Today we will continue our newborn series on email. Last week’s introduction is here, in case you missed it amidst all this festive tomfoolery, where I ran through some of the huge mistakes I made in my career – especially when it came to communicating with readers. Because email isn’t just a megaphone for announcing new releases. If used correctly, it is also a means of retaining those readers by deepening engagement.
By the way, if you have any doubts about the value of email marketing at this early stage, or if you prefer another tool for the job of reader communication – such as Facebook or blogging perhaps – then I urge you to read this blog post: Email Marketing: Your Secret Weapon.
It’s something I wrote for my blog back in August which kind of flew under the radar but I think everyone should give it a once-over, as it’s a very clear argument for making email a key priority, and why it’s simply the best tool for this job. If you’re an email skeptic, or still prefer irregular contact, or focus more on communicating with readers via other means, then this post should convince you otherwise.
Here, today, we’re going to assume you’re already on the Email Train and want to get cracking. But you’ll have to temper that eagerness with a little patience as we must first focus on solid foundations and, crucially, using the right wotsits.
I know what you want – or what you should want, at least – a list of thousands and thousands of names. But not just any names, passionate readers of your niche, people genuinely interested in your work, not rudely shanghaied onto your list. Readers who want to be there. Engaged readers, not the fly-by-night kind who will grab your freebie and then go dark, but the kind who care, who respond to emails, who buy and review your work and share it with friends.
Achieving this isn’t easy, but it’s totally achievable – something you can attack in stages and get better at over time (and gain benefits throughout the process too).
Here’s what you’re going to need: