Emails That Sell Romance Novels & Create Stark Raving Loyal Readers - Part 3 of 3


Welcome to the final instalment of my three part blog series where we've been breaking down all things email marketing for romance writers. If you haven't caught parts one and two, you can find them here...and here. Today, we're talking about subject lines and content that converts. So, let's get right to it!

Subject Lines & Content Creation

When it comes to subject lines, really, truly, all you need to NOT do is to put something in there that is so generic that your reader scrolls on by. No more, May's news, Your VIP news, Holly's News, no more. Not gonna happen. We're writers people! We can do so much better! Stop reading right now, and swing on over to your inbox and I want you to look for two things.


First, is there an author who has landed inside your inbox? Like, your actual inbox, not your promo tab or spam folder, but right smack dab in the spot you check first? Okay, if you've found someone, take note of everything that lead that author to you, because it all started with their lead magnet (what you got in exchange for your email), their first email back to you after you opted in, and their subject line that made you open it, time and time again. I've got some fav's who land there for me and I'm hoping you do too. If not, find a brand that has landed there and think along the same lines. Doesn't matter that they're not authors, they've made the hurdle to land in your inbox, so that means they're delivering something you want, there's value in what they're offering inside their emails so that you actually click them open and sometimes, reply! This is email marketing magic!

The second thing I want you to do is to make a list of the things you'd love to see inside an email from your favourite author. This list? It's everything you're going to work on including inside your emails. Here's what my list looks like:

  • Pre-orders because I'm crazy forgetful.

  • Fun facts or videos of the author's life.

  • Favourite recipes.

  • What's happening on their IG feed, 'cause I'm obsessed with IG stories right now.

  • Video, video, video.

  • Blog content that interests me. Not about writing, but about their every day life, things they love, their fav recipes, websites etc. I love learning new things about people I admire and respect.


Okay, so that's my list. Go forth and create your own and then come back. Or better yet, drop a comment below with the things you'd love to see from your favourite author. Go on, I'm waiting. Do not come back here until you've done these two things! I'll be right here waiting, promise!

All set? Great! Now, how is this going to help? Here's what I take away from my list. For starters, the subject line. Here are some examples of subject lines I've used that convert:

  • Book + Main, My New Love Affair

  • IMO...The Most Romantic Place On Earth

  • What Do Wayfair, BookBub and Kristen Ashley Have In Common?

All of these have open rates above 35% AND click through rates above 25%. The click through rate is where I really find the magic happening. This is telling me that my content on the inside is valuable and interesting and just what my reader wants. Of course, before you even start, you really need to know who your reader is and what they love, inside and out, but that's a whole other blog post!

So now, what's the content that I have on the inside? I have travel videos (I set all my books in Ireland - so my readers already love the destination. I share private videos as well as tourism videos) in every other newsletter. I also have a book I'm highlighting and then depending on the time of year, a drink recipe, a link to my IG feed, my Book+Main feed etc. What I don't have? Other author's books UNLESS I've read them and love them and know they fit my audience. I also don't have a ton of buy links. I know my readers are Kobo and iBooks users, so I alternate between the two. I don't like giving readers a lot of options. I like to decide where they need to head next, so single buy links, alternated based on my needs inside each newsletter. 

Two final thoughts before I leave you to go forth and create incredible newsletters. Use emojis in your subject line. Studies are showing they can increase your open rate exponentially. I use them nearly all the time. They're super fun (and come on, if our readers aren't having fun with us, what's the point?) and they stop the scroll, which is what we all need to do these days.

My final thought is your frequency. Pick a frequency, I'm a fan of bi-weekly, and stick to it. Teach your readers to expect your valuable email once a month, twice a month, whatever. Just send it. Stay top of mind, because there's always someone else who will if you won't.

Oh, and final, final thought. I don't call my newsletter a newsletter if I can at all help it. Mine is called Romancing Ireland. Newsletter brings a pile of angst with it and I don't need to get past that if I can help it. See if you can come up with a new name to call your news. Leave it in the comments!

Happy Writing!

Holly, The Socialvert