HOW AUTHORS CAN USE CRM IN THEIR MARKETING
L. Penelope said: "Loving your blog! Maybe write a post on how authors can use CRM in their marketing. I'm intrigued."
Thank you, L. Penelope! Of course. I'm in the midst of setting mine up and going through 2,000+ of my subscribers (a combined number of subscribers to my blog, newsletter, Patreon, an excel spreadsheet of beta readers, and PayPal customers; this number doesn't include over 60K combined followers on all my social media channels whom I intend to also add, one by one, as I have time).
As you can imagine, doing this by hand every day takes up a lot of time and is a very slow process, but it's the only way to build a loyal fan base that will buy not only buy your books but also your grocery lists scribbled on bits of toilet paper (read Permission Marketing by Seth Godin to learn more).
I've been at CRM (Customer Relationship Management) only for the last several months when I should've been at it for the last five years that I've been writing. Instead, I was focused on learning the craft. Now that I got the basics of it, I'm focused on the business, and CRM is my priority number one, and should be yours too.
Because every person you talk to—online, on the phone, on the street, at a store, ANYWHERE—is a potential reader. A potential customer.
So every interaction you have with anyone you must treat as a marketing opportunity, if you're serious about selling your books and not just writing as a hobby (this applies not only to indie authors but also to traditionally published authors who don't have the luxury of huge marketing budgets anymore and must aid their publishing houses as much as they can). That's why CRM is critical.
Can you remember every person you ever talked to? No. CRM can.
CRM is a system that will allow you to capture every interaction and to make strangers into friends, friends into readers, readers into loyal fans, and loyal fans into promoters. At the promoter level your fans will start marketing for you, and the effect will be that of a snow avalanche. The more you do it, the more they do it, the more sales you make. This is how best sellers are born. The number of people talking about your book tips (read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell for more) and explodes. Suddenly everyone starts talking about it.
How do you get there?
By religiously recording EVERY SINGLE PERSON you ever talk to in a CRM system. (Yes, CRM is your new religion. Discard the rest.)
There are lots of them out there. I use Batchbook, and when I can afford it, will switch to the higher-end ActiveCampaign (it costs way more, but it lets you automate your marketing suite of messages instead of doing it by hand). Here is how I use it: