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Friday, April 24, 2009

 

Friday Speak Out: Message Board Marketing, Guest Post by Rita Milios

Message Board Marketing:

First Make a Good Impression, Then Make a Sale

by Rita Milios

Do you have a book to sell? Are you considering using message boards or news groups to reach potential book buyers? How you present yourself in your early contacts with members of these social networks can make the difference between being seen as an intruder or spammer and a valued member with a valued resource to share (your book).

Before you post that first message, take a moment to stop and think. Is your post likely to establish good rapport? Does it set a friendly tone? Does it help you create a good reputation for yourself–as a respectful and helpful resource person?

Prior to sending your message consider these questions:

• Is this topic something that most members will be interested in?

• What is the stated purpose of this group?

• Is my message “on topic” with the group’s stated purpose?

• Does my message offer an answer to a question or the solution to a problem?

• What benefits can the members derive from reading my post?

If you answer the “what’s in it for the group?” question with each message you create–starting with your very first message–then you will quickly become a valued resource person that members admire. Then, later, should you have an announcement that helps you (a new book to announce, for instance), they will be less likely to consider your announcement as “spam”.

Here are some announcement tips to help you craft a message that will be willingly read:

1) Focus on the benefit for members (what’s in it for them?).

2) Appeal to the emotions. Sales experts say that people respond first emotionally to a sales message and then later re-think it and justify it with logic.

3) Hook ‘em with a great headline. A headline is the first few words of your message. It is the “title” as it were. Your announcement’s headline is the most important part of your message. Members (who are also potential customers for your book) will either continue reading your message or completely ignore the rest of it, depending on how good your headline is.

4) Make sure your headline suggests a benefit or value for the reader. Make your headline interesting and cute if possible, but don’t sacrifice clarity…they have to “get” your message.

5) Most importantly, make sure your headline spurs the reader toward an action. (If the action you want them to take is to click on a link that takes them to your website, don’t be shy about telling them what to do. Be direct. Say something like, “Go to (www.yourwebsitename) to find out how you can access this valuable information!

6) Once they arrive at your website, direct them to the sale. Tell customers exactly what action to take. Click here. Fill out this order form. Provide your credit card information. If you fail to direct your customer to these final actions, you may lose them at the most crucial point. So make sure that your customer knows exactly what they need to do in order to purchase your book.


Rita Milios is author of more than 30 books, including How to Create Quizzes, Surveys and Polls to Power-Promote Your Book or Website! She offers unique book promotion services to fellow writers, including hourly “Borrow a Brain” brainstorming sessions. Find out more at www.ritamilios.com/bookpromotion, where you will also find FREE Quizzes and e-Reports.

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Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!
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