Friday, October 7, 2011

Connecting with Readers, Part 4: The Value of Email

I'm taking a break from hashtags this week to share a little about email and why I think it may be the best tool to reach your readers and build your writing platform.

Courtesy of
According to am August SmarterTools blog post on The Value of Email,  email is now "the most common unique identifier an individual possesses," even more so that social security numbers. Digital age indeed.

Why am I sharing this with you, a writer who wants to connect with readers to sell your books? Because the most powerful online resource you can have to market yourself is an active, genuine, ideally long email list. The SmarterTools blog will convince you that email blows all other online communications ships out of the water. Here's the link to the comparison chart so you can see for yourself the power of email.

When you look at the chart, you'll see that email traffic outweighs Facebook and Twitter activity by 99.8%. It outweighs pageviews by 75%. In other words: there's no contest. If you want to build your writer's platform, the best thing you can do is build a genuine, unique-to-you email contact list. If you can get your readers to sign up for an email newsletter or give their email address as a part of their login on your website, you will be ahead of the game.

First Contact by
Monsit Jangariyawong
Of course, you have to use email responsibly. You can't spam others, even by accident. (That's why you might want to use an email service like MailChimp.) Give people a way off the list (an unsubscribe option). Don't sell the list. Offer something of value when people give you their email, like a newsletter, a survey with results provided, or a contest.

True, you have to make "first contact" with your readers before you can get their emails. But if you plan for your "first contact" to include a request to stay in touch with those readers by email, then as I said earlier, you'll be ahead of the game.

What do you think? Do you have a plan to stay in contact with readers after you've made first contact? Share your thoughts here.

Next Friday: Back to more on finding those readers in the first place.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.


  1. Too many writers create blogs, but fail to leave a way for readers to contact them beyond that medium. Every writer should include an email address on their blogs. It's how my agent found me.

    Planning what to do after first contact is more important than many writers think. Good post!

  2. Great point, Isis! That's going to make me take a look at my own blog and figure out where to put an email address for readers to contact me. Thank you!

  3. Thank you for the insightful Blog, Chipper. It looks as though an email contact list can be compared with "Word of Mouth" advertising.

    I have an email contact list in my Cox accounts. I will be moving them onto my blog and adding a place for people to subscribe on my blog.

    Any more ideas on "First Contact" would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Great idea, Chipper. I have started a MailChimp account for compiling a list of subscribers by allowing them to "opt-in". This ensures that I have real people who are interested in my specific topics.

    Looking forward to more of your research.

  5. Thanks, M.E. I am glad to share what I know. And glad it's helpful to others like you. Thanks for stopping by the blog. :)


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