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First order of business this week is to get a sample of the book ready and released. So much of my marketing plan involves audience building. Before I ask someone to give me their email address I need something to give them in return. I pulled out a section from the book on what makes a great welcome email and two company case studies. The great thing about doing this is it gives you a framework for how the rest of the book will be structured. It also allowed me to pass it around people and confirm if it is a topic people are interested in. They were, yay!
I know my way around Adobe Indesign so I had no problem laying out the pages. I based the layout on my first book but changed a few fonts and colours to give it its own style. I also made sure to use solid blacks when ever possible to make it easier to read (A lesson learned from my first book.)
One of the key opportunities I missed in my last book was marketing within the book itself. Lets face it, a reader is going to be most engaged when they are reading the book itself. I added the following pages. Share, with the ability to click and share a link across various social networks. A sales page for the final book. this included a launch date and invite to subscribe for news updates (I was hopeful readers might pass the sample on to friends). Actually now I think about it I should have asked readers to do just that. A full page advert for my last book and an advert for the BEN site. I made a .pdf version and put it online for people to download.
The book landing page I bought from ThemForest. It is called Off the shelf.
I did think about designing my own page but this was a lovely clean theme with all the elements I needed for just $11. It was an easy decission.
I put the page up at http://www.beautiful-email-newsletters.com/30_days_to_sell. I did register the domain 30daystosell.com but felt the page would be better where i have already built an audience.
I have worked with landing pages for years and there are a few key features of what makes a good one.
You can find a handy infographic on landing pages here.
The main question I had at this point was if I should give away the book for free or ask for a sign up. The argument is I can give it away free with no sign up and hope more people will read it. Or put it behind a subscription link where less people will be willing to hand over their email address but will be more engaged when they do. I chose the subscription path because I have no faith in people remembering to come back to buy. I prefer to be able to trigger that reminder. I also have a reluctance to give things away totally free. People value free stuff less and are more likely to discard or ignore it.
Also plans for the book and release date might change and I would be in trouble with no way to notify interested readers.
I used Campaign monitor for the mechanism of capturing their email before bringing the subscriber to the download page. (Other services also allow this). I created a subscribe form where people can add their email address to download the sample. Campaign monitor allow you to redirect users to a thank you page after subscription. On the thank you page I added the link to download the book. Just like in the book itself I added the ability to share with friends on social networks.
I also edited the thank you email that campaign monitor allow you to send. I wrote a personal thank you, a notice that they would be receiving future updates about the book and again a link to download and share.
Thanks so much. You can download the chapters here. I hope you like it.
I will keep you up to date on the latest book news leading to the launch on September 3rd.
"I just downloaded two sample chapters of 30 Days to sell by Alan O'Rourke. http://beautiful-email-newsletters.com/30daystosell/"
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UPDATE: In week four I realised that asking people to share a book sample they have not read is a bit premature. So I set up an auto responder in Campaign monitor to send a second mail after day 3 asking what they thought of the sample and again links to share. The goal with this mail is also to get the user used to getting mails from me so when it comes round to asking them to buy they will not have forgot who I am… hopefully.
UPDATE 2: based on a tip from Pat Flynn I added a second auto responder at day seven. This mail is a rally call. A mission statement about why I’m writing about this subject and try to get everyone behind the mission. Also again I am happy to use any excuse to maintain contact is with subscribers.
Now the outbound marketing can start.
I started tweeting about the book sample on two twitter profiles I run @ben_approves and @alanorourke. I immediately started worrying about how many times I could tweet the same thing. Of course I tweeted at different times to capture different people in different time zones but after that I just played it by ear. At this stage I was just tweeting to download the book with the book title. Later I figure out some better ways to word it and capture people’s interest better. I also shared it on Linked in and went in to all the marketing groups and shared the book. I did get push back from one group about feeling like I was spamming the group. Their issue was about putting the book behind a subscribe link and also not having contributed much to that particular group before promoting. They were right of course. I didn’t even dare promote the book in the Marketing Over Coffee group who are very very strict and I love them for it.
I’m not part of many Facebook groups but I did put it on the ben page and shared with close friends and family on my personal account.
I went back to the audience I have on BEN and looked for ways to promote the book to them
Blog post about the sample of course, a link to the landing page and I changed the pop up on the site from subscribe to daily email inspiration to download the sample.
Last I went on to Quora.com to look for questions related to my book that I could contribute and answer with links back to download the sample. A great example is http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-welcome-email-you-have-ever-received which I bookmarked to get to next week.
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We will send you occasional news, updates and a look behind the scenes leading to the books release.
Bafta nominated designer of over 10 years, Alan O’Rourke is Product Marketing Manager at WhatClinic.com, founder of email newsletter service Toddle.com and runs the number one email showcase site Beautiful-email-newsletters.com