I have a love / hate relationship with Facebook. From my perspective, the social network has done more harm than good. You can read about why I hate Facebook here and here.
In this article, however, I want to admit my respect for Facebook and discuss one reason why authors should appreciate what the company has built. If you’re looking for a proven way to build an email list of targeted readers, there is one option that stands out above the rest:
There is no greater asset in an author’s marketing arsenal than an email list. But, the common question always arises, “How do you build a big email list from zero?” Obviously, the bigger your list, the bigger your potential results. If you get 10,000 targeted readers on an email list, you’re going to drive a lot of book sales whenever you want.
A lot of you reading this article are first-time authors just starting the list-building process. Or, you’re a seasoned author who always want more people on your list. Regardless of your position, there is one constant – Facebook ads can help you secure thousands of new email subscribers – if you’re willing to learn the system and spend the money.
Facebook ads are the backbone of success for top indie novelists, such as Mark Dawson and Adam Croft, who make over $1 million in annual book sales. They swear by the power of Facebook to target and find thousands of readers who turn into regular book buyers.
From a personal perspective, I know that Facebook ads work, because I’ve been adding around 300 new subscribers per month to my email list at a cost of $2.50 – $4.00 per person. Many of my clients get similar results. And, some authors acquire new subscribers for less than a dollar!
If you’re serious about building your email list, there is a lot to love about the targeted power that Facebook offers. Here are some best practices that work well for me and my clients:
- Target your ads to fans of the bestselling authors in your genre.
- Test, test, test: Create 4 – 6 different versions of the same ad to figure out which element gets the best results (image, headline, ad copy, deal, book cover, etc.).
- Always use attention-grabbing images to make sure people notice your ad.
- Promote special deals to increase response, such as a free e-book or a big price discount.
- Don’t judge your ad results until after the “Initial Learning” phase of 7 – 10 days.
- Facebook ads don’t work forever. You’ll need to create new ads every 30 – 60 days.
- Start with daily budgets of $5 – $10 per ad, then boost by $5 increments over time.
- Use an Amazon Associates affiliate link with your ad to track book purchases.
If all of the lingo and recommendations that I just listed sounds like a foreign language, I completely understand. Facebook’s advertising system may be the most powerful, but it is also the most complex and difficult platform to use. However, the results are worth the effort.
Here’s another secret: You don’t have to engage on Facebook in order to buy effective ads. Are you sick of constantly adding new posts, updating your profile, or replying to comments? Me too. I hate the social side of Facebook, and I hardly ever post new updates on my author page. But, I love the advertising side of Facebook and the new email subscribers that they bring to me on a daily basis.
If you hate Facebook, I understand. But, if you want to rapidly grow your email list, you may learn to love what you hate.
Have you tried using Facebook ads but struggled to get results? Schedule a 1:1 Author Coaching Session with me to get expert insights and make improvements.
Wish you could learn how to create effective Facebook ads on your own? Check out the comprehensive online course for beginners by Mark Dawson called: Ads for Authors
I’ve purchased this course and can personally vouch that the material is quite helpful, especially if you write fiction.