Email marketing has become one of the best ways to reach readers. Many indie authors report huge increases in sales when they market to their email list.
One of the reasons to have an email list is that your social media followers can go away when social media goes away. MySpace or Google+ anyone? But the question I get most often is, “Why do I email? I’m not interesting.” Yes, you are, so get over that and let’s get started.
What do I send in my email?
Anything beneficial to the reader.
This means you don’t ask them a whole bunch of questions about themselves.
Email is for the reader, not you. Keep that in mind always.
Don’t try to become their best friend. If they want a relationship with you, they’ll let you know.
Otherwise, email should provide them with insight into your books.
It also helps them get to know you because readers enjoy buying books from people they know or think they do.
- Progress reports on the current work in progress.
- Book launch announcements.
- Events and appearances.
- New blog posts.
- Photos of your last trip and what you learned (keep the size small so you don’t clog up their email box).
- Positive reviews your book received.
- Interviews with research subjects or other authors.
- List of your favorites (books, authors, movies, plays, music).
- Promotions and/or giveaways.
- Deleted scenes (also good for a freebie).
- Milestone news (anniversaries, birthdays).
- Backstory (you know, all that stuff you wanted to put in your book but your agent made you take it all out).
- Quotes and questions.
- Photo — one SMALL photo. You don’t want to make the email size too big.
- Call to action (buy the book, attend the event, respond to a question, meet the author). Use Calls to Action sparingly so the reader doesn’t feel spammed.
- Use a P.S. because they are the highest read section. You can let them know what to expect in the next edition or something fun about your character. The best ones are a Call to Action that get them to click on your website or social media.
Subject lines – do they really matter in email marketing? Uh, yes.
I get questions about subject lines all the time.
There are several schools of thought.
Marketing Guru Neil Patel has a great email guide and recommends one-word subject lines or anything that resembles a note from a friend.
Think about how you use subject lines and apply them.
Don’t use spammy words because they’ll likely end up in spam.
Try using emojis (increases open rates 45%) and the word “video” — those are getting high open rates.
OptinMonster reported that Alchemy Worx analyzed 25 billion emails and found the subject lines with the best open rates included jokes, congratulations, and the words: you, revision, forecast, snapshot, token, voluntary, deduction and free.
The bottom line with your email marketing is to think about the reader, not yourself. Don’t be a jackhole.
Be friendly, engaging, and value-added to their day.
Grow that list with stuff you think is cool. If they don’t think it’s cool, they aren’t your people. It’s that simple.