Friday, November 23, 2018

Email Marketing For Writers

Wishing you a Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!
Hello friends! Long time no blogging, eh? I know...I know! It's been a while but the end of the year is always rather insane for me what with my shop being busy and wrapping up photos for conferences I've been to etc.

Hope this blog finds you well AND I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Alex & Bounce hope so too!

Today, I'm really excited because I have a resource to share with you! Before we get going, please note this is a sponsored post* from Campaign Monitor.

If you've read my blog for any length of time (at least in the past) you'll know that I really enjoy talking about marketing. This is usually geared toward writers and authors, but the beauty of marketing is that it is widely useable for all sorts of business and vital to any type of product or brand you may have or wish to promote.

Today, we're going to take a look at Email Marketing geared toward writers and authors!

Email is your most powerful marketing channel, which makes your list of subscribers your most important marketing asset.

I've heard so many people ask me this question: How do I grow my email list?

They ask the question because they know this quote is true. To get your content into the hands of readers - directly to them - rather than hoping that they see it on social media - has huge benefits!

In their post "7 Steps to Build and Engaged Email List", the experts at have created some awesome steps to help build a list. BUT, don't miss the important word there: engaged. It's fine to have a list with large numbers but it's infinitely more important to have an email list of people who care about your content! Let's take a look at these steps and I'll add my own thoughts on how this can translate to authors!

Step 1: Use an Irresistible Lead Magnet 

The idea here is to make sure that you are focused on your audience. Give them something they genuinely want to sign up for.

This means:

a) Give them clear description about the content they'll get from you. For an author, this could be an inside look into your writing, writing tips in your newsletters, promises to give away free bees or other content readers (and writers) will value.
b)  Tell them how often you'll email them. When someone thinks they'll get overwhelmed with your emails they'll be less likely to sign up. Keep it simple.
c) Offer them content they won't find anywhere else. If you're just sending out what you already put on Facebook or Instagram, it's not as "appealing" as if you offer sneak peeks, special content, and personal insight into your life and writing life.

Steps 2: Pick the right display type 

Here, they are talking about your newsletter sign up forms. If you have a newsletter, have you thought about the accessibility of your form? It could have a drastic affect on who you get to sign up and how often! They list these types:

Pop Up - Sign up forms that "pop up" after you've been on the sight for a few minutes (or right away)
Bar - A bar at the top or bottom of your website that offers your visitors to subscribe
Flyout - A banner that comes up either at the top or the bottom that allows people to sign up
Spin to Win - A display that allows people to "spin" in order to win something from you

Personally, when thinking about an author/writer website, I'd say either the Pop Up or Bar option is a good option. It brings attention to the fact that you have a newsletter for your guests to sign up for. The only thing I'd caution here is that repeat visitors will still get the same message and it could become tedious to X out of it each time. This is likely only a minimal worry though.

>>>Do you use any of these? Have you encountered any of these If so, tell me in the comments below what you think?

Step 3: Keep form fields to a minimum 

This is regarding your sign up forms. Keep them short and sweet! Makes sense, right? If you had to fill out your life history just to sign up for a newsletter would you do it? Probably not! Keep the information needed to a minimum. For other things like Street Teams or Influencer forms you can go into more detail but not for newsletter sign up.

Step 4: It's all about perfect timing

This step goes hand in hand with the "display type". You can set your Pop Up or Flyout to come out at the right time. This may take some further research, but I'd start with your own habits. When you go to visit another site and a pop up is there first thing, are you more likely to sign up or X out of it? I'd suggest that they pop up a little after someone comes to the site. It allows them to look for what they are interested in and then - boom! The Pop Up can come out and offer them a way to get even more connected.

Step 5: Kick the relationship off on the right foot 

W E L C O M E is important!  This should be no surprise to you, but once you get a subscriber to your newsletter, you should consider automating a welcome email to them. Perhaps that means they get a free novella download from you (see an example on Melissa Tagg's website) or if it means they get insider information from you right off the bat, make sure it's personal! This sets the tone of your email relationship!

Step 6: Gather the right data

This step is for the more advance (in my opinion). If you can, depending on what information you gather from your new subscribers, you can gain valuable insight into their reading habits and interests. Perhaps you are an author who writes in multiple genres. If you give the subscriber the option to select their favorite genre of yours, you can create a segmented list that updates them (more frequently) about your titles in that list. This shouldn't take them out of the "general pool" of information, but it can lead to direct marketing which could lead to more book sales for you!

Step 7: Follow up with relevant content 

Over at they ask this very important question:

Are you treating every subscriber the same? Or are you segmenting, personalizing, and delivering an exceptional inbox experience?

This is honestly something I can say I haven't done well. I tend to think of all of my subscribers as just wanting my newsletter but I'm doing myself a disservice since I also have bookish shops and do photography as well. This isn't to say I shouldn't send out my newsletter to all, but I can start to build a part of my list that's focused on those interested in my Etsy shop & Society6 products and update them when there are sales.

This goes back to what you can offer those who are subscribing to you. You may send out a newsletter every quarter but do you also like to share writing tips? Have you thought about creating an online class? Do you dabble in art on the side as well? Consider asking your newsletter subscribers to fill out a form on their interests (now that they are already part of your list) and help create content they will love!

Thanks to for this awesome post! I hope it's gotten you thinking about how you can create a more engaged email list. Check out their post here: 7 Steps to Build an Engaged Email List. MyEmma and Campaign Monitor also offers email marketing and is a great platform if you are looking to start up an email list or build the one you already have. Their website also has a host of FREE information that you should really check out (pictured to the left).

If you are an author, what do you find hardest about email marketing and newsletters? If you're a reader, what do you LOVE to see in an author newsletter? Tell me in the comments below! 

*Sponsored Content: I was asked to take a look at (part of Campaign Monitor) and then given the opportunity to share my findings with my readers. I am getting paid a small amount to do this BUT it in no way has affected my representation of this website. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Guidelines.


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