You don’t have an email list?! Click here to start one with MailChimp, for free. (Disclaimer: I do get a commission if you sign up through that link. If you’re not comfortable with that, you can sign up for free through MailChimp.com.)
Your newsletter is one of your two most important tools when it comes to growing your platform and selling your books. (What’s the other tool? Your website. More on that in a future post.) I thought I knew all there was to know about email marketing, until recently. After implementing the following things into my strategy, I saw an increase in subscribers—and sales!
Send a Newsletter Weekly
I know this might be hard. You might not always have something to say. If you can’t do it weekly, create another schedule for yourself. I highly recommend emailing your list at least once a month, to keep yourself in your readers’ minds. There are a lot of authors out there and even more books, so it’s important to establish an ongoing relationship with your readers.
Once you’ve set your date, stick to it. I send out an email every Friday, and no more often than that. Even if I release a new book on a Tuesday, I wait until Friday to tell my list about it. This way, your readers don’t get too sick of hearing from you. See, it’s a delicate balance.
Give People a Reason to Sign Up
People don’t want to give out their email address—unless they’re getting something in return. Offering coupons may not cut it. The guys of the Self-Publishing Podcast let new subscribers pick an ebook $4.99 and under, and send it to them for free.
Send Your Subscribers Exclusive Content
Sometimes, coupons and free ebooks still don’t work. Readers want to feel special, especially if they’re giving you their email address. No one likes cleaning out their inbox. Give your subscribers a reason to look forward to your emails with content that only subscribers can have!
For ten weeks, I sent episodes of Baby Brooklyn with my weekly newsletter. At the end of the ten weeks, I included an ebook version for those who may have missed an episode or wanted to read the whole story from start to finish. I’ll also send new subscribers a free copy.
Put a Signup Form On Your Website
This might seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many of us forget to add a signup form on our websites! Make sure it’s in a prominent place, like at the top of every page and on your home page. Hone your copy and make signing up seem irresistible.
Give Me Your Email Address, and Get a Free Ebook
[ enter your email here ]
Link to Your Signup Page
Every time you post something on Facebook, tweet about your latest work in progress, or blog an excerpt, you should include a link for people to sign up. Blatantly invite them to join; the more direct you are, the better. “Click here to sign up” works much better than “if you’d like, join my email list.” The more you refer to your signup page, the better.
Bonus Tip: Create a Signup Page on Your Website
Most email list providers give you a page where you can collect email addresses. These URLs are clunky, hard to remember, and the information on them might change. I embedded the HTML form that MailChimp generated in a page on my website and gave it the easy to remember URL of elizabethbarone.net/newsletter. Then, every time I need to change the promotion, I can just do it right on my website. Plus, I never have to go crazy trying to remember my signup URL, which makes it easy for me to refer to it every time I post to Facebook.
Do you have an email list? Which methods do you use to grow it? Leave a comment and share!