The Beatitudes of E-mail Marketing for Your Book


After pulling countless all-nighters for email marketing campaigns at work, I’ve learned a thing or two about the subject.

While I’m certainly no expert, after launching several worldwide campaigns, I have a few things to share that can help you. But first the important question.

Why does it matter?

When I tell people I’ve been working on email marketing I frequently get shudders and eye rolls. “Email marketing? Isn’t that dead?” some protest. Or, “Boring. Who reads those anyway?”

Despite not being the most glamorous form of marketing, email marketing is vital. It’s no longer optional in today’s day and age. It’s one of the basics every author needs; almost as important as having an author website.

Check out Yes, E-mail Marketing Still Works for Book Marketing or Why Every Writer Need An Email List if you have doubts.

So let’s assume you’re convinced, or else too lazy to click the links, that email marketing is needed. What’s next? If you’re a one wo/man show, you don’t have countless hours or dollars to spend on emailing people.

This is where I can shed some light. Starting with…


Be timely

Don’t just email once you have a book release. If you wait that long, you’ve waited far too long and lost your opportunity. I’ve subscribed to a couple of emails like that. They’re not top of mind nor do they have any relationship with me. Don’t do that with your email marketing.

On the other hand, don’t spam your readership.Find out what a good cadence is for your readers and what works best for you then stick to it.


Be relevant

This is where being small is an advantage.

Working in a huge corporation and sending emails to thousands of people can make relevance a challenge. Not only do you have to be of interest to such a wide group of people simultaneously, but often times you’re far removed from the customer. It takes extra work to find out what matters to the people on your email list.

If you’re small, you probably know your customers pretty well or at least have a good idea what sort of things matter to them. Use this to your advantage!

One of the best cases I’ve seen of this is at my local gym. Each email I get is highly relevant to me. Even if I’m injured or too busy to go that month, I still open them because they’re always relevant and witty.

Which brings us to the next point…


Be interesting

I don’t know about you but I hate checking email. Especially emails that start with “Get 10% off on our holiday savings!” or “Hurry in now for our biggest sale”.

Enough! Delete.

The sad truth is, the majority of marketing emails get deleted without a second glance. The only way to stand out is to be interesting straight from the get go—in the title.

Don’t do this by being gimmicky or salesy. The number of people who like that? Zero.

Be authentic and true to your brand but put some grit into coming up with some knock out titles. The title of your email is the hook and if you can’t get someone to open your email, the rest of your hard work is in vain.


Be visual

This is probably the biggest thing I see overlooked in emails. Large companies like Nike and Starbucks get it right but local businesses and authors often don’t. You don’t need to be a graphic designer with amazing images to do this well.

There are plenty of free tools out there like Canva that can help with graphics. Or using pictures is a simple solution that works well.


Be actionable

Have a strong call to action.

Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t befuddle your reader. Don’t fill your email with so many things clamoring for attention they focus every which way except on the main point.

If you’re writing an email, you should have a reason for doing so. What is it you’re hoping to have your reader do?

Make it easy for your reader to know what you want them to do by making the call to action easily visible. If you want them to go to your website for instance, put that front and center of your email in large, bold print, maybe with some graphics around it. Don’t leave the reader guessing what you want them to do.


Be transparent

Add an unsubscribe link at the bottom of your emails. For authors, email marketing is about relationship building. A forced relationship is not a real one. Forcing people to continue receiving your emails by making it very difficult to unsubscribe is annoying.

Don’t be that person.

Add an unsubscribe option that is easy to find at the bottom of each email.



This is the short list of emailing best practices. Do you have positive or negative experiences with brands who have emailed you? Things that have worked for you? Share in the comments!




Candace signing off to go brave the evening traffic.

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