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Tracy (T.L.) Higley here, posting another marketing lesson I’ve learned from my years in online retail sales. As I’ve mentioned in previous months, I’m currently in the midst of an experimental year, applying principles from my retail business to the marketing of my fiction. If you’ve missed earlier posts, and would like a better explanation of my background and what these posts are about, please see Principles #1-#5 here.

 

So, on to Principle #6… Learn how to use email effectively.

 

Did you know that there are basic principles that, when followed, will greatly increase the chances that your email gets opened, read, clicked on, and acted upon? Do you know what they are?

Various studies show that anywhere from 45-60% of people make a decision about whether to open an email based on the subject line alone. And the wording and set up of your email itself can greatly influence people’s response to it. Last month we talked about making a good offer, but it’s equally important to word that offer in the best way possible, to gain the best response.

There are other principles at work for emails, e-newsletters, and e-zines as well, that will greatly affect whether your carefully-crafted message ends up in your readers’ Junk folder, or screened out as spam. Do you know what they are? For example, we talked last month about offering something free to your readers. But did you know that creating a subject line that begins or ends with the word “free” is very likely to get the message filtered to spam/junk? Much better to reword it to something like “Get a free…”

These principled aren’t complicated, and it pays to learn them. You’ll also find that lots of creative ideas for connecting with your readers will spring out of the research you do to discover the best practices for email marketing.

To get you started, I’m including a few links to some email guides you can download for free, from companies I respect. You will need to offer your email address in order to download these guides, but be assured that I have never been hassled in any way by these companies, and if you find yourself getting email from them that you do not wish to receive, unsubscribing is simple.

 

Mail Chimp’s Guide

 

Lyris Guide #1

 

Lyris Guide #2

 

The following is not a link to a downloadable guide, but a link to a website that is absolutely outstanding in the free content it offers, as well as e-books for purchase. I cannot say enough good things about Ralph Wilson’s site. I highly recommend signing up for his newsletter if you are interested in marketing online. I read every single issue that comes to me, and almost always click on a link within it to read more. The link below will take you directly into the section of articles on Email Marketing.

 

Wilson Web

 

Email marketing is effective, powerful, and cheap. Learn how to use it well, and you’ll see an increase in the actions you’d like readers to take.

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KathrineSwitzerI’m so grateful for the many writing opportunities that God has given me. I frequently thank Him for the two daily devotional books I’ve had published and for the two-book contract that I’m completing now. Still, I find myself dreaming of doing a different type of writing—another genre that seems so out of my league that I’m embarrassed to admit it. Something that looks so difficult and daunting that it seems impossible. And when I think about impossible dreams, I always think of Kathrine Switzer.

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051714000306
Last week my friend Diane pulled me aside after choir practice and placed a package in my hands.

“I wanted you to have the first copy.” Her first book was finally in print! Over the past few years
I have seen this book evolve as Diane brought individual devotions to our writer’s group, asked me to edit/critique the first draft, and started submitting to publishers. I was almost as excited as I would have been over my own book.

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We all have them–pet peeves about writing and editing. I thought I would share some things I come across in my clients' writing, and also in my own. I've recently gotten hooked on my Xmas present–the latest edition of Garner's American Usage. I am ashamed to say there are so many words and phrases I use wrong. And knowledge isn't power–it just makes reading harder–for as we learn more and more about those pesky grammar and usage rules, we start to spot them everywhere. It takes self-control to not red line all the books I read.

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SusieChairGreetings, Dear Friends!

Susie Larson here!

I post on the last Thursday of each month about the topic of building a speaking platform. Today I want to explore the idea of when it is okay to share about a personal heartache or trial, and when it is better to hold it for a while. 

While I do believe that sometimes God calls us to step up and share a vulnerable story (while we are right in the midst of it all), most of the time wisdom calls us to give it time, to get on the other side of it, and to wipe the dirt off of the spoils from our war.

The thing is, certain types of pain produce amazing testimonies right in the midst of the pain, while other types of heartache require a time of healing and understanding.

For instance, I have heard of parents who have lost a child and who stood up and spoke about their loss with power and conviction only days after their tragedy. And, after hearing their testimony, many came to Christ. Absolutely amazing.

But when it comes to divorce, betrayal, or any kind of relational break down, those messages need time for healing, understanding, and even wisdom about what is best to share, and what is best to hold. Furthermore, when our stories involve other people, we need to be respectful of their story. 

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