Email Marketing for Authors: Savvy Authors Sell More Books.
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Email marketing ideas from bestselling author Tim FerrissLectures on creating audio format lead magnets using free software
Are you an author in despair over your lack of royalties? Perhaps you are new to publishing and didn’t realize how little marketing publishers do for their authors. Maybe you are self-published and are overwhelmed at all the different roles you have to play. The ‘overwhelmed author’ isn’t a cliché, it’s a reality.
We ALL need to work hard to market our books to get them seen amongst the thousands that are published every week. One way is to pay for advertising – but that’s expensive and can be very hit and miss.
The best way is through email marketing. Email marketing for authors means that you don't 'lose' every person who buys you book - you have a way of staying in contact with them. At it's most simple, it's a link you can put in your books that leads people to a signup page (we show you how to do this even if you don't have a website). Then, once you have readers' email addresses, you can email them to let them know when you publish new books, have your books on Countdown Deals, or are appearing as a guest blogger or interviewee on podcasts, videos, etc.
Maybe you know that you should be doing email marketing, but you aren't! The fact is that authors who do email marketing sell more books. It's simply about the math -- the more people you are able to tell about your books, and the more people you have to help you when it comes to launching a new book, the more sales you will have. You have already sold once to your existing readers, selling to them again is much easier – they already love you!
Email marketing is the #1 way to increase your royalties and sell more books. Why? Well, Amazon and other book sellers don’t share the details of who buys books. Lots of people have probably already bought your book(s) but you have no way of getting in touch with them. If you could, you could build a relationship with them.
Enter email marketing. That’s what it is – or what it is meant to be. It’s about building a relationship with your readers. It isn’t about cheesy selling. It’s subtle, powerful, inexpensive, and very effective.
Many authors put it off, thinking it is too expensive or difficult. A few have tried it and lost heart – not knowing what to write in emails. Some have found the technology too fiddly.
That’s why we created this course. We wanted to provide a step-by-step guide to email marketing for authors and content creators.
If you are daunted by setting up an email list, starting your email marketing; or maybe you've tried it and couldn't work out the technology, or couldn't get enough people to opt in to your list, then this is the course you should take next -- before you do anything else.
Because this is the foundation of your author platform – you can do it with no marketing budget (using free email marketing software) and even without a website. Starting to build your list means that you will have vital infrastructure in place. Everything else you do to market and promote your book will build your success exponentially, rather than you starting from scratch (or -- horror! -- relying solely on Amazon) each and every time you launch a new book.
We (Cathy and Michelle) have decades of experience between us and we work with authors and content creators to help them turn what they know into a book and grow a successful business. Using email marketing was how Cathy was able to go from selling 37 copies of her first book at launch, to selling hundreds of copies of her second over a weekend and getting a Amazon #1 bestseller. And it's how one of her students got his free book to #5 on Amazon. And you can do this too -- whether you write fiction or non-fiction.
If you have the infrastructure in place, and you are building a relationship with people who know, like, and trust you then you will have more success as an author. Whatever success means to you -- income, lifestyle, recognition, or just peace and quiet to write your books – you can achieve it. It all starts with staying in touch with people who want to stay in touch with you.
We love to work with people who have a message, a mission, and something to share. In this course, we don't just show you the technology, we explain the strategies behind the technology. We understand why they work, and we bring you only the absolute best, tried and tested techniques.
Even though we call this an introductory level course, some of the things we teach are being used by the top 1% of online marketers. You will not only have all the basics in place when you finish this course, but you'll have a whole list of new and up-to-date ideas you can implement in the weeks, months and years to come.
Inside this course, you'll discover:
Our teaching style is friendly, warm and highly motivating. But don't be deceived. Even though we make the content appear deceptively simple, we are very smart, very experienced, and we know what works (and what doesn't). We also know what to do to make it easy for you to implement.
We break down the jargon and walk you, step-by-step, through the process of creating a free gift, setting up a list, collecting email addresses, and building a relationship with your subscribers in a way that is authentic to you. We help you build a real and genuine relationship with your readers, get to know them and stay in touch with them -- so that you can ultimately sell more books and make more money as an author. And do it in a way that feels great and is in alignment with your values and your style of communication.
Here are some of the downloadable PDFs that are included with the course.
We love to teach (Michelle was a teacher earlier in her career!) and we have tens of thousands of students who already learn with us on Udemy and elsewhere.
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|Section 1: Introduction|
Welcome to the #1 way to sell more books!
This introductory video looks at who are we and why should you listen to us. We tell you why email marketing is your single most powerful book marketing strategy. The sooner you implement the teaching in this course, the sooner you will reap the rewards of more book sales and more royalties.
We'll show you how to get started, even if you don't know what some of the terms mean - we'll explain and walk you through them.
This course is primarily for authors but the content we cover is relevant for anybody who has any kind of content. This is the fundamentals of email marketing and applies to anybody who wants to build an email list. You can even do this if you don't have a website.
You probably already know you *should* be building an email list but you may be overwhelmed by the process or the technology, or you started and maybe found that people just didn't subscribe. No problem. We understand you and we want to share everything we know.
Many authors who are super successful, thanks to email marketing, say that they wish they had got started with email marketing earlier. Why wait? Start now.
Let's start with why THIS is the most powerful thing you can do to sell more books (including an example of how one of Cathy's students got his book to #5 on Amazon.com).
Yes there is some jargon but we demystify it for you and explain -- in plain language -- the 10 terms you MUST understand in order to get started and be able to use all kinds of email marketing software. We are not techies and we make it easy to understand for you too!
|Section 2: Getting Someone On Your List: The Process Explained|
The process is simple - you are sending people from your book to your email list - and then back to your other books (or content). In this video we map out the high-level process and in the subsequent videos we show you step-by-step how to implement each one of them.
We have designed this process exactly for writers, authors and content creators - people just like you (and us!).
|Section 3: First Steps: Creating A Free Gift (and what to do even if you have zero content!|
The five most effective incentives that you can offer to encourage someone to sign up for your list.
No more "subscribe to my newsletter" or "here's the first chapter of my book". No. We understand the psychology behind this and have designed five of the best possible types of "Lead Magnet" so that you turn more of your visitors and readers into email subscribers.
We have solutions for fiction and non-fiction authors and we even have solutions that require ZERO additional content creation.
You have no excuse -- you can get started today!
CREATING FANCY PDFs - PART ONE
In this video, Michelle demonstrates live how to create a fancy PDF.
There a several things we can do with PDFs that we can't do with documents that are going to be printed: we can get funky with color and we can use large, bold fonts. Don't be afraid to add page colors and backgrounds, or use shapes that you then add text in.
The main thing to remember, to make a PDF professioal, is consistency. If you use a blue border on one image, use a blue border on all images - or a shadow, or a reflection, whatever, just keep it consistent.
You can go bigger than usual with fonts, too. Choose a clear, easy-to-read font as most PDFs are read on a device.
CREATING FANCY PDFs - PART TWO: AUTOMATIC TABLE OF CONTENTS
This video demonstrates how to add an automatic table of contents. In it, Michelle has created a Word document and PDF in the style of one of Michael Hyatt's giveaways.
Both the Word document and the PDF are downloadable. You can use the Word document to add your own text, colors, images, etc., and then convert it to a PDF - either using Word's 'Save As... PDF' feature or by using third-party software (see the next video!).
SAVING AS PDF - FREE THIRD-PARTY PDF CREATION SOFTWARE
If you have Word 2007 or newer, you can save as PDF direct from there. However, you might want to consider trying out some third-party PDF creation software. There are several free ones to choose from. Michelle's favorite is PrimoPDF, which she has used for years.
There are several advantages to using dedicated PDF creation software, which Michelle talks about in the video.
HOW TO UPLOAD (HOST) A PDF ON YOUR WORDPRESS WEBSITE
You can upload your PDF lead magnet to a WordPress site in a matter of seconds. Michelle shows how in this quick video.
When you have uploaded it, you will have the URL of its location, ready to paste into your email software.
HOW TO GET YOUR PDF ONLINE IF YOU DON'T HAVE WORDPRESS
This video demonstrates two options for getting your PDF online if you don't have a WordPress site.
If you have a non-WordPress site, you should be able to ask your web designer/developer to upload the PDF for you and send you the URL.
We show GoogleDrive (which used to be called GoogleDocs) and Dropbox.
There are other options but these are two we trust and are very familiar with (or, if you are picky about grammar, are two with which we are very familiar!).
USING YOUTUBE TO HOST YOUR LEAD MAGNET
Video content makes a great opt-in incentive (lead magnet) for your readers. And, even if you don't have a website, it's super-easy to host a video on YouTube and send out a link to your new email subscribers.
In this video Cathy shows you how to do this - without it showing up on your channel or in the search results. In this way, you are keeping your video exclusive for your subscribers.
USING EASY VIDEO PLAYER [PAID] TO HOST YOUR VIDEO
Want a more sophisticated solution to host your 'Lead Magnet'?
As your presence and your authority grows, there are lots of solutions that can provide more functionality for you -- here's a demo of just one of them.
Paid solutions often make things easier and have better analytics -- but you don't have to start here!
CREATING AN AUDIO LEAD MAGNET
This video shows how to go about creating an audio file to use as a lead magnet. It covers:
AN AUDACITY BASIC TUTORIAL
To record a simple audio file, you don't need a degree in sound engineering, you just need to know which of the tools you need to use in Audacity. It isn't difficult, you aren't recording a multi-track song, just simple narration. We'll be using just three effects because the more you fiddle with audio, the worse it tends to sound!
Before we get started, though, you will need to download a plugin so you can export your audio as an MP3 file - you'll see exactly how in the video.
Then we'll look at the Audacity dashboard, what everything does, what you need to be aware of so you don't get completely muddled, and how to start recording.
|Section 4: Create Your List: Step-By-Step|
YOUR EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER - WHAT TO CHOOSE AND WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
We don't want to give you just one single solution - email providers come and go. what is in fashion and reliable today could change. in this video we give you the principles that should guide your decision, we reveal what we use, and we give you alternatives both to get you started and more sophisticated options to grow into.
CREATE YOUR 'LIST' IN YOUR NEW EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER
Now for the good stuff - creating the infrastructure in your email software provider.
We're using MailChimp for the demonstration in this video but, once you get the principles, you can use other providers. When you know what each of the steps are, you can transfer those skills easily - even if they call them different things!
Have a go at creating a test list for yourself in MailChimp. It's free to sign up and use - up to 2,000 subscribers.
This video looks at creating your confirmation page. You can either:
But when someone enters their name and presses 'submit' where do they go? The answer and step-by-step setup instructions are inside this video.
As soon as someone enters their data, they get sent an email.
What is this, what does it look like, and what can you add or change? Quite a lot - and it is worth doing. Again, this is more valuable real estate. It's a good idea to make the most of it.
THANK YOU PAGE
If you simply say 'Thank You' you are wasting valuable internet 'real estate' (as they say).
Here are some options for where to send someone and what to say as soon as they have confirmed they want to be on your list -- ranging from the absolute basic to the most sophisticated.
If you invite someone into your house, there is usually a little social chit chat before you start a deep conversation.
Here's how to get your 'virtual' conversation off on the right foot by making the most of the 'Welcome' email that you set up to go automatically to your new subscribers.
THE FORM - HOW SOMEONE GETS ON YOUR LIST
The form is a big stumbling block for many people but, actually, your lead magnet is more important. The form can be as simple as a box where a website visitor enters their email address, plus a big shiny button for them to click!
FORM PLACEMENT - WHERE YOU CAN PUT THE 'FORM'
(even if you don't have a website!)
Once you have your form - which is the gateway for getting people on your list - where do you put it?
There are tons of options, which we demonstrate in this video. And there are options even if you don't have a website.
|Section 5: Walkthough: Getting Started With Your ESP (just like magic!)|
MAILCHIMP: CREATE A SIMPLE LIST AND AN EMBEDDED FORM
This is showing how to do everything we've talked about using one of the very popular email services - MailChimp.
Michelle sets up a new list in MailChimp, creates an embedded form, and places it on a WordPress site.
Remember -- the service you use matters less than just implementing. We want you to understand the *principles* and the language of what you need to do -- each service is slightly different but they all do the same thing. Pick one and go for it!
AWEBER: CREATE YOUR LIST AND CONFIRMATION EMAIL
In this video, Cathy does an Aweber walkthrough.
She demonstrates how to get started in Aweber by setting up a list and confirmation settings. There are some decisions to make and Cathy walks you through what these are and which we recommend you use.
The final piece of getting your infrastructure set up is to create your first form and put it on your website (or inside your book). We demonstrate this in Aweber - but remember - any email service provider will allow you to do this. Pick your favourite rather than ours and figure it out based on the steps you know you need!
MAKE IT HAPPEN STEPS - EMAIL PROVIDERS
Action time! If you can, take action immediately after watching this section of the course. If you don't, you're in danger of just watching the course, rather than allowing it to motivate you to take action. The sooner you act on it, the more likely you are to benefit from it - and increase your royalties!
Here are the steps for this section:
You don't need to make a final decision on your provider just yet. In fact, it's a good idea to try them for a while - as long as their trials will let you - before making that decision.
Having at least one account with an email software provider will allow you to try out the things we demonstrate later in the course.
|Section 6: Building the Relationship|
TWO WAYS TO STAY IN TOUCH - ARE YOU AUTHOR JOE OR AUTHOR JULIE?
This is often the most confusing and daunting part for authors who haven't yet started email marketing - how often to write and what to say.
We discuss two models (and variations in between) to suit you no matter where you are with your career.
WHAT THE HECK TO SAY
You need never be stuck for content. There are two types of content you MUST cover -- are you doing these?
It's important to start with the end in mind. Think about your ideal reader, what his/her needs are, what you can do to add value to their lives, and what you can do to build your relationship with them.
You aren't going to force the relationship on them, this is a long-term process and something that you need to be committed to. It doesn't have to take up much of your time though!
You will get better at understanding them, they will reply to you and give you fodder for future emails, posts, and even books.
Lots of authors avoid email marketing because they don't want to be salesy. You don't have to be. It needs to be right for you, in your voice. You will be able to promote in the style you are comfortable with - whether that is very light and subtle or more overt.
It's not about getting it 'right', it's about being consistent and building that all-important relationship.
We talk in this video about content versus engagement. Content is one-way, engagement is more like a discussion. You aren't just going to be broadcasting information, you are also going to be engaging your readers and getting them to join in the conversation, take action.
Don't forget to download the free PDF we have prepared for you. It contains 11 really great topics that you can use to give you ideas for emails to write.
11 PROMPTS SO YOU ARE NEVER STUCK FOR CONVERSATION
We never want you to be stuck for what to say in your emails, so we have given you this special PDF document. It contains 11 powerful ideas for email content - which will prompt other ideas once you start thinking about them.
You can download this.
HOW OFTEN TO EMAIL YOUR LIST?
This question comes up a lot - how often is often enough to email your list? Should you email your list once a day or once every nine months?
With autoresponders, you can write emails in advance and schedule them to go out every couple of days, once a week, once a month - whether you feel is right for your audience. Probably, it's right to email more frequently that you would imagine. People can just unsubscribe if it is too often - most often they will just delete the emails they aren't interested in. (Unsubscribes are fine, though, as they get rid of the people who aren't raving fans.)
We talk about the extremes and everything in between so that you can find the right balance for you. (Hint: once every nine months is NOT the right answer here!)
PLAIN Vs FANCY EMAILS
This video looks at a question that really only comes up when using email software - whether to offer plain or HTML emails.
Plain text emails are like documents created in Notepad that don't have any formatting; HTML emails are more like documents formatted in Word that have bold, italics, clickable links, etc.
As we discuss in the video, it isn't such a concern nowadays but it was in the past, when HTML emails slowed down mobile devices too much, or were unreadable.
|Section 7: Walkthough: Sending Out Emails (follow along step-by-step)|
AWEBER WALKTHROUGH: HOW TO SEND OUT A BROADCAST [LIVE] EMAIL
Demonstration of how to send a broadcast email from Aweber.
Remember, though, that the technology comes and goes and changes. What's important are the principles you will discover, and the steps you need to take -- whatever system you choose to use.
AWEBER WALKTHROUGH: Setting up and sending autoresponders (or 'follow-up' emails)
We talked about Autoresponders -- remember Author Joe? Now we show you how to set them up in Aweber. This means that you can write several emails in advance, copy and paste them into your email software, and tell them when to go out (weekly, monthly, etc.).
Which leaves you with more writing time, while your email software takes care of your relationship with your readers!
WALKTHROUGHS MAKE IT HAPPEN STEPS
After watching the walkthroughs, hopefully you are inspired to have a go yourself. To do this, you will need to:
|Section 8: What to Watch Out For!|
MISTAKES - WHAT NOT TO DO
We've seen mistakes that can get you the wrong side of the law and mistakes that will drag down your motivation -- it's important to know what they are and you can avoid them.
|Section 9: Advanced Steps - No Need To Rush; You Have Choices Later|
ADVANCED STEPS 1: MORE TRAFFIC = MORE SUBSCRIBERS
Now you have your infrastructure set up you may be ready to take it up a level (or six!). There's no rush, you can come back to this later if you prefer.
Here are the top most-frequently used strategies that authors use to get more exposure, more traffic and more subscribers. Just a quick run-through, but we want to spark some ideas for you.
The sky's the limit at this stage!
ADVANCED STEPS 2: DATA TALK
How much is a subscriber worth to you? When you know this, we think it will you change the way you think about your email list, and in fact it could change the way you think about your whole author-business...
But how do you know whether your open rates are great and you should crack open the champagne - or whether to give up now...?
We reveal ALL the numbers you need to know (and it's not as complex as you might think). We don't hear anyone else talking about this stuff -- but we think it's important to have a baseline and then to build from there. We have any years and many thousands of email experience between us. Let's get real - this is your business you should know what you're aiming for.
ADVANCED STEPS 3: TESTING, TESTING
Testing - double your results and then double them again... without any more traffic.
All this is possible just by tweaking something simple on your page or in your emails. And watching what works. We explain testing - the two parts to it, what they are and why you should be doing it.
But no problem if this sounds like a step too far -- you can come back whenever you want to. This is advanced stuff after all!
ADVANCED STEPS 4: FRONT END PLUG-INS (Make it prettier and easier!)
Now you have the basic infrastructure up and running, you can make it work better and make it look better. Only if you want to!
There are tons of options for other ways of prettying up your forms, using plugins, popup boxes, etc. Most of these have a cost - but the more the cost, the more effective they are!
ADVANCED STEPS 5: SEGMENTING & SUB-LISTS
This is complex stuff but you can do it whenever you feel the time is right (and if that time doesn't come, that's OK, we are simply giving you choices based on what the top marketers are doing).
Segmenting your lists and sending out certain emails to those segments can be very effective.
ADVANCED STEPS 6: OTHER STUFF
Self-explanatory really, but since you have a list of subscribers maybe they are interested in more than just your books?
We talk about several possibilities here but don't overlook the power of being an Amazon reviewer. If you review the books of other authors in your genre, you will:
You could even sneak in something, either to let readers know you are an author or to invite them to look you up and connect with you. In the example above, the author has added her Twitter handle.
|Section 10: Bonuses|
BONUS: LEAD MAGNETS, FORMS, & SIGN UP PAGE EXAMPLES - 1 Jeff Walker 'Launch'
Here's an example of a great page that's easy to replicate. The marketing idea is a good one, too - offering some bonuses to readers who buy the book and send the author a copy of the receipt.
BONUS: AUTORESPONDER SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEW NOVELIST
The question we are asked most is what new novelists can say in emails to their lists. It's a little easier for non-fiction authors, as they can expand on points in their books, offer worksheets, extra tips, etc., but novelists are often stumped at what to say.
So we've included this video and downloadable PDF to give you some idea if you're stuck.
HOW TO CREATE A DOMAIN-BASED EMAIL ADDRESS
When looking for an email software provider, you may come across some that won't allow you to sign up for an account with them if you don't have a domain-based email address. So that's one that is based on a website name, rather than a free Hotmail, Gmail, AOL-type one.
If you don't have a website and some hosting, this video won't help you - but if you do, you'll see that you can create an email address for yourself in just 2 minutes.
We're not sure why domain-based email address are essential to some providers but it probably has something to do with spam and the anti-spam laws. Plus, they won't want people trying to sign up for free trials if they aren't serious about email marketing. Owning a domain name shows that you are in business of some sort and not a kid having a go at email marketing!
HAIKU DECK TUTORIAL - CREATE GREAT SLIDESHARE PRESENTATIONS TO GET EMAIL SIGNUPS
UPDATE: Haiku Deck is no longer free. You can still create presentations free but you can't export or upload them to SlideShare without paying - min $5 per month. Not bad if you're going to do a lot of SlideShares though.
If you have ever created presentations in PowerPoint or Keynote you will know how long it takes to make them look really great and professional. Well take a look at the new presentations over on SlideShare.net, where the latest trend is for full-slide images with cool text blocks. People who use SlideShare report great results with building their email lists. They do this by including a call-to-action on their final slide, directing viewers to a landing page or web form.
|Section 11: Final Words (Well Word Really, We Just Have One!)|
FINAL WORDS (IT'S AN 'F' WORD!)
We have just one final word for you - and it's one that could make the difference between success and failure!
Let us know how you're getting on so that we can celebrate your success together!
|Lecture 47||18 pages|
Here is the list of the top resources we use.
I went on author Tim Ferriss' blog today and saw that he is using a nice technique. He has a pop-up email signup, inviting viewers to be part of his 'VIP' team. He offers not just one lead magnet but lots. It's a nice idea. The video shows what he is offering.
This is relatively easy to emulate. He has a video on the first email he sends subscribers, plus two freebies, and links to his most popular blog posts.
Ideas for novelists:
Ideas for non-fiction writers:
You get the idea!
Cathy Presland, a former economist, has over two decades of experience across government, international organisations, corporate, business, and non-profits. Best-selling author, and highly-regarded trainer, Cathy is widely published, has over 20,000 students in her online training courses, teaches for The Guardian Masterclasses series, and is an engaging and popular speaker.
In her former career as an economist Cathy advised governments and organisations around the world. She set up a micro-credit fund for women, negotiated European regulations, managed multi-billion pound economic programmes, and designed and led global anti-poverty initiatives.
Cathy's ambition is simply to inspire you to be your best self and to do more of the work that makes a difference in the world.
Professionally, Cathy works as a consultant, trainer and facilitator. "I help people get to the solution that's already in the room," she says, and she specialises in supporting people or organisations in who are doing interesting work in public policy and economics.
Cathy's Udemy courses are mainly focused on supporting writers and people who want to share their expertise, experience and passions. "It's exciting to help someone shape their ideas into something tangible. Writing, especially, stretches us as a person, we grow and change in ways we didn't imagine. You change, and you can change the world. It's really simple."
In her spare time she loves to be outdoors and one of her recent trips was to the Annapurna base camp in beautiful Nepal.
Author of the bestselling books, 'Goodreads for Authors', 'Make Your Book Work Harder', and 'The 10-Day Skin Brushing Detox'. She is a former teacher & trainer, chicken keeper, and field archer.
She started her career in Public Relations then, while her children were growing, she did any work she could get that allowed her to be at home with them. That included: writing, course creation, editing, book indexing, book formatting, document and presentation production, and more.
After becoming a teacher and then an IT trainer, she still freelanced, writing and creating courses for others - before eventually taking the plunge and creating her own books and courses.
She writes as Michelle Campbell-Scott, specializing in publishing and marketing; Mia Campbell, specializing in health (including 'Inversion Therapy' & 'The 10-Day Skin Brushing Detox'), and Michelle Booth, specializing in hobbies and children's fiction.