When it comes to marketing your self-published book, there are a number of options open to you. One of the most ignored marketing methods at your disposal is direct mail marketing. For a small cost, you can physically reach out to your sales prospects in a short amount of time. Many self-publishers have probably forgotten the power of this marketing strategy – or don’t believe that this method can work for a tech-savvy self-publisher. And, online and social media marketing strategies have, for the most part, replaced what was once viewed as the most effective marketing strategy. But, in order to be a complete and successful marketing plan, you cannot ignore direct-mail marketing.
Isn’t Direct Mail Marketing Dead?
Direct mail marketing might be considered ‘old-school’ by many of today’s high-tech marketing people, but it can still be a powerful marketing tool. And because of this, a self-publisher that wants to sell more books needs to be using direct mail marketing as one part of the overall marketing plan. And don’t forget, not all people have an email account. But everyone has a physical mailbox – that they visit every day – without exception. In contrast to this, most emails do not get opened. It is not easy to impress us with a few words in the message line. Regular mail has a better chance of getting opened. It might sit around in a person’s home or office, waiting to be dealt with. But you, as a marketer, have an opportunity to design your mail piece to wow the recipient and try to get them to open it.
What Is Direct Mail Marketing?
Direct mail marketing is, as its name implies, a way for you to get your marketing materials directly into the hands of your prospects, by using the mail system. Post cards, flyers, and brochures are the most common marketing materials to be sent. Of course, direct mail has its advantages and disadvantages. But when used properly, and with proper planning, it can be a powerful and cost-effective way for you to make a direct and personal connection with your prospects. The direct-mail marketing plans that have the most impact are only sent to specific people, at specific addresses.
How Do I Build A Prospect-List Of Names And Addresses?
There are four main ways for a self-publisher to build a list of names and addresses:
1. Ask your followers on all of your social media outlets, and your website, to voluntarily sign-up for your mail list;
2. If you already have an existing business, and self-publish your book on the side, and the book’s subject matter is appropriate for your current customers, add them to your book’s mail list;
3. Develop your own mail list by using the internet to find names and addresses. An example of this would be searching for the names and addresses of all the libraries and independent bookstores, and adding them to your mail list;
4. Make it easy on yourself, and pay a professional group such as the Independent Book Publishers Association to send your marketing materials directly to a list of prospects – a list that they have built and manage.
Direct mail will get your marketing material directly into the hands of potential book buyers. Buyers that might not have been able to find you or your book in today’s crowded book market in the first place. It is also your chance to lead them to your website, where you must provide more marketing material for your book, and also wow them with information about you. Therefore, do not ignore direct-mail marketing for your book. Your marketing plans are not complete without at lease some direct-mail marketing.
• This article is also featured in Joel Friedlander’s online publication The Carnival of the Indies – Issue #39
• This article is also posted on EzineArticles.com
• This article is also published in Book World Dealer, the publication of NABE-National Assoc. of Book Entrepreneurs