So you’ve chosen an email marketing system to cultivate a list and client base. You’re sending out your latest team announcements, delivering your valuable offers, and you’re getting subscribers. But are you making the most of email marketing? The honest answer is NO. There is a significant problem with this process. New subscribers just get the messages you send after they’ve joined, and they will never see all of the messages you sent before they subscribed.
Drip Email Marketing (DEM) can solve this problem. Here is why.
Often called autoresponders, marketing automation, or drip email campaigns – DEM is a proven method to maximize your email marketing efforts and multiply your conversion rates. In essence, Drip Email Marketing is an example of how the latest software solutions, valuable content, and adding creativity to the mix, can help you boost the effectiveness of any platform (in your sleep). DEM tools can schedule a series of emails, configured according to a multitude of parameters, helping you send the right email to the right person at the right time.
An example of this is sending new subscribers a “Welcome!” email, shortly after their subscription. If you provide content on your site, the next email could lead them to some of the best and highest converting content you created in the last 6 months, to “bring them up to speed”, and offering them something they “missed”.
DEM tools, however, are so much more than this! You can further program these drip emails to certain “actions” or “triggers”. One example is strengthening your remarketing efforts. Maybe someone bought a product from you that usually takes 8-10 weeks to use up. Why not send an email to them with an offer for the next batch, when their supply is getting low? Or maybe there are those who opened your premium service page several times – but they were not ready to take the plunge and buy it. Maybe all they need is a little nudge in the appropriate direction.
In short, you can have several sets of emails going out to customers or subscribers triggered by their actions and behavior.
Creating impactful emails can also be daunting. So here are 5 Tips to Skyrocket Your Email Conversions with Drip Email Marketing.
1. Clear Subject Lines
Successful drip campaigns are bold when it comes to subject lines – you can experiment with a personal tone or high emotions, but first and foremost, you have to avoid clutter. The subject line should read clean, the drip campaign emails should be numbered, and have the same format. The emails will stand out as a nice collection in the subscriber’s inbox.
2. Personal Touch
It depends on the kind of business, but almost every industry leader or influencer benefits from putting it all out there. If you are ready to open up and share personal stories about your life that can relate to your product, you should, because that builds trust.
Quality content always helps, it makes your efforts more professional. A good video or soundbite, or a useful pdf – these all make great additions to your emails and form grounds for sharing. If you send out something that you honestly think is worth sharing, make sure you add the necessary social buttons, and offer copy-paste or pre-placed recommendation text!
4. Share your enthusiasm
There is no shame in being happy that someone is interested in you enough to actually subscribe to your stuff. This is news! You can let your customers know that, so they become a part of your story, and draw inspiration from it. Don’t overplay it, but express your gratefulness and make your subscribers trust that their decision will surely bring something positive in their lives or career.
Who doesn’t like surprises? A secret trick: make promises, like exactly how many emails your drip campaign contains, but spice it up a little. Send some extra offers or bonus content that you do not mention, but only in the email series you present them.
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For more information about CT Virtual and the Virtual Assistant, Drip Email Marketing (DEM) Content Writing, Copywriting and Programming services we offer to Online Business Coaches, Authors, and Speakers – schedule a free 30-minute discovery session.
Building Your Author Platform
Sometimes it’s called an author platform, writing platform, branding, social media presence, or what have you, but essentially, all these things are based on the same principle: you need to create a solid foundation for your writing business in order to build awareness, sustain it, and sell more books.
The word “platform’ might seem terrifying, but if you know all the variables involved ahead of time, and break them down into actionable goals, building your author platform is easier than you thought. In this article, we will set you up with a plan on how to build up and maintain your author platform and connect everything, with small steps, so you can experience a gradual, steady increase in your visibility and reputation. So, let’s get to it!
- Author Websites: Yes, you might think that in 2015 a website is not quintessential anymore because of other existing platforms – but it is. In fact, most book marketers believe, next to email marketing, your website is the most important entity of your Author Platform. You need a stable foundation for your online presence, one that you have complete and unlimited control of. Building a solid author website is not necessarily a huge burden on your time if you have great author website designer, but there are other options as well. You can hire professional designers, or create one yourself using Wix or Grid, without having to write a single line of code. Blog engines like WordPress or Blogger also offer beautiful templates, but a blog template site may not have all the features you want. In this case, you can hire a Virtual Assistant Company that specializes in WordPress to enhance your site and make it complete. Alternatively, you can register on a personal branding site network like me. These are not the same as completely functional websites, but it can do the trick until you have a real site up and running. As an Author, it is important that you buy a personal URL or domain under your author or pen name.
- Contacts and List Building: Digital media offers a wide selection of tools to boost you author platform. But first, make certain to utilize your your personal and professional contacts, who can help you grow, give you feedback and spread the word, and create an opt-in list for them to join or for you to add contacts manually. This is referred to as your “Core Fan Base”. Next, make a list of people outside your network. This list should include your favorite authors (who write the same genre as your books), experts on the subjects you write about, and other stakeholders and media professionals. Now you can start looking for ways to use the first group to give the second group access to your author platform. Continue to build your lists by continuously sharing your opt-in list signup and by manually adding new contacts you meet.
Worried About Plagiarism?
I recently stumbled upon another book marketing blog post and I noticed the article appeared stunningly similar to a post I had written a few months back. Out of curiosity, I decided to read on and to check other posts this blogger had written. Thoroughly astonished, I learned she didn’t just copy my exact opinions and phrases from one article and pass them on as her own (changing only the titles), she actually copied several and word-for-word in many places. Enrage would be too strong of a word to describe how I felt at the time about a person I had never met before, but I couldn’t help but take this personal. I was NOT at all happy – to say the least. After further investigation, I additionally learned this blogger (RE-WRITER) had been a subscriber to my blog’s email list. So I guess you can say I’ve been “filling her plagiarism tank” for the past year.
Let’s be honest, it’s quite common to check out the competitors from time to time for gaining valuable insight. But whether or not I follow other experts in the industry and utilize the information I learn through competitive analysis to formulate future articles on my blog – it has always been important for me that I put out genuine and unique content and only write about what I know. On this point alone, I can remember every word and sentence I have ever written. To make a long story short, I am in the process of integrating a new WordPress plugin that will hopefully deter others from doing this in the future. It has disabled the RIGHT CLICK and COPY functionality one has when visiting a site. I will also be issuing a letter to the RE-WRITER kindly requesting she take down the content she did not originate and I’m hoping she will not have a problem with this.
But what can you do avoid this from happening to you?
My Virtual Assistant colleague and friend, Crystal Curran of REVAVille VA Mentoring and RedHotVA.com, has recently crafted a very insightful post on this topic. Read more…
Book Marketing Pitches
In the previous articles of this series, we discussed what strategy you should use in getting your book on the shelves of Costco and other specialty stores, and tips for pitching your book or whether a certain store and your book are a good match. This process has a sweet spot – the pitch you give to the store manager. Now we share some simple techniques that will greatly increase your chance to succeed at the pitching, and land a deal!
Tip 1: One Page Layout (Your Book Sell Sheet): No matter how rich you plan your pitch to be, and what tools you want to use to present it, if any, in the end, always have a good-looking, clean, book sell sheet you can hand over, with the most necessary info: reviews, endorsements, key selling points – think of it as a CV for your book! Check out my blog post on creating book sell sheets.
Tip 2: Clarify Your Terms: Simply make sure you figure out all the numbers before a sit-down with the manager. Being open minded does help, but you will need to start somewhere. Decisions made in the heat of the moment do not add up later. It is paramount to set your bottom line beforehand – prepare to give them around 50% of your book sales. The exposure is worth it. Read more…
Pitching Your Book to Store Managers
In my last installment, I told you how to approach Costco and other local specialty stores to feature your book. A key element of that process is convincing the store manager that your book is exactly what their business needs right now. How to do that? I will show you.
You probably heard the expression, which is popular amongst start-uppers, that your business needs to identify a problem, and offer help, a solution. Thinking along the same lines, you need to think through, how can your book help these dealers. When you pitch your book, you will use these arguments as the cornerstones of your presentation.
First argument: Why is your book a good fit in that given store?
You need to think through the target audience of the store and identify any matches with the target audience of your book. You can start plain and simple, just check out the books on sale there, thoroughly. It is even better if you check what is on offer regularly, so you can see the tendencies. What goes in big quantities or has great turnovers? What titles seem to stick there without anyone touching them? Some innocent questions to the store clerks about ‘popular’ books can’t hurt.
Analyze the situation at hand and come with a good, well-phrased argument: “My book is a great fit into your store because it fits perfectly with the Element X of your target group. I see you sell a lot of Category B themed books, and my book is exactly about that.” Read more…
Tips for Getting Your Book Into Costco
A frequently asked question by clients is “How are some self-published authors able to get their book into Costco? Making sure your book gets on the shelves of Costco and other specialty stores is actually not that difficult – if you know what to look out for, and what you can use to your advantage. Here I give you some pro insight for invading the stores that matter.
There are a particular set of criteria that needs to be met to get national distribution in Costco, and most of these are very clear and easily found online. Stock moves quickly here, so everything needs to be up-to-date, including literature. Movie tie-ins are one obvious example and book versions of current movies are always getting big visibility. Read more…
There are differences between what some people consider to be a successful writer or author, but in most cases everyone wants to be a professional writer.
Question is: do you have what it takes?
If you ever had the courage to call yourself a writer, you probably saw the amazement and slight disbelief in your conversation partners’ eyes. A writer? Is that something that can actually pay the bills? What are you writing?
Many of us have this image of the writer: a person, who is doing something for a living, but she finds herself regularly typing away in her spare time, and after a considerable amount of time, she shows her writing to other people. And guess what, it turns out to be a best seller! And she has become a millionaire, within the blink of an eye. So finally, she can be a writer, because she now has financial security. She can write whatever she wants, actually.
And there the millions of others, who do the same thing, but fail at producing a best seller at the first try. Why? Well, obviously because they are not talented enough.
This is how we generalize. Simplistic, yes, and of course, could not be further away from the truth.
I have some bad news for some of you: talents actually do matter. If you don’t find writing easy, enjoyable, and if you don’t get positive feedback regularly from people outside your family (professors, editors, random people on the Internet, friends with decent tastes and honest words), chances are you are chasing a profession that is substandard (for you).
But with hard work, you can still get there. Problem is: it is real hard work and does require a certain amount of talent as well. Read more…
Benefits of Authors Blogging
In our previous blog article Why Fiction Writers Need to Blog, we discussed the importance of blogging for writers and what to blog about. In building upon this topic, here we discuss the benefits of blogging and how it can be a great supplement to your overall marketing strategy and author platform.
As you write and plan out future articles, there is no question that you will become more proficient at blogging and more confident in your writer’s voice, but you will additionally be building your author platform by gaining an online audience you would otherwise not have, just by having a static website. While the benefits of blogging appear endless, some are more important than others. Below are my top five benefits to authors blogging that helps to expand your platform and in order of importance. Read more…
Fiction writing is a fantastical, imaginary place, both for you, the writer, and for anyone reading your piece. But writing the most creative, wondrous book or short story doesn’t mean you’ll actually find anyone to enjoy it like you know they would, if only they knew about it.
The truth of the matter is there are a ton of fiction writers out there, and we all want our voices to be read. Sure, you can tell everyone you meet that you wrote a great book, and sure, they might actually go read it. But chances are they’ll forget about it as soon as they walk away.
Here’s where blogging can come in handy. Read more…
In this day and age, most self-published authors know that securing book reviews is very important to their overall marketing strategy and is a necessity for creating that initial buzz around their book. At the end of the day, reviews influence other buyers. But not all reviews are created equal. If that were the case, every author applying the same marketing principles would have an equivalent outcome.
Let’s explore this further and assume your work is good or even great. You have already received Amazon reviews from friends, a few buyers, and some bloggers (with spotty followings) who received a free copy of your book. This is a great start, but what’s next? Are your book sales flowing in? I can’t imagine so. The reason for this is because you haven’t penetrated your market (with enough repetition) to a level that will ultimately affect your book sales. In order to penetrate your market, you must be potent. You will need to be visible wherever your target audience is hanging out.
In this blog post, I have outlined 2 strategies, among many, for getting book reviews that actually have an impact on sales. Read more…