How to know what marketing is working for you – and what isn’t

by Chris Day

The four weeks before publication are often the busiest time for authors for marketing their book. Many will be doing a pre-order campaign and supporting it with a flurry of social media activity. Others will be guest blogging on synergistic sites with a large number of followers. Email marketing also comes into its own as authors leverage their lists and send of regular newsletters encouraging their followers to take action.  The object is that everything coincides with the day of the launch.

Having expended all of that energy, it is not surprising that after the launch they want to pull back a bit and let everything then take its course.  However, this is not sensible!

It is vital to keep up the momentum and build on the awareness that you have created.  This is the time to be approaching other magazines, specialist journals, websites,  regional and local press in your area, local radio and television stations, and showing them the cuttings and articles that have already been published. It is all about keeping up the momentum.

To do this you need to be measuring the marketing and promotional activity you are doing.  There are some key benchmarks that every author needs to be monitoring on a monthly basis to enable to be in control of the results they are getting. So what can you measure?

Obviously the number of sales you make every month and your royalty income are a way of measuring your success but these are a result of the activity you do and the things you are causing to happen.  Increase the activity and you will increase the result. So what can you measure?

The first simple measure is the number of unique visitors to your author website. With most internet service providers, they will give you access to your ’control panel’  This is where you can add email addresses and administer your website. It will contain a facility to show you the activity logs on your site. The one you should look at is the number of Unique Visitors.  That is the figure you should write down in your diary on the same day each month.  What you need to know is if the number is static, going up or going down.  Each one of those will tell you what action to take.

If your visitors are static or going down, then you have an opportunity!  You need to know why and then do something about it!

You should have an email marketing platform, like MailChimp, to collect new followers from your website, and for you to connect with them regularly using a newsletter. If you don’t have this in place it is urgent that you do something about it. Ask for help!

If you do haveMailChimp in place, then you need to be monitoring your number. How many people on your list? It is increasing – if so by how many each month? What is the open rate of your newsletters? If it is low, you need to ask people why – so you can make it better.

Do you have a blog facility set up on your website? Are you using it? Keep a note of how many blogs you publish each month. You should be able to see a spike of activity when you do. Do take feedback on your blog and find out what people really enjoy reading – then give them more of it!

On your Social Media platforms do also keep a note of the number of followers on each one. Which  one is doing the best?  That should tell you something! Keep a note of the followers, shares and Likes. Are they going up or down?   Your success is down to how well you build your community.

By keeping a note of these figures on a monthly basis, you can easily plot trends. This will tell you what do to. If interest is dropping, then it is time to make a big push. You need to know this sooner rather than later if you are to keep up momentum and enjoy the level of success you truly deserve

Chris Day

Filament Publishing