How to Build an Email List for your Author Website

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Ready to build an email list? Whether you are a new author or ten books into your career, you need to start a list. Pronto.

Let’s get the questions out of the way first…

Why do I need an email list?

Building an email list is the best way to connect with your readers. Even better than social media. Because the social media landscape is constantly changing, and you are at the mercy of algorithms, you may be investing a ton of time and effort into a platform that may strip you off your visibility.

Okay, that was a bit dramatic, but true all the same. Creating your own email list allows you to connect with your readers directly. With the right email service provider, you will also be able to monitor your list and make sure that you are sending content to people who are engaged and want to hear from you.

What do I send to my email list?

Engaging with your email list in the right way is key. For fiction writers, this can get a bit tricky. The good news is that you can ask your list directly! You can set up an automated email for when someone subscribes and ask them how often they would like to hear from you and what they would like to read. I believe that newsletters are still relevant and is a great way to check in with your readers on a set day and time. You can also explore the idea of sending book excerpts, behind-the-scenes information and video content.

For example on how to get personal with your readers, read this post I wrote when I finished my first book.

How do I get email list subscribers?

Remember this, my friend. Always offer value. If someone is giving you access to their inbox, you need to make darn sure that you are offering them something in exchange. Currently, I offer my readers a free book in exchange for an email. You could also offer a list of your favorite books of the year, a sneak peak of your next book, or a different content upgrade. A content upgrade is a free offer that you can place at the bottom of a blog post that pertains to the post content. For instance, on my post about how to write a novel with a full-time job, I offer a free email series that explains how I wrote a novel with my full-time job.

Which email marketing platform should I use?

Okay, great! I have convinced you that you need an email list. (Maybe? Hopefully!) Here’s the deal: choosing the right email marketing platform is crucial. I have personally used three. I will not point fingers, but the first two just did not suit my needs. Both were great platforms, but did not fit for me.

The first platform was inexpensive and easy to set up. It was actually a great beginner platform for me and gave me the freedom to test out different strategies. As my list grew, I needed more functionality. For instance, my website has two very big distinctions: I have book readers and I have aspiring writers. Those two segments sometimes overlap, but not always.

The second platform I used had all the bells and whistles I could want, but it was too expensive for me. I was not using my list nearly enough, so I was essentially shoveling out money for no reason.

My favorite email marketing platform

 
 

Why did I choose GetResponse? To keep it short and sweet, it was affordable and provided me with all of the functionality that I needed. With a 30 day free trial, I was able to explore all of its offerings. I built my first automation using the drag and drop feature. I could easily segment my list into readers and writers. I could keep track of who was opening emails and how I could improve that rate.

I was also really impressed by the customer service team. There is a 24/7 chat feature if you have an issue, and a whole list building program that dives in deep on how to grow your list. You can sign up here for GetResponse’s free list building program that helps grow your list in 90 days.

What makes GetResponse better than the other platforms?

  1. Pricing: After a 30 day free trial, you can get a plan with GetResponse for as little as $15 a month.

  2. Email Marketing AND Lead Generation: Previously, I had purchased one service that allowed for email opt-in. This was separate from my email provider and it was also very costly. Now, I can have it all in one place.

  3. Easy-to-build Automation Workflows. Creating an automated email workflow is tough, but necessary. This allows you to roll out the welcome mat for a new subscriber, without having to repeat yourself over and over. GetResponse makes this easy with its drag-and-drop creator. You can space out your emails with the “wait” function and you can “score” your contacts by how engaged they are.

  4. Templates. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you can use GetResponse’s templates to build your forms and your emails. This made my life so much easier!

  5. Growth Options. GetResponse also includes features such as landing pages, webinars and customer management. As I grow and scale, I will be able to stay with GetResponse and utilize its full functions, without seeing a crazy price tag.

It’s time to start your email list!

As an author, your email list is a home base for your readers. You can let them know when you have a new release, keep them updated about your writing process, and build connections that could last throughout your writing career.

There are so many email marketing platforms out there. Save time shopping, and trust me. I have had such a great experience with GetResponse, and you can try it out for free for 30 days. If you have any questions about list building or the GetResponse tool, leave a comment below or send me an email.