Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Learn from a Marketing Expert's Email Mistake

(This post is used with permission from Rob Eagar of WildFire Marketing.)*

Recently, I gave two presentations to editors and marketing professionals at a publishing conference. After my sessions were over, I realized that I had made a big blunder.

I forgot to ask people to join my email list.

Even a seasoned marketing expert like me sometimes makes basic mistakes. I blew the chance to add over 100 people to my email list who were a perfect fit. I got so caught up in the short-term focus of delivering my presentations that I forgot my long-term marketing focus.

A growing email list puts you in the driver's seat to control sales of all your products—both new and old. Live events, such as speaking engagements, book signings, podcast appearances, and radio interviews, offer a quick way to grow your list for free. You're in a room with people where an emotional connection and a quick response is the easiest to generate.

When I began my author career in 2002, I was dedicated to building my email list. At live events, I used to give away a giant, 5-pound, Hershey's chocolate bar as part of my presentation to encourage signups. In most cases, I got over 80% of the room to respond. Within a couple of years, I amassed over 8,000 subscribers.

You don't have to give away candy to get email signups. But, there are numerous steps any author can take to increase the size of your list, especially when appearing in public or giving interviews:
  • Tell the listeners you have a special incentive to join your email list, such as a free ebook, novella, video course, etc.
  • Pass around an email signup sheet to the people in the room at live events.
  • Display a link to join your email list on the video screen at events.
  • After your presentation, pass out a one-sheet of notes that includes a mention of your signup incentive and a website link to join your list.
  • Mention your email signup incentive and website link to listeners during a podcast or radio interview. 
An email list doesn't grow by itself. You must take command of the process and be intentional about adding new subscribers.

My bestselling author clients who have over 100,000 email subscribers didn't accrue that number overnight. They remained devoted to building their list over several years.

Learn from my recent mistake. No matter how long you've been writing and marketing your books, keep the main goal in focus. Whenever you speak or get interviewed in public, don't overlook the opportunity to build your email list.

* Rob is the author of The Author's Guide to Email Marketing and other helpful books for writers.


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