Build A Customer Base
There are two basic ways to get information out on the internet.
- Push = send email updates to list of customers
- Pull = attract readers to my blogs
I have a blog under my pen name advertising my eBooks. It includes links to Smashwords. I had planned to blog on it about four times a year, when I have an ebook ready to publish.
I have a blog (this one) where I write about writing fiction. Does it need a customer base? I have nothing to sell on the blog. I have information to pass on to other new authors, if and when I learn a new area. I blog on it once a week.
I have email and RSS feed set up on both blogs, and readers are free to select either for notification of new blogs.
So, do I need to build a customer base? What would I have to offer to induce them to sign up?
Free short stories for the readers? A competition and winners get free copy of eBook? Free articles on internet marketing for other new authors?
I could advertise via the blog and the customer list when I have a new eBook available or provide a special voucher for a lower price.
I could advertise via the blog and the customer list when I am looking for reviewers for each new novel.
I have no idea yet what the statistics are for how many prefer email notification vs visiting blog when they have time. I also have no idea where to locate this information.
So, I could build two lists, one for writers and one for readers. But the only opt-in option I am aware of is AWeber and you need your own web site to set up the opt-in form. There is also a cost involved. US$1.00 for joining, and US$19.00 a month for 1-500 subscribers.
I decided to Google and gather some data. I used “opt-in email marketing” for the search and located a site MailChimp
It is free to build your first 500 subscribers and you can send out 3,000 emails a month.
Not bad for free. There is a price once you collect more than 500 subscribers. It is US$15.00 a month with unlimited emails sent. Still cheaper than aweber.
I clicked the Resources page and looked at the free guides to get started.
- Getting Started with MailChimp Build Your Audience
- Common Email Marketing Rookie Mistakes
- Your First Email marketing Project
- Create an Email Marketing Plan
- Email Marketing
I am off to read through all the information and work out my marketing plan.
Have you started to build your True Fans list? What about the cost? Low? High?