Grow Your Marketing Part 11: Re-engaging Prospects
Most writers don’t do email marketing. And, of the ones that do, many think of it as a laborious manual task with little reward.
(You realise, of course, that once you write the emails and set up the links, you can put the while thing on automatic and not have to manually send out emails every day, right?)
It’s not easy to make money as a writer, but it is possible. We’ve looked earlier at other ways of increasing your income as an author, but in terms of purchase frequency — the number of books you sell — we have to remember our maxim:
A strategic email marketing plan that brings leads and buyers back to offers and content again and again is the most effective way to double purchase frequency.
As with any kind of communication, though, there are certain protocols which work best. We’ve looked at following the correct sequence:
1. Introducing yourself
2. Engaging the reader
4. Giving options.
If you try and ‘jump the gun’ by violating that sequence — say plunging in and trying to upsell someone before you’ve even reminded them who you are — your success rate will plummet; if you develop a series of emails which follow 1 to 4 above, you have a much better chance of winning. More readers will open your emails, and more will open your next emails. That means more chances of clicks and purchases.
What about those who don’t open them, or open them rarely? And then never click?
This fifth step is all about what to do with those people. What should you do when customers and prospects stop opening and clicking on your emails?
You need an autoresponder series in place that revitalises disengaged people on your email list and brings them back into communication and potentially purchase mode.
Also, it’s noteworthy that leaving disengaged emails on your address list can do tremendous damage to the deliverability of your email. Re-engaging subscribers who have gone quiet means reducing your chances of being labelled as ‘spam’.
So how do you re-engage the silent readers?
1. Present them with the option of losing contact with you.
You do this by simply saying something like ‘I’ve noticed that you haven’t been reading the emails from me, so rather than overload your inbox, I’ve unsubscribed you. If you’d like to continue receiving emails from me, simply click here [insert link]’ Those readers who have been too busy or who have glossed over your emails for one reason or another, but who are still interested, will click and stay connected. Those who really have lost interest won’t, which means you have de-cluttered your list (and reduced the risks of being labelled as ‘spam’).
2. Give them a face-saving way of continuing with their interest.
You can do this with a message along these lines: ‘If you’ve been trying to connect up with my special offer on [insert link to whatever your special offer is] but have experienced delays, this may have been caused by heavy traffic or maintenance periods or other technical problems. This link [insert link] should bypass any problems and enable you to complete the process.’
3. You can ‘bribe’ them with a special offer.
Simply offer them something to re-engage — a free download, or some way of covering shipping costs, or a link to something that might be of interest to them.
4. Extend a free trial or equivalent.
If you have anything like a free trial or some other offer which has had a time limit, offer to extend it for the price of re-engagement.
So you can use email to reengage and win back customers and prospects, and thereby increase purchase frequency.
This is all up to you to tailor to your existing situation, workload and interests, but it starts with understanding the five stages of email marketing.
Where you can make the most positive impact on your career as a writer?
Could a campaign of emails which introduce you to your mailing list produce more engaged prospects that are eagerly awaiting your next email?
Could you build a whole series of emails around something you have sitting there on your computer — an old story or book — to revive a readership?
Could you generate more income from readers with a series of upsells?
Could you make relevant, high-converting offers to your list by sending them an email offering a list of options?
Could a re-engagement email win back ‘cold’ prospects and give you 10-15% more income?
Take a look at it through creative eyes. Growing your marketing probably means expanding your vision of what’s possible — and tapping into your talents in new ways.