Hopefully, you have already read my two other posts about newsletters/email lists for writers. If you want to catch up you can click to learn why you even need a list and what you can write about.
If you’ve got the content and the drive to start that email list, you may wonder what the next step. This is likely the hardest step because everyone is in this same boat: how do you grow a newsletter until it accomplishes your top goals? As in, what do you need to be doing to get people to buy your books on the regular?
I will do my best to give my insight and experience here. As I’ve already mentioned, my newsletter is roughly 1.5 years old. It needs time to grow just like my Instagram following did. But if you do these following tips, you’ll at least feel like you’re heading in the right direction.
Your Email Service Provider
There are many providers to choose from. I’d recommend looking at the pros and cons of each. If you’re unfamiliar with basic email marketing strategies, they’re honestly going to all feel a bit overwhelming.
I personally use MailChimp because I liked how other email lists looked and I was more familiar with it. I’d recommend looking through this post by Melissa Griffin to learn how to use MailChimp if you’re curious.
There are other platforms to choose from. This post by Sheila talks about other platforms like ConvertKit and MailerLite. From what I understand, these platforms differ in a) what you can do for free b) the interface/design of the website and c) the kinds of tutorials they offer for marketing newbies.
Ensure Your Newsletter Is Stupid-Easy to Join
As much as I hate to admit it, internet culture is all about getting quick and easy information. If people are on your site and they feel like they’re a contestant of Legends of the Hidden Temple and trying to find your newsletter signup, they’re likely going to give up.
What this means is you need to employ every last strategy out there to make it incredibly easy for anyone to sign up. Some common ideas include:
- A signup box towards the top of your author website (all important links should be as close to the top as possible)
- A popup feature (search for plugins through your website host)
- Links in all your social media accounts
- Regular social media posts; I schedule a monthly reminder that my newsletter exists and what they can expect to get
- A reminder below all blog posts
This may seem like overkill but I promise that it won’t feel overpowering or salesy.
Shine & Show Up
I recently wrote about showing up in your Instagram feed in this post. The same principles apply to your newsletter. You can easily stand out from the other email lists on the block by infusing your newsletter with YOU.
Just about anyone can write an amazing email. What will make yours different from all the others? What will make folks want to open your email?
There are a few things you can consider:
- Design—what regular colors, fonts, and header images will you use? Remember that many folks will read your email on their phones, so imagine what is easier on the eyes.
- Respond to every comment/reply—this is the easiest way to connect with your readers! You can encourage them to reply if you’re looking for feedback. The more you ask, the more you’ll receive.
- Make them feel special—Do they get early access to your sales or giveaways? Do they get first dibs on ARCs? That’s a major perk that many book buyers enjoy. You could also give your followers a nickname that matches your genre.
Now that I think about it, there are some helpful principles for your newsletter that you’ll find from my upcoming ebook, Finding Your Future Fans. I’d recommend that you check out these chapters depending on whether you want to tap into your brand or you want to show off a fabulous design that gets people drawn
These are my top go-to tips for ensuring your newsletter truly succeeds. Let me know if you have any other questions or ideas. Let’s work together to help each other succeed.
If you’d like to see my newsletter in action, you certainly can! Subscribe through the pop up on the website, this image below, the prompt to your right, or go here.
2 comments on “How Do You Start & Grow a Newsletter?”
Great tips! I’ve been working on building my newsletter and I definitely could’ve used these tips when I first started. Thanks for sharing!
You’re so welcome! I’m glad the tips can help now. We both got to figure things out on our own and now all we have to do is continually approve onward and upward. 🙂