Building an Email List for Your Newsletter

Email: The Secret Weapon!

  1. Email is a social network in its own right
    1. Many a joke or story still goes viral via email
  2. Highest reliability for reaching recipients
    1. Follow basic rules of not triggering spam filters
    2. Test your subject lines
  3. Messages are less likely to be overlooked
    1. It might be ignored, but at least it’s seen
  4. High conversion ratios
    1. Superior to Facebook, Twitter and others
  5. Easily forwarded
    1. But pay attention to the STEPPS rules
  6. User prefer sharing book recommendation via email
    1. At Jellybooks.com over 80% of books samples are shared via email

How to Build an Email List:

  1. Sign-up button
    1. Put a sign-up button on your blog, website, etc.
  2. Use freebies, extras, competitions to motivate people to sign up
    1. Offer free samples or interesting news
    2. Offer free novellas or short stories that spin-off from the book
    3. Distribute free tickets to author readings
    4. Hold giveaways for free books, Amazon gift cards etc.
  3. Manage churn by not sending too much or irrelevant email
    1. A list will only grow if more people join than leave
    2. Some people will always leave, don’t be annoyed, it’s life
  4. Always put an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email
    1. In many countries this is a legal requirement
    2. Readers are less likely to recommend you, if they feel trapped
  5. Consider a newsletter site like:
    1. Mail Chimp
    2. Mad Mimi
    3. Constant Comment
    4. Others–ask me if you need more suggestions

How to Manage Your Email List:

Don’t be a used car salesman

  1. Special occassions
    1. Cover reveals
    2. Outstanding reviews (but sparingly)
    3. TV appearances (and share the video thereafter)
  2. Remember the STEPPS rules!
    1. You can use 3rd party services to test subject lines
  3. Analytics
    1. Carefully monitor what causes subscribers to:
      1. Open emails
      2. Click on links
      3. Forward
      4. Unsubcribe

Mobile First!

Over 50% of emails are now read on tablets or smartphones!

A responsive email design is becoming a must!

  1. Mailchimp et al. have proprietary designs that will work
  2. Or use a service like Litmus to test how your emails will look
  3. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is always a great strategy
  4. One or two column design
  5. Bullet proof buttons
  6. Use graphics sparingly; strive for quality over quantity.