Social Media Explorer Jason Falls pens book No. 2, 'Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing" with DJ Waldow
And while the rest of us are looking in on what Snooki is up to on “Jersey Shores” re-runs at night, he’s writing another book.
Email may not quite be what you think of as “social media,” but it’s the most used form of Internet communication, Falls said.
Which makes sense when you think about all the emails we get from Groupon, the New York Times and, yes, even Insider Louisville.
“Email marketing is much more effective than any other kind of digital marketing,” Jason said, contending that statistics show email can return 41 cents on every dollar spent on a campaign, as opposed to search engine optimization, “which is in the 20s.”
But it’s how you use email that separates the rebels from the Borg.
“Concentrated around who invites you into their inbox, it’s an incredibly effective form of marketing,” Fall said. “Think about it – how many companies’ emails do you subscribe to that you purchase things from? (Consumers) are 100-percent opted in … you’re speaking to an audience that wants to hear from you.”
On the business side, the book is not so much a collaboration as “blended talents,” Falls said. Waldow wanted to write a book about his successes with email marketing, he said.
“I probably would have never written a book by myself about email marketing, but I have the experience of getting a book published, which DJ’s never done,” Jason said. “He did most of the research. DJ has the subject-matter expertise. But the truth is, I learned a ton about email marketing as we worked on this.”
The duo started writing the book last January, with “The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing” hitting bookshelves and Amazon.com last month.
With business books, the goal is to sell at least 5,000 copies. Publishers typically give authors an advance that is a loan toward future royalties, Jason said. “Typically, that loan doesn’t have to be paid back. That’s the risk the publisher takes.” But the author doesn’t receive any more money till the book passes the 5,000-to-8,000 copies mark in sales. “Beyond that, the author starts to receive more money,” Fall said.
Based on that formula, “No Bullshit Social Media” was a certified hit, reaching the 5,000-sales mark easily, and pressing toward 10,000, Jason said.
Now, Falls is working on an idea for a third book, “but there’s no deal, yet. I haven’t pitched it (to the publisher), but it would be my first solo book.”
More as we know more …..
On a recent Social Media Explorer blog post, Jason broke down in detail the numbers behind writing a book, which should dissuade all but the determined!
The average book advance for a first-time author is probably $10,000 to $15,000.
The average time it will take you to research and write your first book (assuming it’s a 300-page, business book) is probably about 100 hours.
The average time it will take you to edit your first book (same assumptions) is probably about 25 hours.
The average time it will take you to plan the marketing and promotions of your first book, including booking speaking gigs and the like, is probably about 10 hours.
The average time you will spend on the road promoting and speaking about your first book, provided you want to aggressively sell the bejeezus out of it and perhaps even hit a few best-seller lists, is about another 100 hours (and that’s conservative).
So let’s say you get paid a $15,000 advance and put in 235 hours. You’re basically getting paid about $64 per hour.
The $15,000 is an advance on your royalties. So you don’t actually get paid more than that until your book sells enough copies to account for $15,000 of your cut. This is probably going to be about 10,000-12,000 books. Most modestly successful business books sell about 5,000-8,000 copies. So, chances are, you’re not going to see a dime beyond the $15,000.
Here are few snippets of wisdom from “The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing:
• The book begins by citing a Wall Street Journal story from 2009 titled, “Why Email No Longer Rules,” which – prematurely, it turns out – declares death of email. But Falls and Waldow use our continuing obsession with email to debunk the article. “Think for a moment about your typical day. How many times do you check your email? How long can you go without checking it before curiosity gets the best of you and you simply cannot resist the urge any longer?”
• “The Rebel’s Guide” is very much a detailed look at techniques and best practices. The book gets fairly technical for marketers, looking at strategies such as Apple’s technique of pre-checking the email opt-in box when you buy products from the Apple Store, then receive email notifications. If you don’t want emails from Apple, you have to un-check the box. Which consumers rarely do.
• “The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing” looks at every possible element of email marketing, from getting the email past spam filters to achieving a high rate of prospective customers opening the email to getting people to actually read it. For instance, Chapter 9 includes a list of words to avoid in subject lines because they trigger spam filters including “Free,” “Limited Time” or anything in all capital letters.
• Falls and Waldow even have a “the revolution gets a revolution” chapter about what email will become: ”Rich responsive content. In the future, emails will look much more like the mobile apps and microsites of today, with subscribers able to browse content, watch videos and complete transactions without leaving an email.”