books of new, past or bundled book sales.
  • News and updates about your writing, upcoming books, content you are working on, or personal news you want to share with your readers.
  • Giveaways that will encourage readers to engage with you and your writing community.
  • Offering a copy of an earlier work with a presale of your newest work is a great way to hook readers into a series of selling books.
  • Pre-launch content can help an author hype their upcoming book, and readers love to get a first look or insider content that other readers do not.

Segment Targeting

Using your email partner’s metric tracking, consider targeting your content based on the user’s engagement. If a recipient has never opened an email, trigger a specific email designed to grab their attention or tempt them with an offer. For high engagement level readers, create a “thank you” email that acknowledges their interest in your work, books and content and recognizes them as top followers.

6. Focus on Engagement

Pay attention to how effective each category of email is and focus on creating content that your subscribers show you that they love. Make authenticity a goal so your readers feel like they are hearing from you and not a message written by a marketer. Email marketing for selling books should always keep in mind that the purpose of content creation is to encourage the recipient to act, with the ultimate goal of buying a book. So any engagement should be measured against a potential reader’s excitement about the author’s work and book content.

Create a Beautiful Book

Increasing book sales with email marketing should always begin with a gorgeous book. Publishing Xpress can help you take your manuscript and turn it into a beautiful book that your readers will love. With years of experience working with self-publishing authors, you can be confident that your book will look perfect, ready to get into the hands of your subscribers and fans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 Publishing Xpress. All Rights Reserved.

Email Quote