7 Types of Emails To Send to your Readers

In today’s edition of Authors Helping Authors, we’re chatting more about email … more specifically about the five types of emails you can (and should) be sending to your mailing list.

Don’t have a mailing list yet? Don’t worry. Everyone starts at the same place … zero. Check out this post that talks about list building strategies.

For many of us, myself included, we have a mailing list that goes underutilized. We’ll tap into it a couple of times a year when we need to let folks know that we’ve got a new book.

And that’s great and all … but we can be doing so much more. Here are seven types of emails that you can send to your readers …


katherineschmidt1. The on-boarding or welcome email series. 

What happens when a reader signs up for your mailing list? For starters, their information gets stored in your database and you likely thank them on a landing page. But then what? Should they sit idly waiting for you to have a release? No. Because there’s a chance that by the time you do get around to a release email, they will have forgotten they reached out to you in the first place. You need to email them NOW. They’ve just willingly asked for communication from you, so give them just that. An automated on-boarding or welcome series is just what you need. You can do a standalone email or a multi-touchpoint series, that introduces you, showcases your personality, and gives a little insight on your current projects. I have a three email series that boasts really high open rates — if you’re interested in checking it out, you can sign up for it here.

2. Book launch emails. 

It can be easy to get carried away when it comes to emails supporting your book launch, so make sure you have a strategy, plan ahead, and get those emails scheduled. For me, I like to think of my book launch emails as four separate touches:

  • Cover Reveal – This is exactly what you think it is … you’re sharing the cover, GoodReads link, Pre-order link (if applicable), a teaser or excerpt, and a little bit about the inspiration behind the story.
  • Countdown – Around 5 or 10 days out, I like to do a countdown post (assuming the cover reveal was done in advance). This email will include an exclusive excerpt that no one else has or possible the opening of the book. If you’re feeling really strategic, cut off the excerpt at a critical point and drive them to your website to read the rest. If you have a Facebook Pixel setup, you’ll be able to execute a re-targeting campaign during your launch.
  • Live Announcement – Obviously this will include all of the buy links, any giveaway information, highlight some influential editorial reviews, etc.
  • The Thank You – typically sent two to three weeks after the launch, you can share one or two of your favorite reviews and include a personalized, heartfelt note of thanks … which is so important, it begs it’s own call out …

3. Thank you emails.

One of my favorite things to do after a book launch is to thank my readers for their support. I am genuinely overwhelmed by my fans when they share news of the release, leave reviews, and support me that it feels wrong NOT to let them know how much I appreciate them. So for me, this is the most important email that I ever send because *I* am successful because of my readers.

4. Sales, freebie and giveaway emails. 

Running a sale? Having a killer giveaway? Is one of your titles FREE? This is newsworthy and you should let your readers know. Create urgency and synergy with your other platforms to keep your momentum going. With the ever-changing dynamics of social media, you cannot rely on Facebook or Twitter to make sure your audience receives your updates. In fact, recent brand studies have shown that less than 12% of your fanbase will see any one given update you make.

5. Exclusive content.

Reward your readers for signing up for your mailing list with exclusive content. Save that epilogue, just for them. Treat them to some bonus scenes that hit the cutting room floor. And to think, when done correctly all of these can be lead magnets to attract more readers to your mailing list.

6. Segmented emails. 

Segmenting your communications is one of the most brilliant and strategic things you can do with your email marketing. If you have one master list, learn how to segment out a specific subset of readers … like bloggers or exclusive audiobook listeners or Kobo users. When you segment a specific group out, you can tailor your messaging to become more relevant, and you’ll see increased engagement and open rates. You just need to think through HOW you want to segment and make sure to collect the correct data moving forward.

7. What’s new?

During that lull between book releases and sales, it’s good to check in once in a while and share what’s new in your world with your readers. Use it as an opportunity to gush over an amazing new author you discovered or an awesome new book idea you just had. But don’t just email them simply to email them. Make sure you’re bringing value. If it’s not the kind of content you’d want to receive from your favorite author, don’t send it.

Which leads us to the three things that you want to make sure every one of your emails communicates …

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Your emails to your readers should have three things:

Authenticity. Everything you do should be a reflection of you.

Purpose. Everything you do should have intent.

Relevant. Everything you do should have meaning for the recipient.


Did ya find this helpful? Check out the rest of the Authors Helping Authors series here on the blog or follow me on WordPress or this nifty Helpful Tools for Authors Pinterest board for the latest from my neck of the marketing woods!

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