|I get it. You’re busy. You’re not only working on a book, you’ve got a Facebook page, Twitter account, and you’re wondering how to make Snapchat work for you.
You don’t have time to add email to your platform building strategies. You might even think of email as old school. Even boring.
Is it really necessary?
Let’s look at three benefits of creating an email author newsletter and see if it’s the right next-step for you:
1. Email isn’t new and tantalizing.
Yep, this is a benefit. Not convinced? Hear me out on this.
While email became popular in the ‘90s and 2000s, it was actually invented back in 1971 (so it’s probably even older than you think!). Today, we take it for granted. It’s reliable, used by everyone, and a little boring.
And therein lies one of its great advantages.
It’s been around so long, no one is messing with it.
On the other hand, social media platforms are under constant innovation, including never-ending changes to the algorithms that determine how (and if) your posts are shared. Here are a few examples of changes through the years:
- In 2016 Facebook algorithms prioritized posts by family and friends rather than businesses (like authors)
- In 2017 Facebook algorithms prioritized posts that evoked reaction like “hearts” and “angry faces” over posts that only evoked “likes.”
- In 2018 Facebook algorithms prioritized posts with more comments.
- In 2019 Facebook algorithms prioritized video posts that keep people engaged for more than a minute.
In other words, you can spend a lot of time today building a following only to discover that tomorrow’s algorithms have changed how (and if) your followers are being reached.
That doesn’t mean you should ignore social media. It’s a great way to connect with new people. So keep it up.
Just augment your social media strategies with a reliable platform on which you can consistently deliver your message without fear of ever-changing algorithms lowering your reach. And that reliable platform is email.
2. Your email subscribers belong to you—not to Big Tech.
The following that you build on any social media platform is borrowed.
Read that last line again.
Without the cooperation of that platform, you have no way to reach out to even loyal fans who have been following you for years.
Algorithm changes are one danger, but there are other ways you can suddenly lose access to a group you’ve been growing for years.
Exhibit A: Last fall, someone in New York hacked into my Facebook account. Despite jumping through all their hoops to identify myself, Facebook locked me out.
After waiting six months for them to reinstate me, I’m taking matters into my own hands. Sometime this week, I’m going to open a new account–so don’t be surprised if I “friend” you. But my old account, with my 1,800 friends, took 12 years to curate.
In addition, there is a growing trend of social media platforms deprioritizing messages with which they don’t agree.
Again, social media is a great tool, but making it the only way you connect with people who appreciate what you have to say can be a big mistake.
With email, YOU control your email list (unless you break your email server’s rules–another post for another day).
3. Email subscribers are more committed to your message.
It doesn’t take a lot of commitment to follow a person or brand on social media. We can unfollow them at any time, hide their posts, or simply scroll past their messages in our newsfeed. In fact, thanks to those ever-changing algorithms, we’ll only see a fraction of their posts to begin with.
But when we give someone our email address, that’s a different story.
People who agree to join your email list are typically more interested in staying in touch than the folks who merely follow you on social media. Email subscribers may not open or read every email that you send, but they are interested enough in your message to welcome you into their inbox, and that’s kind of a big deal.
In other words, 100 email subscribers may be more valuable to you as an author than 1000 followers on social media.
If you’re looking for reliable and consistent access to your most committed readers and fans, consider building an email list and launching an email newsletter. It may be old school, but it remains a powerful tribe-building strategy that will serve you well.
So where do you start? I don’t recommend Gmail or Hotmail. You’re better off using an email service that specializes in mass emails. Some people use Mailchimp, but we’ve discovered that Aweber is more user-friendly. Quite often, their service is free to anyone who’s just beginning to build their email list.
The benefits of working with Illumify.
In case you didn’t know, at Illumify, we offer monthly training to our authors. Sometimes we discuss writing skills, but usually we equip you with strategies to promote and sell more books.
This summer, we plan on launching all of our training videos onto an online platform so our authors can access them any time they want.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you bring your book to life, let’s talk!