Want to Start a Newsletter? 5 Dos and Don’ts for Authors

Having a newsletter is a great way to build and maintain an active, engaged audience of readers. When you have an email list, you have direct access to your audience in their inbox. This is especially important if (worst case scenario!) you lose access to your social media accounts or however else you communicate and engage with your audience. However, convincing a stranger on the internet to sign up for a newsletter from an author they may not have heard of before is a difficult task.

Here are our top five newsletter dos and don’ts:

  1. DON’T: Send a newsletter filled with fluff. You always want to make sure everything you send to your audience is helpful or provides some kind of value or service to them, whether it’s a notification about a discount on your book, giveaway, recipe to try, lifestyle tip, or other freebie!
  2. DO: Know your audience. When creating a newsletter, you always want to put yourself in the mind of the audience. How often would you like to see a newsletter? What kind of content would you like to see? Subscribe to a few newsletters from similar authors or experts, and take note of what they share and how often. 
  3. DON’T: Ignore the subject line. In email marketing, the subject line is the most important component in determining open rate. Audiences respond best to emotive language conveying intimacy, achievement, luck, encouragement, or gratitude. Emojis are also a great way to grab attention, but you never want to use more than one or two. It’s best to avoid using all caps and excessive punctuation, otherwise your email will end up in the spam folder. Lastly, keep it short–you want your readers to be able to see the complete subject line rather than risk it getting cut off in the middle.
  4. DO: Offer a freebie to encourage people to sign up! This is known as “lead magnet” in the world of marketing. Your freebie can be anything–the first chapter of your book, maybe even a whole book (via digital download) if you have multiple titles! You can also offer a discount code. The idea is just to offer something enticing that would encourage and lead a user to sign up.
  5. DON’T: Be discouraged! It’s hard to build an audience from scratch, and it takes time! Start with close friends and family, and encourage them to share with their friends as well. You can also experiment with running ads or giveaway campaigns in order to promote sign ups. 

Need help launching your newsletter? From content strategy to copywriting, give P&C a call for a newsletter consultation.

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