#writingbiz: Mailing Lists – Don’t Overdo It

Mailing lists are extremely important for authors be they traditional or self published. Being able to directly contact a reader allows for affordable and effective marketing, which is essential for small business owners like self published authors.

As wonderful as a mailing list can be, it can also become a problem for not just the sender (in this case, the author) but also, the recipient.

And that’s the point of this here post.

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There are lots of mistakes one can make with a mailing list. The most important is not creating one in the first place.

Luckily, that’s not today’s focus.

Instead, let’s pay attention to the cardinal sin of over-sending messages to subscribers.

It’s imperative to remember that less can indeed be more. We authors have to keep in mind that subscribers receive messages from lots of other authors as well as several other businesses trying to sell them something. The constant flood can become overwhelming.

Still, authors have got to cut through the noise, right?

True. But, swamping a subscriber with too many messages can act as a turn off, which is not the goal of a mailing list.

Why am I writing about this?

Frankly, it’s because I just unsubscribed from an author’s mailing list. My reason was simple. I’d received too many messages from the author over the last 27 days. 3 in the last week alone and I didn’t want to keep having to hit delete.

Had some of those messages been valuable to me, I might sill be a subscriber.

I would have appreciated a funny video, afterall I love wathing those on Twitter and Instagram. I wouldn’t have minded a beautiful landscape picture or even some wonderfully crafted lines from the author’s books.

Unfortunately, each message received seemed like an attempt to hit me over the head with a reminder to BUY A BOOK. This strategy didn’t work with me, sadly.

While I may be in the minority, it doesn’t hurt to take subscribers like myself into consideration. And if that’s too much work, the author can always strike people like me off their mailing list.

Honestly, I think it’s important to not just ask subscribers to buy your books, but also give them something of value in return. Don’t make subscribers feel like they are merely a means to an end.

Well, that’s the lesson learned about mailing lists today and I thought to share.

Any thoughts? Also check out my previous writing on Subcscriber lists here.

Oh and by the way, have you joined my mailing list? (Yes, I see the grand irony here, you don’t have to tell me, lol). It’s very easy (and I don’t spam subscribers, I swear), just click here to subscribe and you’ll be one of the first to know when The Pursual is available for sale.


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