Putting your heart and soul, not to mention your time, into an author newsletter becomes an exercise in frustration if no one reads it. Spare yourself this misery not by skipping an author newsletter but by promoting it.
Why, when you are already too busy, do you want another thing to promote?
Because it isn’t another thing. An author newsletter is part and parcel of promoting yourself as an author and offering your books to readers. It provides you a gentle avenue for promoting to your specific readers. Having an author newsletter means never having to say, “buy my books” in a garish way.
How to Promote Your Author Newsletter
We’ve established that promoting your author newsletter is worth the effort. Let’s take a look at ways to do so.
1. Provide a way to opt into your newsletter after every blog post.
This can be a simple box that appears each time to post or a personal invitation to subscribe. I use both tactics. DT Author Box is a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to add a box after every post.
2. Hosting a giveaway can help you collect subscribers.
Make sure to offer something of interest to your reader base. The more targeted your giveaway, the more potential readers it will bring you. You don’t have to give away something expensive. Some authors offer Kindles to attract readers. Others give away gift cards with the idea that the winners might spend the money on their books.
Always let entrants know that they will receive your newsletter and make a way for them to opt out. Otherwise, they will unsubscribe or ignore your emails. You want an engaged email list. I have used Woobox to host giveaways.
3. Use an exit-intent pop-up.
A lot of websites give pop-ups a bad name. They can be useful, even essential, when managed correctly. Pouncing on visitors as soon as they land on your website is no way to make friends. Giving them time to get to know you before popping a question shows finesse. This strategy is most effective when you’re giving away a subscriber incentive. (See next point.)
4. Offer a subscriber incentive.
Parting with an email address is not usually done lightly. Make this easier for readers by giving them something in return. This can be a sample of your writing (even a short story will do), a list of your favorite books, or a compilation of resources readers will enjoy. Ask yourself the following question. If you were one of your readers, what would induce you to sign up for your own author newsletter?
5. Publish a newsletter subscription link in your books.
Placing a sign-up link at the end of your books will ensure that those who have actually read and enjoyed your stories will sign up for your newsletter. Again, offering a subscriber incentive (described above) helps.
6. Invite readers to subscribe through your social media updates.
Those who follow you on social media may be interested in receiving your newsletter. Without spamming, schedule fun, creative updates to invite your followers to sign up for your newsletter.
7. Ask your subscribers to forward your emails.
Don’t overlook the power of word-of-mouth promotion. Ask in your author newsletter for subscribers to forward your emails to their friends who may be interested in following you. Provide exceptional value , and they will.
8. Add an invitation to your blog subscriber thank-you page.
This tip applies, of course, if you also blog. Don’t miss the chance to invite new blog subscribers to join your newsletter too.
9. Embed a subscribe form at your website.
The top of the upper right sidebar is where people are used to seeing this. Your email list service (I use Mailchimp) should provide the code you’ll need to embed a subscribe form at your website.
10. Provide a subscribe link in your email signature.
Don’t you love set-it-and-forget-it ways to promote?
11. Host exclusive contests or giveaways for newsletter subscribers.
This strategy accomplishes two things. It provides value for your existing subscribers and brings you new ones. Remember to make the giveaway relevant to your books.
12. Give readers a way to sign up for your newsletter at book signing events.
While readers are talking with you face-to-face is a perfect time to invite them to join your email list and receive your author newsletter. Provide a way for them to sign up on the spot.
Final Thoughts From Janalyn
When someone signs up for your author newsletter seemingly out of the blue, it tells you that the methods you’ve set up to gain subscribers are working. One of the best tips I can give is to take note of those who invest in you. Give back to them with a grateful heart.