Blogger: Mary Keeley
Lately, I’ve been encouraging writers to add a newsletter to their audience-building ventures because publishers have come to realize the email list they generate is a more authentic indicator of genuine readers than social media numbers, which can be artificially inflated. It’s a convincing argument, but it’s one more to-do item and learning curve to master on their already-long list. I just want to write my book. But a monthly email newsletter doesn’t have to consume a lot of time, and the benefits are worth the effort.
BENEFITS TO YOU, THE WRITER
Besides the email list that is developed, a newsletter provides:
- A personal connection with subscribers that will grow loyal readers. Subscribers would be delighted to receive a follow-up email response to their comment or question regarding the content. The relationship building opportunities are innumerable.
- Growth of a community truly interested in what you write. Your newsletter content must be written in your author voice and relate somehow to the books you write to give you the most ongoing benefit for your effort. Invite subscribers to pass the word around to others.
- A way to identify influencers. As you grow author-reader relationships organically through responses to your content, you’ll see which subscribers interact consistently. They’re your most promising influencers.
APPRECIATE YOUR SUBSCRIBERS
Because subscribers are giving you their email address and obliging you by adding your email address to their address books to prevent your newsletters from going to their spam folders, you’re going to want to give them something back in every newsletter. In other words, you’re going to want to offer them value for signing up.
- Include an interview with an author, available only to your subscribers.
- Share news about a common interest or cause related to your brand and what you write in some way.
- Write a short story and gift it to your subscribers.
- Offer regular contests and giveaways.
- Give short updates on your next book. Insert photos of your research trips and interesting facts about the topic or setting.
- Maintain an archive of your newsletters that subscribers can access. It multiplies the value for them.
These tips will help you:
- Make signing up as easy as possible. Offer the opportunity on each page of your website and on social media. Email marketing software such as Mail Chimp or Constant Contact has a signup form that not only makes it easy for you and subscribers, but it also gives a professional appearance. MailChimp offers “Best Practices” tips for building an email list here.
- NEVER add people to your newsletter mailing list without their permission.
- Use a confirmed opt-in process for subscribers to verify they want to subscribe.
- Create a designed template that reinforces your brand.
- Always deliver content that has value for subscribers. Keep a file of interesting ideas during the month and make necessary arrangements for guest interviews a month in advance.
- Send your newsletter at the same time every month.
- Include a privacy statement assuring subscribers that email responses shared individually will be kept private.
What is your experience with your email newsletter? What type of content generates the most interaction or new subscribers? As a subscriber to another author’s newsletter, what type of content would interest you most?
7 tips for launching and maintaining your author email newsletter. Click to Tweet.
All you need to know about the beauty of email newsletters for authors. Click to Tweet.