As an author, you’ve probably heard that the best way to reach your core audience is with an email list. Unfortunately, once you start one, you could end up being regarded as junk by the recipient. This is especially true when the website signs you up for the email list automatically while you are doing something else, like making a purchase or signing up for an account. The good news is that you can avoid these pitfalls by being mindful.

1. Choose an Email List Provider

There are many places that provide email list services. I happen to use Mail Chimp, but there are many other services out there that will allow you to create and maintain an email list for your website. The only place I wouldn't recommend is Meet Edgar. I never fully opened an account there, but somehow, they have my email address and have been sending me junk emails for more than two years. Don't go there. Don't give them your email address.  Stay away from them.

2. Put a Sign-Up Form on Your Website

Mail Chimp allows you to add code to your website that puts an email list sign-up form on your website. You can be as detailed or non-detailed as you want. Mine simply asks for an email address because that’s all I need in order to send someone an email. I would imagine other email list handlers provide the same service.

3. Run a Sign-Up Form Down Your Social Media Feeds

You can also create a form that you can run down your social media feeds. In my case, this involved creating a Mail Chimp hosted form and running the link down my social media feeds with a picture of the form. I actually do better with this one than I do the one on my website, but the success of this method depends on the size of your audience and how engaged they are with the articles and blog posts you write.

4. Do NOT Include Email Addresses that You Found in Your Followers Accounts

Do not, under any circumstances, start parsing your social media followers for email addresses and adding them to your email list. This is a sure fire way to get sent to spam. Get enough emails sent to spam, and you could find your account canceled. At best, you’re just going to ruin your credibility.

5. Do NOT include Your Email Contacts that You Already Have

So, you have 500 family, friends and business contacts. Unless you got those guys via your books, don’t add them. Your family and friends may support you, but I guarantee that they do not want emails every week about what you wrote and your next book. Out of 300 family members, I think only two of them give a shit about what I write.

6. Create an Email Campaign with Your Most Interesting Feed

For me, that feed is my Writing Tips. My emails only go out when there is a new post in the writing feed, and they only send once a week. If there’s no new posts, the email doesn’t send. This cuts down on the number of emails that people get sent regarding my website and ensures that the people on my feed don’t get emails highlighting articles they already read.


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