Updated: Feb 8
Having a mailing list is crucial for your marketing, we covered some of these in our "Top Ten Tips to Marketing for New Authors". There are a number of reasons that building your mailing will benefit you in the long run. Having a mailing list gives you low-cost marketing unlike paying for advertising to places like Facebook. There is a number of different newsletter software out there where you can build your newsletter and even track your open rate and click through allowing you to gauge which content you are sending is relevant to your audience. Personally, I use a website called Mailerlite which is mainly free, however, you can upgrade for either a monthly or yearly fee. You can check out our blog post on "The Best Mailing List Platforms For Authors" to give you a breakdown of a number of platforms you can use.
Building a mailing list correctly means that you are collecting emails from people who wish to sign up for your releases, cover reveals, etc. This allows you to engage with readers who are already interested in what you have to offer, therefore there is a higher conversion rate; they are more likely to open your emails, read your content, and click through your email to external sources. Think about it like this, if you put a post out into the world of social media, if they haven't engaged with you for a while they are not as likely to see your material whereas your email lands directly in their inbox, it is definitely a more personal approach to your fans.
So you're wondering how do I build my mailing list correctly?
Let's take a look at some different ideas which will help get you started in building up your mailing list.
Newsletter sign-up on your website
If you have a website, always include a newsletter sign-up on the homepage of your website, this is usually the most seen page on your website so will allow people to sign up if they already like what they see. Make sure it is in a visible place and people don't have to hunt for it.
Did you see our post on "Blogging Strategies for Authors"? If you have a blog you can also include it at the end of any of your blog posts as a call to action, again once they've read your most recent post they may be interested in reading more of your blog posts.
This is a great way to find new readers that are interested in genres that are similar to what you're writing. These can be done personally with other authors you know or you can use a platform called StoryOrigin. This allows you to find other authors who are interested in swapping newsletters, although this doesn't build your newsletter directly it allows you to reach a much wider targeted audience.
How does it work?
So let's say you have a mailing list of 250 people and another author has the same. You would basically include the purchase links to one of their books within your newsletter and they would do the same for you. Look below at an example:
Eventually, you would aim to convert these onto your own mailing list through these other methods.
Include sign-up in your e-books
This is a great way to gain subscribers. Have you ever reached the end of your kindle book and come to the page where it shows you other books by that author? Well, you can include a hyperlink that the reader can click on which will allow them to sign up to your mailing list, this way they can be notified whenever you have a new release!
Rafflecopter is a platform used for giveaways that allows you to gain sign-ups to your newsletter but also more followers on social media platforms in order for them to enter your giveaway.
You can use Rafflecopter when you have a release coming up, if you have a release blitz through a Promotional company you are more likely to reach a much wider audience, allowing more people to enter!
When running giveaways it is important to giveaway things in relation to your ideal reader, for example, it's pointless giving away gift cards for a clothing company when your target audience is readers. If you don't consider your target audience when setting up your giveaway they are more likely to just unsubscribe after the giveaway has ended. Our target audience as an author is readers, so items such as signed paperbacks, e-book copies, signed swag, even gift cards for places like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and if you really have the funds items like kindles.
Build a lead magnet
This is one of the most popular ways to build your mailing list. This is basically where you offer your readers something for joining your mailing list. You can use anything as your lead magnet, for example, a free short story, bonus chapters, early access to a new book, a free e-book, or even a chance to have a Q & A with the author.
The best way to do this is by having a separate page on your website such as a "free story" page where they would sign up for your newsletter and then receive a welcome email with a link to download whatever material you have offered.
Would you like to learn more about How to Create a Lead Magnet you can check out our blog post here.
Utilise your social media
Be sure to make sure you post on your social media about any of your lead magnets or links to your website/newsletter sign-up. You need to post this regularly to ensure that it's seen, even if it's once every couple of weeks, we all know with social media it doesn't always get "seen". Be sure to have the link to your website within your about me section on all of your social media accounts and if you use Facebook Groups be sure to pin your mailing list or lead magnet to your announcements this way it will reach more of your readers. Another great way of using Facebook groups is when gaining a new member give them a warm welcome and guide them to your announcements or inform them of your lead magnet when you introduce them to the rest of the group.
Want to learn how to set up your mailing list using Mailerlit check out our latest workshop available to purchase via our website here.
Stay tuned for more blog posts on how to manage and run your newsletters using Mailerlite.You can follow our blog posts via My Wix or feel free to sign up for our Newsletter, where we are now giving away a FREE book launch checklist!