Email marketing is still a core digital marketing strategy. It allows businesses to send valuable content, nurture leads, and generate revenue. While large corporations have already mastered email marketing, small and medium businesses are still picking up.
Don’t miss out like some of these businesses. As a self-publisher, you can also maximize the revenue opportunities email can bring.
In this guide, you’ll learn how you can leverage email marketing for publishers. Ultimately, you can get people to buy your new work and generate more revenue.
Benefits of Email Marketing for Publishers
Email marketing is one of the most affordable means of reaching a large audience. Digital publishers are taking email campaigns extra seriously, and we can see why.
Here are some of the advantages of this marketing strategy.
Increases Website Traffic
You can increase your website traffic with email marketing. The more leads you have, the more conversions (sales) you can have. But how exactly does email marketing increase website traffic?
This can happen when you send email subscribers your best content. Those who love what they see in your email are more likely to Google you and check out your site.
So, send personalized emails that promote the latest content published on your website. Sending roundups of your top stories or most-viewed posts regularly is another way to drive qualified traffic.
You can also insert relevant links in your content that lead to your site. So, when people click on the links, they’re directed to your website. Just make sure you use the best web hosting providers to ensure your site can handle the traffic and still deliver a great user experience.
You can also increase website traffic to your site just by writing quality email content. Check out this newsletter example below:
You see a beautiful write-up that gives context to the self-published author’s next work, The Folklore of Moving House. Notice the engaging headline and introduction.
Engages Specific Audiences
The best thing about email marketing for publishers is that you can engage specific groups of people. With email marketing for self-publishers, you can send tailored emails. These types of emails drive higher engagement rates that can translate to conversions.
To engage specific audiences, some publishers assign the content themselves based on demographics and other factors. Others let their subscribers select the type of content they want in their inbox.
We’ll talk more about how you can engage specific audiences through email marketing later.
Contributes to a Higher ROI in Other Ways
Email marketing for publishers can be very profitable. If you spend $1 on email marketing, you can expect an average ROI of $36 in the form of conversions (i.e. more people purchase your work).
But you can also generate a higher ROI in other more unconventional ways. For instance, you can use automated emails to encourage subscribers to become paid subscribers. This way, they can gain access to premium products or services. These can include your premium books, coaching and mentoring, and an invitation to a membership-only book club.
As a self-publisher, you can sell advertising space within your newsletters, too. All you need to do is ensure you have a sizable audience. Then contact other brands in your industry. You can also place banners on your website encouraging prospects to advertise with you.
5 Email Marketing Best Practices for Publishers
Now that you know the benefits of email marketing, the question is, how can you maximize email campaigns as a publisher? Applying these tips can help you leverage email marketing to the fullest. Ultimately, you can make your brand more profitable:
It may require extra effort, but personalized emails go a long way to ensuring deeper relationships with subscribers. This increases your chances for conversions. Just imagine this scenario. Mary and John sell the same product. Mary is Jesse’s friend. Jesse doesn’t know John. Who’s Jesse more likely to buy the product from? From the person he has a deep relationship with: Mary.
But how do you personalize? Well, you can start with using your recipient’s first name on the subject line. Just to give you an idea:
Not personalized: Hey friends, you’re gonna love this new piece
Personalized: Hey John, you’re gonna love this new piece
When you craft personalized subject lines, you increase the chance of people reading them by up to 26%. After all, you give the impression the email was really meant for them. Use your subscriber’s first name throughout your email body, too.
But personalization is more than adding the subscriber’s name to the subject line or main email content. As a publisher in the digital space, there are other subtle ways to develop a unique connection with your readers.
For example, you can mention their specific interest (like a favorite book) or a recent purchase. Give your subscribers a chance to read posts on their favorite topics. Don’t just feed them random stuff. We’ll talk more about this higher form of personalization in the next section.
2. Send Tailored Content
The more tailored your email content is to your recipient’s interests, the higher the chances they’ll engage with it. The more they engage with your content, the more likely they can turn into paying readers.
There are several ways you can ensure you send tailored email content.
Segmented email lists always have the most impact. You can gather information about your subscribers via surveys. Then group them according to their reading preferences, for example. As a self-publisher, your readers may prefer blog post excerpts, bonus chapters from your book, or research inspirations that impact the storyline of your book. Send the right emails to the right people according to what you find.
Another way is to lay down your content or topic options directly. You can do this in your welcome email to subscribers. Ask your audience to tick the topics they are interested in. You can even go a step further and ask them to specify their preferred email frequency.
The thing is, preferences can still change. When you send out your subsequent newsletters, then, include a link at the email footer. This is where subscribers can “update their preferences” if need be.
3. Promote Online Contests and Giveaways
Whether you’re a new or established self-publisher, you should engage your subscribers with online contests and giveaways.
You can announce your contests or giveaways on social media. Don’t worry, they don’t have to be that complicated. They could be as simple as you offering a discount on your book if they answer your question (the question should be related to your work as much as possible). Or you could announce free writing/publishing workshops with you as your reward.
Then you can use email marketing to promote your contests and giveaways. In your email, you can specify the guidelines to join.
If your contest is expected to run for several days, you can send multiple promotional emails. Halfway through your contest period, for instance, you can send an email saying how many have already entered your contest. This is one way to leverage social proof and the fear of missing out. It might just be the final nudge your subscribers need to join.
Announce your winners on social media and via email, too.
4. Focus on Mobile
Don’t ignore the role of mobile-based email marketing in running a successful publishing business.
Remember, 81 percent of subscribers use their smartphones to check emails. If they can’t read your email on mobile, they’ll just delete it.
So, maximize every section of that 6-inch screen to give your email recipients the best user experience.
Start by using mobile-friendly and responsive email templates for designing your emails. The best email marketing software providers offer email templates that use a responsive design. You can use any of those templates.
Check for oversized images or images that appear out of place, too. Don’t forget to use a single-column layout. Many readers just scroll up and down when reading from a mobile phone.
Also, cut down on the walls of text and use images or white space to provide breaks. Finally, include ALT text that describes images. If they don’t load, at least your subscriber will know what they are.
5. Test Emails
Increase the chances of your emails generating excellent results by A/B testing them.
In A/B testing you create two or more versions of your email. Then you send each to different sample groups.
Let’s assume you want to test which subject line generates higher open rates. You can use an email subject line generator to come up with subject line ideas. Pick the best of the bunch and then use each in your email to sample groups. You should have multiple groups getting the same email but with varying subject lines.
Then check which subject line performed better. This is the one you should use in your campaigns.
Remember that you can subject anything to testing, including the email layout and copy. Once you come up with your winning email, don’t forget to send a test email to yourself first. You want to ensure it’s also mobile-friendly.
Don’t dismiss the power of email marketing for publishers. You can use email to engage your audience and drive traffic to your website. Email marketing can even increase your ROI in other ways. Ultimately, with email marketing for publishers, you can generate more revenue.
In this article, we looked at how you can generate more revenue via email. Personalize and send tailored content. Run online contests. Also, ensure your emails are mobile-friendly. Don’t forget to test your emails to improve your campaigns.
Apply these five strategies and see that revenue soar.
Matt Diggity is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.