We already talked about what you should STOP doing in an author newsletter. Now let’s focus on what authors can do to meet their marketing goals.
When it comes to an author newsletter, there are many ways to approach it. Some authors use
the newsletter to share fun and interesting research that’s going into their books. Some (like me) divide it
into segments meant to help push blog and social media engagement. Other authors reserve the
newsletter for special events and announcements: newsworthy bits about their book launches, releases, giveaways, and more.
Regardless of how you choose to format and fill your newsletter, there are a few general tricks you can use to boost your open rate and speed up the creation process, leaving more time for the writing you
Here are the top five tips I’ve learned that apply to literally anyone sending out regular emails:
Add an engaging signup form
The newsletter signup page on your website should be more than just a form — it should be an advertisement. Tell potential subscribers what the newsletter is all about. Include links to sample newsletters you’ve already sent. Entice by talking about what’s exclusive to subscribers, like freebies or raffles for autographed works or unpublished stories available to no one else. Also, make sure you collect first names. Why?
Use dynamic subject lines
If you use Mailchimp or Mailerlite, you can set what’s called a “dynamic” subject line. Your provider will have a quick how-to page, but the gist is to enter a simple code that will automatically insert whatever is found in the corresponding field of each subscriber entry (such as the field for “first name”). Customizing the subject line with the recipient’s name has been shown to significantly increase the likelihood they’ll open the email.
Do more than advertise your books
Think about the emails you open. If the sender only ever sends content trying to make you buy stuff, you tend to ignore it, don’t you? Find another way to make your emails interesting — there are a wealth of ideas floating around the internet, too many to go into here. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t advertise your books, but if this is the only consistent focus of every newsletter, your subscribers are going to fall away. Try developing a template for your emails. It helps the reader know what kind of content to expect, and having a form developed can function as a writing prompt for you, allowing you to whip your newsletters up faster.
Send regularly… whatever that looks like
Don’t let them forget about you, because they will! Most surveys I’ve researched put the sweet spot at once a month, but you can also poll your subscribers (BONUS TIP: inviting responses from subscribers is a great way to get white-listed by their email provider, helping you get out of the spam bin).
Use your resources
Remind social media followers you have a newsletter once in a while, and tell them how they’re missing out! Submit test emails to mail-tester.com to gauge newsletter deliverability. Schedule the emails in advance (Mailerlite lets you do this in the free version) so you don’t forget. Are your signups all via Mailchimp because it integrates well, but do you preferanother service provider for actually sending the emails? Sign up for Zapier, which automates the transfer of contacts from your Mailchimp forms to whatever other service you’re utilizing. There are a lot of tools out there to help get you where you want to go, and all the ones I’ve mentioned here have a free version! The point is, make sure you do your research, and use the myriad resources available to you.
Good luck out there, authors! Happy newsletter writing!
About the Writer: Kathryn Tamburri (@KathrynTamburriAuthor) writes clean YA epic fantasy novels which seethe with slow-burn romance. You can find more of her writing tips on #ThePantsersGuide and follow her new #AdventureLog on the blog at KathrynTamburri.com, and be the first to know when her novels publish by subscribing to her fun author newsletter