Whether you have an active email list already or haven't started one yet, Joel and Nick's podcast is crammed with sound advice and actionable tips for growing your list. I've summarised some of the key takeaways that resonated with me, but listen to this broadcast yourselves to delve into the subject in greater detail.
How to ignite your email list Podcast
Get Social via Email
As authors, we all know the role that social media plays in our ability to connect with readers, but the most beneficial ways of establishing a 1:1 relationship with your potential customers is via your email list.
Start your list building early
Between them, Joel and Nick have lots of indie author and self-publishing knowledge and expertise, and although their email marketing approaches may differ, they both agree authors need to establish their email list as soon as they start their indie author journey. This is the most crucial factor in your long term success as an author.
Not only is it the ideal way to establish a direct line of communication with your readers, but it provides an opportunity to cultivate relationships, it extends your reach and exposure, and helps you raise awareness for your books (or other products).
Size doesn't matter!
When it comes to lists, size doesn’t matter. What's important is the quality of your list, and how responsive your email contacts are to your communications. Your goal is to compel your list to act, even if it's in their self-interest (e.g. downloading a free book).
Use your Writing Skills to build your email List
It can be very overwhelming for authors to but on their business head and start planning marketing activities, and promotional strategies. But Nick provides a easy way to assess how you approach your content marketing.
Break down your marketing goals into three objectives:
- Gaining Website Traffic:
- the number of visitors to your asset page/landing page on your website
- taking that random website traffic and gaining an email address
- following up with your email list to build trust and engagement.
If your content marketing activity achieves one of these three goals, then it's worth spending time on it. If not, then be aware that it isn't helping you achieve your goals of building your list.
Joel has a different approach to content creation on his blog, and in the podcast they talked about the different approaches that fiction and non-fiction authors can use their blog to attract the most people to their sites.
Authors have the secret weapon … we know how to write.
Once you've attracted visitors, then the next challenge is to compel them to join your email list by offering them an ethical bribe or incentive (e.g. free book download, free chapter, or any piece of content that has a high perceived value)
Use your book as a promotional platform
The concept of permafree is a well known way of using your book as a promotional tool, but you don't have to give a book away to have it working on your behalf.
Nick includes a large graphic at the front and back of each of his books, offering a free download to anyone who joins his list.
Promotional Graphic example:
Readers can click his link from inside their reading app, and are sent to his book landing page.
Landing Page example:
What's evident from these two images is that Nick makes it easy and simple for readers to get to his website and download their free book (in return for their email of course).
If you only have one book, you can offer them something like a bonus chapter or a behind the scenes chapter using the out-takes from your book. The goal is to get readers excited about your brand.
How to attract traffic to your website
Nick and Joel discuss a selection of different website traffic building techniques in the podcast, and here's a summary:
- Make your opt in prominent to drive traffic to your blog
- Interact with other bloggers in the same niche or genre as you
- Run a competition (like Joel’s monthly Cover Competition) so that winners add a badge that links back to your website
- Host a live event
- Offer something for free
- Facebook ads
- Partnership traffic
Engage with your Audience
Once you have their email addresses, it's crucial that you follow up with your audience. That doesn't mean, sell, sell, sell. On the contrary, it's about establishing a relationship with them to find out more about their likes and dislikes. Nick gives insights in our podcast about the different approaches he takes with his audience.
Two key takeaways from these segments is the importance of writing good headlines, and using a conversational style of writing in your emails.
Welcome to the “The intimacy of the inbox”
Do you want to Ignite your Author Email List? @JFbookman and @Nick_Stephenson tell you how #Podcast Click To Tweet
Nick mentions a link in the original video recording of the session, and here's the link:
This podcast is also available as a You Tube Video, and was originally featured as part of our 2016 Indie Author Fringe to The London Book Fair.