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Email Marketing: "What do I put in my emails?"

How to create compelling content that sells

by Nick Stephenson in Email Marketing

I’ve had a LOT of questions recently about “What do I put in my emails?”, “How do I engage people?”, “How can I appeal to XYZ people???”

So, after 2+ years of analysing 500,000+ emails a month, I decided to write this article to dispel a few myths. Note – this is NOT one of those “497 ways to write great emails!” posts (they suck) – instead, I’ve got 4 basic principles and 4 specific actions you need to incorporate into everything you send out to your list of readers.

Starting with a little mythbustin’. The truth is… there is no magic recipe for “the perfect email”.

Everyone is looking for a “secret hack” or “magic bullet” they can use to make everything work. But the real secret is:

What matters is YOU.

If you aren’t getting the responses you expect from your email marketing ask yourself:

(1) am I being myself or am I trying to be something / someone else? Guess what… trying to be something you’re not will always end badly

(2) am I being “vanilla”? By which I mean “Am I trying so hard to please everyone I am being boring?” Happens all the time. Read 99.9% of newsletters. They are boring. They don’t get read. Don’t be that. Be you. You are awesome.

(3) why am I doing this? Ok so getting a little existential here… but I write 1,500 – 2,000 word emails and spend hours sending out free content because I LOVE to see authors making progress. I try to make that shine through. What “shines through” in your emails?

(4) am I showing the real me? Ok no prizes for guessing this but people aren’t perfect. Nobody wants to hear from that person… you are flawed, you are real, you are raw. People engage with that – make it part of who you are and shout it from the rooftops

The “real me” falls asleep on airplanes (no drool, thankfully)

With that being said, there are a few “good practice” rules to bear in mind whenever you send out emails to your list.

Subject lines

Ok, so it’s really easy to get caught up in the myth that there is some kind of “magic subject line” that’s going to get opened more than others… but that’s not quite the case.

The purpose of the subject line is really just to arouse curiosity. Enough that a reader is going to want to see what else you’ve got to say.

In that respect, a “good” subject line is one that arouses interest. So if you’re ever tempted to put “my newsletter” or “buy XYZ” into a subject line of an email, immediately go take a cold shower and slap yourself around the forehead a few times.

Newsflash: people don’t care about your newsletter. They don’t care that you’re selling something. You need to make your emails about what your readers want, not what’s important to you.

Here are a few examples of subject lines that have worked well for us:

  • Asking a question: “Are you this type of person?”, “Do you know anybody like this?”, “How many times have you done this…?”
  • The “Magic Formula”: “The Crow and Jug Principle”, “Punch the Monkey Marketing”, “Starving Artist Syndrome – and other nonsense”
  • Weird and wonderful: “On mad Italians and Speedboats”, “Don’t be a (Buridian’s) Ass”, “How to grow Potatoes on Mars”

Now, you can go out and find “97 effective subject lines” articles on Google all the live-long day, but the problem is… well, those subject lines worked for THAT audience.

What works for your audience might be different. And you can’t use the same tactics every time. For example – including a “weird and wonderful” subject line might get you record-breaking open rates the first time you use it, but it might fall off a cliff the second or third time.

So you need to mix it up a little.

Stick to the principles – create a subject line that (a) arouses interest, and (b) relates to the main content of your actual email.

Most email and CRM services can give you open-rate data, so make sure you experiment and TEST.

The Power of Stories

Okay, so you’re an author. Why is it you can write a full-length novel in less time than most people go between haircuts, but you get all worked up about writing emails?

It’s one of life’s little mysteries.

The bottom line: the purpose of your email is (a) to get a specific piece of information across, and (b) to do it in a way that compels THE RIGHT people to take action.

That’s about it.

Now, you’ll see countless articles on the interwebs from “experts” who’ll tell you crap like, “Make sure you’re in your readers’ inbox every single day!” or “Keep your emails super short and ask for the sale right away!” or “Don’t be afraid to be agressive!”.

Reading stuff like that makes me want to throw up a little.

Look. Writing emails to your readers is a very personal thing. Sure, you want to make sales, but that’s a short-term view. The most successful email marketers take care to build a relationship with their audience – build trust and rapport – before asking for the sale.

That’s the different between an author who enjoys an audience of raving fans and one who just ends up annoying everyone.

So take the time to establish a connection. One easy way to do this is through stories (hey, you’re an author – you know how to do this already).

Example – which of these examples do you think would be more likely to get a response:

I’ve just published a new book – it’s a psychological thriller about a killer who leaves Scarecrows outside his murder scenes and leads the cops down a trail of deception and lies… If you like Jo Nesbo, you’ll love this – a  fast-paced thriller packed with brutal action, with lots of twists and turns. It’s available right now on Amazon! Click here to buy it – you won’t be able to put it down!



When’s the last time you were so scared you couldn’t move? When I was a kid, maybe seven or eight years old, I remember waking up in the middle of the night and feeling that something was wrong… Like always, I called out for my mom, but this time she didn’t come. I think maybe she couldn’t hear me. I remember getting out of bed to go find her, but something caught my eye as I passed the window.

I peered out into the back yard (it was dark) and there was something moving out there. Something that hadn’t been there the day before.

A car drove past and the headlights lit up the lawn. I remember my skin prickling as I saw what was staring back at me… I remember trying to scream for my parents, but no sound came out.

We all laughed about it in the morning. My dad had put up the Halloween decorations a few days early, and his pride and joy had been a life-sized scarecrow (real straw and everything).

I laughed too. But I didn’t really find it funny. And ever since then, I’d always hesitate a little before looking out that window, especially at night. And that one moment – late at night over thirty years ago – left me wondering: “What if it hadn’t been my dad?”

That “What if” became the framework for my new novel – The Scarecrow.

“One night, just a week before Halloween, Joe wakes up to find his mother missing. Only one trace of her remains – a green jacket she always wore once the evenings started turning chilly – now worn by a scarecrow in the back yard that wasn’t there the other day…”

If you ever get a chill on a dark night, if you ever feel like someone might be watching, if you’ve ever wondered how much evil there is in the world, then you already know how this ends…

Find out more about The Scarecrow and buy your copy right here…

Ok, so the second example is longer. There’s no call to action until the end. But which one makes you more interested in finding out more?

Which one feels less “salesy”? Which one is more likely to build a connection with your readers?

Telling stories is one of the oldest ways people build connections with one another. We are, in fact, wired for story. While we struggle to remember a shopping list or a relative’s birthday, a good story sticks with us.

And incorporating stories into your emails is one of the most effective ways to stand out from the crowd and get noticed (and remembered).

So use them. You already know how.

Your Call to Action

Of course, all of this is for nothing if your readers don’t click your links. You’ve spent all that time coming up with compelling subject lines, crafting the perfect email copy, and formatting everything (then testing, testing, testing)… so don’t fall at the last hurdle.

You see, an individual person is smart. An individual person acts like a sentient being. A very clever one.

But people (as a group) are almost the exact opposite. Case in point – an individual person knows how to walk through a door. A crowd of 1,500 people trying to leave a shopping mall at the same time get all turned around and get stuck, confused, and frustrated. Chaos ensues.

Yes, a large group of people need clear instructions and an easy path to follow. And the same is true of your email list.

It’s not enough to hint at something. Or to give a subtle flavour of what’s expected…

You need to spell it out. In the simplest language possible. This also means you can’t be shy about asking for something.

If you want someone to buy something, say “Click here to buy now”. Don’t say “My book is available here if you think you might like a look (although you totally don’t have to)”…

If you want someone to leave a review, say “Click here to leave a review – I read every single one”, not “It’s important for authors to get reviews, here’s a link if you’d like to leave one”

Remember – if you’ve written an awesome book, it’s your duty to tell people about it. Otherwise you’re doing your readers a disservice. So now is not the time to be shy.


Why am I sending this?

Not all emails are promotional. Not all emails need to ask for a sale (in fact, over half of ours don’t mention sales or “buying stuff” at all).

The end result of your email marketing is, of course, getting more people to buy your books. But that doesn’t mean every email needs to be asking for a sale.

So, what’s the point of your email?

Building trust – the more people who trust you (and like you) the more people will buy from you. If you’re not running a promotion, it’s still important to be in your readers’ inboxes – at least once every 2 weeks.

Before you ask for a sale, and in-between promotions, it’s important to keep your audience engaged, interested, and – yes – actually enjoying hearing from you.

An easy way to do this is… just start a conversation.

As above, use stories to draw readers in. Something as simple as “Here’s what I’ve been up to this month” coupled with a question like “What’s the #1 thing you’ve done this month that you’re proud of? Reply to this email and let me know. I read every message.” is enough to get people thinking (and replying to you).

Or, talk about the work you’re doing on your next book. Share behind-the-scenes photos and videos. Start a private book community on Facebook to share your favourite titles. Offer book recommendations of your own. Ask for replies, comments, and feedback.

It’s entirely up to you. Use your imagination. But remember – it’s important to keep your readers happy. And that means taking the time to get to know them, start a conversation. And when the time is right, the sales will come much easier.

The Prelaunch: got a book launch or promotion coming up? It’s important to build buzz and anticipation first.

We tested this approach – and found that our sales more than doubled when we took the time to run a “prelaunch” series of emails before launching a book (or promoting an old book).

Some things you can include during a pre-launch (usually the week before you ask for the sale) could be: cover reveals, sample chapters, character histories, excerpts of reviews, videos, behind-the-scenes photos, deleted scenes… pretty much anything you can think of.

The purpose of this pre-launch phase is to get people excited. You need to pre-emptively break down your readers’ barriers (those pesky things that stop people reaching for their credit cards) and get them all wound up and eager to buy.

That means – share your “trust markers” (reviews, pro covers, press mentions, chart history, bestseller status), give sneak previews and samples, and, most importantly, give readers a reason to buy NOW – instead of letting them procrastinate (launch bonuses, limited time price discounts, you name it).

The good news = you’re not selling a $2,000 coaching package. You’re likely selling a book that costs less than $10. So you don’t need to go overboard with weeks of content and complicated funnels.

All you need is a few emails (2 or 3) to lead up to your launch or promotion to remind readers who you are, why you’re awesome, and the benefits of buying NOW – rather than waiting around (and eventually forgetting).

The launch: Okay, so this is where you ask for the sale. But the good news is – you’ve already done all the hard work during the “building trust” and “pre-launch” phases.

Now all you need to do is (a) repeat what you’ve already said, and (b) ask for the sale in a clear and concise manner.

That means – repeat why readers will love your book. Repeat your launch or promotion offer. Repeat the deadline.

Then say: “buy [insert name of book] now at these stores: [links]”

All the hard work is already done by this point – so make sure you don’t fall at the last hurdle.

Other types of emails: in addition to “building trust”, running pre-launch or launch emails, you might also:

  • Ask for reviews
  • Run cross promotions with other authors (to build an email list or get sales)
  • Send out Advance Review Copies (ARCs) to Launch Team reviewers
  • Run competitions, giveaways, or contests (eg Viral contests that get shared = grow your email list)

And a whole host of others (these are the main ones). But, above all, remember the principles: find your “voice”, be authentic, tell stories, create intriguing subject lines, include a strong call to action, and – perhaps most importantly – remember why you’re emailing in the first place.

Now it’s your turn… What do you struggle with most when you send emails to your list? Leave a comment below – I read every single one.

  1. Julia says:

    Thanks Nick, great advice.

    I write in widely different genres, so presumably that will mean having ‘lists’ rather than ‘a list’. Do you have any strategies for handling multiple lists? Thanks

    1. Nick Stephenson says:

      It depends on how related your genres are – if they are “widely different” then basically you’ll have to have completely separate marketing messages for each (lots of work). Some of it may cross over, but imagine you are dealing with multiple businesses – eg you are Apple, Uber, Wal-Mart, and Hershey. How much is going to cross over there? Not much. This is one of the reasons I recommend authors focus on one genre at a time, build up automation (eg – automated emails that go out when someone joins), then move onto other genres / businesses once the first one has picked up steam.

    2. Keith Attewell. says:

      Dear Nick thank you for another very helpful mail. I just need your advice. A friend of mine is an established and earns a lot of his income doing work through UPWORK, when he needs quick money. I have tried to register with them but when I try to enter my Bio it is not saved. Is there somewhere else I can approach to do the same type of work and get paid for it? Also can you send me a mail on setting up an inexpensive blog and website? Many thanks. Kind regards,

    3. Sheila says:

      I find your article very interesting. I have a twitter account and have been trying to engage my audience before fully introducing my book. Twitter allows limited space for text although I have heard that an increase will soon be introduced. Is Twitter a good connection for my potential audience?

  2. Amy Waeschle says:

    Hi Nick, I love your emails, they always are refreshingly funny and genuine. Thank you. I struggle with who I’m writing to. I write about 1) surfing, 2) travel, and 3) adventures with kids. My ideal audience are surfer & adventurous moms–that may seem narrow but it’s truly my tribe. Travelers are also a target but there’s a wide range of travelers out there and almost all of my adventures these days are with my kids. So I wonder if I post something about travel, will I turn off the surfer moms? Or when I write a post via my surfer mom “lens”, will the young male surfers get turned off. I guess, like you said, you can’t please everyone, but I do have valuable content for all three of these groups. Is it okay to trade off content in order to try to speak to them or should I hone in on one group? My next two books will be surf themed, but they will both have a family/parent-child element too, and are set in exotic locales. I hope this dilemma isn’t too off-topic. Thanks

    1. Nick Stephenson says:

      Until you have 100k+ people on your list, don’t worry too much about segmenting to that level. Surfing + travel + kids gives you a decent audience, that’s narrow enough to be super-relevant but not so narrow there’s nobody out there…

      Surfing moms? Covered.
      Surfing dads? Covered
      Traveling surfers? Covered
      Non traveling surfers? Covered
      Adventurous people? Covered.

      Stick to your core message – it sounds like there’s enough in there to serve your audience well and plenty of interesting stuff for all those groups you mentioned.

      Big plus – when you can narrow down fiction like that it sells like gangbusters. Think “prepper fiction” vs “apocalypse fiction”. The former appeals much more to the target audience because it’s specific to them (eg – exotic / adventurous / surfing fiction = awesome niche).

  3. Joe says:

    Hi Nick. Perfect timing. And I just saved the podcast with Sterling and Stone. Time to put my mailing list to work. Thanks!

  4. Nasreen says:

    I like it. Ive just launched my book and am syruggling to market it but with these guidelines Im going to take a fresh approach. Thanks

  5. Shirley Wine says:

    Awesome Nick … you are so correct writing a book is easy when compared to writing an engaging email.
    It all boils down to writing an old fashioned newsy letter, but I guess that’s a dying art. Perhaps if writers re-invented the letter in email form it would work better,

  6. Doug says:

    One of my best emails for engaging my thriller readers asked them to Help me solve the mystery. I explained how I read a book as a youngster, wrote the author and he wrote me back, but I couldn’t remember the book or the author. I told them the year I read it, what I remembered about the story… Lots of engaged readers and replies, but the mystery continues. Until I ask them to help me again next year.

    1. Nick Stephenson says:

      Love that! Almost a “choose your own adventure” or “murder mystery evening” style event. Perfect!

  7. C T Mitchell says:

    Another great email Nick. We speak a similar language – goofiness. I’m a little more lazy as my emails aren’t as long.

    My emails are a mix of ‘let’s talk about you’ or come over to my blog. I get great open rates but with your tips today I can do better.

    I’ll be more diligent in the future and read more of your emails. Good job!

  8. Frank Daley says:

    Good advice, Nick.Thanks.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for the photo of you on the plane – sharing personal stuff is what I find the hardest.

  10. Amanda Russ says:

    Wow… this is a lot of information! Thank you. I have a few people on my email list and I need to remember to keep communicating with them. I also struggle with getting people on the list.

  11. Grace Harper says:

    As ever, great advice and direction.
    I struggle with ‘how many emails a month is right for my type of readers’.
    How many times do my readers and potential readers want to hear from me a month/year?

    I know, I could ask them.

    1. Nick Stephenson says:

      On the right track… although don’t necessarily ask (people actually have no idea what they want).

      What’s better is you just try different frequencies and keep your eye on your stats. I’ve found – for my audience – I can email every single day and get exactly the same responses as I would if I emailed once a week or less. So it makes sense (for me) to email more often (more total clicks).

      Try out a few things and see what happens. But twice a month is the minimum I’d recommend.

  12. Chris says:

    Nick, I don’t write novels quickly. I take a lot of time to make sure they’re structurally sound, cohesive, and well-written. (In fact, I have just this morning received a marked-up copy of my latest from my best critiquer, full of good suggestions and hours of work.) The point is, that’s a long time to be sending e-mails, with little to say. Progress is slow, and it will usually be months before I come up with a title or a cover. Two e-mails a week will not only slow that process down, but I don’t know what to say. Readers aren’t intrested in my edits and revisions, and my life is pretty boring (which is why i escape into stories). All this information is helpful, but I’m not sure whether i should stretch the frequency of my e-mails out further or find some other way to fill those long weeks with nothing happening…

  13. Sarah says:

    I recently joined Instafreebie and have been growing my list (quite quickly..nearly tripled in size in a month) but I write several genres under the same name. And I’m unsure who has come to me based on what book. Additionally, I’m a bit of a slow writer so sharing new content is a little difficult. So, I guess I struggle with giving the people the content they’re more interested in, while keeping them engaged with new material (i.e. my next novel likely won’t be out til November/December 2018 at the earliest).


  14. olga segal says:

    I worry that I’m spamming my subs if I email them more than once per month. Also, I’m not good at revealing stuff about me. Loved the pic of you sleeping on the plane. It’s real. I don’t want to post pics of myself.

    1. Nick Stephenson says:

      “I worry that I’m spamming my subs if I email them more than once per month.” what’s special about a month? It’s a fairly arbitrary time measure (why not 2 months? A quarter? 2 weeks?) – the only way to know for sure is to test assumptions (for example, our unsubscribe rate is exactly the same whether we email daily, weekly, or monthly – so for us, there isn’t a frequency issue).

  15. Courtney Walsh says:

    I struggle with sending out an email that doesn’t have a freebie attached to it. So if I don’t have time to add a freebie, I end up not sending out the newsletter. I also struggle with thoughts like “nobody wants to read a big long email from me! I have to be super short and sweet….” Also…(I struggle a lot apparently)…no idea how often to send!!

  16. Jane Ann McLachlan says:

    This is all great advice Nick, and you really walk the talk. I enjoy receiving your email because they are so personal. That series leading up to your wedding was fun and I really felt I was part of your life, though of course I am not. But when I try making jokes or being more personal, it really flops. It is a real skill, and not something one can copy, however easy you make it seem.
    Nevertheless, this advice is sound and I will follow what I can of it, like the subject lines and maybe, occasionally, telling a story.

  17. Lila Diller says:

    My question about emailing is which call to action to focus on. I’m getting ok open rates, but terrible click rates. Most of my emails are weekly announcements for my blog posts, and I end with the question I ask at the end of each post. But I rarely get any comments or even clicks to read the rest of the post. 😥
    Thanks for some of these great tips. 😄

  18. Phillip Bryant says:

    Thanks Nick for the write up; I try to be personal in my emails but the story and the call to action for anything I might want them to follow through on are good reminders that I’ve got some adjusting to do in my presentations, both regular and auto responder emails.

  19. Tracy says:

    I look forward to your emails because of the engaging ‘entertainment’ factor. I think my biggest issue is the ‘vanilla’ factor but I ddon’t want to try too hard to entertain because that wouldn’t be authentic. I have close to 500 people on my lust but the click rate isn’t that great.

    1. Tracy says:

      List not lust! Argh

  20. Elizabeth Bailey says:

    My problem is the plethora of unsubs every time I email pretty well. I’m using a lot of giveaways and cross-promos to build the list, so I’m hoping it’s just the freebie seekers going elsewhere! I’ve found a couple of styles now that engage and when I get a few emails back I know I’ve hit the spot. It’s a bit trial and error but as you suggest, I’m trying to be “me” as much as possible.

  21. Icy Sedgwick says:

    I always try to write my emails as if I’m writing to one of my friends (who’s also a fan of my writing and on my email list anyway). I like going for that ‘chatty, personal’ vibe, instead of the Argos catalogue look so many authors send. I also make sure I send an exclusive free flash fiction every month, along with either links to book promos or stuff I’m reading and recommend. I always look at it from the point of view of ‘what is the reader getting out of this?’ What I’d like to do is get more actual replies (saying ‘Reply and let me know…’ isn’t working) but I’ve noticed a definite difference in open rates based on my subject lines.

  22. juanjo says:

    YouTube emails are like gold or better bitcoin a for me, Nick , greate place to visit Tenerife , im from spain ,i like your work man , sorry for me english !

  23. juanjo says:

    Sorry Your emails !

  24. Nina Hobson says:

    I have really been struggling with my emails. I get absolutely NO response from my readers when I send them out however, they’re eating up my free books judging by the uptick in my email subscribers. Thank you for this information, Nick. Where before I was dreading sending them out, I’m eagerly looking forward to it now.

  25. Cheynne Edmonston says:

    Another class email Nick and very timely, once again. Hooge thanks. Cheynne

  26. Robin says:

    Your ideas on what to put into an email are great, but my trouble is figuring out how to capture readers in the first place when I have no money to do ads etc. So I went over and looked at mailchimp and froze up….what do I put into the copy in order to GET subscribers in the first place? And then I went onto twitter, but had no idea what to tweet. Same problem. Some of the stuff you put in here will help with that too. Thank you

  27. Deborah Jay says:

    Thanks for this Nick, it made me focus on what was missing from my mailings – namely, me!
    I used to only send when I had a new release, but that might mean many months between mailings, so I started sending out more frequently with info about freebies and competitions. I still didn’t put anything in about me, though – duh.
    I just sent out a mailing tonight and I’ve tried to rectify that a bit, so here’s hoping I might get a more engaged following soon!

  28. Linda ODea says:

    I love this blog post and the info is very helpful. I’ve found that when I either ask for help/opinions on blurbs, covers, etc or talk about my life, I get the best responses from my readers.
    I once promoted someone else’s book by talking about the crazy things my cat used to do. This other author’s book had a demonic cat in it, so it fit. He got over 1100 clicks to his amazon page. That’s the best click rate I’ve ever seen in my emails. I think I may need to talk about my critters more. 🙂

    My problem is I hate getting emails so I assume everyone hates getting them too. So far, I’ve never sent out more than two a month even during launch week and I’m sure that’s hurting my sales. I need to get better with this stuff. ): I’m working on that.

  29. Howie says:

    Thanks Nick.
    I am a bit like Chris and Sarah – so with second novel. So what to say in the interim is a problem. Also very small list – so list building also needed.

  30. KC Herbel says:

    Really terrific information, Nick!
    You’re the best.
    Thanks for helping me get my head on straight again.

  31. Melinda says:

    Thank you for messaging me about this article. I wish I’d had this as a reference when I started my list. I had no idea what to put in my weekly newsletter then, so I let my characters take it over. Each newsletter is a hilarious romp chronicling their quest to get their next book out. It’s great fun and very popular. (I respond to every reply in character.) It’s not “me” per se though I do make guest appearances, but it does keep my characters at the top of readers’ minds. So as long as I and my readers are enjoying it, I guess that’s all that matters. I am being authentic in my own creative way.

  32. Tracey says:

    Excellent, I’ve just re written my next email and feel so much better about it. Warts and all. Thanks Nick!

  33. Lucy Appadoo says:

    Hi Nick, just wondering how I can keep my review team interested in reviewing my books. I started off with about 60 subscribers then only about 8 reviewed my book, then it went down to 1 or two reviews. I have about 11 on my review team but most of them haven’t reviewed for a long time. Help!

  34. Alexandra McGee says:

    Thanks Nick,
    Are the email lists from a blog or website?

  35. Alex says:

    Thanks Nick,
    Is the email list generated by a blog post?

  36. Karina says:

    Hey Nick
    What’s the adv open and click rate. I currently have 1000 subs.
    I know unscribes are normal but how many are the adv.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  37. Suzana says:

    Perhaps I would have a lot to say, this job that has occupied me and the numerous e-mail inbox is for me something new, fast and special, and I need to get involved in it. My struggle for success lasts for years, but not as much as now. I’ve always had the opposite sex audiences in my email, a lot of foreigners

  38. Caroline Clemmons says:

    Perfect timing for me, Nick. I had just sat down to read my email before writing my newsletter. Thanks for the help!

  39. Deb McEwan says:

    Brill article with loads to think about and great advice. Thanks Nick.

  40. Reba Stanley says:

    Hi Nick, thanks for your help. I took your advice and sent out a newsletter to my readers for the book I’ve just published. I sent one out each month for about 6 months leading up to my book launch. Some readers got it, most didn’t. someone said it was going in their spam folder or something, How do I get the readers to actually get, look for or get the email out of their spam folder? To be honest, it was a lot of time and effort for very little results.

  41. Beth Lord says:

    It’s a great sign that I haven’t unsubscribed from you and that I read your words. I appreciate the fact that YOU ARE being yourself and YOU ARE building trust.
    So my question? How do you get people to sign up for your newsletter and build a tribe? I bought mailing lists and people are opening them as well as people unsubscribing too. Finally, the blog and newsletter are becoming my style – me.

    I am an editor to peoples’ recorded thoughts and feelings and turn their words, their stories into thin-easy-to read books. This is a slow process because people don’t validate themselves but with the different products I offer, I am slowly getting results and people think it’s a great idea.

    I’ve written several books myself and haven’t put them on Amazon or Kindle. Would you advise putting my books up there to attract people? Would you also advise putting books I’ve written up there too? They’re also on my community page.

    What are your thoughts?

  42. Tricia Van Buiten says:

    Thank you Nick. I have learned so much from your emails. I’ve never been big on checking email everyday-in the past I was lucky if I checked it twice a month-but now I find myself looking two times a day to see if you have sent a new email. They are interesting, informative, entertaining and funny. I have already written my first book and I have been one of the authors you talk about that put the book out there and sit back and wait for sales. Well, no more. I have taken your advice and I’m finding an email service (I’m having difficulties 🙁 with mailchimp) and started to formulate my informative series about the struggles of caring for your parents and trying to raise a family. I couldn’t have done it without you.
    Thank you and keep the emails coming.

    1. Nick Stephenson says:

      Thank you, Tricia!

  43. Taha Aziz says:

    Wow! Tremendous insight, thanks Nick!

    Something I do struggle with is generating that hype you talk about with a pre-lauch. Most recently, I launched a contest that I thought would be really enticing for our target audience. Do you have any templates or advice on how to talk to the email subscribers when sending out those 2 or 3 emails?

    P.S. feel free to check out the case study I wrote about it! –

  44. Taha Aziz says:

    Wow! Tremendous insight, thanks Nick!

    Something I do struggle with is generating that hype you talk about with a pre-lauch. Most recently, I launched a contest that I thought would be really enticing for our target audience. Do you have any templates or advice on how to talk to the email subscribers when sending out those 2 or 3 emails?

    P.S. feel free to check out the case study I wrote about it! –

  45. John Waaser says:

    I just discovered I have picked up 4 emails on my “other” website–the one for the nom-de-plume under which I sell erotic paranormal romances, ofor which i hAve gI’ve away well overy a thousand, with almost no sales. And I have two on my non-fiction website, where one of my books is starting to take off, to the tune of about $30 a month in royalties, so far this month, that would be 5 paperbacks and 4 eBooks. Can I really start sending a newsletter with these low numbers? Website at

  46. John Waaser says:

    I just discovered I have picked up 4 emails on my “other” website–the one for the nom-de-plume under which I sell erotic paranormal romances, ofor which i hAve gI’ve away well overy a thousand, with almost no sales. And I have two on my non-fiction website, where one of my books is starting to take off, to the tune of about $30 a month in royalties, so far this month, that would be 5 paperbacks and 4 eBooks. Can I really start sending a newsletter with these low numbers? Website at

  47. jeff says:

    Hi nick
    Check out my
    For a free download of my memoir

    My South African book a family business and my life story

    Love your work
    Jeff Berzack

  48. jeff says:

    Hi nick
    Check out my
    For a free download of my memoir

    My South African book a family business and my life story

    Love your work
    Jeff Berzack

  49. Raheemah says:

    Well done, Nick. You’re doing a great job. Your way with words are genuinely funny. You also bring on board loads of tips for your readers. 👍

  50. Raheemah says:

    Well done, Nick. You’re doing a great job. Your way with words are genuinely funny. You also bring on board loads of tips for your readers. 👍

    1. Wow! Tells all. Thank you, Nick.

  51. Mary Smith says:

    Very well reasoned article on insights of email marketing.
    Interesting article! Thank you

  52. Mary Smith says:

    Very well reasoned article on insights of email marketing.
    Interesting article! Thank you

  53. Ella Hayes says:

    Hi dear, I am Ella Hayes . Email marketing is a powerful way to turn leads into customers and customers into loyal brand evangelists. This seems to me the right definition of Email Marketing. Thanks for sharing this very helpful article. I do hope it will help me a lot. For good ROI, Email marketing is so powerful digital marketing strategy. For this reason, I love email marketing very much. I think Investing in email marketing is sure worth it — as long as every digital marketer should do it right.

  54. Viktor says:

    Really useful, practical advice! Thanks a lot!

  55. loisgpowell says:

    Hi Nick,
    I’m launching my second book and am trying to start and build my email list. this has been more helpful for me than words can express. I’ve been trying to figure out what to put in my first email. Thank you so much. I’m glad I’m part of your email list to receive them with this wealth of information.

  56. Ankit Singh says:

    Thank you so much for writing this detailed article, I never thought I could get these many stats at one place:)

  57. Ankit Singh says:

    Thank you so much for writing this wonderful article, lots of learnings for me.

  58. Inka says:

    This is great info, but I can’t find your email sign up button. I came by a few months ago, became frustrated and left, but your name came up again, and I really want to sign up. I’ve found video training, webinars, guides, sign up for Messenger, etc, but no newsletter sign up. Could you point me in the right direction? Thanks.

  59. mona embroidery says:

    Im literally thankful to you for Mona Embroidery’s email marketing strategy, where we keep upgrading the strategies. Check out the ladies dresses aswell as children frocks where the class, standard and vibe matches by wearing Luxury Pret

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