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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Drip, Drip, Drip: The Way to Plan Your Book Marketing Campaign

Thanks to Terry Doherty for today's guest post. She's a must-know for children's authors, that's for sure. But we can all learn from her expertise.

Drip, Drip, Drip Promo Campaigns

By Terry Doherty, Mom’s Choice Awards, literacy advocate, and founder of The Reading Club

Do you ever find yourself bogged down with trying to put together a newsletter? Me, too.

One of the cardinal rule of of marketing is to consistently and continually engage your fanbase. If you’re following Carolyn’s advice, you’re building your email contact list during author visits. Collecting names and emails for your newsletter list is a great way to expand your network, but thanking each person for coming to see you and letting them know about all your promotional events can take A LOT of time.

That’s where a drip campaign can come in handy. Drip campaigns are pre-planned emails that go out on a set schedule. There is no minimum or maximum number of “drops” in a campaign, but it does take some thought and a little prep time. Why? Because these emails have to be timeless, not to offer high quality content.

Let’s use a book festival as an example. I collected emails from people who bought your book or who got an autograph. I’m home and adding all of those people to my newsletter list. I want to send an email to this group of people to say it was nice to meet them and thank them for coming to see me. But (a) I only want to send to my newest contacts (not the whole list) and (b) I want it to go out five days from now.

Lucky for me, I have a canned email that I use for all events. It says “thanks,” but it also lets people know about the kinds of programs I do, asks them to let me know what they think of my book, and also to consider adding a review to Amazon (with a link to my product page).

Next, I set a rule in my email program that says something to the effect that when I add new people to my newsletter list, the “thanks” email should be launched five days later. Done! Now, whenever I enter names the “thanks” email triggers five days later.

TIP! If you use also use a contact form on your website or blog, you may want a more generic welcome or thanks-for-signing-up email. Alternatively, you can have a second signup list that is for people you meet and those who just sign up via form. That’s called “segmenting” your list.

Now, as I said at the top, we need to consistently engage with the people on our list, so in addition to the first email, I will launch a second email 43 days after that. [There is no magic number; I just picked 43 because it would logically space emails between my regular newsletter and the drip campaign.]

So what will I talk about? Well, my book is about birdwatching with kids, so one month, I might send a short email that has some links to my favorite blogs about birdwatching, or maybe a couple tips about how to identify a bird by its feathers or voice. Next time, I might include a PDF version of a set of bookmarks (about my book) that people can download and share. Next, it will be a video about how to make an Origami bird.

You get the idea. It might just be those four emails, maybe six months of emails, or maybe a full year. The keys, though, are to

1.     make sure that I am not always talking (directly) about me or my book. Email, like other social, is about communication and building relationships.

2.     pick topics that don’t have an expiration date. The idea of a drip campaign is that it will serve you well forever.

If you’d like to join a drip campaign in action to see what it is like, then sign up for my Reading Tub newsletters. We have two segmented lists, with two kinds of drip campaigns. One is just literacy tips and ideas (six weeks). The other sends you a book recommendation each month, based on the kind of book your child likes to read and their age.

Here’s to marketing and connecting with our fans made easy!

-----About the Author of This Guest Post: Terry Doherty
Terry is a mom, sister, wife, consultant, coach, and business owner.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/8fbDVP2IpHhQvlNwXBuUUjRjj6zX0LKiNfT2tVuHfXNwKwSaQThTklaNzdLIjEgPoKdMcKLwrv73GAgiKb1tl4YwYzm9US_bXdg8XRxhck6LyGlgAnSm-8n_k23wafDHTgShe is passionate about literacy. It was through her work with the Reading Tub (a nonprofit she created) that the Mom’s Choice Awards found her. She is the MCA’s Director of New Media & Alumni Education, as well as part owner.

Most days, you can find Terry reading a book (it’s part of her job, honest!) and writing … either for her various blogs or to prepare for an online class. Terry is a regular columnist on IBPA’s Book Industry News blog, covering the social media marketing beat.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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