Email lists – yes? no? maybe?

sad dunceAfter reading this post on Indies Unlimited, I started wondering whether I should start using email lists myself. The first question that popped into my head though was – ‘why bother’?

I already blog about all the important happenings in my life as a writer. Isn’t that enough? After all, if people aren’t interested in a particular event then how will sending them a generic email make a difference?

I know professional marketers would say that all marketing tools are important, and should be used, but… I personally don’t like receiving mailing list type notifications.

Rightly or wrongly, my online presence has evolved out of building relationships rather than marketing. Do I really want to risk alienating people I consider to be friends?

Then there is the issue of actually creating such an email list. I can do it, but it will take a lot of time and effort away from what I consider to be more important tasks – such as keeping up with my blog and getting book 2 finished.

I really am torn by this issue. My gut instinct is to say no, yet I also feel kind of guilty at not doing what I ‘should’ to market Vokhtah.

I think it’s time to get readers’ perspectives on the the question of email lists and marketing. How do you feel about it? Do you have enough junk in your inbox already?

cheers

Meeks

p.s. My interview with thebookcast.com is going live late tomorrow. I’ll do a quick post as soon as it’s up.

 

 

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

36 responses to “Email lists – yes? no? maybe?

  • Ilil Arbel

    Never in a million years would I send generic e-mails. Maybe it’s good marketing — but I don’t care if it is or isn’t. Much as I would love to sell books, there are limits to what level I would sink into.

    Like

    • acflory

      -grin- Your reaction doesn’t surprise me one little bit! I really couldn’t imagine you doing a hard sell of any kind. I guess the truth is I can’t imagine it for myself either. πŸ™‚

      I’ve really loved getting people’s reactions to this question. Not just because it gives me the confidence to go with my gut reaction but because it’s confirmation, in a way, that what I am doing is right for me and the people I want to reach. -hugs-

      Like

  • Carrie Rubin

    Honestly, I wouldn’t want emails of this nature. They would probably end up in my trash bin. On the other hand, if a blogger put up a widget allowing one to subscribe to his/her newsletter, then that is different. The person can decide for him/herself whether they want to sign up to receive the emails.

    Like

  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    I’m a solid ‘maybe’. I really think it depends on who is on that list and why, on what kind of relationship you have. I might use it only for those who have shown an interest in me and my work by having a presence on my blog via comments. Even then, it would not be a ‘buy my book’, rather a simple announcement of the launch with links to find out more.

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    • acflory

      -grin- I could probably live with maybe except I can’t really think of any occasion on which I’d really want it to be a yes. If I had a print version and could give copies away for free to selected readers that would be different. I think…

      Like

  • Colin

    I spent quite some time limiting the trash that gets into my public email-addys, and this kind of generic push mails would ruthlessly be considered just that. I have email subscription on my blog, but I suppose that means that people are sent info about the posts because they have chosen to receive that. The best way, imo, take it for what it’s worth because I have no experience in that sort of thing, is to market your book by being you. Marketing always seem to want to make a shallower, cleaner, non-messier version of writers. But if I’m interested in a writer, it’s because I’m interested in the person.

    I think John Scalszi and you keep a good balance. I think Scalczi’s and yours are better approaches than what is, in effect, spam emails.

    Like

    • acflory

      Thanks Colin. That was my gut reaction as well but I wasn’t sure whether that was just me disliking anything that felt like a ‘hard sell’ or just me being… old fashioned. πŸ˜‰

      Like

  • Christie Meierz

    On my Amazon author page, there is now a little link in the upper right hand area where you can sign up to be notified by Amazon when I publish something. To my mind, that’s better, since it’s entirely voluntary on the customer’s part.

    Like

  • lorddavidprosserDavid

    There’s only so much marketing you can do for any book if you want to leave time to write. To send such generic emails risks alienating those people who follow you by choice when their folders start to fill up with mail.I agree with Christie that people can follow by choice by signing up and twitter has the capacity to let people read your posts if they choose to. I’m on the NO side in this argument. xx Hugs xx

    Like

    • acflory

      Thanks David. πŸ™‚ Knowing how many emails your receive every day I couldn’t possibly add to your woes! I guess this is a case of treating others as you would have them treat you – and that clearly means no generic emails!

      Like

  • anneb54

    I’m on the ‘no’ side too. I have vaguely thought about it for my art. My main reason for not using it is — THERE IS ENOUGH TO DO!! I don’t want to get my head around another system/process etc. As well, it adds another layer of complication re privacy/security of the email addresses etc.

    But I guess the question before ‘Newsletter yes/no’ is how successful is your marketing at the moment? Do you feel that what you are doing is enough? Remember though, newsletters may not be the way to go even if the answer is ‘no’.

    Like

    • acflory

      Hmmm…. I feel as if I should be doing more in the way of marketing but… bottom line is I can only really do the things I’m comfortable with. I guess my philosophy on marketing is like my philosophy on food. I cook the tastiest, healthiest food I can. I put it all on the table and invite people to lunch. But I can’t and won’t force feed them!

      Like

  • metan

    Generic emails might be good for marketing but They go to people who already know about you! I think I would find them annoying.
    Go with your gut instinct I say! πŸ˜€

    Like

  • Kathryn Chastain Treat

    I read this article as well. I am on the fence. I sent an email to people I know recently with an update on how the book was coming. I do have an email contact list specifically for “the book”. I have also had some ask me to put them on an email list to notify them when the book is out.

    I have some contacts that I only have email addresses for and they will get an email when the book comes out and those that have an address will get a postcard.

    I feel that if I have a webpage (should be up in the next couple of weeks), a blog page, a facebook page (also up very soon) and maybe Twitter, then an email list is more than I can do.

    I think Lord David Prosser is right. There is only so much time you can devote to marketing if you want to do other writing or have some life outside of your writing.

    I am leaning toward not having such a list.

    Like

    • acflory

      I’m looking forward to seeing your webpage! I’ve had a domain name for well over a year now but haven’t known if it was worth paying to get a professional looking website created. I do sometimes miss not being able to sell directly off my blog though.

      I suspect that email mailing lists were probably really important back before the explosion of social media we have now. Outdated perhaps? And definitely a lot of extra work.

      Like

  • jorobinson176

    I’m another on the fence. I’ve signed up for Mailchimp though. I was thinking of offering a once monthly email newsletter to anyone who signs up for it – not just bombarding people with new books or anything like that – just excerpts from my upcoming, and generally just chatty bits and pieces. Any sort of hard sell that comes my way gets booted rather quickly, so it’s really just a thought right now. As far as “sign up to blog by email” – from a blog reader’s point of view, I think this is essential. Personally, I have yet to find the time to read all the blogs in my reader – but I read every one that pops up in my email notifications.

    Like

    • acflory

      Funny you should say that about email notifications. I had to turn most of mine off because I was literally losing mail from friends in all the daily digests. 😦 I now make myself read the Reader instead. That’s one reason I was so iffy about an email newsletter.

      Like

      • jorobinson176

        Well – if there’s one sure thing in my life, it’s that I always start with the wrong way first πŸ˜€ I’ve been trying to trawl through my reader now too, and you’re right about losing things on the email too – it happens to me all the time. 😦

        Like

  • Patricia Awapara

    I am a bit more open to the idea of creating a mailing list, but only for those that would like to register. On those monthly or quarterly emails, you may include articles, news, releases or a list of latest articles. Some people rather get emails than log in to a blog to follow.

    By the way, you don’t have to bombard them with sale pitches. You could also include articles of interest (written by someone else).

    It is just a thought…

    Like

    • acflory

      Oh. Now that was something I didn’t really think about. I’m just so used to everyone having a blog it never occurred to me there might be people who didn’t. For those people a newsletter would be valuable. Not sure I’d have the time or energy to create a worthwhile newsletter though. 😦

      Like

  • Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB)

    I’ve received lots of great and lots of horrible newsletters. There’s a fine line to walk, but I do believe mailing lists can be very powerful. I’m still working on perfecting my monthly newsletter, but I do aim to have value-added for those who sign-up for it, rather than just shouting over and over about what I’ve done. I also post links to the past month’s blog posts, which works well for some people who would rather not receive three emailed posts a week from me. The key though is that the receiver has signed-up to receive the newsletter. I got one the other day simply because I had taken part in a blog hop partly sponsored by an author…. Ummm no, that does not equate to wanting email from that person πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • acflory

      Yes, the issue of choice is critical. Plus an easy way to opt out. I’ve opted in for a couple of mailing lists and they were interesting for a while but now they just clutter up my inbox but I feel bad about unsubscribing.

      Like

  • EllaDee

    Although I elect to get WordPress post notifcations via email because I can see what’s there and read at leisure, deleting as I’m done with a post. I get lost in Reader, I would say no to E-newsletters. I think they are so yesterday. Blog posts seem more personal. WordPress offers a number of ways you can follow, publicise and link.

    Like

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