Cheri Cowell here:
My new Bible study Parables and Word Pictures From the New Testament is out and it is now time to put my database into use. One great way to connect with potential buyers/readers is through the use of E-Blasts. The very name tells what this is and what it isn't. E- means it is electronic so you must have your database in some kind of program that will allow you to send multiple emails. I use Constant Contact. Next, it is a blast meaning it is short, direct, and sent multiple time like a rapid-fire water gun. Okay, maybe not the best metaphor, but you get the idea. Below are a few more tips to help you use this great marketing tool.
First, you'll want to divide your contacts into like groups because E-Blasts are target marketing. For my Bible study, I have churches and ministry leaders in one category and fans/readers in another. I have a list of women's ministry directors and a group of fellow alumni from seminary.
Next, you want to make a list of the features and benefits for each target group. What need will your book answer for each group? The church and ministry leaders are looking for something different – they have a different need – than my readers/fans.
Now create your email for each group with those features and benefits in mind. I love Constant Contact for this because I can create a mini magazine looking email for my first E-Blast complete with photos of my cover and other photos that speak to their need.
Think about what day of the week is best to send your E-Blast. Most churches are closed on Mondays and during the summer, many are also closed on Fridays so those would not be good days to E-Blast them.
Finally, think about when a second and third E-Blast should go out. Because mine is a workbook Bible study perfect for small groups, I am sending one now and another at the end of August as school begins and small groups are forming. I'll send a third one at the end of September because many will be planning their Spring calenders then before they get into the holidays. If your book would make a good Christmas gift, think about sending an E-Blst before Thanksgivng with an incentive to order early.