Social media is sexy, but the real power of your relationship with your fans is in email newsletters. The people on your mailing list are your "Super Fans." They are the ones who have given you permission to show up in their inbox. That invitation is very valuable.
Think about it, when was the last time you signed up for a newsletter. Probably not for a while. Once I asked an author that question and she said, "oh I don't do that." She's right we don't do that, unless we are Super Fans or the author/company is providing something of value.
Super Fans are the people who pre-order your books, are the first in line to buy your products and recommend you to others. So your most important marketing task is to keep them happy and engaged because they are your sales force, the wind beneath your wings and (drum roll please) your Super Fans.
Here are some simple steps to improve your eNewsletters:
Be Consistent: Don't just email them when you have something to sell. Make sure you share useful information, resources and special offers consistently throughout the year. Just remember talking to people on your mailing list is a privilege, don't abuse it.
Frequency: It is best not to send mailings too often. Retailers learned how quickly we unsubscribed when they sent too many offers. You should know your Super Fans best, so plan accordingly. For some people daily emails work, for others weekly or even monthly are the right option. When in doubt plan for once a month.
Use Software: There are excellent email newsletter solutions out there. The most popular are Constant Contact, iContact and Mail Chimp. Do a little research and find the best fit for your needs.
Design It: People don't read, they scan emails. So make sure your design is easy to scan with images and links for more information. Most people won't read a block of text that is 1,000 words long.
Content: It's most important to remember that the purpose of your newsletter is to develop and further enrich your relationship with your fans so make sure it does not sound like an infomercial. Always add a personal note, and keep it short.
Track Results: The best part about using the email software is that it gives you lots of information. Not only whether your list is growing or shrinking but also what content and headlines work best for your list. Every time you do a mailing, you should assess the results a week later.
Grow Your List: Make sure it is easy to sign up for your mailing list. Have a prominent link on every page of your website.
Timing: Is there a good time to send a newsletter? Turns out there is. GetResponse analyzed 21 million messages to discover that: the top engagement times of 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. MailerMailer did a study to discover that the best day to send out a newsletter is Monday. That was a surprise to me.
Special Offers: As Super Fans, your mailing list subscribers have earned the right for a few perks. So if you want someone to get an early peak at your new product or a special deal, this is the group for it. I would also recommend a "Super Fan only" event. It can be a Google hangout or a Skype chat. Sometimes, we have even given away signed copies of books and tote bags to the Super Fans.
Respect: More than any other advice, I want to leave you with this thought. Please be respectful of your "Super Fans." Respect their time, their opinion and feedback and most of all their friendship. Don't ever spam them.
Remember your Super Fans are among your biggest assets. Take great care to cultivate your relationship with them and stay engaged and connected.
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.
© 2013 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.
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