Expert Round-Up Topic: What strategies do you use to build your mailing list?How to Grow Your Email List with Lead Magnets


Create a lead magnet that excites and delights your ideal reader. It should be reasonably quick to consume, and genuinely useful. Focus on giving value to these people who don’t know you yet, and emphasize the benefits for them inside your free resource. Never simply say, “Sign up for my newsletter!”—that’s archaic, self-centered, and doesn’t put your reader first.

Mention your lead magnet inside your book, in your email footer, in strategic places on your website, when you’re interviewed, and whenever you guest post on another site. When you share a useful blog article you’ve written, make sure your lead magnet is visible there too. Pop-ups on your website still work, as long as you’re thoughtful and respectful with when and how often they appear.

Once someone joins your list, make sure you offer useful material in the majority of emails you send. Having people stay on your email list (and open your messages) is just as important as attracting them in the first place!

To accompany my book Indie With Ease I offer worksheets, checklists, and “swipe file” text from my own book marketing. My web design clients offer everything from guides and workbooks to printable quotes, mini courses, and free consultations.


Offer something valuable for free. Even if someone is interested in buying your book, they might not see the benefit in signing up for your email newsletter. To ensure that they do so, give them something of immediate value so as to incentivize the time it takes to enter their details. This is called your reader magnet.

As an author, your choice of reader magnet is up to you. Feel free to get creative: you may choose to send them a free copy of a previously published book, an audio downloadable, or perhaps a never-before-seen chapter from one of your best sellers. Just by giving away something of value, it answers the implicit question of What’s in it for me? that your audience
will no doubt have. This helps your audience develop a deeper awareness of your author platform regardless of their choice in making a purchase. As a result, you can build out your email list more organically—and with far less effort.


When developing a strategy to build your mailing list as a nonfiction author, please keep in mind that this is not a one-time process but requires diligence, commitment, and repeated interactions. Some statistics say that the average person receives seven emails before taking action.

Five tips I use to build my mailing list are 1) choosing a provider like MailChimp, Kartra, or Constant Contact for your email list. 2) Make sure you have an author website you will connect your mailing list provider to. 3) Have a lead magnet to entice viewers/readers to sign up. Often I offer a free template or information to encourage signup. You can also offer excerpts from your current or upcoming book. 4) Giveaways often breathe new life into your mailing list campaign. 5) Practice “lust building” for the desired list building. Don’t spam your mailing list but nurture.
Continuously engage and love on them.

If you follow these steps, you will be prepared for book launches, upcoming events, and audience feedback as long as you are consistent. You will build a group of fans with your mailing list that are waiting for your “next” and more than willing to come along for the ride. Happy mailing-list-building!


Nonfiction authors often struggle with how to cultivate a list of qualified subscribers. However, by using a variety of effective marketing techniques, you can significantly grow your list. One of the most effective ways to get people to sign up for your list is by offering a free ebook or other
valuable freebie in exchange for their email address. Additionally, you can offer a subscription to your newsletter or blog, or even a free consultation. However, one of the most common mistakes authors make when building their mailing lists is not providing enough value. If your subscribers don’t feel that your content is worth their time, they will be less likely to remain subscribed.

In order to maximize the success of your mailing list, it’s important to cultivate a relationship with your subscribers. This means providing them with valuable content on a regular basis. You can also send out occasional special offers and discounts to your subscribers. By using a variety of techniques, you can build a thriving mailing list that will help you sell more books.

Want to connect with fellow nonfiction writers? Join the Nonfiction Authors Association tribe! Subscribing members can participate in our members-only Facebook group, plus receive many other exciting benefits.