Our least favorite thing as an artist? Marketing our work. It is difficult and expensive for those of us who are still without an agent or publishing contract. It is laborious and loathsome at times. Yet necessity being what it is, if we want our work to be read, we must find avenues with which to share our work.
To that end, earlier today I read an article about the critical importance of creating an email marketing campaign. As I read, it all seemed to make sense. This was from an author and her advice was that the email list should come first. Before the website. Before the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
She even had a company she preferred.
So I checked it out, signed up for the free month and began to explore how to use the system. Then the problem occurred - getting email addresses of those people who might be interested in regular contact with some writer with whom they are only acquainted through?
There was the run, to get people to sign up I have to engage them through those forms of social media I read were to come second. Chicken? Egg? A dilemma.
So to get them to 'subscribe' to an email list, I have to place a link on both Facebook and Twitter. Except those are supposed to come after?
Then we have to accept a cold; hard; fact: PEOPLE DO NOT READ EMAIL. I don't. No one I know reads any of these email newsletters that come through. I don't even read the ones from my University alumni group!
So, I need a bunch of email addresses, and the hope that a few of those people will care enough to read the email and wander around to my site? For this I get to pay money... and to grow my email list more quickly, I can buy an email list. But what will that really do?
Suddenly, just to get an email distribution list and marketing campaign started, I have to spend several hundred dollars? For that several hundred dollar outlay, I have only the guarantee that an email will go out to thousands of people. But no guarantee it does not get sent directly to the SPAM folder. And therein lay the problem. A big outlay of money with no real promise of a positive return on investment.
For that same outlay, I could market through Amazon, Facebook and
Twitter with targeted campaigns which would have a better chance of
actually being seen by the intended audience. It seems to me that if I were a semi-successful author that this concept might have some merit.
But for those of us not yet represented and still looking to fight our way, tooth and nail, into the hands of our audience, this seems like pissing into the wind.