There seems to be a vast swathe of disagreement among Twitter users when it comes to the Auto-DM.
Some think it is marketing gold. Others see it as an intrusion. An invitation for spam and other unwanted communications to a supposedly private space.
So how does a self-published author do the right thing? What is the right approach to this social media tool?
My Thoughts on the 'Evil' Auto-DM
Given the fact that I have built several e-mail lists to over 500 subscribers from Auto-DM alone, it is probably no surprise that I disagree completely with the anti-Auto-DM crowd. Questions I have asked myself are, if I balance the gains I have made from using it against any obvious disapproval and the effects of such, has it been a worthwhile move? My answer is, yes, it undoubtedly has.
I could stop there. The Auto-DM as a marketing tool has far outweighed in gains what little disapproval it has been met with. It is certainly almost impossible to measure clear disadvantages while I see the fruits of the tool every time I open my e-mail marketing account.
But I won't stop there. Because there is more to say. And if you are convinced it is a good move from what I've said, then you really need to read the rest of this post if you want to maximise your efforts.
Auto-DM - The Crap Way
My most common reaction to Auto-DM's is not one of dislike or annoyance (I'm no hypochrite), but one of disbelief at what a waste of time and effort some of them are. I'm not talking about the ones that say 'Hi, thanks for following me' especially, although I do not understand what the sender is achieving beyond their statement of polite intent which will be forgotten withing seconds.
What I'm talking about is the following:
'Hi! I'm such and such and I'd be thrilled if you went to (insert website) and checked out my book. Thanks!'
Anybody guess what's wrong with this? What am I going to do when I read this? Am I going to think to myself that I cannot live another moment without clicking on the link? Am I going to move heaven and earth to look at this book because it will thrill the sender?
Nope and nope.
I am going to do nothing. Because there is nothing in that Auto-DM that intrigues me. There is no indication as to what the book is about and no clue as to why I'd use my time to follow the link. It will be ignored.
If this sounds harsh and uncaring, then welcome to the real world.
What's in it for me?
As self-published writers, we need to start thinking like copywriters - like ad men. This is the crux of my purpose with this blog and this site. If you're not connecting direct response marketing with your book promotion efforts, you're not with me yet. Or rather, I haven't done a good enough job of explaining it to you, which would be my considerable failing.
Marketing must appeal to the self-interest of the intended target. There is no getting away from it. Should you fail to appeal to their self-interest, they probably won't click your link and they sure as hell will be unlikely to read your sales pitch. Forget it.
So before you put your fingers near your keyboard, or indeed your mobile phone screen, consider what your ideal customer is about. What do they want? What do they need? How will you get them to do what you want them to?
Auto-DM the Right Way
So here's how to do it right. I can tell you with 100% certainty that the message I am about to show you will outperform the crap effort you saw by a staggering amount, meaning more clicks and ultimately more sales.
'Hi! Suffer no more from a lack of motivation. Free book shows you how to focus, organise and get exactly what you want from life. Click here (website link) now to claim your copy.'
If you haven't been with selfpublishcopy.com for long, then you may not quite grasp what is going on in that message from a marketing point of view. If that's the case then click here to start. There is a free book waiting for you and you'll quickly learn exactly how to construct messages that get attention and action.