A lot of people suggest gathering emails to build your author platform. (Your author platform is yourself as a brand and your vehicle to make sales). Those of you who have been following me awhile know I think you shouldn’t bother writing a newsletter. The data hasn’t changed since I wrote that. Open rates are still abysmal, and click-through rates are downright disheartening. However, you can still collect emails without writing a newsletter.
Let’s start with why it’s a good idea. What happens if you want a way to survey your audience? Maybe you have an announcement. Maybe you need beta-readers. Street-team members. Whatever. You need to get a hold of your readers. Great. So what do you do instead of a newsletter sign-up?
Here’s some tips to get you started:
- This is going to be a slow burn. So whatever you do, don’t get impatient.
- Use a giveaway. If you’re writing a series, you can create a character list. You can create a map of your world. This would even work for contemporary settings. Whatever it is, make it a small, but fun or interesting downloadable item.
- Before you start promoting your email list, make sure that your system is completely set-up. If you’re using a Google form, test it out. If you’re using an app like Mailchimp, make sure that you’ve gone through all of the auto reply responses at least 5 times to make sure they are what you want. Make sure your profile has the correct email address associated with it as well.
- There are a lot of good tutorials on these apps. Watch at least one.
- Include the email link as a clickable link in your eBooks and as a QR Code in your paperbacks with a url.
- On your author website, have it be one of the first things people see. I used to try to collect emails with a newsletter, but that went nowhere. That was the inspiration for researching my post on newsletters. So I stopped trying to collect emails that way. As an case study, I will be adding this to mine. I will test different types of freebies. This will be to show how to do it, but also show you how you can test your marketing tactics. Testing marketing tactics deserves its own explanation. Stay tuned. For now, here are the 3 things I’ll be using to collect emails.
- One will be 25 ideas for freebies to get emails.
- Checklist for your book launch.
- Worksheet to see if you’re reaching your target audience.
- Remember. Just because you have their email doesn’t mean you have to use it all the time. Don’t feel pressured to create content that you don’t have time for. This is the most important point. Your focus on content creation should be your creative works and not the content you’re using to market your creative works.
So conundrum solved. You can collect emails without having to do a newsletter. I feel so much better. Do you?
Line editor Claerie Kavanaugh.
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