A few weeks ago, I was talking with another self-published author, comparing notes about how we market our books.
His sales had slowed recently, and his email signups had dropped off as well.
He wasn't sure what was causing the issue, but as we talked, one root cause became apparent. He admitted that he'd gotten impatient with the sales he was getting, so he went through his blog and edited his most popular posts. Instead of asking readers to join his mailing list, he included a call to action to buy his book.
Driving more traffic to his sales page seemed like a surefire way to make more sales.
But guess what? Didn't work. He may have gotten a couple of additional sales from that gambit, but not enough to move the needle. And in the process, he missed out on pulling in dozens of email subscribers that he could have wooed and eventually turned into customers.
He took his eye off the ball, going for short-term sales instead of looking to build a long-term audience.
The first step to building a solid email list (one that will help you sell your products consistently over time) is this:
Make building your email list the number one priority in your marketing plan.
All of your other online marketing activities should support this one primary goal.
Writing blog posts? Add a call to action to join your mailing list.
Hanging out on Twitter or Facebook? Make sure that you invite your followers and fans to join your mailing list regularly. I try to do this at least once a week, and I'm planning to step it up to daily in the near future. (Oh, and make sure your profiles on Twitter and Facebook include links to your newsletter signup page. I get dozens of signups a month from my Twitter profile alone.)
Running ads? Don't advertise your product directly. Advertise a giveaway that will entice people to join your list, where you can earn their trust over time.
Stay focused on this single goal, and you'll find that you're starting to get traction with building your email list.
P.S. My favorite tool for building my list these days is LeadPages. (Yep, that's an affiliate link–I'm a happy customer and have no hesitations in recommending them.) LeadPages is amazing because it lets me quickly throw up a new signup page with a customized giveaway, and the conversion rates on their opt-in forms are excellent. I use one for my newsletter signup page and it's converting at a strong 34%.
If you're serious about growing your email list, check them out today: