The questions I get from clients regarding email lists are pretty straightforward. Mostly, they want to grow their list organically and communicate appropriately.

It all starts with a beautiful, professionally done website and quality content on your blog. 

If you’re serious about becoming an author (whether you go mainstream or the self-publishing route) it is vital that you invest in a website that is not only beautiful but is tightly and consistently branded. Folks who land on your page should encounter something that puts them at ease, immediately showing them just how much of a pro you are. Very often, the key is beautiful, original imagery.

To drive traffic to your site, you can use a combination of tactics, but my current favorite is Facebook ads, which allow you to get laser-specific with your targeting. These can leverage blog posts, forcing the redirect from Facebook to your website.

Upon 30-90 seconds (or on scroll down) site visitors should see a pop-up that invites them to receive something free.

As the great Don Miller says, “No one wants to read your newsletter,” so let go of that as your immediate call-to-action, and instead, offer something useful.

Here are some great freebies I’ve seen offered:

  1. Guided meditations.
  2. Inspirational images that act as phone backgrounds.
  3. Cross-stitch patterns for printing.
  4. Free e-book on team building.
  5. Exclusive videos teaching key principles of a book.
  6. Book club discussion guides.

Remember, these freebies should be meaty, as original as possible, and should include some kind of a CTA or opportunity for an up-sell (like “buy my book now” if your book is available for sale or pre-sale).

Once these leads have been captured, it’s up to you to communicate with your list responsibly. NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE needs to be spammed with emails from you, no matter how awesome you are. As you ramp up, a once a week email is just too much. You may consider starting with a once a month roundup including everything that’s been going on with you and your upcoming book. Always include a “buy now” or “pre-order” call to action somewhere in the email.

REMEMBER: Email automation is your best friend. Try tools like MailChimp or Emma

Key Takeaways:

  1. If you’re not web savvy, have a website built for you by a professional.
  2. On your site, feature beautiful, original imagery.
  3. Build a pop-up with a clear call to action, kicking out a great freebie.
  4. Use an automation tool and set a communication schedule that is respectful of peoples’ time.