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How (and why!) to build email subscribers

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Today’s guest post is by Scott Lieberman.

Perseus Books Group approached me. They wanted to pay me for writing fiction. They would choose a topic. I would write.

I have never written a book. My works were published in magazines. But that’s not what caught my eye.

This was my email list. My built-in audience.

They felt that my writing style suited their idea for the book. And just as importantly (or maybe even more!) I had a platform to sell it on.

If you plan to self-publish, your email list is even more important.

The people who join your mailing list are your biggest fans. We all get too many emails. These kind people willingly give you permission to send them a message. You have their attention!

Email Marketing vs Social Media Marketing

Social media is extremely suitable for certain types of marketing. However, email will never refuse to show your messages to 75% of your audience because of “low engagement”. Email will not change your algorithm every 3 months. Email doesn’t force you to compete with thousands of other human-followed content creators plus “suggested” subscribers.

Email marketing provides useful information about your fans

The the best software for e-marketing has wonderful characteristics. You can easily see statistics to help you analyze how well your campaigns are doing.

  • “Open rates” are the percentage of subscribers who open each email. This way you will know which topics are most interesting to your readers.
  • Locations of your readers – If you decide to meet in person with your fans, this can give you an idea of ​​which cities to visit.
  • Number of new subscribers – you can graph your progress over time and see which promotions (more on that in a bit) worked best.

Send specific emails to different groups of readers

Email marketing software also has useful features that you don’t often find on social media. For example, you can intelligently segment your audience.

Let’s say you write two very different kinds of fiction: romance and fantasy adventure. You can have one list of all your subscribers, but you can send specific emails to, say, ONLY your romance fans.

You can also customize segments based on the behavior of your fans. Let’s say you have 10,000 fans on your email list. You can move fans to a new segment after they purchase your first book in the series. Then you can alert these readers when your new book in the series goes on sale. You also know NOT to sell them your first book because they already have it.

This is much smarter than sending the same message to everyone. It’s more attentive and personalized.

How to build an email list for your fiction

Think about what your audience really values. Remember, they say, “Please write to me. I like you and your content!”

You can offer what is called a “lead magnet”. It’s just a thank you gift to your new email subscribers. It can be

  • a copy of one of your e-books
  • a brief overview of your upcoming novel, such as the first chapter
  • a chance to win an exciting prize like an autographed hardcover copy of your book, an invite-only video conference with you and other fans, etc.

Promote this lead magnet

  • On your website
  • In your social networks
  • When you are interviewed by bloggers, podcasters and others
  • Book clubs
  • In your paid advertising

Decide what you will offer your email subscribers on a regular basis.

What can your readers expect from you in their emails? Some ideas:

  • Exclusive access to your new stories, essays or poems
  • News and updates about your work and other authors you like
  • The ability to reply to your emails with questions that you will later answer in the “reader’s mailbag”

Action steps

  • Build a direct line of communication with your readers
  • Get professional email marketing software (there are even free starter plans) that are easy to use
  • Create a lead magnet to get people to trust you with their email address
  • Send recurring emails with content that your readers really want
  • When the time comes, let them know your new book is for sale!

For you as a writer, this can be the most enjoyable form of marketing you can do. You can contact your readers through emails! I encourage you to give it a try. This will help you attract more readers by building on your greatest strength: your writing.

Scott Lieberman is an Internet expert. He teaches entrepreneurs how make money online. Scott reviews business tools from best web hosting services to email marketing software and has worked with multi-billion dollar corporations as well as small businesses to double their profits to millions of dollars.

Selected photo of the author Lidia Nada on Unsplash

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