At the foundation of any successful marketing campaign are tracking systems—it’s helpful to know how your marketing program is doing. This is an area where I believe most authors (and possibly most business owners) drop the ball. It’s foolish to spend endless hours developing marketing strategies for selling your products without creating a measuring system to track the success of your plan.
Here’s a list of some of the tools you have available to help you track your marketing efforts:
- Book Sales: Okay, we’re starting off with the basics. This is the baseline, end-result statistic you’re going to look at; unfortunately, the sales numbers for your books can be difficult to get in a timely fashion unless you have access to Neilsen BookScan. BookScan is a relatively new service (started in 2001), and although it’s not as precise as the music industry’s SoundScan, it does provide monthly sales numbers through various retailers, outlets, and cities. The caveat: BookScan is expensive (starting at $10,000), and although your publisher probably is a subscriber, they are not permitted to share this information with their authors. Ultimately, your book marketing efforts all come down to these final unit sales numbers.
- Other Product Sales: Do you have an audio program with Nightingale-Conant? Have you produced your own audio program? Are you selling it online? In the BOTR (back-of-the-room) at speaking engagements? What are you doing to increase these sales on a monthly basis? Because you have easier access to personally-developed products, you can track your in-house efforts with greater ease.
- Speaking Fee: Another obvious indicator that you’re moving in the right direction is that your speaking fee is growing. The fee you’re able to command is based on market demand and your perceived value. Do you think becoming a best-selling author can help increase your speaking fee? You bet it can!
- Amazon.com Sales Ranking: Perhaps one of the best on-time indicators of book sales is Amazon.com’s Sales Ranking, which is found on every book page and updated hourly. If you’re doing an engaging and entertaining radio interview on a major station, you can probably watch your sales ranking on Amazon climb after the interview. (Big media events can really impact this ranking, too.)
- JungleScan: JungleScan is a free service that enables you to track numerous Amazon.com sales rankings over an extended period of time. Seeing a visual graph of how your sales ranking has moved over the course of a month can be very insightful. Click here to begin tracking your book(s): www.junglescan.com.
- Alexa: Alexa was a web navigation project that started back in 1996 and was later purchased by Amazon.com. Alexa’s website ranking enables you to see where your website ranks in your particular genre or area of expertise. Visit: www.alexa.com.
- Web Logs: Every website should have access to basic web statistics. The amount of information in these statistics varies, but at the very least, you should be able to determine how many “unique visitors” find your site each month. Another important statistic is called “single page access” which lets you know how many people are visiting a particular page and then leaving your site. If you wish to enhance your website’s conversion rates, your job is to minimize this number.
- Web Metrics: For those who are interested in becoming more involved in web marketing and conversion rate enhancement, you’ll need a more sophisticated type of web metrics software, like WebTrends (www.webtrends.com) or Urchin (www.urchin.com). To really make use of web statistics, I highly recommend going to www.futurenowinc.com(click on “Resources”) and using their free guide-book and spreadsheets on website conversion enhancement.
- E-newsletter Metrics: If you are sending out email and e-newsletter messages, you definitely should be tracking at least two important statistics: the open rate and the click-throughs. Your open rate on an e-blast is the number of people who actually “open” the email out of the total number to whom you sent it—this is really how many people are on your mailing list. Because of spam-blockers and the fact that people change email addresses often, the open rates on messages can be disturbingly low. Click-through rates tell you how many people click on a link in the email (your “call to action”) out of the number of people who opened the email. Obviously, the higher the click-through rate, the more active and responsive your subscribers are to your offers.
The above article is an excerpt from 60 Strategies for Selling More Books exclusively available through Everything You Need to Know to Become a Best-Selling Author.
About Scott Jeffrey
With an impressive client list including New York Times best-selling authors, speakers, and consultants, Scott Jeffrey is renowned for his ability to guide each client’s journey to the impossible—crafting their own adventure, zealously following their bliss and discovering their unique, meaningful contribution to the world. Scott is the master strategist behind Creative Crayon, LLC, a world-class strategic coaching enterprise and consultancy.
Scott is the author of Journey to the Impossible: Designing an Extraordinary Life, a Benjamin Franklin Award finalist, as well as the interviewer in the 10-CD audio program, Everything you Need to Know to Become a Best-Selling Author. He was the editor of Impossible Journeys.
Scott and his four-legged hiking companion, Yoda, reside in the mountains of upstate New York.
Find out more at http://www.bestsellingauthor.com