Why Indie Authors Need an Email List


 
Hey, fellow Authorpreneurs,
 
It’s Marketing Monday and we’re going to talk about email lists.
 
Books don’t sell themselves you know. Even if you’re novel isn’t written yet it’s NEVER too early to start building your platform.
 
There are a million different ways to market your book.
 
Literally.
 
If given enough time I bet a group of authors could come up with 1 million ways.
 
But I can almost promise you that at the top of every author’s list would be building an email list. 
 
An email list is the Ark of the Covenant in the degree of marketing importance (Raiders of the Lost Ark anyone?)
 
The Holy Grail.
 
The 4 leaf clover.
 
Ok, enough of bad the analogies….all you need to know is it’s pretty damn important if you want to sell books.
 
One of the basic tenants of business is it’s easier to keep a customer than it is to make a customer. Building an email list gives you a way to consistently engage your readers. Let them know of upcoming books, what’s going on in your world, or fun events you have coming up.
 
The list is endless.
 
But it’s not as easy as saying to folks, hey dude, sign up for my awesome email list.
 
I don’t know about you, but I get way too much email. But I rarely unsubscribe from anything. On that off chance something might come across that I am interested in. Like Kohl’s, having the largest sale of the year for the 500th time when it’s only March.
 
Plus, it takes a lot more effort to unsubscribe then it does to delete.
 
Subscribing takes work too which is why you need to have a compelling reason to get people to sign up. To get them to put in that effort to get on a list that’s going to send them an email, they will delete most the time.
 
Kind of sounds dumb when you put it that way, but dumb or not. Email marketing works.
 
Email lists are the BIGGEST revenue generators for any industry that sells online.
 
There are more email users than all social media users combined according to a few studies I came across in my research. I didn’t actually do the said research. Though one was on Facebook, so it’s got to be true, right?
 
The majority of us have purchased through email or signed up for an event because of an email, so you know it works.
 
Email seems more personal than social media marketing, even when it’s not. Because it’s coming right to YOUR inbox. Why do you think so many people send the Nigerian Prince money.
 
Because he connects with them via email and it feels personal.
 
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have an email list yet just know it’s time to start. The positive of not having one yet is you can do it for free because the main email marketing programs have a free version for folks who have small lists.
 
So it’s a no cost investment.
 
Mail Chimp is the platform I started on, and one a lot of authors I work with use. It’s free up to 2000 subscribers. I’ve also used AWeber and Constant Contact.
 
Currently, I use Convert Kit. It does have a minimum fee but for me the integration of pop-ups and forms into my website and other platforms make it worth every penny.
 
I know this might sound overwhelming but trust me you want to do this. You MUST do this. For a better explanation than I could ever give of the top platforms check out this post here
 
Yes, it takes work to build an email list. It takes work to find readers. It takes work to sell books. Hell, it takes work to drive to Starbucks for my latte, but I still do it.
 
Why?
 
Because it’s worth it!
 
And so is building an email list.
 
If you can get your readers on an email list then with a few clicks, you can let them all know when your book is available.
 
While your long time readers are busy buying your new book, you can spend time looking for new folks to add to your list. Instead of hoping that all the people you connect with will somehow see your Tweet or Facebook post in the noisy world of Social Media.
 
If you now think building a list sounds like a good idea, but you don’t have time to send out tons of emails don’t worry. You don’t need to send out tons of emails.
 
You want to engage your readers not annoy them. There’s an author I follow who sends out an email newsletter once a month. It’s long and chock full of great information. I look forward to it each month, and there are not many emails I look forward to. Which tells you a lot about the quality of her content.
 
There are a few others who are sporadic and some who do a daily thing. They’re clearly much more efficient and productive that I am.
 
My goal has always been bi-weekly. How often have I hit that goal? Hmmm…maybe once 3 years ago.

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I don’t pay much attention to how often people I follow are sending me things. I scan the email for relevant information or things I might find interesting and then delete or put in my read later folder. I might delete or file without reading if I’m super busy.
 
Even if I do that their name is still going through my mind.
 
Say you’re a romance writer and I’m on your list. I could delete 5 of your emails in a row, but when I want a good romance, BOOM, I know exactly who I want to search for on Amazon.
 
In the time I’ve sat here writing this blog post Bed, Bath, and Beyond has sent me 2 emails about weekend sales. I deleted both, but when I need a new laundry basket or Kcups, it’s the first place I will think of.
 
If you don’t have an email list, I challenge you this week to research email marketing platforms and sign up for one.
 
Next week on Marketing Monday we will be talking about the HOW of getting readers to join your posse!

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