I am thrilled to be back at Seekerville again. You are all so fun to visit with! Thank you for having me over! While we wait on others to arrive, I just have to let you know what I brought to the party today! Gluten free cinnamon rolls with plenty of frosting.
Are you ready to discuss a question that plagues most authors at one time or another as we build our platform: “How in the world do I build an email list?”
Although I do not have a million subscribers on my email list or a magic formula to spur you on to stardom overnight, I do have a few things under my hat to help you move in the right direction. Let’s starts with a couple quick basics for the newer platform builders out there.
If you don’t have a newsletter/email list, start ASAP. I didn’t start an email list until I had been blogging about a year. Once I understood the importance of the list, I regretted my delay and missed opportunities to gain subscribers. Readers who join our email lists are far more likely to purchase our books than those who follow us on just Twitter or Facebook. They want to hear from you and have given you permission to contact them by email. And publishers like to see authors with an active email list as well.
When starting to build a list, use an email service provider such as Mail Chimp or Aweber because personal emails like Gmail and Yahoo do not like us sending out mass emails. It will be marked as spam. I use Mail Chimp because it is easy to learn, easy to use and it fits my pocket book. They have wonderful tutorials to help you get started and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month for free if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers.
Once you have a list, send out your newsletter often enough they don’t forget why they signed up for it, but not so often they get tired of you in their email box.
I have felt at times that to build a successful email list I either needed to know someone in the right place, have an assistant or a lot of money. I wish. But DIY is the way I have approached it and though it may be slower than I like, it works.
Here are 4 factors that I believe can determine the growth of your email list.
What you write. In the newsletter, on your blog and in your books. Everything you write outside your newsletter will be the biggest draw for people to join your email list. Either because they like what you write and you are offering more of it in your newsletter or they want to know when your next book or project is due. Nurture your writing.
Keep your reader in mind when you decide what you will write in your newsletter. What will they enjoy? What will add value to their life? Be YOU and don’t default to what others are doing.
Perseverance. You have to not only persevere in patience, but in learning and applying what you learn to building your email list. Rarely does someone’s platform take off overnight. If it appears to do so, remember there was lot of hard work behind the scenes.
Getting the word out. Invite people to sign up. Share everywhere. Get creative. Here are 10 ideas to get you started sharing.
1.When you have live events, provide a way for people to sign up.
2.Use the CTA button on Facebook for your email signup.
3.Create a QR code in Mail Chimp to use on your bookmarks and posters.
4.Use a pop up form on your website. Sumome and Mail Chimp both provide a way to do this. And if you’re like me and don’t like pop ups, you can delay the pop up so only the people who stick around a bit and are likely interested will see it.
5. Put more than one place to sign up on your website and make it hard to miss. In the sidebar at the top. A pop up. A separate page.
6. Put a URL link to the form in your email signature.
7. Make sure the link to your form is in all your social media profiles.
8. Invite members of Facebook groups you are a part of to sign up (if it’s ok with their rules).
9. Put a link in the back of your books.
10. When you guest post, use it for your call to action link if one is allowed.
Getting people to engage. Engagement is more valuable than numbers. It builds a connection between you and your reader. Better to have only 100 subscribers who all buy your book, than 1,000 who do nothing. Here are a few ideas.
1.To motivate them to sign up, offer an incentive. I recommend making sure it compliments what they will be getting in the newsletter instead of something of monetary value. Otherwise, you may get people signing up just for the goodie and then unsubscribing. (ideas: short story, top 10 list, novella, special offer on a book, something related to the theme or characters in a book). This will garner more actual readers and keep cost down.
3.Run a poll.
4.Run a contest. Within your newsletter, if you offer a prize, at least you know it’s going to one of your readers.
5. Invite your subscribers to share your content with their friends.
6. Ask a question at the end of your newsletter and have a link to take them where you want them to comment.
I do enjoy a good brainstorming session, so share your ideas about what has worked for you or perhaps you have a question about building your email list.
And to stir your creativity, think in story. What would the main character of one of your books come up with to promote her email list if she had one?
I will be giving away a copy of Where Healing Starts to one commenter. Since it doesn’t release until September 22, my publisher will send a link to the winner for a free download of the Kindle version of book 1 in the series, Where Hope Starts, so you can start reading right away.
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Angela D. Meyer, author of The Applewood Hill Series, lives in NE with her husband of 25 years and their high school daughter. Their son serves our country in the Marines. Angela enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, connecting with friends and encouraging women to grow in their faith. One of her dream spots to vacation is next to the ocean and someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon.
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Where Healing Starts
Joanna, full of bitterness over the past, can no longer ignore the growing storm inside her and is bent on self-destruction as she seeks to ease her pain. But the refuge she seeks is always out of her reach.
Her brother Blake must choose between what has always been safe and what he has always wanted. One mistake after another leads him down a dangerous path.
The one for all, all for one sibling bond can’t help them now. They are both determined to hang onto their anger, never forgetting. Never forgiving. They see no reason to trust God.
After so many years of turmoil, will the Hannigan siblings find refuge in the God who loves them? Or will they get lost along the way?
~ ~ ~
Pre-order your copy of Where Healing Starts now and receive a link to download the Kindle version of Where Hope Starts for free! Click here .