E Is For Email Marketing – Tips From An Email Marketer

I’ve written my fair share of emails that go out on behalf of companies. I quite like it as well. So I thought, for today, that we’ll take a look at email marketing and how you can use it to help you sell more books. 

What Is Email Marketing?

When we talk about email marketing, we generally mean that you send your email database emails with value and an offer. I’ll keep saying this: With marketing, you’re supposed to give your customers value. It’s something that even marketers can sometimes forget, but remember that your product or service solves a problem and it’s that problem that you want to address with your marketing. This includes email marketing. So how do we relate this to selling books? Your ideal reader dictates what problem your book is solving, so first understand why your ideal reader is reading, and then focus on solving that.

How Do We Set Up Email Marketing?

It’s not as easy as just sending out emails to random addresses. There are a few things to keep in mind.

Customer Privacy

Don’t you just hate it when marketers call you on your phone to sell you something, and you’ve never even heard of the company, much less given them permission to phone you? You probably see where this is going. In recent years, legislation was put in place to prevent people from sending email to someone without that someone signing up for it. That’s why you would see websites practically beg you to sign up for their newsletter. It has to be your choice, or else that company can get into trouble.

Marketer solution?

It’s again back to the whole value thing. Ask people to sign up for your newsletter, but tell them why it would bring value to their lives. “Get my free short story when you sign up! You’ll always hear it from me first when I release my next book.” 

Choose Your Email Marketing Tool

There are so many Tools out there for you to use. Mailchimp used to be the best free version, but they’ve changed too much recently so we avoid them. Besides, if you want great functionality and support, you’d often have to pay for it. 

Marketer solution?

We usually have our client pay for ActiveCampaign, a very robust tool for email marketing. Get in touch if you need help to set up.

Set Up Your Forms

You’ll need a form for people to sign up to your newsletter, so be sure to get that set up on your website. If you don’t yet have a website, make that your first priority.

Since I don’t have a lot of experience with the technical side of this, please excuse my brevity. Let’s dig a little deeper with the emails themselves…

Write Your Emails

Value, value, value. If you really want to add in your email what you’ve eaten for breakfast, be sure to understand where your audience is first. Are you J. K. Rowling? If not, and you just started out, the chances are excellent that nobody will see the value in learning more about your personal life. Keep to the stuff they signed up for until such a point where your readers are die-hard fans. Even then, stick to the value you are supposed to deliver on.

Marketer solution?

If you write emails yourself, you can inject some of your personality into such a personal form of communication. Since you’re a writer, this part should come easier to you than it comes to most people. Here’s a structure that you can play with and make your own, with some comments in brackets:


(Be sure to make this personal. Capture first names with email addresses so that the reader feels valued and not treated as some kind of number.)

What a week! Not only did I have a breakthrough in my current story, but the book I’ve been teasing about has an actual release date now!

(Readers love seeing the magic behind the writing scenes.)

If you’re anything like me, and I suspect that you are since you read cozy mysteries about a foodie that cleans up kitchen crimes and grimes, then you might love this cooking series I found on YouTube. 

(All sell and no play, makes readers a dull bunch. Make your emails about the reader and make them feel like you didn’t only add them to your newsletter because you want to sell books.)

Have you pre-ordered my upcoming book, “The Case Of The Kitchen Grime,” just yet? 

(Of course, you can still sell books with your newsletter. Add a blurb while you’re at it too.)

Remember to sign the email off when you’re done.


Nobody likes to be spammed. But you also have to stay front-of-mind with emails. So a little trick is to send an email every second week, but remember to only send an email out when you actually have value to add with said email. Else, it’s still spam. 

Email marketing need not be a chore. Get in touch with me if you need any help with this.

Where to next on Irrational Pie?

Do I need a blog as a writer?

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