Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mailing Lists 4 - Growing Your List

Mailing Lists: Recap

This is the forth post in a series of articles about Creating and Maintaining a Mailing List. Here are links to the entire series:
Be sure to read those before you read the post below.

STEP 3: How to Grow Your List

Social Media and ads are a great way to promote your mailing list and I want to encourage you to direct your campaigns and readers toward signing up. THAT should be your priority! If you implemented a plan like I've described in the previous posts, you'll have plenty of freebies for your readers, which creates an incentive for them to want to join. 

And regardless of how you promote your mailing list or even your books, having a STRONG CALL TO ACTION is important! Any post or ad you create should tell readers what to do. Don't just say, "If you join my VIP Club, you'll get vampire freebies!" TELL them to join. "Join my VIP Club to get vampire freebies. CLICK HERE!" Don't just say, "I'm giving away a $10 gift card at my Facebook party!" TELL them to go there. "CLICK HERE for a chance to win a $10 gift card at my FB party!"

Here are some ideas to get the word out and help you grow your list:
  1. Social Media Campaigns - If you don't know how to do an automatic tweet campaign, be sure to visit my post on how to do just that (linked). Posting an image advertising your mailing list is much more effective than just a text post. And mention the freebies! "Join Arial's VIP Club for Vampire Freebies. Click here to join now --->" And then I attach a picture like this to my FB post or Tweet...
  2. Social Media Ads - Many authors I know do a lot of ads to promote sales on their books, and then are disappointed when they don't get the sales they were hoping for. Not to say you shouldn't do ads for your book promotions, but if you're on a limited budget, I'd recommend making those dollars count by creating ads centered around pushing people to join your list. Here's an article that has some pretty good advice on what to do, which can be applied to ads other than FB...although FB has changed the rules a bit on what you can include, so be sure to read their guidelines, too.
  3. Social Media Parties/Events - Whenever you have a FB party or online event you're attending, be sure to tell people to sign up for your mailing list. I would NOT recommend telling them to sign up to be entered into a drawing. You want people to join because they are interested in your books, not because they'll get a prize. Soooooo, create a post to introduce yourself at the beginning of the party that sounds something like, "HI! I'm Arial Burnz and I write about HOT Scottish Vampires! We have a lot of fun giveaways ahead! However, you can get more vampire freebies if you also join my VIP Club. Click here to sign up and Join the Club today! It's FREE! [link]"
  4. Landing Pages - A landing page is a GREAT way to push your books and especially to get people to join your mailing list. I'll talk more about that below.
  5. Your Profiles - Anytime you have a profile online, it should include a call to action for people to join your mailing list. My cover image on Facebook, the cover image for my FB author page, my Twitter profile, my Pinterest board, my Amazon Author Page...anywhere I have a presence on the internet, I ALWAYS put a notice for people to join my VIP Club.
  6. Your Books - At the end of your books, especially if you're self-published, you should have a link (or at least a URL/web address that's not necessarily a hyperlink) that points people to join your mailing list. They just got finished reading your book and they're probably still on the high of the story and the characters. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT! Tell them what they'll be getting - exclusive drawings, advance notices of new releases, a quarterly drawing for gift cards, free short stories of the characters you love, and much more! Join the Club TODAY! [link]
If you have other ideas I didn't mention here, please leave other suggestions in the comments below!!

Landing Pages

My fabulous friend, Jonny Andrews, at told me about landing pages! His mailing list is over 37,000 strong and this guy is the guru of online marketing. By the way, if you write paranormal fiction and romance, I highly recommend advertising with ILVN! it is a very focused audience and you'll get in front of those 37k+ fans of vampires and the paranormal!

So, what is a landing page. Well, it's almost like it sounds - a page where people will land when they click on a link. What is IN a landing page is the important part. Your GOAL is to get people to sign up for your mailing list...but not just that, you want QUALITY people to sign up. The best way to do that is give them a sample of what you do AND/OR tell them they can get more for free.

Here's an example of a landing page for my VIP Club:

But I also use this as a page on my site that informs people of my VIP Club. Whenever I'm telling people about my VIP Club, I usually refer them to that page so they can read about what they're getting if they join.

Another example: This is the landing page I've created for my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles - an excerpt from the first chapter of the first novel in my series:

NOTE a few things about this page...
  1. I have some pictures keep the page interesting. Straight text tends to overwhelm people.
  2. There's a LOT of text on this page. That's by design. If someone is willing to stick around on the internet and read this whole page, then they're probably enjoying your writing. Those are the people who will be genuinely interested in your work! You will most likely lose people who don't have the patience. That's okay! The ones who click through at the bottom will be the people you WANT to join your mailing list.
  3. I have a bit of a cliff hanger at the end. You want the readers to say, "DOH! Where's the rest!?!" and that should drive them to click on the last line....
  4. A strong call to action that tells them they can click to get the whole full-length novel for free.
Landing pages show people what's in it for them and a strong call to action - CLICK HERE! JOIN TODAY! GET YOUR FREEBIES HERE! Then direct them to your goal, which is to get them to sign up.

Whenever you do an ad on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or wherever, try to include this link for your landing page.

Another example could be a page that has the trailer to your book. Have the goal of the page at the top (e.g., "Watch this book trailer to learn how to get a FREE copy of Midnight Conquest - Book 1 of the Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles"). At the end of the trailer, encourage them to sign up for your list - Click the link below to join my VIP Club and get this book and so much more for FREE!

Here's an article on Best Practices for Landing Pages that I found useful.

Please share your tips and tricks on how to do the same and perhaps some more details management tips, other than using a mailing list service or plugin. In the next post, I give you suggestions on what you can put in your newsletters - the ones you send out other than your autoresponders.

CLICK HERE to read the next post à

That's my two pence...

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