Email lists can be daunting, not just the act of getting email addresses, but also having to send out those emails to people on your list. But there are five key reasons having an email list is important:
- They help to kick off launches and build momentum.
- Continuous email opt-ins in a Autoresponder mean a continuous drip of book sales, which makes Amazon happy and more likely to promote your book.
- It’s the only thing we marketers can own.
- It can be used to increase your monthly revenue — something I’ll talk about in later episodes.
- Only way you can proactively reach out to your followers.
Where authors put their opt-in within their books is important, too. As we’ve talked about in past episodes, when a reader opens an ebook, they don’t necessarily see the front matter, so putting an opt-in in the front of the book is not the best place.
Putting at the end, however, means the reader is so interested in your writing, they are probably looking for more from you. You’ve already engaged them through the whole book, they’re thirsty for more.
Using a reader magnet is another way to capture their email address. A reader magnet is something you’re offering to the reader in exchange for their email address, and this offers a higher conversion rate. I don’t recommend you write some random short story, though. I like to offer a side story or a prelude or something else that might entice them. (I call this the Kobayashi Maru Tactic, and we’ll talk about that in a future episode.)
Even though Amy worked in marketing previously, she did start to cultivate her email list until she published her first book. But with the help of Facebook email groups in which authors of similar genres can arrange with one another to promote each other’s books to their email lists
One thing to note about this is to make sure you’re vetting the books you are promoting. Your email subscribers won’t like it if you’re promoting books they wouldn’t enjoy or books of poor quality.
Another way she grew her list is through Instafreebie, a website that you can use to collect email addresses in exchange for free previews of your book.
Amy also added information in her book to direct readers to her website to sign up for her email list. But she used her existing email list to send Advanced Review Copies to gain feedback, as well as reviews early on.
So, if you’re taking the time to read this post or listen to the episode, I recommend you also take some time to start your email list today, if you haven’t already.
Bio of the Author in the Case Study:
Amy J. Murphy is a sci-fi author and a finalist for the 2016 Dragon Award for Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel. She is also a Semi-Finalist in the Kindle Book Awards in the Science Fiction category.
She is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. While not attending sci-fi conventions, she lives in Vermont with her husband and two dogs.