Our current Idea Email is focused on the customer relationship-building opportunities of using a subscription model for the distribution of ebooks.
Here are 5 tips we believe will help such a series of ebooks to become popular with your audience.
Keep it Short
By short, we mean 5,000-10,000 words. This is the length of a long magazine article. A business-to-business marketer may offer longer books, if your audience seeks content of a technical or academic nature. And a how-to or recipe series may be comprised of ebooks with less words. However, the success that Amazon.com has seen with Kindle Singles provides the proof-of-concept that short books are popular among people with demands on their time, but who desire more understanding than a blog post (like this) can provide.
Keep it Narrow
Your customers aren’t looking to you for the history of the world. However, as with two of our clients, they may have an intense interest in the history of a narrow niche they believe is special. Your customers or members are looking to you for help in addressing specific challenges or accomplishing specific goals or enjoying specific passions – use ebooks to help explain those narrow interests, in a deeper way.
Add Value to Your Product or Service
As we say often, people don’t purchase products, they purchase outcomes. Adding value to your products or services simply means helping your customers accomplish what they intended to accomplish when they purchased your product or started using your service. If your ebooks provide the instruction, inspiration and understanding they need to accomplish what they were seeking, you will be building a longterm relationship with that customer.
Timing is Everything
One thing a recurring ebook series can’t do is anticipate the precise topic a customer will need at the precise moment she will need it. As with other periodical publishing, an ebook series must take into account the regular cycles of your market. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose. (Turn, turn, turn.) Some marketers have tied the distribution of periodical publishing related to parenting to the age of children, for example. However, even your market’s calendar can’t anticipate the exact time a customer will need to refer to your growing library of ebooks. That’s why we suggest making access to previous ebooks and other documentation a part of your program.
Don’t Confuse a Recurring Ebook Series with Other Types of Recurring Promotions
We believe it is fine for companies to create and distribute promotional material that informs customers how special you and your company and its products are. We also think it’s great when you have coupons, or events or weekly sales you want to send to your customers who desire to receive them. However, those are separate activities than what we are describing with an ebook subscription strategy. Don’t confuse your customers with a promise to provide them a series of ebooks on how to bake a cake that turns out to be a monthly product catalog filled with testimonials from happy cake pan users. Deliver what you promise.