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Posts Tagged ‘e-mail list’

How to make sure your card doesn’t wind up in THIS pile

little piles of money

Do you have a box that looks like this? Business cards you’ve collected over the weeks, months, or years that have yet to be recorded, added to your mailing list, or followed up upon? Perhaps the cards you’ve collected are a bit less organized. How many business cards and little bits of paper with the contact info from interesting people you’ve met in your travels do you have in piles on your desk, in your wallet, and strewn throughout your purse or briefcase? As my financial advisor friend Todd Smith once pointed out, would you leave little piles of money lying about? That’s what you’re doing when you don’t follow up and have a way to connect with people regularly.

In October 2011, we wrote a post about building your your email list. Here are some of the other important questions we posed in that post:

  • How big is your list?
  • How accurate is your list? Are the names and addresses current, or do half of them kick back as undeliverable?
  • How niched is your list? Is your list made up of everyone you have ever met, or do you have it categorized so that you can send marketing messages about your book to the people who will actually want to buy it?
  • How regularly do you update your list? How often do you toss the bad addresses and add new ones?
  • Do you have your list organized into an A-B-C system? A indicates the individuals who have expressed direct interest in your book or subject matter. B are the people with whom you have a personal connection, but who may not have a direct interest in your book or industry. C are those folks who are one step from elimination. You met them, but don’t remember where, and just happen to have their card in your pile.
  • How often do you contact your list?
  • How many different ways do you connect with your list? If you’re relying only on e-mail, you’re missing a significant opportunity to impact your list. But, in order to be able to send the very effective occasional greeting card (or contact them by other channels), you will need to collect more than just their e-mail address.

Following that reminder, my major question to you is:

How do you keep your card from staying out of such a pile?

The answer, quite simply, is: Be the first to follow up. Trust me, it works! I attended a networking luncheon yesterday, just a few days after sending out my newsletter. Out of 40 or so women there – not all of whom are on my mailing list – three approached me and told me they appreciate my newsletter, two asked me about the process of writing a book, and one of those indicated she may  be ready to begin working with me after the first of the year. All were, at one point, strangers whose cards I had to add to my list.

I will admit that the cards in the picture at the top of this post belong to yours truly. So just know, this has been an evolving process for me. I’m much better at follow up now than I used to be! Guess when I collected those cards? Would you believe it was 2009?

The good news for you is that it’s never too late to follow up. I found in my research of the individuals belonging to these cards that many of them have changed jobs, careers, or moved away from Phoenix. But I can still find – and connect with – most of them via LinkedIn. So maybe they never made it to my mailing list. Email is a good way but not the only way to connect with people.

Ways you can follow up:

  • email
  • phone call
  • video
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • snail mail

Some of the success of following up is in knowing how best to reach out to specific people. That may be a hit-or-miss process, unless you got to know the person pretty well on the first contact. But the most important thing is having a process at all. Develop one, and use it! I guarantee it will make all the difference in your success.

Here’s to a staying out of the random box of cards!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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An autoresponder campaign will keep your call to action from getting lost

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Last time, we talked about the importance of building an e-mail contact list and explored the holes your list might have in it. Once you build that list, the next step is to connect with the people on it – on a regular basis. An autoresponder 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 e-mail response letting you know they got your message.

An autoresponder campaign involves more than a single e-mail, but rather a series of e-mails 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 on your site for an item of value (e.g., special report, teleclasses, webinars, sample chapters) in exchange for the visitor’s e-mail 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. Joe Smith enters his e-mail and – voilà – your sample chapter appears in his inbox within minutes. But what say Joe doesn’t immediately open your sample chapter, because he’s a busy man, and while he wants to read it, he looks at the e-mail, closes it, and intends 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. He goes back through the e-mail and, yep, he sure means to get to that sample chapter, but after he finishes with a couple client calls. Whoop … 59 more e-mails pile on top of the one with your sample chapter. Soon, your e-mail is way down the list, even though Joe really does want to read your sample chapter, which could help revolutionize his business.

Why leave it to chance? With an autoresponder campaign, you follow up with Joe 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 Joe 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 Joe enters his e-mail address into your capture box.

Our client Amara Charles used an autoresponder campaign to help her reach #1 on Amazon in her niche category, shamanism, for her book launch; 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. Who wouldn’t want that kind of success?

In an article for AllMerchants.com, Ken Hill offers some tips on other ways to use autoresponders, including :

  • Use autoresponders to conduct simple polls.
  • Use autoresponder to deliver an email course that gives a hands-on explanation of the benefits of purchasing your product.
  • Use autoresponders to send out excerpts of your book or info product.
  • Use autoresponders to announce when you’ve written a new article for publication.
  • Use autoresponders to send out weekly tips.

In order to begin your autoresponder campaign, you will need a subscription to an e-mail service that facilitates their delivery. Two good ones are A Weber and Mail Chimp.

Once you’ve begun to build your list, make sure you touch them regularly and cement that call to action with a strong autoresponder campaign.

MARCIE

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Download your complimentary copy of the highly useful Website Design & Marketing worksheet from Write | Market | Design.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, Oct. 13 Capturing e-mail addresses from your website visitors is a CRUCIAL aspect of marketing your book

Monday, Oct. 10 Without an investment in SEO, your author website will be largely invisible

Thursday, Oct.6 Does your author site give visitors a reason to COME BACK?

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Capturing e-mail addresses from your author website visitors is a CRUCIAL aspect of marketing your book

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We’ve been focusing for a few posts on your author’s website. Why you need one. The 3 discrete components of content, design, and SEO. The more detailed aspects of a successful author site.

Arguably the single most important factor in Internet marketing success is THE LIST, that is the mailing/contact list with whom you regularly connect and to whom you regularly reach out and market.

You should want every visitor to your website to sign up for your mailing list. If you’re not, you’ve got a giant hole in your marketing strategy. However, in order to build your list, you’ll need to provide an incentive to get your visitors to fork over their name, and that white gold — a viable e-mail address. Internet marketing expert Alex Mandossian calls this offer an “ethical bribe.” The ubiquitous free newsletter still retains moderate usefulness, but it has generally become passé. In this age of fierce competition for that most precious commodity — time — people are often looking for something more compelling and useful than a newsletter.

Special reports still work. Better still are video clips or MP3s. eBooks, organizing tools like spreadsheets, and self-quizzes also work. What you’re doing is offering your readers a taste of your writing, your book, YOU … with the ultimate goal of getting them to not only buy your book, but to come back again and explore your site even further to learn more about your area of expertise.

One thing to keep in mind when you’re making your offer: be sure it’s something you can easily deliver to a large number of people. If you’re just building your list and your coaching practice, for example, it may be feasible to offer a free 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 any time for anything else.

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

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 first name and e-mail address of the visitor. It’s sure helpful to get more information than that, but the more information you request, the less likely people will be to sign up. You’ll need to determine if you’d rather risk losing a few people to gain more complete information.

In exploring the utility of your list and the prospective success you can anticipate from it, you may want to ask yourself a few questions:

  • How big is your list?
  • How accurate is your list? Are the names/addresses current, or do 50 percent of them kick back as unavailable?
  • How niched is your list? Is your list made up of everyone you have ever met, or do you have it categorized so that you can send marketing messages about your book to the people who will actually want to buy it?
  • How many business cards and little pieces of paper with interesting people’s contact info do you have in piles on your desk, in your wallet, strewn throughout your purse? As my financial advisor friend Todd Smith once pointed out, these are little piles of money.
  • How regularly do you update your list? How often do you cull the bad addresses and add new ones?
  • Do you have your list organized into an A-B-C system? A indicates those who have expressed direct interest in your book or subject matter. B are those folks with whom you have a personal connection, but they may not have a direct interest in your book or industry. C are those people who are one step from elimination. You met them, but don’t remember where, and just happen to have their card in your pile.
  • How often do you contact your list?
  • How many different ways do you connect with your list? If you’re relying only on e-mail, you’re missing a significant opportunity to impact your list. But, in order to be able to send snail mail (or contact them by other channels), you will need to collect more than just their e-mail address.

If you’re just beginning to build your list, now is the time to get it right. But if your list needs updating, there’s no time like TODAY to begin cultivating and pruning it. It’s never too late to begin improving your book marketing endeavors. Check back on Monday when we’ll talk about one important action to take with your list: an autoresponder campaign.

MARCIE

__________________

Download your complimentary copy of the highly useful Website Design & Marketing worksheet from Write | Market | Design.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, Oct. 10 Without an investment in SEO, your author website will be largely invisible

Thursday, Oct.6 Does your author site give visitors a reason to COME BACK?

Monday, Oct. 3 – I’m on Facebook and have a blog – why do I still need a website?

Read Full Post »

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