Email marketing is considered a superior form of marketing compared to things like social media, or advertising. This is mainly due to the fact that email marketing is the kind of marketing that customers opt into rather than encounter passively while scrolling on their phones. When you email a customer (reader) you’re not bothering them because they chose to remain in contact with you. This is good because you have an audience that is warm and receptive to what you are selling.
However, many authors struggle with email marketing and don’t know where to begin. Today, I hope to help with a few tips and examples of how authors are using email newsletters to market their books. So without further ado…
Email Newsletter Services
There are many email services to choose from, and most of them are free, up to a certain point, after that, you must pay a monthly fee. Here are just a few:
- MailChimp (Free up to 2,000 subscribers)
- MailerLite (Free up to 1,000)
- AWeber (Free up to 500)
- Constant Contact ($20-$45 per month)
Keep in mind most of these sites have rules that you must adhere to or risk losing service which brings me to my next point…
Learning The Law
Before you go out and start blasting readers with emails, remember there are laws you must obey. The most important law being the CAN-SPAM Act, which is a law regarding unsolicited marketing emails. In the U.S., The Federal Trade Commission or FTC has a guide on their website for marketers which you can read here. It’s something you should familiarize yourself with if you don’t want to be fined for sending unwanted emails.
In Europe, they have a similar set of regulations called the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, which you also need to be aware of if you are sending emails to readers in Europe. You can read about that on the official website here.
I urge you to sit down and read through the legal material carefully before you begin any email campaign.
It would be wise to automate your email list whenever possible because we live in a global world. That means a reader in the U.K. could sign up for your email newsletter at 2 a.m. and you can’t be awake 24/7 to send a welcome email. This is important because according to marketers your first email has an open rate of 60-80% so it’s vital to take advantage of this window of opportunity.
An author who has a good welcome email is Bella Andre who in her first email (autoresponder), thanks readers for their support saying:
First and foremost, I want to thank you for reading my books! I’m beyond grateful that I get to dream up and write romantic stories every day—and it’s all because of you.”
Heartfelt appreciation is always a good way to start a relationship with readers but don’t forget you also need to sell your books. Here James Patterson has done just that:
Notice Patterson takes advantage of that first email and has something to sell as well as a fun contest for readers to enter.
Indie author Joanna Penn (J.F. Penn), gives readers a coupon code on her first autoresponder. She also sends them to her website instead of sending readers directly to Amazon. On her sales page, she gives readers the opportunity to buy her books in many formats and even gives them the option to buy directly from her via Payhip. Not a bad idea, huh?
Content In Your Email Newsletter
Figuring out what to say in your newsletter can be a problem for some authors. Many authors feel comfortable just sending out an email whenever they have something to sell or before public appearances and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, some authors make their newsletters a bit more personal and give updates on their writing progress and sometimes details into their personal lives. There is no right or wrong way to go about this after all, you are the editor and chief of your newsletter.
Here are more examples of what authors generally include in their newsletters:
- Links to books
- Chapters or excerpts
- Discounts or coupons
- Contests or giveaways
- Behind the scenes footage
- Exclusive content for their subscribers
Email Marketing Courses
If you think this may be something you want to try but you don’t know where to start, there are free courses where you can learn the basics of starting an email marketing campaign. Below I’ll list a few places to check out:
A good email list can make your book launches much easier since you won’t have to start from scratch when looking for reviews, or sales. Today, email lists are assets that authors can use to leverage better publishing deals in the future and who doesn’t like that?
Anyway, if you found this post helpful, please click like and share.
Also, if you want to learn how to grow your email list, I have a post here called: Email List Building For Authors.