So I know I’ve already written a post or two about mailing lists, but I’ve never covered the real basics: why you need to have your own mailing list in the first place.
In my opinion, there are three main reasons why as an author you absolutely, 100% need to have a mailing list.
- It gives you direct access to your customers
- Gives you a great marketing base at launch
- Opens a ton of doors with other authors in your genre
Now, let’s look at these points, one by one.
1. It gives you direct access to your customers
Right now, without a mailing list, how do you get direct access to your customers, your fans, the people actually buying your books? Sure, you might have a Facebook page, or an author profile, but if you’ve got a page then every post you write is only getting shown to a fraction of your fans (because Facebook want you to pay to boost them) and with an author profile there’s a chance your posts are getting lost in people’s timelines, and you’ve got a very limited scope of what exactly you can send them.
On the other hand, with an email list, you can land directly in your readers’ inbox. You can split test to see what kind of headlines and content get you better responses. You can make it a lot prettier, and include a lot more content than your standard Facebook post.
And more importantly, it lets you contact your fans directly, no matter what happens. You don’t need to depend on Facebook to show your posts to your friends/fans. You don’t need to depend on Amazon to email people who bought your last book about your new ones. Your email list gives you – the author – the tools to contact your fans, the people buying your books, directly. And that’s just so, so important. In part because…
2. It gives you a great marketing base at launch
The first 30 days of a book’s life are the most important at Amazon. In some genres, like romance, this is more true than others, but it generally applies to all genres. What’s the most important thing to make sure your book gets good visibility on Amazon? Also-boughts. And what do you need to get them? Sales. No one knows the exact number, but it’s suspected that in order to get the also-boughts to populate, you need at least 50-100 sales. Borrows don’t count. The faster you get those sales, the faster you’ll end up in other books’ ALBOs. By having a mailing list, when it gets big enough, you can make sure that you’re getting those sales pretty much straight away, and making sure that you hit the also boughts faster than lightning.
And here’s another trick: when you write your launch email, send your readers to your book, but also include links to similar bestselling books. That way, you’re increasing your chances of ending up on the also boughts lists of current bestsellers, which can only increase your book’s visibility.
3. Opens a ton of doors with authors in your genre
See the bit I posted at the bottom about the trick to send readers to other good books in the genre? Well once you’ve built up a good sized mailing list, you can get together with other authors in your genre with similar sized lists, and do a newsletter exchange. Meaning, you link to their book in your newsletter, and they do the same for you. Do that with 3-4 authors per launch and you start multiplying your reach like crazy!
Mailing lists are absolutely invaluable for authors. Every author should have one. I’ll put up a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up a MailerLite account in the next week or so, so if you haven’t got an email list yet, watch for that, coming soon!
’till next time, peace out!