Your most important marketing asset as an author is your mailing list. Your mailing list represents repeat readers. Without it, you’re a one hit wonder.
Mailing lists are easy, fast and fun; but most of all, they’re free and profitable.
Promote your mailing list in your books. Automatically send book promotions to readers who sign up to your mailing list. This is true “set it and forget it” book marketing automation.
I’m directing this post to authors without a mailing list. In the post, I introduce free author mailing list marketing using MailerLite.
How Mailing Lists Work
List servers host mailing lists. You send mass email through list servers so no one will tag your personal email account as a spammer. Mailing list servers have received special dispensation to have the copious email they send to be considered not spam. So, you build and maintain your mailing list on an Internet mailing list server rather than your personal computer.
You ask individuals to subscribe to your mailing list by adding their email address to your list via a signup form. This form can be a dedicated page or a widget embedded in the sidebar of a WordPress website.
You tempt individuals into subscribing to your mailing list by offering them something of value for free. Such an offering is known as a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a digital product, such as an infographic or short e-book.
You can often find lead magnets to offer on Public Label Rights (PLR) sites (e.g. thePLRStore.com).
You send email campaigns to all the members of your mailing list at the same time via your list server. You can also queue up automated email to be sent to new subscribers regularly without your involvement beyond setting up the automation in the first place.
Remember to use the 80/20 Rule when determining what to send to your mailing list. Send 80% informational material and 20% marketing material. Either split each email 80/20 or send eight educational emails for every two promotional emails.
Create a Free MailerLite Mailing List
There are lots of list serving agencies available today. MailChimp is a popular option, but I avoid recommending them ever since they banned me. AWeber is also popular, but my favorite is MailerLite. One reason I like MailerLite is that, like MailChimp, it provides free support for lists up to 1,000 members. That’s fine for your purposes as a writer ;-).
If you don’t already have a mailing list, I recommend you signup for a free mailing list via MailerLite:
Create a Mailing List Signup Form
The first thing to do after creating your MailerLite mailing list is to create a mailing list signup form. Follow the instructions on the MailerLite website to create your form. Note that you can also embed a signup form in the sidebar of your WordPress website as I did to the right (please signup for my mailing list).
Lead Magnets From PLR Content
Shop thePLRStore. Pick up something cheap and offer it as a lead magnet on your mailing list signup form. Alternately, take a little time to create your own tips guide or infographic. The typical technique for distributing a lead magnet is to use mailing list automation to email a shared drive (e.g. Google Drive) link to download the lead magnet immediately after the new subscriber signs up for the mailing list.
Mount an Email Campaign
Send formatted emails to all the members of your mailing list or just a segment. Use email campaigns to announce new product releases.
Mailing List Automation
Send automated emails to members of your mailing list as they subscribe or several days afterward. Use email automation to produce an unattended stream of educational and marketing email. Setup a distribution of a weekly blog post digest to your mailing list.
Promote Your Mailing List in Your Books
Ask readers to signup to your mailing list at the start and end of each of your books. The request at the front of the book will catch browsers. The one at the end will catch those who just finished your book. Mention your lead magnet to get readers to signup to your mailing list. The following is the section I include at the front and end of my latest book:
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I’ll see you in the classroom,