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email marketing

As the reach on social media remains unreliable, and competition for views grows, direct consistent newsletters help build trust. For instance, if you follow 100 people on Twitter, will they all see your status updates? If you post an unpaid update on Facebook, will all of your fans see it? Will these updates be equally relevant to all your followers?

Email marketing is a custom direct entry to your subscribers’ inboxes. Other people volunteer to hear from you when they subscribe. They’re already listening! Your newsletter is an ongoing way to shape and send your message and build awareness about yourself, your books, and your writing services.

Newsletters can be as complicated or as simple as you make it. I know a writer who sends one newsletter per year. One! More people are inclined to subscribe because they know they won’t be spammed.

While there are many topics to cover on email marketing, such as ways to entice subscribers, effective layouts, frequency, and more, today I have a few tips on what to do to your existing newsletter. For all the other details, I make my third annual sojourn to Glenda Beall’s writer studio in Western North Carolina next month. I lead a half-day class on Email Marketing for Authors on 8/5. More details about that below my tips:

  1. Re-read your subject line. Look at your inbox with new eyes every day. What subject lines stand out? Try a few styles with your subject line. Then be sure that your email subject line clearly connects with the main message of the newsletter. If the main focus is on your book cover reveal, no need to make your subject line about a book signing event. If your subject line is not well-crafted, the subscriber may not open the newsletter or they may feel tricked if they do. Try new things while being forthright.
  2. Re-send. After a few days or a week (opinions differ on the time gap), re-send your newsletter with a new refined subject line to your subscribers that did not open it the first time. This gives you another opportunity to connect with everyone instead of missing that connection until the next scheduled newsletter. Also, it allows an opportunity to revise your newsletter message, not just the subject line. Tell your subscribers what they would have missed out on.
  3. Re-list. If you have one list of newsletter subscribers, you’re doing it wrong. Your list can be segmented based on several factors. For instance, you can segment based on geography, interest, or an event. If you have newsletter subscribers in California, they don’t necessarily need to get reminders about your Chicago book signing. If you have subscribers interested in content marketing, they don’t need updates about poetry. Perhaps you met a group of writers at a conference and you’re planning on attending the next one, send that segment a custom newsletter about your conference plans. Wait, what if you didn’t segment and you only have a huge list of subscribers? Start segmenting now using your subject line. Do a special newsletter edition on short stories. Everyone who opens that likely has an interest in short fiction, so segment them to your Short Story Writer list.

I’m a big fan of newsletters, both receiving and creating them. Check out my past posts: 5 Newsletters for Writers and 5 MORE Newsletters for Writers.

Register for Email Marketing for Authors – and register soon, Glenda closes registration later this week! I’ll be in Hayesville, North Carolina on Saturday, August 5th from 1PM-4PM. Learn ways to help reduce your unsubscribe rate, increase your open rate, and create a valuable newsletter your subscribers will look forward to. I increased the open rate of my monthly newsletter by approximately 25% in the past year, and increased open rates for my clients by more than 20%.