By 2019, there will be an estimated almost 237 million active smartphone users in the United States. That’s 237 million potential people you can alert to your presence and convert into future fans. But how? Up your game by incorporating these 7 smart tips that will help you reach more readers in 2016:
Update Them on Your Speaking Schedule
Emails are often ignored and practically no one answers their phones anymore, but SMS messages (aka texts) have an impressive open rate of 99 percent. If you need to update your fans regarding your speaking schedule, your next book’s release date, or other time-sensitive and/or important information, text is the way to do it.
Tease Upcoming Releases
It’s more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain – and encourage future purchases by – existing ones. Use SMS messaging or push notifications to let your existing readers know about upcoming books and offer them priority access to pre-sale opportunities. It’s good to recognize loyalty, and the exposure you may get from social media chatter resulting from sneak peeks could be priceless.
Hand Deliver Deals
Coupon clipping is so passé. These days, 75 percent of people actually want to receive deals via SMS, and, as demonstrated above, they’re more likely to open and read these deals, too. You can send out a Black Friday coupon for your new release, offer a package deal on a set of your self-published biographies, or give book club members a discount on a ticket to your next personal appearance. Whatever the offer, SMS allows you to deliver it in a personal, fast, and efficient way like never before.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile
When it comes to accessing the internet, smartphones surpassed desktop computers in terms of popularity months ago, and the gap is only continuing to widen. You need to optimize your website for viewing on mobile devices by incorporating responsive design, eliminating data-hog plug-ins like Flash, and ensuring content reads properly on smaller screens. Some 40 percent of mobile users will ditch a slow-loading site in favor of shopping elsewhere, making mobile optimization a truly make-or-break improvement.
Develop an App
You can get the word out about your impending publication by paying for ad space in other people’s apps, but developing your own mobile app gives you far more power over how your brand is packaged and what material you get to share with your readers. You can build an app with a message board that creates a community for your readers to talk about your work, deliver in-app updates that keep your audience in the loop, and even published material exclusive to the app that rewards people for their subscription as well their loyalty.
Create Social Ads
Twitter users spend an average of 170 minutes a month on the social media platform, but only half of them are actually sending out tweets of their own. The rest are lurking, meaning they sign in just to read the messages sent out by people like you. Give the people what they want by tweeting out a mixture of messages that promote your brand while also delivering information of interest to your readers. Keep in mind that 71 percent of social media users are signing on from their mobile device, so the ads you run should be optimized for reading – and acting on – via smartphones and tablets.
Use QR Codes for Cross-Channel Promotions
You may have run across these little abstract-looking black-and-white codes once or twice, but chances are you either aren’t sure what they do or don’t know how to best incorporate them into your marketing plan. QR codes are embedded with data, typically a URL, that sends consumers straight to a website once scanned via an easily downloadable smartphone app. You can put a QR code on the back of your book to direct readers towards your website or you can get creative by handing out marketing collateral such as bookmarks or postcards with QR codes connected to secret sites containing bonus material or an invitation to a VIP book reading.
Between traditional publishing and the growth of the eBook industry, there are literally hundreds of thousands – or millions, according to some estimates – of books published every year. It’s not easy for authors to stand out in this sea of words, but by using the seven tips above, you’ll increase the odds that you and your work will get the attention deserved.
Sophorn is an inbound marketer specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generating sales qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s SMS marketing automation solution he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers or members. Watch Trumpia’s 5-Minute Demo on how to execute an effective mobile marketing strategy.