Do targeted email blasts generate sustained book sales?
In the ongoing quest to find effective marketing tools for my nine novels and two plays, I've compiled a list of over two hundred email addresses of those who have expressed some interest in my books. Sending them an email has become part of every book launch.
My email blasts consist of three themed emails space two weeks apart. Each one offers the coupon code for a free e-book edition of the novel.
The response of my last blast was: opened 20%; clicked 6%; reviews 2
Many sites provide a similar service for a fee. For $25.00, Free Kindle Books http://fkbt.com/for-authors/ will include your book in a daily post to 750,000 addresses of which they claim 100,000 take action or about 13%. Take action does not mean buy, read or review your book.
Is this a good way to market a new release? Will it enhance sales of my backlist? How to tell?
In his 2015 blog entitled Lessons in Advertising my Ebook, Manochio meticulously documented his experience http://www.mattmanochio.com
I have no idea how I came upon this information, but it is a caution that once you post on the internet, it never goes away.
To summarize, he used fourteen sites, spent $500 and sold approximately 1100 books @ 99¢. After the publisher's cut (he wasn't self-published), he concluded he broke even.
He also got some amazing short-term results with his book hitting #411 on the paid Kindle list and single-digit ranking in its respective genre. These numbers, however, were not sustained and currently, the book he was promoting is on the Amazon Best Sellers ranking at #2,012,826
If you deeply discount your book and send it to hundreds of thousands of people, some are going to open it, some even read it.
It's what happens after that's important. Does this investment enhance sales of your backlist at the regular price?
In Manochio's case did this happen?
Looking at the author's website and considering what he's written since, and where his books currently rank I'd say no, though it does sound like he had a hell of an exciting ride for a couple of weeks.
Will I consider email blasts in the future for my books keeping in mind that some of my novels may not be eligible on some sites since they don't have the required number of reviews or may not be considered to have a professional cover?
Maybe. In some cases, it's less expensive than sending a paperback edition of your book to a reviewer. The real payoff, however, won't be a blip in ranking, but rather if the book they got cheap was good enough to encourage them to buy one of my other titles at full price.
Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.