John Kremerís Book Marketing Update
This month: The Email that Sold Over 1,000 Books in a Single DayTips On Crafting a "Killer Email" from an Internet Marketing Expert
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Imagine selling more than 1,000 books in a single day just by sending out email. That's exactly what happened when Robert Allen sent an email to 18,000 people on his mailing list. Allen's goal was to drive up his ranking on Amazon.com and make his book the top-selling title. Before the email was sent, Allen's book was ranked #450. Twenty-four hours later it was at #2.
To some, Allen's success may be unbelievable. But the truth is that success stories like his are probably more common than you think. Allen and others succeed in their email-marketing campaigns because they're able to motivate people to action. The messages they send are much less likely to be deleted, and much more likely to inspire people to buy, because they avoid the most common mistakes inexperienced Internet marketers make. They also have a knack with crafting just the right kind of message that makes people want to buy.
In his new e-book, Million-Dollar Emails Volume 1: The Greatest Moneymaking Emails of All Time, Yanik Silver discusses proven strategies for writing the kind of emails that get noticed. Silver himself has had tremendous success using email to spur sales. In one campaign, he made over $9,000 in 72 hours. In another, he made more than $15,000 in two weeks. Here are some of his tips:
Use only "opt-in" mailing lists. Silver is adamant about not resorting to "spam" (unsolicited messages) to sell via email. For one thing, it's more likely to make prospective customers angry than convince them to buy. In a worst-case scenario, it can even get your Internet account cancelled. Finally, it's simply not going to be as effective as marketing to people who have already asked to receive information. It may take time to build the kind of list that will consistently lead to sales, but in the long run you'll be much better off. See the list of resources at the end of this story for help in locating companies that rent or sell opt-in email lists.
Be aggressive in collecting addresses. If you aren't going to spam, and you don't want to spend the money to rent a mailing list, you're going to have to acquire addresses on your own. Contests and giveaways are two very simple ways to convince visitors to your Web site to disclose their addresses. You should also use offline strategies, such as asking for email addresses when you take phone orders, or offering sign-up forms at book signings, seminars and any time you make a speech or presentation.
Give away bonuses. One reason Allen's campaign was so successful is because he has a substantial number of names on his email mailing list. In addition to the methods listed above, you should also be trying some other tactics to build your own list. Mention your Web site in your books and give readers a reason to visit your site and provide you with an email address. You can offer free bonuses (like special email reports), a free email newsletter or a "members-only" section of your site that contains updates or additional information not found in your book.
Formatting is important. Because there's no single email program that everyone uses, an improperly formatted message can cause inadvertent breaks in your text that make it look amateurish. Silver suggests composing your messages in a fixed-width font such as Courier 10, and making sure never to exceed more than 65 characters per line.
Make use of psychological triggers. In any marketing campaign, you're looking for that secret word or phrase that will compel people to buy. One of the more successful strategies Silver has discovered is that simply telling people why you're asking them to buy can be powerful. Take a look at Allen's email on page 11. He explains right away that he's asking people to buy his book because he wants to hit the number-one spot on Amazon.com. Come up with a compelling, concrete reason to ask people to buy your book. It can work wonders.
Avoid junk-mail filters. Because there's so much junk mail (or spam) floating around the Internet, many people use filters in their email programs to automatically cull the junk before it ever reaches their in-box. Words in all capital letters in the subject line is one common trigger. A word like "sex" might also trip you up, so if you're offering a book on how to improve your sex life, you may have to work around that. When creating your subject line, think about the email you receive every day. What causes you to automatically delete messages without reading them? What filters have you set up in your own email program?
Check out the following companies that offer opt-in mailing lists if you lack one of your own. Generally, you should expect to pay at least $1,000 for an opt-in list.
www.bulletmail.com has worked with many large and small companies to design email campaigns, including Doubleday Book Clubs.
www.e-target.com maintains a network of over 15 million opt-in email subscribers.
www.postmasterdirect.com maintains more than 3,000 mailing lists segmented by topical interest.
The original message, along with more examples and tips on how to use email to dramatically boost your sales, can be found in Silver's new e-book, Million-Dollar Emails Volume 1: The Greatest Moneymaking Emails of All Time. For more information, visit www.milliondollaremails.com. For more information on Robert Allen's products and services, including his books, Multiple Streams of Income and Multiple Streams of Internet Income, visit www.multiplestreamsofincome.com.
This article originally appeared in John Kremer's Book Marketing Update
newsletter, a twice-monthly publication that helps authors and publishers get more publicity and sell more books.
You'll be able to see the actual email Robert Allen sent out when you subscribe to Book Marketing Update (the email is in the Back Issues archive you get access to as a subscriber -- see issue #167).