Updated: Feb 8
Why do Authors need a mailing list?
Many authors out there still don’t have newsletters, but this is one of the best ways of getting your book into the inboxes of a huge number of potential readers. It can seem like a very daunting task for new authors but see your newsletter as YOUR voice. You can use your mailing list as a great way to interact with your readers on a personal level, as well as using it as a phenomenal marketing tool.
I recommend a minimum of one newsletter each month in order to keep your readers engaged and invested in you. Your newsletter should be deemed just as important as your social media accounts as you are more likely to be seen than on your social media channels due to the ever-changing algorithm. When working alongside my authors, many can become disheartened when not everyone opens their newsletter. However, even if your name shows in their inbox, it means they have “seen” you, unlike a scroll through Facebook or Instagram, for example.
Which Newsletter Platform is right for you?
There are a huge number of different platforms out there that you can use for your mailing list so selecting the right place can be an extremely daunting task. Throughout this blog post, I am going to give you a starting point on a number of platforms, be sure to do your own research into them to see which fits your required need. You may already have a mailing list but are considering moving the platform to something which suits your requirements better.
This is my personal favourite and the one I use for my own business. Mailerlite is great for any beginner starting out and is initially Free to use. With Mailerlite it is free for up to 1000 subscribers and 12,000 monthly emails, which if you have a small list of readers is perfect, after you go over the 1000 subscribers the pricing is tiered depending on your requirements, and you can find more detailed information regarding Mailerlite’s pricing here.
With Mailerlite, even with the free account, you have amazing access to its features which include:
Form creation including embedded forms
Landing pages/website creation - I used a landing page for the launch of a free product I was offering which was perfect for gaining leads.
Drag and drop email campaigns
The opportunity to use a number of free templates
The ability to use recent emails to create each newsletter ensures you follow a brand
The Dashboard is very sleek and easy to use.
Easy to remove inactive subscribers.
I now have a workshop available to purchase that can assist you with how to set up your mailing list, how to build your landing page for sign ups, create automations, create newsletters, and track your newsletters. You can purchase this here.
This is known for being another great service for beginners and has steadily increased in users since its launch in 2013. Again the initial cost for CoverKit is free for the first 1000 subscribers. The free plan, however, does not have access to all of its more strategic features and you will be required to upgrade to their creator plan which is $9 a month. For more information on pricing click here.
This product is really geared more toward the established author and mailing list but is incredibly easy to navigate. It can work out quite expensive for indie authors but it is definitely worth checking out their free account and seeing if it's a fit for what you are looking for.
Some of what you can expect to get from Covertkit is as follows:
Amazing visual automation
Landing page and sign-up form templates
It's been said that it has incredible customer support from its reviews.
Integrations with almost every service imaginable including WordPress and Wix
Email campaigns that are not drag and drop
This is a great opportunity for authors with multiple genres that wish to segment their readers.
Overall this is a great product and highly recommended, but I do feel that it is more targeted towards the bigger author, but again it is definitely worth trying out and considering.
This again is another great starting point for newbie authors or businesses and has a great Free account with subscribers of up to 2000 and 10,000 emails each month which can be really beneficial. However to gain access to a large number of their more premium features it comes in at more expensive than Covertkit at $17 per month. You can find out more about MailChimp pricing here.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular mailing list services out there for a number of businesses big and small and is the go to for a number of reasons, this platform however can become very expensive very quickly. A number of authors use this as they are familiar with Mailchimp
Easy to use creation, using drag and drop builder.
Cool reports give you a great deal of understanding
Tagging is available
Automation in the form of a customers journey
Templates for landing pages
Integrations with a number of different services
Very Expensive compared to other author options available.
Other Platforms available
There are a huge number of other platforms available for your use however I have gone through some of the most efficient and personal favourites. If you would like to take a look at some other options here are a few: Constant Contact - Initial Price $9.99 for a small list of up to 500, all plans feature unlimited emails and include customer growth tools.
TinyLetter - Free however it is capped at 5,000 subscribers and has limited functionality focussing on text.
Campaign Monitor - Initial Price $9 per month and this allows only 2,500 emails per month which could become very expensive. However, there is the option with this to pay per email campaign which may appeal to those not sending many newsletters out.
Ways to build your mailing list
There are a number of great ways to build your mailing list and get more subscribers and if you wish to look at this in more depth check out our blog post “Top Tips For Building An Mailing List.” they will look at these options in more detail.
Ensure you have a newsletter sign-up on your website and in your bio on social media channels.
Newsletter swaps with other authors.
Include Newsletter sign-ups in the back of your ebooks.
Run giveaways through sites like Rafflecopter and request they sign up to your newsletter.
Have a lead magnet that is relevant.
Utilise your social media.
I will regularly update the blog posts with new and exciting ways to build your subscribers, it is absolutely essential for you as an author to run a newsletter, and comes as one of my top ten marketing tips for new authors, you can check out that blog post here.
If this all seems to daunting for you my very own virtual assistant, Scarlet Le Clair runs a special newsletter package, looking after your mailing list so you don't have to. You can join her free facebook group here.
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