You may have noticed that I published a workbook about a week after Plan to Profit became available for instant download. They should have come out at the same time but Amazon had other plans. You may be wondering why I went through all the trouble to create a completely free 15-page workbook for readers. Two reasons:

Reason One: I knew it would be helpful to my readers.

I’ve often had the experience of reading a book, loving the ideas, taking notes, and ending up with a chicken scratch mess that I never looked at again. The Plan to Profit Workbook helps readers keep their thoughts organized and quickly apply the new principles they’re learning. I’ve already heard from one reader that she’s used the Workbook to create a whole new marketing strategy for her business. And that’s the whole point.

Reason Two: Email lists sell books

If you read anything about online marketing you’re almost certain to come across two factions of marketers. The first claims that “content is king.” Write great content, their thinking goes, and people can’t help but buy from you. The other faction says “email is the key.” Content is all well and good, but it’s useless unless people are paying attention to it. That’s where an email list comes in.

When you have an email list, you can deliver that great content directly into their inbox. In this way, you capture the attention of your ideal customer, at least for a few seconds (assuming they actually open your email).

In fact, Tim Grahl, the marketing mind between many an Amazon bestseller, says that email lists should be an author’s number one (marketing) goal. Having worked in content marketing for almost a decade, I agree with him. If you don’t already have a huge following, building an email list can help you get one.

What a lead magnet is

The best way to build an email list from scratch is with a lead magnet. You create something useful that readers want to download (like a short story, workbook, exclusive interview, etc.) then ask readers to give you their email address in exchange for the download. The reader gets what they want, you get their email. Everybody wins.

The best part is, if you offer the right lead magnet – something that’s super attractive to your ideal audience but not to other people, your list will naturally include people who fit into your ideal audience. For example, the workbook is a valuable resource for business owners. Stay at home moms probably aren’t going to download it (unless they’re working on starting a business). So my list is going to include business owners, the very people who are also the ideal audience for my book.

A note of caution

Use your lead magnets responsibly or they won’t work for you. If you want to use your email list as a selling platform, you need to  offer plenty of useful content in between. Don’t spam readers with long, rambling emails about unrelated topics. Don’t email them only when you have a new book coming out. Instead, use each email to build your relationship with your reader. Ask them questions. Answer those questions. Give them useful tips, expert advice, a look behind the curtain. Do that, and when you announce your next book, they’ll jump at the chance to buy it.

 

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