Email Marketing for Indie Authors: How to Find Your Readers

Email Marketing for Indie Authors: How to Find Your Readers

If you think email marketing has no future, I’m here to give you several reasons why self-published authors have to use it to promote books. 

If you’re a supporter of the idea that email marketing has plenty of benefits, stay with us. I also have something interesting for you. 

Are you all ears?

So, let’s start. 

What is email marketing and what makes it effective

Email marketing is an inexpensive but effective method to get in touch with your audience and tell them about your books. It’s also a means of private communication with your readers. 


Email marketing is about writing

And no. 

It’s not about copying and pasting a piece of your manuscript or blog post into the email. 

It’s about remaining real and giving the potential readers a sense of uniqueness by opening the world of your oeuvre. 

If you still hear “Nonsense!” in your head, have a glance at what the numbers say. 

Email marketing statistics in 2022 

  • 38$ on average, for each dollar invested in an email marketing campaign (Litmus)
  • 19.8% is the average email open rate across all industries (Constant Contact)
  • 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months (Hubspot).
Email marketing stats in 2022

I believe now it sounds more persuasive that email marketing matters and may be fruitful. 

We still have loads of other exciting stuff to share with you. 

Scroll down to find out more.  

Email marketing for a self-published author

First thing first, email marketing works not only for business. Indie authors can also use it to promote works and reinforce the interaction with readers. Thereby, we’ve singled out the main advantages of email marketing in self-publishing. 

Benefits of email marketing for self-published authors 

So, these are four reasons why you should use emails in your writing career and self-promotion. 

Benefits of email marketing in 2022


Address your readers personally with customized content 

Better feedback

Collect feedback and conduct surveys

More sales

Sell more books and promote brand more effectively 

More traffic 

Direct readers to your website or social media

High return on investments

Get more out of each dollar 

Timely campaigns

Ensure your readers get your promos right on time 

Case studies 

It’s important to understand that the growth of your subscribers requires time and directly depends on the content you provide. 

Let’s have a look at what other self-publishing authors say about email marketing. 

Joanna Penn shares her insight on how she’s grown her email list in the article How To Grow Your Fiction Email List Subscribers. My Own Case Study. In a nutshell, she indicates that self-publishing authors should be confident in their writings. And lack of the product may be another reason that affects them. After finishing the first book, an indie writer cannot make it permanently free even if it brings a list of emails. You can afford a permafree book having at least three of them. In this case, you have to search for other ways on how to build your email list. 

As for Derek Murphy, he has his tips for email marketing mastery. Generosity is his key to grow an email list. Derek offers permafree books or parts of his courses to engage with subscribers. He uses an individual approach to his current audience and potential followers. He tries to find things that will encourage them to sign up. 

So, you must be eager to know the perfect time to start growing your email list as well as find out about the ways on how to do it. 

How and when start to grow an author mailing list

When to build your email list

You should start collecting emails as early as possible. The most important thing is to build it organically and boost while developing your writing career, personal site, book sales, and so on. You may start with the number of current emails in your database.

Yet, don’t stop engaging new subscribers and introducing your work to other people.

Wondering how to add new contacts to your email list?

Stay with us, and we’ll highlight the most popular ways. 

How to build your email list

Needless to say that buying an email list from other companies won’t bring you any profit. Those people aren’t your target audience. Even if they’re keen on reading, they may prefer different from your genres. That’s why it’s better to start with a few email addresses and increase them instead of spending time and effort engaging the wrong audience. 

Look at the means we suggest to use for building your email list. 


Opt-in is a form of permission. The subscribers leave their emails on your page as a confirmation to receive offers and follow-up communication. Yet, you have to optimize each of the pages on your author website for conversions. So, it has to include subscribe forms. Opt-in offers may appear as a splash page, welcome gate, floating bar, header, footer, timed lightbox, scroll box, or side box. You don’t have to use all the options to collect emails. It’s better to use only one and avoid bothering visitors to your website.

Opt-in example

Squeeze pages 

Squeeze pages are another option to pick up emails and enlarge the list of your subscribers. How does it work? It’s a webpage designed just to collect names and email addresses from the visitors. The whole point of the squeeze page is to make it as conscious as possible. In other words, attract your visitors and interest them in your product, so they’ll readily leave their emails.  

Squeez page example

Lead magnets

Lead magnets are the incentive you exchange for the visitors’ emails. Although not everyone wants to leave an email address, you have to give somethings appealing instead. As an author, you may attract people by providing a chapter or a free book. But, you need to remember that irresistible lead magnets function differently and depend on the genre. It solves a problem (for non-fiction) or captivates with a breathtaking plot (for fiction). Additionally, you can create a toolkit or guide to exchange for emails.  

Blog post

You may ask the visitors to leave their email addresses after reading the blog post. You can publish either on your site or other blogging platforms like Medium or WordPress. To do it, you have to optimize a blog for the subscribe page and create some specific lead magnets for individual blog posts. You show your special attitude to your audience with a unique call to action after every post. Create outstanding content and suggest the visitors to subscribe to the notification about new posts.   

Content upgrades

A content upgrade serves as a bonus. It’s a kind of content people get in exchange for their email address. Yet, content upgrades are unique and differ from the other content on your site. 


Pop-ups target the visitors of our page. They may look annoying, but they prevent them from scrolling and reading all the web site. Instead, they provide visitors with the information they may be looking for. All brands use e-commerce email pop-up. Don’t hesitate this means to gather the emails. 


Social media

You can engage with new readers on Twitter, Instagram, or any other social channel. It’s good to choose the content that you’ll post to collect email addresses periodically. Yet, you should avoid being annoying. It’s better to interest the audience and encourage them to leave emails instead of pushing them to do it. With this in mind, you’ll be able to promote your email list effortlessly without a website. 

Forums, Facebook Groups, Blog Commenting

Joining different forums and sharing helpful information there is another option to search for your audience. You can provide links to your blog posts or opt-ins. Just be sure that you don’t violate the rules of the forum or group. 

Cross Promotion 

It’s beneficial to find a partner in a common niche. You can make a deal and work out a cross-promotion. People in your partner’s list are likely to join your subscription as they are interested in this theme. It’s a perfect way to find subscribers.

Surveys and quizzes

Surveys and quizzes are an entertaining approach to get email addresses. After passing them, you can send the results to the visitor’s email and get one more subscriber unobtrusively. 

Email segmentation. How to segment your subscribers 

Email marketing segmentation allows you to realize that you communicate with various people who differ in interests, behavior, profiles, and other features. Thereby, it’s better to find a particular approach to reaching your audience by splitting the email list into similar groups. 

Keep reading and dare to find out more about email segmentation helpful for your marketing

New Subscribers

Begin with welcoming your new reader with an email. But don’t stop merely with one email. For instance, make a list of useful content you will send a new audience in a sequence. You should introduce the best stuff to boost interest and strengthen your relationships with new subscribers.  

Inactive Subscribers

Define your inactive subscribers. No matter how you engage with people, you will have a list of those who just don’t interact with you. There’s not necessarily something wrong about your writing. Yet, inactive subscribers impact your sender reputation. It’s for you to know that a low sender score causes your emails to land in the spam folder. So, you can rearrange the email marketing strategy to re-engage with them.  

Open Rate

Analyze the number of open emails and compare them to the rates of unsubscribed, unopened, or spammed. It allows you to understand the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign and marks the steps for further improvement. 

Geographic Area

Divide the list of your subscribers according to a geographic area, as it’s one of the influential factors of email marketing. It’s preferable to send out emails at optimum times if your target audience lives in different time zones. Keep in mind your readers’ regional peculiarities when making discounts or promoting your books. Add some local, regional features to the text of your emails. Personalized messages offer specific experience that affects purchasing decisions. 

Purchase History

Single out subscribers who made recent purchases, so it will allow you to optimize targeting. You can send recommendations of the books for further reading or advise the series. For instance, if you know that the reader has recently bought a print book, you may suggest to buy an ebook in your email. Or vice versa. Also, in about a month after selling your book, you may send the reader a kindly reminder to keep reading your works and buy a new one. 

Website Pages Views

Send targeted emails to people based on their actions on your page. It may be either the first visit or return in purpose to find some product or information. The choice of the correct content will enable you to interact with your audience closely.  

So, you already know the features of segments in email marketing. I believe this information will make it easier for you to divide your audience. 

Well, let’s move on and learn about the sequence of emails to know how to target your audience.  

How to organize the email marketing process (sequence of emails)

Well, it’s time to find out how to organize your email marketing content. 

Welcoming emails

Welcoming email is one of the ways to greet new subscribers as soon as they decide to join you. It’s preferable to write it in a friendly style. In this message, you should express your appreciation of the subscription and provide a quick introduction to the site. You may also share some info about yourself and your works.  

The sequence of emails and ideas for newsletters 

The second step after the acquaintance with new subscribers is to plan the content you want to send and have tools to optimize your work. 

Newsletter ideas and frequency

You can share different themes in a single newsletter. Yet, you can also choose a topic and develop it in the series of your emails. Whatever option you prefer, you need a content strategy to disclose your ideas with email marketing and decide on the frequency of your messages. 

Why you need email marketing calendar template

If you think that you can cope without an email marketing calendar template, it’s not an option. An email marketing calendar template is a useful tool to plan and organize your communication with subscribers. 

What does it give to you? 

You know everything about the content you’ve already sent or plan to share. With the email marketing calendar template, you’ve got a visual roadmap. Finally, it helps you track the results and meet deadlines.  

How to analyze the results 

At last but not least, it’s essential to analyze the effectiveness of email marketing. Let’s have a look at the indices that define it. 

Delivery rate is the percentage of emails your subscribers receive among all sent emails. 

Bounce rate shows the number of unsent emails. There are two types of them. Invalid email address, nonexistent domain, or blocked internet protocol cause hard bounces while a down server or full mailbox leads to soft bounces. 

Open rate is a percentage of the total number of subscribers who open your emails. Relevancy and subject line are the key aspects. They influence your audience’s decision to read emails.  

CTR rate, or click-through rate, shows the engagement of your subscribers. The number shows how many people are ready to interact with the content you send. 

Number of subscribers indicates your target audience. These people are interested in your emails. 

Number of unsubscribes shows who do not want to interact with you. 

Revenue per email helps you calculate the rate of revenue email marketing generates per message. 

Keeping in mind these rates, you’ll be able to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your email marketing campaign. The numbers will show you areas which need improvement. 

Summing up

With all mentioned above, email marketing for authors is a perfect way to reach more people and let them know about your books. Try different options and use the tools to analyze your results to understand what works for you. Find an individual approach for every subscriber, and may your interaction be efficient.   

Have any questions? Leave your comment below and we will help you!



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