By Ian Sutherland
The biggest problem with growing author mailing lists is figuring out where to find new readers whom you can encourage to sign up to your list.
In my upcoming webinar: "Grow Your Author Email List on Autopilot Using Twitter,” I’ll share with you a technique I’ve developed that enables you to use Twitter as one source for attracting new email subscribers.
Last year, there was an explosion of advice on using Facebook Advertising as a means to grow your mailing list. However, many authors — myself included — have had mixed results. In my case, the cost of a new subscriber using Facebook Ads was simply too high, no matter how I optimised and tweaked the ad. As time has gone on, with far more authors competing for Facebook’s Ads, the cost is slowly rising.
Along came Instafreebie, which is very much in vogue right now, especially with authors clubbing together to run joint promotions. While Instafreebie seems to be more consistent in growing your email subscriber base, there is growing concern over the quality of these new email subscribers. After all, readers using Instafreebie on a regular basis are conditioned into searching for free books. How many will go on to purchase when they can just pop back to Instafreebie, join someone else’s mailing list and download another free book?
Obviously, the best place to attract a new email subscriber is to get them to sign up from within one of your existing books. If they like what they read and you make them an offer to subscribe immediately after they’ve read, ‘THE END’ you have a good chance of them subscribing. Their quality as a subscriber will be very high as they are already a customer. But one of the purposes of an email list is to promote and sell your books to new people who’ve not yet read your work. Catch-22.
Over the past few years, I’ve been using Twitter as an additional source of new email subscribers, for both my fiction and non-fiction author lists. It’s a consistent approach that delivers me an average of 50 – 100 new email subscribers a month, per Twitter account. (I have more than one!) Because of Twitter’s organic activity limits, the approach won’t scale higher than that. So, while it doesn’t have the overnight peaks of hundreds or even thousands of followers that Facebook Ads or Instafreebie can sometimes deliver, it doesn’t, in my experience, have their downsides either (high cost or questionable quality).
I’ve since launched a service, called Author Platform Sidekick, where I carry out these techniques on behalf of many other authors. Typically, my customers are either authors not comfortable applying the technology elements required to make this work and/or they are simply far too busy writing and want to hand-off growing their Twitter account (with the side benefit of growing their email list) to someone else.
I love helping other authors, either via Author Platform Sidekick or by sharing and teaching the techniques I use. So, if you’d like to learn how to drive email subscribers on autopilot from Twitter, so that you can apply the technique yourself, then the replay to my webinar, which originally aired on May 24, 2017.