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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Clemmer

Why No One Reads Author Emails

If you were to open your email account right now, how much junk would you see? Be honest now. According to a study run by DMR's business statistics, the average office worker receives 121 emails every day. That's a lot to sort through, and most of it is neither personal nor especially relevant. And by the way, that study was conducted in 2015. You can bet that number is much higher today.

If your author mailing list has a disappointing open rate, that shouldn't come as a surprise. Most readers will delete your emails without even seeing what you have to say, just like with the rest of their junk mail. It’s nothing personal--it’s simply convenience at work. If you email readers too often, you might stand out more, but you'll also risk getting flagged as spam, and people tired of seeing your name will unsubscribe from your list. However, if you don't email people often enough, there's a chance they'll forget who you are and lose interest.

Does email marketing still have an edge in today's world?

According to HuffPost, the research says yes. Even if only a small fraction of your subscribers open your email, and only a smaller fraction will click through to your book or offer, you're still making sales, and that still makes a big difference. The truth is, a mailing list can supercharge your readership. Sending emails to readers can help get them excited about new releases, get you more views, and build your credentials as an author. It's also one of the easiest ways to catapult yourself to the Amazon bestsellers list--over and over again!

Every time you send out an email, most readers will delete it instantly. But a few of them will click. A few of them will be excited, and they'll be happy to check out your latest release or whatever you have to offer them. If you can get your email list large enough, it will easily become the most effective marketing tool you have. You'll be able to send out a notice about a new release with a push of a button, and make almost instant sales. That’s pretty magical.

Does your mailing list still need a boost? Here are some tips:

  1. Keep it branded. Remember that post I wrote a while ago about author branding? That comes into play here. Create a template for your emails that uses your favorite fonts, colors, and anything else that comes into play as your brand. This will help readers remember you and make your emails more exciting to read.

  2. Watch your timing. You don't have to email readers all the time. You don't even need to email them regularly. Once or twice a month, check in with your mailing list and update them with any news. It doesn't hurt if you throw in a surprise giveaway or sale either.

  3. Be yourself, and be enthusiastic. It's fine if you want to show pictures of your cats or share details of your latest getaway. Readers like that kind of thing, and it makes you appear more human and relatable. Also, any time you get a chance to tell a story (even if it’s about your own life), you're showing off your writing ability to people who will be interested.

  4. Lastly, don't spend too much time on it. It only takes a few minutes to set up a template with most mailers, and beyond that, you really only need to write a couple of paragraphs for every email. It shouldn't feel like an obligation but like a chance to bond with readers who are already excited about your books.

Don't panic if email marketing puts you in a tizzy. The truth is, it's one of the most effective ways you'll find to sell books. All you should really focus on here is getting more people to sign up for your list. You can easily do that with giveaways and mailer swaps. Remember, the more comfortable you are with email, the better you'll be able to bond with readers and the more sales you can make. It really is that simple.


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