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Which Promoted Giveaway Should I Use?

giveaway-box_600x571This article is part of a blog series designed to help authors understand the power of their new email list in conjunction with our Author Platform Rocket building tools. The first topic we’ll discuss is the Giveaways.

If you have never booked a giveaway with us OR you’ve only tried one type of giveaway and you’d like to hear more about the others, this is a brief explanation of what we have to offer to help you make an educated decision about which one to use. Or you can book one now!

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What makes your giveaways different?

Could YOU run and promote your own giveaway? Sure! However, when WE host and promote your giveaway, you not only get better results, but we’ll free up your time to do more writing. While you’re working on your next novel, we’re promoting your giveaway through our social media venues and Facebook ads. We help authors achieve three very valuable goals:

  1. Reach ravenous readers who love to spend money on books & book merchandise
  2. Save time by doing the marketing for authors
  3. Make each marketing dollar count because we’re experts at targeting ravenous readers

That’s our specialty! Through those goals, authors can build a solid author platform. And the best part about the way we do things is you won’t have to be running around on social media posting buy-my-book ads or spinning your wheels encouraging people to join your mailing list. Through these giveaways and the tips we’ll be sharing in our blog series, not only can you collect thousands of quality email addresses in a fraction of the time most authors spend growing their list “organically”, but you can sit back, write and relax while it happens.

What do I have to do?

We partner with you to do the giveaways so you can maximize your contact with your new subscribers. No matter what duration or purpose of the giveaway, the concept is roughly the same:

  • We host a giveaway on our websites
  • You provide the prizes
  • We do the advertising
  • You distribute the prizes at the end of the giveaway
  • We both collect the email addresses to continue to build our fan bases

 At the end of the giveaway, we give you a CSV file with all the email addresses so you can import them into your mailing list service.

You see, this is very much a situation where we’re scratching each others’ backs. While we help you build your audience, we’re building our audience, too. We all want the same thing: more ravenous book fans! This is one of the reasons why we’re able to give you this wonderful service at a very affordable price. We know how to hone in and precisely target readers who love to buy books and fan merchandise! This is how we built the I Love Vampire Novels fan base of ravenous paranormal romance readers and why our newsletter ads get authors the results they’re looking for. Now we’re building other “ecosystems” of ravenous readers for other genres and these giveaways are helping us do that at the same time we’re building YOUR fan base. As they say, the rising tide lifts all boats! We all benefit from these efforts.

What do I get for the 30-Day Giveaway?

The shorter duration giveaways are ideal for those authors who want to promote…

  • A new release
  • A single title
  • Or authors who have less than 3 books on their backlist/bookshelf

These giveaways are promoted through our current genre-based ecosystems (e.g., I Love Vampire Novels, Romance Devoured & Reign of Reads) by advertising them to our current mailing list of book fans, as well as through our associated social media accounts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads and Pinterest). An optional Facebook budget is available for you to buy to reach fans outside of our current fan base and is highly recommended. We’ve hauled in an extra 40% of email leads on many of our giveaways through additional Facebook ads. Jonny is a wiz at these! The ILVN Facebook fan page doesn’t have 158k likes for nothin’!

These 30-day giveaways are great for authors who are just starting to build their author platform AND don’t have a lot of books to promote. Also, if you’re not quite sure about the perpetual giveaways, the shorter giveaway allows you to try the experience and see some real results before you make a longer commitment.

What is a Perpetual Giveaway? (About 90-Day Giveaways)

The longer duration giveaways are ideal for those authors who have a…

  • Larger backlist/bookshelf
  • Series of 4 or more books
  • Designated monthly marketing budget

email-list-gift_600x439This more long-term approach is ideal for those authors who are very serious about their writing as a business, yet don’t have the time—or are hard pressed to make the time—to do the marketing that is necessary to steadily build their fan base over the long haul.

The mentality behind these giveaways is to set them and forget them. The Facebook Ads budget for these are mandatory, as these giveaways are exclusively advertised through Facebook ads to ensure fresh eyes versus recycling them through our current fan base, causing overlap. You’ll get a lot more bang for your buck if we direct our focus at new readers. However, every now and then, we’ll give the giveaway a boost by promoting the giveaways through our reader newsletters.

These giveaways focus more on promoting the author as a whole by using a series to promote through the giveaways. The same giveaway runs for 90 days, resets and goes for another 90 days. Rinse and repeat! Instead of spending a lot of time trying to build your fan base by running around on social media and publishing buy-my-book posts, these giveaways allow you to spend more time writing while we do all the advertising for you AND they’re a LOT more effective than buy-my-book posts, which don’t work anyway.

Keep the following in mind as you consider the perpetual giveaways:

  • The same giveaway will be running very 90 days, so the prizes you select will be the SAME prizes you’ll award every 90 days. If you choose a Kindle Fire 7″, a $25 Amazon gift card and three signed paperbacks of the first book in your series…then be aware every 90 days you’ll be drop-shipping/mailing out a Kindle Fire 7″, a $25 Amazon gift card, and packaging and mailing three signed paperbacks of the first book in your series. If you can handle the additional postage and cost of print books as well as the Kindles, then by all means, have these as your prizes. If not, reconsider what you want to budget for yourself every 90 days.
  • Changes to the giveaway are subject to charges, so be sure about what you’d like to feature as the main book or series you want to present. Those book covers will be going into the promo graphics, as well as the prizes, and swapping those out means stopping the Facebook ads, redesigning the graphics, and restarting everything. The momentum in your Facebook ads will be lost and your FB ads budget won’t be as cost effective.
  • These constantly-running giveaways are designed to bring in a steady stream of readers who will be introduced to you and your books. They run 24/7 while you write and you do not have to spend any extra time or money to promote them on your own. You could literally get them set up and let them run, collecting thousands of quality email addresses in months instead of years.

You can also do the perpetual giveaways and still run the occasional 30-day giveaway when you want to promote a new release or push a single title, not having to worry about stopping your perpetual giveaway ad momentum. The giveaways don’t conflict with each other because they each have their own budgets for advertising.

Why don't you need my newsletter sign-up link?

Many authors ask us why we do not ask them for their newsletter link so readers can sign up for their mailing list. The common misconception is we’ll be driving traffic to your newsletter. In actuality, we’re driving people to your giveaway. When a reader enters the giveaway, they use their email address. We are VERY clear that when they enter the giveaway, they are joining your newsletter AND our newsletter AND we state clearly what they’ll be getting in exchange for giving us their email address. Here’s a sample of a giveaway description:

Bestselling author Jane Doe is celebrating her new release The Great American Novel by giving away some fabulous prizes the THREE (3) lucky winners!

–ONE (1) winner gets a Kindle Fire 7″
–ONE (1) winner gets a $25 Amazon gift card
–THREE (3) winners get a signed paperback of The Great American Novel

And EVERYBODY Who Enters Will Get:

–A Free Digital Copy of The Great American Novella (Prequel to The Great American Novel) via Jane Doe’s Newsletter <– link to Jane’s website
–Up To 5 Free Paranormal Novels Each Week Along With The Chance To Win Thousands In Gift Cards, Prizes, Deep Discounts On Your Favorite Books And Much Much More Via ILVN VIP Newsletter

When you enter, you’ll automatically be signed up for both newsletters, which are FREE! See contest rules for our privacy policy and age restrictions. You always have the option to unsubscribe. PLEASE RESPECT THE AUTHOR’S INTEGRITY AND DO NOT MARK AS SPAM. Thank you!

ENTER BELOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

About The Great American Novel:

This is the blurb to The Great American Novel by Jane Doe, which should be no more than 150 words.

ENTER BELOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

ENTER BELOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

BE SURE TO CLICK THE CONFIRMATION LINK IN YOUR EMAIL.
Unconfirmed entries may be disregarded.
HOWEVER, if you have previously entered one of our giveaways
AND you do not receive a confirmation,
then we already love you
And you already love us! You’re good to go!

—————–

With bright, red letters, we are very clear that they are joining both of our mailing lists and we encourage them to opt-in by confirming. Once the giveaway is over, we’ll use the giveaway platform to choose the winners, then we’ll be sending you two CSV files: the winners & the contestants (aka the email addresses to the people who entered the contest). We would encourage you to upload the new subscribers to a mailing list separate from your current list of subscribers, if you have a mailing list already started. The reason is you still have to qualify these new subscribers. Don’t be surprised if up to 10% of your new subscribers either bounce or unsubscribe from your list after you send that first message. This is common with brand-new and untried lists and nothing to worry about. However, frequently less than that is the norm for our lists. Also, we have had many authors report back open rates of 40-72% and up to 15% click-through rates! Because Jonny knows how to target an audience through Facebook ads, these email lists are very responsive!

The Mailing List is Not Enough

We’re excited for you! You’ll walk away from one of our giveaways with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of new subscribers in just 30-90 days! Many authors spend years gathering hundreds or thousands of emails for their mailing list and you’ll be doing that in a fraction of the time!

But gathering those email addresses is not enough.

You have to start interacting with those new people. Fret not, though! In future articles, we’ll be covering tips, suggestions and best practices on how to start building a relationship with your new subscribers and turning them into devoted readers who are lining up for your next book!

Do you have any questions about the above process? Scroll down and ask your question in the comments below. We’ll post a response shortly or we’ll let you know if we’re covering that topic in a future article.

Until next time!

The APR Marketing Team

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