During 2016, I decided to look into ways to increase visibility for our books. I looked at different marketing options and chose four to explore further: presentations, Facebook ads, e-mail lists, and contests. Last week we discussed presentation and Facebook ads. This week we will talk about e-mail lists.
E-mail Lists. Publicity experts say e-mail lists are the best way to stay in contact with your reader. You don’t need to send a newsletter or e-mail out weekly, but some sort of regularity is expected. So, I am currently in the process of building an e-mail list.
- Creating a following is the most difficult part of the e-mail process. Getting people to sign up for your e-mail list takes time and work on your part. The authors who have the largest e-mail lists tend to be well-known names in their genre or provide some “gimmick” or give-away on their website in order to get you to sign up.
- One “gimmick” is the sign-up box that pops up and prevents you from seeing the information on their site without completing the e-mail form.
- Another trick is to offer a give-away item, but it is not always clear until you get to their website that the give-away is not available unless you sign up for their e-mail list.
- Both of these methods can be successful if done right. Pop-up boxes are appropriate if there is a way to opt out. Give-aways are great for attracting readers. It should be clear ahead of time that the give-away is a gift for signing up for the e-mail list.
- Creating a sign-up form on your website or blog is the easiest way to have readers added to your list. There are free and unexpensive e-mail services. MailChimp is among the most popular. It is free up to a particular number of recipients and reasonably priced beyond that. Make sure to send a Welcome e-mail once your reader signs up for your list.
- Creating a “call-to-action” at the end of your book asking people to sign up for your e-mail list is another good strategy. It stands to reason that if someone finished your book, they like your style enough to want to read more of your work. Keeping them abreast of what you are working on keeps your name in front of them and creates interest in your next book.
- Conclusion: E-mail lists are important, and there are several methods from which to choose. Periodic e-mails or newsletters are an easy way to stay in touch with your readers.