Do YOU know the answer to that question? If you do much marketing online, I'm sure you do.
But, if you're an author who simply has a website in order to let readers know about your books, you may not know the answer to that question.
The answer is - your opt-in box.
If you don't have an opt-in box on your site, I know what you're wondering.
What IS an opt-in box?
An opt-in box is the part of your website that asks visitors to sign up for your mailing list. As an incentive for doing so, usually the opt-in box includes some sort of FREE bonus the visitor receives immediately when signing up. A bonus could be a free e-book, special report, or even an audio clip with helpful information.
WHY is the opt-in box so important?
That's easy. It's so important because, without it, you have no way to stay in touch with the people who visit your website. You have no way to let them know when you have another new product or service to offer them. Sure, you can announce new products and services on your website. But people won't see this information unless they come BACK to your site or sign up for your RSS Feed (in which case, you still won't know WHO these people are). Why leave that up to chance? Why be left in the dark when it comes to who your followers are?
With an opt-in box, you collect the names and email addresses of people who opt in (that is, they AGREE to receive regular emails from you periodically), so you can let them know directly when you have some news. For example, you can send an email to the people on your mailing list when you have a new book coming out, or you'll be speaking at a writers' conference in a few months, or you'll be offering a new online writing workshop soon. Most importantly, an opt-in box gives you a way to stay in regular contact with the people on your mailing list. When you stay in regular contact, you form a relationship with these people. Over time, they grow to know, like, and trust you. And people who know, like, and trust you are more likely to purchase your books and/or other products or services.
So what's the MOST important part of your website or blog?
Repeat after me - the opt-in box!
Suzanne Lieurance is the author of 22 (at last count) published books, a freelance writer, and writing and business coach. Get more tips to help improve your writing, build your writing career, and sell more books every weekday morning in The Morning Nudge. For a 5-day FREE trial subscription to the Morning Nudge, go to http://www.morningnudge.com.