The biggest take from Mailchimp is: make a
newsletter. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard from successful authors
that newsletters are key to sales. They allow you direct contact with your
So, what do you need to start your newsletter? Glad
you asked. (I’m not the guru of newsletters. I’ve taken a few classes and can pass on all the advice I’ve received.)
- A PO Box or business address. Before you sign up for
Mailchimp, have a business address. On Mailchimp, your street address is
included in any newsletter. Again, if you don’t want fans at your house…
- A logo/brand. Before making a landing page or
newsletter, make a brand for yourself. Find/create/buy a graphic you can use
commercially and pick a font for your name. Remember, branding is about you,
not just your books. Be sure the info/colors/style choices match who you are as
a writer. I write steamy contemporary, but not erotica. My font is curly, and
my logo is a drawn heart. Simple, easy to remember, and on-brand with my
- Content. Plan your campaigns for new releases, cover
reveals, vacation photos, guest content from other authors, etc. Randomly
sending out “Buy My
Book” emails gets old fast. Use personal stuff if you can, like pet pics and
hobbies, but perhaps not family photos.
- A landing page. Be sure to include GDPR/Internet
commerce law questions to comply with all legal restrictions on using email addresses. It also
gives your customer a friendly welcome. You can also use the landing page to
either gather more information or perhaps do a lead magnet to reward readers
for signing up. A lead magnet is a giveaway of some sort. Some authors use a
free book, chapter, swag, or an original story not available anywhere. Readers
love free stuff, and a free book wins every time.
- A list of contacts. Your mailing list is essential to
marketing to people who want to hear from you. Mailchimp makes it so easy to
create and maintain. It does all the work for you. If you completed your sign-up
GDPR/Can-Spam/Internet commerce law compliant, every contact chose to be on the
list. Back it up once a month. That list is pure gold and completely in your
control as a business. It’s
great to have a presence on social media, but Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
have their own agendas. Any of them could disappear instantly. There’s the
possibility of losing out on huge customer bases if your social media crashes, you
get banned, or someone hacks your data. But that list of contacts, regularly
backed up, is yours to keep, to use as you will, and to maintain contact with
your loyal readers.
- Sign-up Link. Mailchimp will provide you with a
direct link to your landing page. Copy that link and post it everywhere on your
social media and website. Especially your website. People go there specifically
to find you. WordPress has great plug-ins to create places on your webpage for
newsletter sign-ups. Facebook will also allow you to add a button to your
author page that links to your newsletter sign-up. Always give this link to
readers if you do Facebook takeovers, blog hops, or any other personal
promotion. You might not catch that reader during your takeover. But when they receive
your wonderful newsletter with your books, your hobbies, and your pets, you can
win them over then.
Hopefully, that will get you all started with
newsletters. And don’t forget to team up with other authors to do newsletter
swaps and share audiences.
Mailchimp is a
great app for this service, but there are others available. Most work on these
same principles. As an author, I cannot recommend enough for everyone to get a
mailing list and publish a newsletter.