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Questions/Help Section > Building An E-Mail List and Landing Pages

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message 1: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1352 comments Mod
Hey Everyone,
One thing I have been hearing since I first became an author was how you should “Build an E-mail list” or “Build an Author Platform”. At first I didn’t really understand it and then after I found out more about it I felt it didn’t apply to me or that I couldn’t do it. For a while I kept coming across the idea and seeing others talk about it and insist it’s importance while I continued to brush it off. Recently I have found out even more about building an e-mail list such as how it works, what a person needs and how they can build and gain followers. There are several things I have come to realize that all authors need in order to build an e-mail list. I’m sure everyone knows of these or at least has a general idea of them but I would still like to go over them as I would like to share my findings and thoughts about them.

The first thing I realized is that building an e-mail list requires you to use an exterior mass e-mail site or app such as MailChimp. Call me crazy but I was always under the assumption that you could use your regular e-mail and that made me think it was time consuming and even an out of date practice. I guess we all have silly thoughts when we don’t know the first thing about something and don’t do our research. I have come to realize now that sites like MailChimp help with the e-mail list process and allow a person to message their followers and subscribers all at once. I decided to go with MailChimp because it’s the one site I’ve heard about most often and most recent so bare with me if you use another similar site. I have recently installed it for a second time(first time I was not ready and didn’t have anything planned out) and it’s been a bit of a stressful headache. It took me a while to get used to but I was able to create a profile and upload some members from my website along with others who have given me their e-mail because they requested I add them when I get a list started. So far so good right? Well..I had issues with the whole notification process and the place to which adds people to my list..a landing page. Which brings me to my next the topic.

A landing page. Up until a day or two ago I didn’t know what a landing page was. Sure I had seen them countless times on websites but never gave a thought as to what they were, how they worked or that they had their own name. A Landing page is a page on your site or a page that pops up when you click a link. It’s purpose is to get people to join your e-mail list and of course you should give something in exchange for their e-mail such as a free book or access to something. When I typed in what is a landing page it gave me a page that lists sites that allow you to create one, I went with the first one, Instapage. I had no problem making a landing page after I figured out how everything worked of course. My issues were well. hopefully questions everyone else has had. Where do I put my landing page? How do I set it up to connect people to my e-mail list? Where and how do I promot a landing page? Luckily MailChimp allowed me to sync my list and account to Instapage so anytime someone becomes a follower it adds them. I still have a bit of learning to do but I sent out my first mass e-mail to my followers and so far so good.

Another thing I have realized is that while building an e-mail list sounds intimidating, seems challenging and time consuming you have to at least try to build one because you need people who enjoy what you have to say, what your write and the work you put out. It’s hard enough putting out a work to everyone and then trying to promote and market it. A list of followers that you can e-mail allows you to have just that, a following. If these people are into your work then they are the first people you tell, they are the ones who will be interested and maybe even help spread the word about you and your work and build your list. I recently watched a webinar where this author went from having no sales and no followers to over 30,000 followers and an annual income so high that he was able to quit his day job. Now I’m not saying that this will happen for everyone but it should at least serve as a goal, as something to look at and make you realize that building an e-mail list not only works but isn’t all that bad if you really try and apply yourself. So why am I sharing all this with you? Because I want you to know that I’m trying it out, I am finally going to try and build an e-mail list, author platform or whatever you’d like to call it. I’m ready to try to expand my reach and hopefully gain a solid following and one thing I would love to hear is your thoughts and your experiences on the matter. God knows I’ve seen enough people talk about it already but now my eyes are wide open and I’m ready to try this out and I’d love to hear how building an e-mail list has worked for you or maybe how it hasn’t whatever your thoughts and experiences are I’d like to hear them.

Also for those who have a mailing list exactly how many e-mails/newsletters should you send out? You don’t want to come off as a spammer and if your not always busy some e-mails may be forced. I’m thinking maybe once or twice a month. Once normally or twice if it’s near the holidays and you want to be friendly or if you have some special occasion going on. Just wanted to get some thoughts on this as well.

message 2: by Longhare (new)

Longhare Content | 59 comments Justin, thanks for being the guinea pig. So, what's your strategy to get people to your landing page? I suppose you could just post a link here, but that doesn't feel like homework. Do you have a blog that you can post a link to, so that when we go there we hit the landing page? Or a newsletter? I'm assuming the basic "freebie" would be a blog or newsletter?

Please keep us posted.

message 3: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1352 comments Mod
Hey Longhare,
Thanks for the response. I'm not entirely sure about where to post the landing page link hence the reason I made this thread. I mean there's a few places I can post in general but at the same time I don't want to treat it like a book link and spam it everywhere. I've read that doing giveaways and Facebook ads may create some solid buzz and get a following going so I may try that.

I have a website and on it I replaced the website subscribe page with my new landing page so once you go to my site one of the first things you see it a place that will bring you to my landing page. My freebies are my first book, an unpublished poetry PDF and a Summary and Introduction to Opium Warfare which is my latest book. Like I said I am fairly new at this however now that I have a general idea of how to do it I have decided to be the guinea pig as you opened up with. I'd love to get some solid followers and if I do I'll definitely let you know. This takes time and is a process after all.

message 4: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1352 comments Mod
So I've now watched two webinars and both talk about landing pages and how they can be used, how they can benefit and help build an email list and how they should be a focus on Facebook ads.

So far I've had little success in getting my landing page noticed but that's primarily due to the fact I was tweaking it to critiques last week and I'm waiting to do a Facebook ad to enforce an attempt to get followers. I hope it goes well as I will use all the tricks and tips I learned while watching the webinars.

message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1352 comments Mod
I'd still love to get people's experience and thoughts on this.

message 6: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1352 comments Mod
I have the saddest email lists ever and the crazy thing is I have a ton of info on how o build them up but I just can't put it all together.

It's crunch time! Time to make this happen!

message 7: by Ember-Raine (new)

Ember-Raine Winters (ember-raine_winters) | 14 comments Mine is seriously sad I think I only have one subscriber! LOL! But, I am putting together an e-book to giveaway to subscribers and I am going to promote it at my facebook party next month so we shall see! Fingers crossed!

message 8: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1352 comments Mod
I just got over 400 new e-mail subscribers! I was part of a mass giveaway group on Facebook where if an author gave their book away they would gain followers. I am eager and hoping my new subscribers take to my e-mails and enjoy the free stuff I send them. Also hoping it pays off in getting sales!

message 9: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 1352 comments Mod
I'm down to like 350 and I've written them a few times lately but I've gotten no comments back or new members..bit of a drag.

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