6 Effective E-mail Marketing Strategies for Self-Published Authors

E-mail Marketing Strategies for Self-Published Authors

By Joan Selby

E-mail marketing was, is, and will be an effective method of improving the performance of your business.

As a self-published author, you must pay attention to all the aspects that surround your activity.

Simply put, you shouldn’t perceive yourself just as the author of your book.


You are in fact the entrepreneur who must be in control of everything that’s going on around your self-publishing activity.

Unfortunately, the majority of self-published authors are neglecting one important aspect of their business, which is the responsibility of developing and maintaining an e-mail list.

Yes, social media is a big trend now. Content marketing too.

However, you should never forget that e-mail marketing is still a “big player” that contributes to your business’ sales performance and long-term sustainability.

Just to give you a clue, a recent study that suggests how e-mail marketing is 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter when it comes to acquiring new customers.

In case you haven’t yet approached e-mail marketing because you are unsure how to approach it, we’re presenting 6 effective e-mail marketing strategies that you can leverage as a self-published author.

Let’s dive in.


1. Offer Incentives

Perceive your e-mail list like an investment. You pay time, money, and effort to create a database of loyal customers and followers that are always available to reach.

Yet, in order to acquire these subscribers, your business, a.k.a. your personal branding must give your potential subscribers enough reasons to sign-up.

A common strategy that professional e-mail marketers use looks like this: You give away something for free (an e-book, a report, a case study, etc.)

If the person who’s interested signs up to your e-mail list, he will instantly receive your freebie. This type of incentive is helpful in more ways.

First of all, the freebie you’re giving away will show your competency in the field. In case it helps, the person who got it should be interested to see more of you.

Therefore, they’re more likely to open your e-mails, engage with you, and buy your books.



2. Build Authority Through Value

Here’s one important aspect you should keep in mind: a business that doesn’t offer value to its customers is not a business.

As previously mentioned, self-publishing is more like a business rather than anything else. Therefore, you must perceive it and treat it that way.

A successful business manages to satisfy the needs of its customers by offering what’s been promised in the first place.

However, you can improve the performance of your self-publishing activity by improving your authority in the eyes of your customers.

Authority is established when the customer totally trusts your business and your products/services.

When you establish authority in the field, people will choose your products over someone else’s, and that’s because you are the expert. And as you may very well know, an authoritative figure often creates more impact around.

So how can you get this type of authority? The answer is quite simple: do your best to provide a lot of value to your customers and future customers.


3. Make Your E-mails Impeccable

You are an author of a book.

Considering this, please imagine how much of a negative impact you’ll make the moment you send poor quality e-mails. By poor quality, I’m referring to more things.

First of all, your grammar and spelling must always be correct. Secondly, the structure of your e-mails must be easily digestible. No blocks of text, no random ideas, and obviously no misinformation.

Ideally, you should work on each e-mail separately. Create the final version of each e-mail, and add it to your automated sequence. Proceed with all of your e-mails following the same way and mark them all as “final” versions.

Michelle Becker, E-mail Marketing Manager at SuperiorPapers, suggests:

“If you want to own an impeccable business and build a reputable name in the marketplace, you must show signs of professionalism. That is why all of your e-mails must also be impeccable. Try to add as much value as you possibly can. When your subscribers observe your involvement and interest in their needs, they’re more likely to trust and appreciate you better.”

4. Create an E-mail Sequence Schedule

When you’re a self-published author, time is a luxury.

You need to deal with so many things at once. Paying attention to when, how, and whom to send your e-mails is painful and time-consuming.

That is why most of today’s e-mail marketing autoresponder services are offering built-in features that can make your e-mail marketing activity sustainable and easier to deal with.

Imagine your target audience and think about your final product. The space between these two parties is represented by your e-mails sequence.

When a person subscribes to your e-mail list, they’re signing up for your automated sequence. As a short explanation, an automated sequence is simply a collection of follow-up e-mails that your subscribers receive the moment they agree to be a part of your list.

Once you get enough data that reflects the behavior of your subscribers, you can find patterns that’ll help you tweak and optimize your campaigns.

Optimize it once, and all of your new subscribers will go through the “best version” of your e-mails sequence.


5. Test, Measure, Tweak, Optimize

An e-mail marketing campaign that isn’t well tested, measured, and optimized, will hardly bring show relevancy or good results.

One of the primary benefits of owning a targeted e-mail list is that you can learn more about your customers all while improving your sales funnel. Most e-mail marketing software come with professional tracking and analyzing features.

When you notice how your subscribers react to your e-mails (open rates, click-through rates, etc.), you can immediately make changes.


After applying the changes, notice how your list reacts to them. If they have a positive impact, keep them. If not, try something new.

That’s what testing is so important. It helps you develop the best possible version of an automated e-mail sequence.

Therefore, when you’ve done enough testing, you can settle for a final version of an automated sequence that could perform well for months or even years.


6. Develop a Genuine Relationship with Your List

If you want to develop a profitable relationship between you and your followers, you should really start caring more about them.

Don’t perceive them as numbers or stats that show on your e-mail autoresponder service. They’re not just that!

They’re real people that have preferences, expectations, and needs. One important need, for example, is the need for trust.

In order for the customer to feel safe when purchasing your products or services, you must grow and nurture a genuine relationship. How do you do that? Offer value. It’s as easy as that.



Building a list around your personal brand is such an effective way to create more opportunities for your business.

Your personal branding is heavily influenced by the impression you leave to your prospects and customers.

Managing to build a strong relationship with your customers, which is all based on trust and value, will automatically boost your sales performance and your overall brand reputation.


Joan Selby is a content marketer, former teacher and fancy shoe lover. A writer by day and reader by night. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.


One thought on “6 Effective E-mail Marketing Strategies for Self-Published Authors

  • June 29, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Joan, great overview! I realized that on my own book promotion – social media is not always the case for high ROI, while e-mail marketing always saves the situation. And you compare writer’s time and luxury – I am in 100%! I am writer, not a technical person, that’s why I am using e-mail marketing provider for my campaigns, as I want to serve my audience with my mails, not to bother. My provider offers me plenty of nice designs, drag-and-drop editor, automation and is very easy-to-manage, so even far-away-from-it person can always feel free for creating HQ e-mails! I use mailerlite ( https://www.mailerlite.com/authors ) and I am happy with for more that a year. What about other providers? Are you satisfied? What features you appreciate the best? I am lucky from the very first provider I have chosen or that is usually the case?


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