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"If you are doing business online and have news of value to your followers, why aren't you telling them?"

— Joe Vitale

   
Create Your eMail List
   

Perhaps the single most important factor in your Internet marketing success is your list the mailing / contact list with whom you regularly connect and to whom you regularly reach out and market. Your goal should be for every visitor to your website to sign up for your mailing list. If you’re not building your list, you’ve got a giant hole in your marketing strategy. However, in order to build your list, you must provide each visitor a reason to hand over their name and that white gold a viable email address. Internet marketing guru Alex Mandossian calls this offer an “ethical bribe.”

Why are we going through all of this when you’re just an author who wants to sell books? Can’t you just sell your books on Amazon? You betcha. But how many books do you want to sell? Even if you have a big push for your launch and hit best-seller status on Amazon, it takes selling about a dozen books a day to remain in the Online Book Behemoth’s top 100. And Amazon works just like a search engine – the titles with the most demand get the highest rankings. So do you really want to rely on Amazon – with its 30 MILLION other titles – as your sole sales machine?

  Are you capturing the email addresses of your site visitors?


Once upon a time, all it took to get someone to give you their email address was a subscription to your newsletter. Then, everyone started doing it, so newsletters lost their cachet. In this age of fierce competition for that most precious commodity — time — people are understandably looking for something more compelling and useful than a newsletter. 
 

Special reports still work. Better still are video clips or MP3s. Self-quizzes, eBooks, and organizing tools likeSample email capture boxes spreadsheets also work. Your goal is to offer your readers a taste of your writing, your book, YOU … with the ultimate goal of having them buy your book. But you ALSO want to entice them to come back again and explore your site even further to learn more about you and your specific expertise. Better still, you'd love them to tell their friends about you!

 

An important thing to keep in mind when you’re designing your offer is that you can easily deliver it to a large number of people. If you’re just building your list for your coaching practice, for instance, it might seem feasible to offer a complimentary 15-minute coaching session … but how long can you realistically do that, particularly if everyone who signs up for your list actually takes advantage of your offer? Not very long — or soon your entire schedule will be filled with free sessions and you won’t have time for anything else.

 

Group sessions might be a good compromise. Teleclasses, webinars, and sample chapters also work. Just make sure you can deliver whatever you promise. One of our clients created a stunning video collage of images to accompany the voice-over of herself reading a passage from her book. Be as creative as you can with this part of your marketing strategy.

 
     
 

Create a form for your site to capture the email addresses 

 
     
  The signup process should be as obvious as possible and provide all the necessary information about your email campaign. You'll want to create a form on your site which will capture your visitors' email addresses. If you're managing your own site, MyContactForm.com offers a free, easy tool for creating such a form. If you have a webmaster, he or she should know how to create such a form.

Position the capture box for your e-mail list in the upper right-hand corner of EVERY page on your site. Request, at minimum, the visitor's first name and email address. Sure, it'd be nice to get more information than that, but the more information you require, the fewer people who are likely to sign up. It's up to you to determine whether you’d rather risk losing a few people to gain more complete information. 

The form program collects the data from the form or sends the info to your email address. You then use this data to create your mailing list, which you can manage through an email service like Constant Contact or AWeber. You may also want to consider using a popup form to collect addresses.


Some of the savvier marketers employ handwriting and drawings into their forms. While it’s not necessary by any means, it couldn’t hurt to test it out.
 
     
 

Questions to answer before people registrater

 
     
 

To ensure that visitors sign up for your free gift, you'll want to answer a few questions for them.

What will I receive from you? Your focus here is on getting them to register, not the value of the content. Let your visitor know what type of communications they will receive from you. You can subtly promote the content by displaying a cover image from your free gift. This means even your special report will need a cover!

 

How soon will I receive it? This one is easy — just let your visitor know how often you will be contacting them. For a drip email campaign, you can say you will send "periodic updates."

 

Why should I sign up? Here, you want to answer two questions for your visitor: “Why should I care?” and “What’s in it for me?” Explicitly spell out the features and benefits your visitor will receive, in detail. Be descriptive and use facts in this copy. Avoid simply saying, “Sign up for our FREE newsletter.” Write from your visitor’s perspective and explain how opting in to your email program will help them solve challenges and eliminate problems.

 

What will you do with my information? You'll want to reassure your visitor of your privacy policy, explaining how you will handle the data they've provided to you.

 
     
 

Create a "thank you" page for delivery of your free gift

 
     
  Regardless of whether you manage your site or you have a webmaster do it for you, you'll need to create a delivery page where the form sends the subscribers after they press the SUBMIT button. This delivery page is your opportunity to thank your visitors for downloading your gift and give them some instructions about what you want them to do next.  
     
 

The benefits of a drip autoresponder campaign

 
     
 

Once you build that list, the next step is to connect with the people on it – on a regular basis. An autoresponderUse a drip email campaign to get your list to take action. campaign is a great way to do that. An autoresponder is a program or script that automatically sends or replies to e-mails via your e-mail service provider. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you probably have received an autoresponder if you’ve ever contacted a company through their website to request service or help with a problem and received an email response letting you know they got your message.

 

An autoresponder campaign involves more than a single email, but rather a series of emails intended to invite and entice the recipient into learning more about you, your book, your company, and/or your other offerings. It plays off that initial free offer you promised in exchange for the visitor’s email address.

 

If your special report, teleclass, webinar, or sample chapter contains a stellar call to action, you might hear your phone ring or see a jump in sales through your site, or…

 

Say your free giveaway is a sample chapter of your next book. Steve Jones enters his email into your form and – voilà – your sample chapter appears in his inbox within minutes. But let's say Steve is a busy man and doesn’t immediately open your sample chapter. He looks at the email, but he just doesn't have time ro read the chapter now so he closes the message, intending to get back to it tomorrow. In the meantime, tomorrow comes and 67 new e-mails pile on top of the very important message containing your sample chapter. Steve goes back through his email and, yep, he really means to get to that sample chapter, but after he finishes with a couple client calls ... whoop … 59 more emails pile on top of the one with your sample chapter. Soon, your email is buried way down in his inbox, even though Steve really does want to read your sample chapter, which could change his life.

 

Why leave it to chance?? With an autoresponder campaign, you follow up with Steve the next day to remind him that he downloaded your sample chapter, and encourage him to open it and read it right now. And then you also encourage him to do something else with another specific call to action.

 

A couple days later, you send another follow-up message, assuming Steve has now read the sample chapter and asking if he’s had the opportunity to try out the tip you offered on page 3. And so on, following a regular schedule, for a specified period of time. Only you don’t have to remember to send these messages, because they are on autopilot, set to begin going out as soon as Steve enters his e-mail address into your form.

 

Our client, Amara Charles, used an autoresponder campaign to help her reach #1 on Amazon for her book launch in her niche category of shamanism; another client who promotes a health product went from selling 12 units a week prior to implementing his autoresponder campaign to 700 units a week after we wrote a series of autoresponder emails for him. Who wouldn’t want that kind of success?

 

In order to begin your autoresponder campaign, you will need a subscription to an email service that facilitates their delivery. Two good ones are A Weber and Mail Chimp (although mail chimp does not allow its use for affiliate promotions).

 
     
 

The benefits of A/B or split testing

 
     

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is a marketing technique in which a baseline sample is compared to a variety of single-variable test samples, with the goal of improving response rates. Often used in direct mail strategies, this model has proven essential to successful Internet marketing campaigns, from social media to email and landing pages.

 

The reason we’re talking about it – and that you should do it – is because it works. Split tests of things like copy, arrangement of the components on your page, your use of one image vs. another, and color choices can significantly improve visitor response. Changes to these elements do not automatically promote equal changes in response, but that’s why you want to try them out and examine your test results.

Marketers who use this testing method distribute various samples of a test, including the baseline sample, to determine which single variable is most effective for improving the response rate or other desired results. In order for split testing to be truly effective, your audience must be large enough that the test will provide a decent means of determining a measurable difference between the control and the variables.

 

Split tests can be used to determine things like:

 

•  Whether different placement of the shopping cart button affects how many people click it.

•  Whether a form with fewer – or different – fields encourages more people to complete it.

•  Whether your decisions about the best way to design or write a sales page are accurate. You are not your reader/customer – so is the page you perceive as compelling actually compelling to them?

 

Split testing is not just about selling more books – although that’s a great benefit. According to SixRevisions.com, split testing can also help:

 

•  Get visitors to linger longer on your site.

•  Get visitors to be more interactive on your site.

  Get more visitors to request a consultation or opt in for your free giveaway.

 

SixRevisions say further:

 

Split testing also helps ensure that when it comes to advertising, you are maximising each and every dollar. If your website doubles its conversion rate from 1% to 2% using split testing techniques, you have just doubled your revenue using the same marketing budget.

 

One thing to keep in mind about split testing: believe the results. You may love your book’s title font, color scheme, or cover graphic – but what if your research reveals that it’s not selling as well as something else might? You must be willing to hear the results and make the necessary changes if you want to sell more books.

     

Taking the time to test and test and test again,
and then using those results to tweak their sales
page, is probably a copywriter’s most essential skill
— far beyond their ability to write.

     
  Again, you don’t need to master all of this yourself, but this is invaluable information when it comes time to getting your website off the ground. Even if you’re an author with just one book to sell, these techniques can help you create a successful Internet marketing strategy … especially if there will one day be a second book or additional products.  
     
 

Other ways to build your list

 
     
 

Simply ask!Use these techniques to build your mailing list.

When you speak with clients, colleagues, friends, or prospects on the phone, tell them about your great free offer. Be unafraid to promote your content — this is the thing you are most knowledgeable about and your passion will show when you’re talking it up. It takes just a few seconds to jot down an email address. If, as our friend Connie Kadansky suggests, you “Get your ASK in gear” five times a day for one week, you will have collected 25 email addresses that you didn’t have before, which ads up to 100 email addresses in just one month!

 

Link to a Form in Your Signature

How many people do you contact personally via email every day? These contacts might not be on your email list yet, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn't make your free offer available to them. Do this by including a link to your hosted web form in your email signature, so your readers can sign up to receive your emails without even closing your personal message.

 

Advertise on Everything You Print

In a 2009 IBM & MIT study, researchers found that the average email contact was worth $948 in revenue. With such minimal costs, compared to those for printing, and such high return on investment, email just makes sense as a modern marketing tool.

 

Nevertheless we highly advocate printed materials. So when you design your leave-behind marketing materials, make sure to include a call to action that encourages people to visit your website and fill our your web form.

 

Utilize Social Media

Your personal network is just as important as your work contacts when you’re growing your email list. Put a form on your Facebook fan page so that anyone who visits your page can easily subscribe to receive your email updates.

 

Promote your free offering to your Twitter followers by tweeting a link to your hosted web form.

Add the cover art from your free gift to one of your Pinterest boards and include a link.

Invite your LinkedIn connections to download your free gift with a status update that includes a link to your hosted web form.

Make a quick video promoting your free gift and post it (with a link) on your YouTube channel.

 Send Postcards via SnailMail

Add an additional promotion to your freebie — a physical gift you'll send to them in exchange for their physical mailing address. This will allow you to mail them periodic postcards and other marketing messages so that you can widen your reach to include offline connections. Remember, a smart online marketing campaign incorporates offline aspects, too.

 

Sending your fans and followers a personalized, handwritten note or postcard with a return address adds a human touch to your marketing. It also works because it demonstrates that your're transparent with your marketing.

 
     
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  Whether it's creating your forms, writing your autoresponders, or managing your list-building campaign, Write | Market | Design can ease your marketing challenges. Email or call us today to get started! 602.518.5376  
     
 

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LAURA ORSINI | Freelance Writer | Editor | Designer | Marketer | Social Alchemist | BLOG


Laura
@WriteMarketDesign.com 602.518.5376 PO Box 40273, Phoenix AZ 85067

 

 
 

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