Subject Lines Save Bottom Lines: Building a Better Newsletter to Grow Your Author Business with Holly Mortimer

by Allison Hannah

Holly Mortimer ‘Zoomed’ in from Stratford on October 18th to present a workshop called Subject Lines Save Bottom Lines: Building a Better Newsletter to Grow Your Author Business. I attended in order to moderate the session, excited to spend the afternoon with writerly friends, though almost certain the content was not applicable to me. I planned to cheer the authors on and was hopeful they would benefit from Holly’s tips to increase their book sales.

A self-published women’s romance author, a mom and a ‘believer in the happily ever after,’ Holly is the owner of the consulting firm, The Socialvert, and runs a successful membership base for romance writers, The Socialvert Society. She has had a high level of success with email marketing and a good return on investment. She coaches authors and others to set up email marketing systems that work for them — literally work for them — so they can be working on their next bestseller, while pre-scheduled newsletters are delivered with content prepared a month in advance. 

It took only a few minutes for Holly to get us excited about the world of email marketing. When her readers and fans open the email newsletters, they are led to her social media pages and website. Once there, she engages them in conversations about what she is writing and what she is doing when she is not writing. They can sample her books, buy her books, and buy her book series. There is no need for a hard sell, because these are her people.

Holly put our worries to rest. What if someone unsubscribes? (You have lost one subscriber who wasn’t a good fit anyway.)  What if we don’t have anything interesting to say? (If you breathe, you do.)  What if our messages are treated as spam? (Your loyal followers will look forward to hearing what you are up to.)

The goal is to build a “healthy” email marketing list, focusing on quality over quantity. It starts with the first click. What email subject line will stop their thumb scrolling and have them open your messages? Start with paying attention to which messages you tend to open. Are they those with emojis? Capital letters? Promises of free stuff?  Try some of these techniques out with your mailing list. The MailerLite algorithm that tracks the clicks will show what’s working.

Even if you aren’t yet an author, you can reap the benefits from this form of promotion. I am excited to start the process of building a community to cheer me on from the side lines, as I talk about my publishing goals when I am supposed to be writing. Maybe some will be able to relate.

Holly is an engaging presenter and the time with her passed too quickly.  I registered to receive her emails. Even her personalized opt-in process was fun! Pardon me, but I need to excuse myself to take some pet photos for my first newsletter.

You can find Holly here:




Upcoming Events

Querying, Twitter Pitches, and Contests with Farrah Heron – November 8, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Writing Practise: How to Improve Your Writing and Your Creativity by Practicing Writing with Vicki Pinkerton – November 26, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Your Poetry Toolbox with James Dewar – January 10, 2021, 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments