Why I Stopped Using Email Marketing To Promote Books

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Why I Stopped Using Email

Well over 90% of emails get junked. So why annoy so many people?

While everyone is familiar with spam email, graymail may be a new term for you. Basically, it is email to which a user has subscribed but then has little interest in after subscribing.

For some recipients, it may have been due to a necessity to subscribe to receive an associated service, while for others it was perhaps a spur of the moment decision.

Subscribing also occurs as a reaction to an interest in a certain subject at a certain time, but when the interest has waned, the emails keep being delivered.

Unsubscribing from these emails is time-consuming, so for most people, their Junk mailboxes fill daily with unwanted emails.

From my own experience, I noticed that over time, the opening rate of emails I sent to my subscribers fell off after the first few emails.

It was a ‘duh‘ moment for me because the reason was so clear. I promote my books of course, and because I don’t publish a new book every week, it was all very old news.

No matter how I dressed up my mailings to include fresh new content, their main purpose was of course to sell my books. Therefore, my emails deservedly ended up unopened in Junk mailboxes, so they were utterly useless at achieving their aim.

While graymail is perfectly legitimate, unlike spam, because subscribers voluntarily subscribe and always have the option to unsubscribe, both can have the same undesired end result.

This is why I have ceased using email marketing for my books.


email-subscribe-feedburnerHowever, I have retained email subscription options.

This is an option to receive a full page read of my new blog posts via Google Feedburner. There is no need to visit my blog, as the post can be read in full within the email.

However, links to related posts, which are at the end of the email do drive traffic to my blogs, so it’s a win-win.

I have also retained an option to subscribe to my newsletter, but the frequency of these mailings will be very low.

Unlike my unchanging books that I mentioned before, my blog posts are new, fresh, informative and relevant to those who subscribe, so these emails have a very high opening rate.

And a high opening rate means that my subscribers are not being annoyed by unwanted email.

When I looked through the email that I receive, open and read, most are of this nature. New posts from blogs that I enjoy reading.

I have written before about the importance of having a mailing list because it is contact data that you own, unlike social media contacts.

To this end, my decision to stop email marketing has not adversely affected my mailing list. By keeping my two mailing lists, I still have a marketing resource that is growing and I can use in the future.

To what end, I have no idea as yet. But if I do have an idea, it will have to be better than simply creating graymail.


Related reading: Where Are You Going With Your Facebook Marketing For Books?


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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

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