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Five tips for successful email marketing as an author

One of the areas I discuss with my clients most often is email marketing.


There are a lot of benefits to establishing a list of subscribers and marketing via email, but it can be tricky to know where to start. Here are a few basic tips for starting a database and sending emails. 

Typewriter Keys

1. Quick wins to grow your list

When someone visits your website, they are there to find out more. Give them the opportunity to stay in the loop by receiving your emails. Have a prominent sign up form on your website – make sure it’s in the menu, header and/or footer. You can also add it as a landing page pop-up when someone lands on your site.

Another great place to encourage someone to keep up with your news is social media platforms. Most email marketing services (eg MailChimp) will allow you to easily add sign up forms and links to your online profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For Instagram you can use LinkTree to provide a number of links which will allow you to add a sign-up link as well as your website address etc. 


2. Set your tone

Be clear about what your newsletter is going to contain, and then tell people about it at the point they are signing up. What can you write about that will set you apart from other authors? Will you share articles, or your own blogs about writing, or another area you are interested in? Will it include news and competitions? Make sure you're providing content that is entertaining, interesting or relevant to your reader, and offer them a reward for subscribing, such as exclusive previews, useful links, recommendations, reviews or tips.   

3. Always have permission

Always have express permission to send someone your emails. Don’t add a subscriber because they were a friend in school, or because you had a chat in the pub. Only add people if they have filled out a subscription form for your list, or if they have specifically asked or agreed to be added. And if you add people manually to a database, keep a note of where the permission came from (e.g. a personal email, or a DM on Twitter).

4. Keep it brief

Keep your emails reasonably short – bear in mind that the reader will most likely be reading on their phone while on the move, or on a tablet while simultaneously watching television.

Include images to break up text and make it easy to digest (just make sure the file sizes aren't too big)

5. Keep it interesting

So you've been told you should start right away, but you don't have a book out yet. There are still plenty of interesting and exciting moments you can share along the way. For example when you have a confirmed publication date, when you have a title to share or the book jacket to unveil. Just make sure you include pre-order links (usually Amazon) every time you do this.

Want more?

I was invited by author Mark Stay to be on his podcast The Bestseller Experiment  and talk about email marketing for authors. Click below to hear a snippet from our conversation. To listen to the whole of this episode and more, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, and become a Patreon supporter for special access to premium content.

Why have an email newsletter program at all? Julia pidduck on The Bestseller Experiment
How often should you send a newsletter?Julia Pidduck on The Bestseller Experiment
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