37 thoughts on “Mailing Lists

  1. I’ve found that offering a giveaway of some sort and making sure to mention it in the subject line of the newsletter increases your chances of a higher Open rate. I think the industry standard is around 20%, and I have an open rate of at least twice that. I used to put “update from Terry Odell” as the subject line, but with more and more subscribers who have joined from contests, etc., they might not remember who I am. So now my subject line says “Updates and Giveaway from Terry Odell” which I think helps.

    Terry’s Place

    • It’s a way to build your fanbase and keep with touch with your contacts. You can let readers know about new releases, upcoming appearances, and offer fun stuff like contests and recipes.

  2. If anyone wants a forwarded copy of my last newsletter as an example and/or for your name to be added to my list, send me an email to nancy(at)nancyjcohen(dot)com.

  3. Thanks Nancy. When I find good advice whether it is for writing or marketing I print it and put it in a folder. Saving this one is a no-brainer. Thank you very much.

  4. Wow, Nancy, I’m awed by your organization.
    When I first started collecting e-mails I didn’t ask permission and got a very snarky note from someone who did not want my e-newsletter. I’ve since mended my ways.

    • Yes, we have to be more careful than when I started out mailing postcards in the old days. No one wants spam in their e-mailbox. Even so, the option is always there to unsubscribe.

  5. Thanks for all the great information. I had a full page of notes by the time I was done with your article. I appreciate you taking the time to share with us.

  6. Excellent advice Nancy. I used to keep a decent quarterly newsletter going but, typically having a too full plate, it has slipped off the peripheral edge over the past couple years. I’ve got the button on my website and keep telling myself I’ll get it back together but haven’t even been able to keep up with an irregular blog post lately. Once of these days, hopefully soon, I’ll get it running again…I’m thinking perhaps two Thursdays from now, actually…yes…I think so…Thursday August 1st.

    Wow, thanks for motivating me on that Nancy, you’re awesome!


    Basil Sands

  7. Yes, a summer newsletter is in order. I have to do mine in August, too, and gear up for another contest. It’s easier to let the doldrums take over, isn’t it?

  8. Do you think it’s bad form to simply ask folks on Facebook, or any online forum I’m active on, whether they would like to sign up for my newsletter and provide a link to do so? I think it can be done in a nice manner…

    My debut is coming out March 2104, so I’m thinking about all of this.

    Thanks! Lisa

    • You can certainly direct your FB friends to your newsletter opt in form or mention the link on forums. I remind people that FB may not always be around, so if they want to stay in touch, my newsletter is the best way.

  9. One other thing I neglected to mention. One thing I try to include in every newsletter is something “exclusive” to subscribers. Sometimes it’s a contest, sometimes it’s a first look at a new cover, or the first peek at an excerpt from the WIP. But I want my subscribers to feel “special” and this seems to be a good way to do it.

    If anyone wants to sign up for my next (fall) newsletter, there’s a link on my blog and my website. 🙂

    Terry’s Place

  10. Wonderful article! Also you might get permission to share your list with another author. There’s also a yahoo group called Bookworm Bags on which they share addresses and promo material.

    • I wouldn’t share my lists as it’s taken me 10 years to acquire these names and many of them are based on personal contacts. It’s inherent in my asking people to sign up that it’s for my newsletter only. When I want to share names, I’ll do so through Booklover’s Bench or my own contests that state people will be added to all of our email lists if other authors are contributing prizes.

  11. Nancy,
    That’s a great tip to encourage friends on other social media platforms to sign up for your newsletter. It takes time to build up all the connections on those platforms and you don’t want to lose anyone.

    You’ve done an amazing job of consolidating a lot of information here. Folks starting out would be wise to print this out or bookmark it for reference. Marketing can be overwhelming, but it’s important not to lose ground. Staying in touch with your readership is a great way to stay on their personal radar.

    Great post!

    • Yes, staying in touch is important even at times when you feel there’s little to say. You can state what you’re working on, offer a contest or bonus research material. There’s always something.

  12. A strong mailing list is important to get your book out there. You need receptive people who are waiting for it to start making actual sales. Direct mail marketing and email marketing can be a perfect combination for success.

  13. I just sent out my first newsletter in June and this is very helpful in helping me build my mailing list. I collect cards at conferences already, but the other ideas are great. Thanks, Nancy.

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