Monday, March 22, 2021

#IWSG - Engage Readers with Your Emails by Author Amy Lamont!

  Engage Readers with Your Emails

I feel the need to preface this with one of those “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV”-type disclaimers. I’m not a marketing expert, and I don’t have an enormous audience. What I do have is an engaged audience of readers. I have a small, but mighty, audience of avid readers who are happy to one-click my books every time I have a new release. This holds true if I release a book every month or if I go much longer between publishing new books. Last year I had a serious illness--no worries, I’m perfectly healthy now! But, it kept me from connecting with my readers for close to a year. Because I spent the time building relationships with my readers, they’ve literally stuck with me in sickness and in health. Here’s how I managed to grow such a loyal readership:

1.      Realize less is more when it comes to sales pitches.
Our readers definitely want to hear from us when we have a cover reveal or new release, but if the only thing they ever hear from you is,“buy my book,” chances are they won’t be sticking around too long. This is especially true if you only have one or two titles for sale. I don’t know about you guys, but if I get an email trying to sell me the same product every week for a year, it’s likely I’ve already purchased it if I’m interested, and if not, I’m probably going to unsubscribe from that list.

2.      Keep in touch regularly.
Yes, for a while there I was MIA, but when I first started my mailing list, I sent emails regularly, at least once each month, even when I didn’t have a new book to share. Now I try to send out a newsletter once each week. Emphasis on try. Keeping your readers engaged means when life happens and you disappear for a while, readers will be excited to hear from you again rather than wondering who the heck you are when you show up in their inbox.

3.      Get personal.
I’m not sharing every intimate detail of my life, but I do share funny stories about myself and my family. Guys, we’re first and foremost storytellers. Telling our personal stories is a great way to get readers to relate to us while also being engaged by our writing. Recently, I wanted to share news with my readers about a series of bear shifter romances I wrote several years ago. I didn’t just jump right into my book news. Instead, I started off with a story about my mom’s fear of bears and how since we moved to a town where it’s not uncommon to run into a bear on your daily walk, she’s started marking off the bears’ hibernation schedule on her calendar. Every April 15th, I wait for the text from my mom letting me know it’s safe to go outside again. So many of my readers hit reply to that email to tell me my story made them laugh. The same readers that took the time to respond to that email are more likely to open my next email whether I have a new book to sell or not.

4.      Keep emails short and simple.
Don’t fill your emails with tons of graphics or ginormous chunks of text. You want your readers to think of your emails like they’re emails from a friend. It helps to make them look that way. Use plain text rather than a super fancy template, and don’t go overboard with the photos you use. Short and sweet makes it more likely your readers will read your emails, and keeping it simple makes your messages feel more intimate, like an email or text from someone you like and look forward to hearing from.

5.      Encourage engagement.
This is an easy one. Let your readers know you want to get to know them, too,  and get them involved in your writing process. There are a bunch of ways you can do this. Use a poll to ask them about anything from the genre they read most often to their favorite flavor of ice cream. Ask them to help you name a character, business, or dog in your next book. Ask them to hit reply and tell you about the weather where they live, what book they’re reading right now, or what show they just binge watched. Just don’t forget to respond to their emails. Relationships are a two way street!

 Hope you guys found this helpful! If you want to chat more about writing emails that engage your readers, you can email me at or Find me on Facebook, Instagram or Sign Up for My Emails.

Amy Lamont writes contemporary and paranormal romances. She’s currently working on a witchy billionaire romance series filled with magic and some four-letter words while drinking too much coffee and snuggling with Toby, her geriatric hound dog.


nashvillecats2 said...

Most interesting to read, an excellent way to engage in follwers.


Heather M. Gardner said...

Thank you for sharing with us today, Amy!

We appreciate your time!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't have a newsletter and I'm rather private, but I do engage often. Thanks for the tips and reminders.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

In this day and age, readers want to be able to connect with authors they like and these are great ways to do it.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I decided to do at least a monthly email, but I am always talking myself out of doing it if I can't come up with something newsworthy. But you're right- I should be making contact between "buy me" emails. As a reader, those offend me too.

I signed up for your newsletter so my learning can continue.

Thanks for such a helpful post!

Juneta key said...

Great post. I am starting to work on my reader engagement and trying to a once a month newsletter. Thanks for the insight and tips.

cleemckenzie said...

Thanks for the easy-to-follow and easy-to-do list. Those are always very helpful. I've taken a break from a lot of my social media for a while just to re-tool, but I'll refer to your post when I'm ready to jump back in.

Pat Hatt said...

Engagement sure is key. That and not ramming a sales pitch down one's throat ever other sentence lol

Jemi Fraser said...

Great advice! I'm at the early end on the learning curve on emails - these tips are great!

Michelle Wallace said...

Thank you for such a helpful post.
So my take away is this - a short, simple, intimate (but not too personal) e-mail which may include, amongst other things, a cover reveal/photo/interesting poll. Does sound do-able.
Moving forward, I really need to think about this.
I've read so much about the value of engaging with readers via email.