Building an E-newsletter List Final Part- Just Because you Built it, Doesn’t Mean They’ll Come
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Welcome Our Write Siders,
Here is the final installment of the E-newsletter series. It’s not the end of your e-newsletter adventures, but it is the end of ours together. (If you missed out on the importance of having an e-mail newsletter, the broad planning of what you will offer, chosen a Service provider, and What goes in the Welcome Email, be sure to check those out first.)
The last key to your e-newsletter list is that you have to get your subscribers! They won’t just magically flock in. You have to lure them like children with candy… Or… wait… yeah, don’t do that. If you lure people wrong, they’ll end up like THIS Hansel and Gretel!
Start with 10
So, how do you start? You start with 10. Pick your top ten friends and family. Email, text, message, ask them if they would join your list. Here is what I sent out when I first started:
Hi Aunt Pat, would love to add you to my bookish newsletter, I email once a week with author interviews, story samples, poetry and other fun bookish stuff. Are you in?
I sent my first 10 and all of them said yes! It gave me confidence. At that point, I had been building my social media platforms for three years and had a pretty decent following. So I picked the next 10 people and the next 10 and so on. Did they all subscribe? No. As I got further out from my main circle, I realized I needed a new approach.
I needed to give them a bit more information to help them decide if they wanted to join. I chose this message:
Would love to add you to my bookish newsletter, I email once a week with author interviews, book reviews, story samples, poetry and other fun bookish stuff. Are you in?
Let me know what email address you would like me to send that to.
And that’s how I got my first 500 subscribers!
Keep Funneling Your Followers
Reach out to all those people following you on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram… you get the point. You worked hard to get those followers, bring them a step closer to your personal circle.
Now, keep in mind that if you choose to use facebook messenger, you can’t send 500 messages to all your subscribers in one day. That will get you blocked or banned. (Probably the same for most social media platforms.)
Tapping those lists will take time. Use that time wisely and practice sending out your e-newsletters. These are your closest supporters, so you can ask them questions.
Get feedback on your automated emails.
Get feedback on your newsletter.
Tap Your New Followers
Keep inviting new social media followers as they join. Make it personal to each platform. For example, when someone likes my Facebook page, they get the following message:
Thanks for liking An Angell’s Life of Bookish Goodness. Want to get a weekly e-newsletter of bookish goodness? Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/2hHAEUh
When I get a new follower on Twitter, I look at their profile. If they mention they are a reader, I send something like this:
If they mention they are an author, I send something like this: Thanks 4 fllw @XXX Would love to share you & ur book on An Angell’s Life of Bookish Goodness. DM me.
Why don’t I DM? Well, because on Twitter, DM is dead. Automation killed it. When was the last time you got a DM that wasn’t automated and asking you to download their book/ like their facebook page/ etc.? Case in point. But when I send a Tweet and mention them, I’m not just inviting them, I am inviting their followers, and anyone on my list who sees it, as well as anyone searching those hash tags. Create a couple of clever versions because you don’t want to be sending this same thing 10-20 times a day.
On Goodreads, when someone sends a friend request, I will accept and send something like this:
I look forward to getting to know you on Goodreads! Do you love bookish news? I send a weekly e-newsletter with book reviews, author interviews, character spotlights, and other bookish awesomeness. Feel free to subscribe!
Have a marvelous Monday,
Personal note, I never send friend requests on goodreads. I only accept friend requests. Why? Well, authors get a bad rap over there. I don’t want to make it worse, even though my content is perfect for Goodreads, and really, yours is too. After all, it’s ALL about books! But too many authors pushed in the wrong ways and they kinda ruined goodreads for authors, IMHO. I very rarely let people on goodreads know that I’m an author, and instead use it as a tool to share other awesome authors and hope someone likes my recs enough to look at my bio and see that I am also an author.
And, as a book blogger and a reader, it is AMAZING!
But I digress.
Expand Beyond Your Sphere of Influence
After you have tapped all those resources, keep tapping them. At some point, you will need to expand beyond your small sphere of influence. There are several resources to do this.
- Add subscribe links on all your social media. Make it easy for them. But be warned, not everyone looks for this, so they will need reminders. Schedule 1 or 2 invites to subscribe into your social media shares each week.
- Stick it in the back of your books. I know, it’s a pain to go back, especially if you have a big list, but it is worth it. Put it right in with your bio. These are people who loved your book, you want to keep in touch with them, right?
- . Instafreebie. Now, I have done my fair share of runs with Instafreebie, and getting 1K new subscribers in a month is a mighty mad rush of a feeling, but keep in mind that when you build your list of people looking for freebies, it gets harder to sell to that list. I also had insane unsubscribe rates when using Instafreebie and almost got blocked from Mailchimp for it. Now I reserve it for when I am releasing a new book in a series. I will put the first book up on Instafreebie during my book launch and promote it to people who aren’t already hooked on the freebie train.
- Newsletter Swaps- Another way is to partner with authors in the same genre who are also building their lists. Offer to read and mention their book for a return, or share a promo you are running and invite them to share something with their readership. If you don’t have a lot of author friends in your audience, visit other author groups like 20Booksto50K. Or go over to BookBoast and trade newsletter swaps.
- Offer it at Facebook Takeovers. You know how at the end of your slot, you throw up all your links? Don’t do that anymore. Instead, offer them that freebie and invite them to join your newsletter. If they want to follow you on Facebook, they can click your profile. If they end up on your newsletter and want to follow you on social media, then they will have no problem finding you, right?
- Add it to your bio links and update it everywhere. Seriously, make it hard for them not to subscribe.
- Eventually, though, you will want to expand your reach beyond those people you keep running into. Run a Facebook ad campaign. This is how Mark Dawson of The Self-publishing Formula recommends you start with Facebook ads. Give readers a free short story, or the first in your series, in exchange for their signing up to your e-newsletter. From there you will convert them into fans who stay long after the first book.
Whew, that was A LOT of information. But it should have you well on your way to continuing to grow your mailing list. Do you have any questions? Drop in the comments down below. We are here to help!
And until next time,
Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac, and wordsmith. When she isn’t writing or reading, she enjoys helping fellow authors on their writing adventures. Learn more about how Heidi can help you at https://www.heidiangell.com/for-authors
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