• Amanda Clemmer

Top 10 Tips for A Lucrative Mailing List


Is your list meeting its full potential? You don’t need to maximize your list to succeed as a self-published author. That being said, a fantastic mailing list is one of the most reliable and time-proven ways to sell more books in the long run.


Whether you’ve been growing your list for years or just started collecting sign-ups, it’s worth taking time occasionally to see how effective you are at using your list and what else you can do to get the most out of it.

Here are some tips to use your list to bring your writing career to the next level.

1. Focus on growing your list. Especially early on.

It’s tempting to focus on selling books. After all, that’s the result you want, so why not chase it directly? The problem is that most readers don’t start out as instant fans. They notice you, check out a sample or download a free reader magnet. Then they follow you for a while and sign onto your list. Finally, when they can’t stand being alone in the cold any longer, they’ll buy a new release from you. From then on, you can count on their sales.


2. Build buzz before release.

Some writers don’t mention their new books until the release. After all, no one can buy your latest release before the book is officially available for purchase. This is a trap. Building buzz and talking about your book beforehand are great ways to prep your readers for a new book and make them more excited when your launch finally comes around.

3. Use your list to get beta readers and/or reviewers.

A series of positive reviews will determine a lot of your book’s success. Unfortunately, these reviews can be hard to find, especially when you’re a newer author. Consider asking new subscribers if they want to join an exclusive review team. Giving books away feels counter-intuitive, but it’s a good way to get more sales in the long run. You can also use this method to get a team of beta readers together if hiring an editor is too expensive.


4. Exclusivity is key. Treat your list like a club.

Remember that your list is private and unique to you. It can be a good idea to share things with your list that you won’t post anywhere else—screenshots, teasers, and bonus scenes. If people feel like they’re members of an exclusive club, they’ll be more excited to buy things from you when the time comes.


5. Flash sales are fun!

One exclusive thing you can do with your subscribers is to host a flash sale or special coupon to let them buy your books temporarily at a reduced price. Even if the sale is publicly listed, don’t advertise it beyond your mailing list. It’s best to keep flash sales rare and brief. Otherwise your readers will get used to snagging your books when they’re on sale and avoid paying the full price.

6. Newsletter swaps are powerful for promotion.

You want to get your books in front of as many eyes as possible, and you don’t want to break the bank doing it. Your list can help. If you swap release news with other authors, you can share new books with your own subscribers while having your book shown to others. It’s best to swap with writers who have lists and genres comparable to your own, but some flexibility is expected.


7. Use quality reader magnets (Don’t shirk!)

Your reader magnet is a great way to get new subscribers, but if you don’t put the same care into your reader magnets that you put into your full-length books, you won’t get as many people signing up. This means buying a cover and getting a decent editing job. The better these giveaways are, the more faith people will have in you as a writer.


8. Pay attention to timing and frequency.

You need to keep people current, but not overwhelm or spam them. Most of your subscribers will be too busy to read an email from you every week, but once or twice a month you can remind people that you’re still around. The important factor here is consistency. You shouldn’t go months at a time without a newsletter and then crank out a new campaign every couple days when you’re preparing for a launch. Set up a predictable schedule and use it to your advantage.


9. Always include something of value.

Remember the note about no spamming earlier? Each of your newsletters should have a focal point, a key item of value for the readers. That could be a sneak peek at a new release, a discount or sale, or anything else you want to share. It’s entirely possible that one newsletter could have several key offerings. If this is the case, choose the one that makes you the most excited and use that as your special feature.

10. Have fun!

Having a list of readers to talk to is a privilege. Many writers don’t make it this far. When you sit down to type out a newsletter, spend a moment to get excited about what you have to say. Don’t make this a chore for yourself—turn it into an opportunity instead. Your readers can tell the difference.


How do you use your mailing list? Please sign up to share in the comments section below. You can also click on the blue button to join my Facebook group for self-publishing fiction authors.



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