Social media advertising might seem like a good choice if you’re trying to deliver your writing to a wider audience—but this actually isn’t the most effective strategy. According to a study by McKinsey & Co., e-mail newsletters are forty times more successful at reaching your audience than social media. In 2020, e-mail users will reach four billion worldwide. And unlike the access to your social media followers that changes at the whims of each platform’s algorithms, your e-mail mailing list belongs only to you. The experts at Web Design Relief have some great tips on how writers can build their audiences using newsletters.
How To Build An Audience With E-Mail Newsletters
Know your goals. First, determine what you want to accomplish with your newsletter. Are you trying to increase book sales, attract more followers on social media, or simply get your writing in front of more readers? Then contour the content of your newsletter to that goal. Focus on only one call to action at a time so your message doesn’t get complicated and confusing.
Make subscribers want to opt in. Even the most popular writers in the world still need to win over new readers. Running a contest or giveaway is one of the best ways to entice potential subscribers to sign up for your newsletter. Just remember to clearly state that by entering your contest or drawing, entrants will be added to your mailing list. Readers may also feel a closer connection to you and your work if you offer exclusive content as a reward for joining your mailing list.
Have an enticing subject line. We’ve all subscribed to a newsletter simply to get the free goodies—and then complain about our cluttered inboxes and unsubscribe from all the newsletters we’re not reading. Make sure that your e-mail stands out and gets opened! It’s important to have a subject line that grabs attention and makes your subscribers want to click on your e-mail. However, studies show that your actual sender name may be even more important. Recipients first look at the sender’s name, so receiving an e-mail with your name in the e-mail address, rather than the newsletter title, will seem more personal—and will be more likely to be opened by the recipient.
Connect with your readers. Once someone subscribes to your newsletter, be sure your content grabs the reader’s attention. The content of your newsletter should be welcoming, relatable, and broken into short, easy-to-read paragraphs. To form a connection, speak to your audience in the second person so it seems you’re talking one-on-one to the reader.
Be consistent. Be clear about how frequently readers can expect to receive e-mail from you—and stick to the schedule. If you promise readers a weekly or monthly newsletter, make sure you can provide interesting content within that time frame. Your newsletter is an important element in your author brand. Sending your newsletter less frequently than your promised delivery schedule—or at haphazard, random intervals—would be inconsistent branding and might damage the author brand you are trying to create. Conversely, sending more e-mails than you promised will annoy readers and cause them to either unsubscribe, block, or even report you as a spammer. Avoid these potential problems by adhering to the schedule.
Use visuals. The average recipient of your e-mail spends a mere 51 seconds reading it. Images help your readers get a general sense of your message without having to read every word of it. Create visuals that not only make it easy for readers to grasp your message quickly, but also ensure that your content is understood even if it isn’t completely read.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to craft a newsletter that your subscribers will enjoy opening and reading—which will make it easier for you to grow your audience!
Question: Which author newsletter is your favorite? Why?
Thanks. Excellent tips. I do all of the above, and I find that putting my name out there first before the subject line makes it far more likely that someone will open my newsletter. Lots of white space and visuals help, too, and promoting something at the end that might not even relate to the newsletter such as a great retreat, an artist who I admire, or something of that nature is appreciated. Greetings to all my friends at Writer’s Relief. Regards, Loren Stephens
P.S. My novel, All Sorrows Can Be Borne, will be published by Rare Bird. Pub date is May 2021.