It’s no secret that email lists are one of the best marketing tools to have in your belt. They allow you to reach your followers in one of the most intimate ways any person or brand can—their inbox.
As an author, you have the unique advantage to connect in the most personal way with the people who love your work so much they sign up for email updates. Having a list that you communicate with regularly can increase follower loyalty and keep your audience ready and excited to hear about your next book, event, or project.
As you grow your email audience, here are some best practice tips for both growing your audience and giving them content worth signing up for.
Decide how often you want to send an email.
Your options are endless—you can send emails multiple times a day or only a few times a year. Whichever you choose, be consistent in both schedule, layout, and topic. Never blindside your audience by getting them to sign up for one type of content and then only sending them something else. For example, if you get their email by offering them tips on how to keep their space neat and organized, but you write historical fantasy, your readers will unsubscribe from your email list. Keep it all connected.
If you choose to send emails multiple times a day or week, make sure to give your subscribers the chance to change their preferences. Some people love the flow of information, while others will become overwhelmed and will unsubscribe if they don’t have an easy way to request less frequent emails.
On the other hand, if you choose to only send out emails once or twice a year, or whenever you’re going into book launch seasons, make sure you introduce yourself to any new subscribers and reintroduce yourself to any old subscribers. There will be many other brands talking to them every day, so you’ll have to fight for your position in their inbox every time you reach out.
It is usually best to send out emails weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on your schedule if you’re not actively selling a book.
Offer enticing content for your subscribers.
This is the basis of all marketing. You must offer content of value in exchange for people’s time. What that content is can vary depending on what your brand is, but it must be something valuable enough that your subscribers will want to stick around.
Some common options are newsletters, behind the scenes content of a writer’s life, extra content for your book, tips or advice related to your professional field, or even other creative pieces you’ve written. Readers love hearing about what their favorite authors are reading, and new writers love to get advice on how to get published.
Assume the best and write for the masses.
Even if you’re just beginning your list and have only one subscriber, write in such a way that if your list exploded over night your tone wouldn’t shift. Write in a way that encourages and expects your subscribers to forward your email to someone else they know because it impacted them greatly. The more likely people are to share your content, the faster your list will grow. This is true for social media, email, and higher value products, such as your book.
Begin thinking of yourself as a brand and your books as your products.
After pouring countless hours into your book in the drafting, editing, and publishing stages, it is normal to feel an emotional attachment to your masterpiece as something more than the physical product it is. And that is good! You should love your book! However, anyone new to your list will not necessarily feel that same level of devotion to your book baby. As you speak to your audience, meet them where they are.
This means that if you get a promotional deal on your book, you should tell the masses subscribed to you (on social media and on your email list) that there’s a wonderful deal they can take advantage of. Readers are far more likely to take a risk on a new author if the cost of a book is lower, and this can help you nurture lifelong fans that will follow you throughout your author career.
Play the long game of marketing.
Growing a platform is a long-term commitment with highly effective payoff the longer you stick to it. The masses are not likely to flock to your accounts overnight, and not every reader will think to join your email list even if they loved your book. As you plod faithfully onward, keep track of your numbers each month. Treat your platform as a business asset and keep track of your progress. This is the best way to see noticeable growth over the months and years, and as time goes on, your reach will grow.
If you’re looking for other ways to grow your platform, check out our other posts on social media and book marketing.
If you’ve been playing the long game while you penned your book(s) and are looking for the right publisher home for your masterpiece, we’d love to take a look at your manuscript. Our submissions are always open, and we’re always on the lookout for the next book that will wow us. Want a peek behind the curtain at what we’re looking for? View our manuscript wish list.
Have you written exactly the book we’re looking for? We can’t wait to read your manuscript.