Mailing Lists

November 6th 2014

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how important mailing lists a.k.a. newsletters are to marketing. Of course, this makes sense. Once upon a time MySpace was the the social networking stream, now it’s Twitter and Facebook. In five years it could be HighFive (I just made that up). But email and a website are pretty much longstanding. At least, I hope. If I have a mailing list, I can always email readers to tell them about a new book or project or sale. Whereas, let’s be real, Facebook is hit or miss. Mostly miss since little of what I post makes it to fans.

Here’s the problem with a mailing list, I can’t figure out how to get people on it. Granted, I only have one book out. I’m sure in time, with more books under my belt, I’ll gather more readers. But seriously, I have four people on my mailing list and half of them are me and my dad (who I signed up on his behalf). I don’t want to be all ‘give me your email address’ but I’m not sure how to get people interested without being annoying.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can increase interest in my mailing list? Do you have a mailing list? How often do you send out emails? What do you email your readers when you don’t have any news?

Here’s a link to mine if anyone is interested in signing up.


7 comments on “Mailing Lists

  1. Leandra Wallace

    Well, now you have five, b/c I just realized I hadn’t ever signed up! Chuck addressed this at the workshop, in that he runs contests where the entry fee is to sign up for his newsletter. Or the entry fee is to share the link for his newsletter in two social media places- like Twitter and FB.

  2. Jill

    It appears that I’m 1/4 of your mailing list. At least I’m among the faithful. 🙂

    I don’t have any other good ideas here, but I look forward to reading other peoples’!

      1. Jill

        Excellent! Although apparently you can’t always count on me to read your blog in a timely enough manner to comment on it. 😛 I just now saw your post about your author event. I am SO PSYCHED that you a)met a fan! and b)that “It made me [meaning you] feel like an author.” Authors are rock stars indeed!

  3. Dianne Salerni

    WHO keeps saying mailing lists are essential for marketing? Based on what research? Are they saying that most people WANT to get more e-newsletters, and I am atypical for not liking them? I barely tolerate the PW Daily and Children’s Bookshelf that show up in my In Box, and only because I HAVE to have them. (I found out the editor who bought TED was retiring because of PW Daily. Otherwise, I don’t know how long I would have been left clueless.)

    Where are marketing gurus getting the idea that newsletters are effective? They aren’t interactive like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, or any of the social networks. So, I’m very skeptical about how many people read them vs deleting them immediately. Especially YA readers.

    I sent my own teenage daughter an email asking her a question and she didn’t answer for 2 weeks. I finally asked her about that, and she said she doesn’t ever read emails. Ever. Not even from her mother, apparently …

    1. Kimberly G. Giarratano Post author

      I’ve noticed that people seem a lot more lax about email than they used to. I’ll email friends and I don’t hear back forever. Meanwhile I get a twitch if I don’t send an email response right away. Of course, I’m terrible with texting. I never look at my phone.
      So I’ve been hearing a lot about mailing lists on the writing forums. So the research is mostly anecdotal. My thinking is if you want to know when an author is coming out with the next book, subscribing to a mailing list is a good way to get that information. So much gets missed on Facebook and Twitter. I don’t think these authors are saying not to interact with readers on social media (In fact, I’m sure they wouldn’t say that at all), but a newsletter/mailing list is a great way to tell your readers about sales, projects, book releases right away. It’s hard to bee heard above the din. But I agree, at times, it’s even harder to get someone to open and respond to an email.

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