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Building an E-newsletter List Final Part- Just Because you Built it, Doesn’t Mean They’ll Come

Building an E-newsletter List Final Part- Just Because you Built it, Doesn't Mean They'll Come

Welcome Lovely Writers,

Here is the fifth and final installment of the E-newsletter series. It’s not the end of your e-newsletter adventures, but it is the end of ours together. (If you missed out on the rest of the series, it is as follows: the importance of having an e-mail newsletter,  the broad planning of what you will offer, choosing a Service Provider, and What goes in the Welcome Email, Just Because You Build it, Doesn’t Mean they’ll Come. be sure to see the whole series.)

Now what?

The last key to your e-newsletter list is that you have to get your subscribers! They won’t just magically flock in. You have to lure them like children with candy… Or… wait… yeah, don’t do that. If you lure people wrong, they’ll end up like THIS Hansel and Gretel!

Start with 10

So, how do you start? You start with 10. Pick your top ten friends and family. Email, text, message, ask them if they would join your list. Here is what I sent out when I first started:

Hi Aunt Pat, would love to add you to my bookish newsletter, I email once a week with author interviews, story samples, poetry and other fun bookish stuff. Are you in?

I sent my first 10 and all of them said yes! It gave me confidence. At that point, I had been building my social media platforms for three years and had a pretty decent following. So I picked the next 10 people and the next 10 and so on. Did they all subscribe? No. As I got further out from my main circle, I realized I needed a new approach.

I needed to give them a bit more information to help them decide if they wanted to join. I chose this message:

Would love to add you to my bookish newsletter, I email once a week with author interviews, book reviews, story samples, poetry and other fun bookish stuff. Are you in?

Let me know what email address you would like me to send that to.

And that’s how I got my first 500 subscribers!

Keep Funneling Your Followers

Reach out to all those people following you on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram… you get the point. You worked hard to get those followers, bring them a step closer to your personal circle.

Now, keep in mind that if you choose to use facebook messenger, you can’t send 500 messages to all your subscribers in one day. That will get you blocked or banned. (Probably the same for most social media platforms.)

Tapping those lists will take time. Use that time wisely and practice sending out your e-newsletters. These are your closest supporters, so you can ask them questions.

Get feedback on your automated emails.

Get feedback on your newsletter.

Tap Your New Followers

Keep inviting new social media followers as they join. Make it personal to each platform. For example, when someone likes my Facebook page, they get the following message:

Thanks for liking An Angell’s Life of Bookish Goodness. Want to get a weekly e-newsletter of bookish goodness? Subscribe here:http://bit.ly/2hHAEUh

When I get a new follower on Twitter, I look at their profile. If they mention they are a reader, I send something like this:

Thanks 4 fllw@XXX. <3#books? Get weekly e-mail w/ book reviews, sales, events, & more bookish goodness.http://bit.ly/2hHAEUh

If they mention they are an author, I send something like this: Thanks 4 fllw @XXX Would love to share you & ur book on An Angell’s Life of Bookish Goodness. DM me.

Why don’t I DM? Well, because on Twitter, DM is dead. Automation killed it. When was the last time you got a DM that wasn’t automated and asking you to download their book/ like their facebook page/ or hitting on you etc.? Case in point. But when I send a Tweet and mention them, I’m not just inviting them, I am inviting their followers, and anyone on my list who sees it, as well as anyone searching those hashtags. Create a couple of clever versions because you don’t want to be sending this same thing 10-20 times a day.

On Goodreads, when someone sends a friend request, I will accept and send something like this:

Hello XXX,

I look forward to getting to know you on Goodreads! Do you love bookish news? I send a weekly e-newsletter with book reviews, author interviews, character spotlights, and other bookish awesomeness. Feel free to subscribe!

 Have a marvelous Monday,

Heidi Angell.

Personal note, I never send friend requests on GoodReads unless I have interacted with them repeatedly in a group and we really are friendly. I only accept friend requests. Why? Well, authors get a bad rap over there. I don’t want to make it worse, even though my content is perfect for Goodreads, and really, yours is too. After all, it’s ALL about books! But too many authors pushed in the wrong ways and they kinda ruined GoodReads for authors, IMHO. I very rarely let people on GoodReads know that I’m an author, and instead use it as a tool to share other awesome authors and hope someone likes my recs enough to look at my bio and see that I am also an author.

And, as a book blogger and a reader, it is AMAZING!

But I digress.

Expand Beyond Your Sphere of Influence

After you have tapped all those resources, keep tapping them. At some point, you will need to expand beyond your small sphere of influence. There are several resources to do this.

  1. Add subscribe links on all your social media. Make it easy for them. But be warned, not everyone looks for this, so they will need reminders. Schedule 1 or 2 invites to subscribe into your social media shares each month.
  2. Stick it in the back of your books. I know, it’s a pain to go back, especially if you have a big list, but it is worth it. Put it right in with your bio. These are people who loved your book, you want to keep in touch with them, right?
  3. Instafreebie. Now, I have done my fair share of runs with Instafreebie, and getting 1K new subscribers in a month is a mighty mad rush of a feeling, but keep in mind that when you build your list of people looking for freebies, it gets harder to sell to that list. I also had insane unsubscribe rates when using Instafreebie and almost got blocked from Mailchimp for it. Now I reserve it for when I am releasing a new book in a series. I will put the first book up on Instafreebie during my book launch and promote it to people who aren’t already hooked on the freebie train.
  4.  Newsletter Swaps- Another way is to partner with authors in the same genre who are also building their lists. Offer to read and mention their book for a return, or share a promo you are running and invite them to share something with their readership. If you don’t have a lot of author friends in your audience, visit other author groups like 20Booksto50K. Or go over to BookBoast and trade newsletter swaps.
  5. Offer it at Facebook Takeovers. You know how at the end of your slot, you throw up all your links? Don’t do that anymore. Instead, offer them that freebie and invite them to join your newsletter. If they want to follow you on Facebook, they can click your profile. If they end up on your newsletter and want to follow you on social media, then they will have no problem finding you, right?
  6. Add it to your bio links and update it everywhere. Seriously, make it hard for them not to subscribe.
  7. Eventually, though, you will want to expand your reach beyond those people you keep running into. Run a Facebook ad campaign. This is how Mark Dawson of The Self-publishing Formula recommends you start with Facebook ads. Give readers a free short story, or the first in your series, in exchange for their signing up to your e-newsletter. From there you will convert them into fans who stay long after the first book.

Whew, that was A LOT of information. But it should have you well on your way to continuing to grow your mailing list. Do you have any questions? Drop in the comments down below. I’m here to help!

Do you feel like you need a deeper dive into all of this to really be able to master your e-newsletter? No worries, I have a Masterclass for you that will provide videos, worksheets, and more to help you achieve that goal! Sign up for Maximize Your E-newsletter Masterclass today!

And until next time,

Keep Writing!

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Building an E-Newsletter Part 3 of 5: Who to Ask to the Dance

Building an E-Newsletter Part 3 of 5: Who to Ask to the Dance

Hello Lovelies,

Who’s excited about what e-newsletter provider to use? *Crickets*

(If you missed out on the rest of the 5 part e-newsletter series, it is as follows: the importance of having an e-mail newsletter,  the broad planning of what you will offer, choosing a Service Provider, and What goes in the Welcome Email, Just Because You Build it, Doesn’t Mean they’ll Come. be sure to see the whole series.)

I know. The thought of picking an e-newsletter provider is just overwhelming, right? I wasted almost a YEAR trying to decide. But I made a New Year’s resolution to break free of the Perfectionist Trap and took this quote as my inspiration:

There are hundreds of different email marketing providers out there. Probably more. Now, before you think “Can’t I just email them from my google/ Yahoo/ Outlook?” please keep in mind that in this case you can’t because of this lovely thing called the CAN-SPAM act. There’s a lot to it, but the important points are that if you are sending mass transmissions (IE, an e-newsletter) then the person on the receiving end has some rights. 1. They have to have subscribed. You can’t just add everyone in your list. 2. They have to be able to UNSUBSCRIBE at any time that they choose. And about seven other important things that you really should read for yourself. Go click on the link above. I don’t have a lot of space here, people!

Which E-newsletter Tool to Use

So now that you’re back, we need to talk about what e-mail marketing provider to use. This is tricky, and the thing that hung me up for about a year. Getting an e-newsletter set up is an arduous process. I know, I did it for my old job. But I didn’t have the budget to go with the provider they went with.

However, because of working with the Lambo of e-mail marketing services, I knew all the cool bells and whistles I wanted/needed and most of the other guys don’t provide them all. Which is a little sad. We work with the budget we have, though, right?

So, you do want to know what bells and whistles you want. You also want to know what you can afford. You need to have a good sense of how technically inclined you are, and how technically challenging the software is.

Here is a great Top Ten Mailchimp Alternatives list so you can look at features and compare in-depth, but his graphic is really amazing:

Also, Tim Grahl and several other big-name authors are big fans of ConvertKit

I researched them all, over and over and over until I couldn’t remember who offered what. I created an ugly excel spreadsheet version of the pretty graphic above and listed every single feature listed on every single platform.

But at the end of the day, I chose Mailchimp. It lets you have 2k subscribers free. I figured it was a good test run and although the cost after that is higher than many of the other plans, it offered the features I was most interested in (Automation, A/B testing, advanced segmentation, social media ad integration, online store connection, and incredible analytics!) so my e-newsletter could grow as my business grows. A test run proved to be pretty user-friendly. (Secret Confession: I am technically illiterate and am just really good at faking it! I’m like that dyslexic kid in 4th grade who always carried a book around so people thought she could read, but technology really is a huge struggle for me and NEW technology, NO, PLEASE, NO! My husband holds my hand A LOT, techno whizz that he is!)

Even after Wix (My website provider at the time. I told you I am techno-illiterate!) stopped supporting the Mailchimp subscriber plug-in (NO!) I changed my blog to WordPress, because while it was arduous, I would rather do that than change from Mailchimp

Now, if all that stuff I just said is a bit overwhelming, don’t panic. Those are all really advanced features that you might not need right now. So let’s unpack the things you do want to have, whichever provider you choose:

Must Haves for an Author Newsletter

  1. You want the provider you choose to offer a subscribe form to allow people to automatically subscribe. It’s even better if that button can be used in multiple places. Every single one of the options on these lists offers this. Even MailerLite. (For the super techno-illiterate who also knows little about marketing. This is like riding a trike. No harm starting here if that’s what you prefer.)  Why is this important? If they can’t subscribe, you can’t email them, right? And if you have to create a form yourself, you will have to regularly import all those people into your mailer. My workaround on my website was that I used Wix’s blog subscription, which meant that every week before I sent my e-newsletter, I would have to import all of those people into Mailchimp. It was a pain. If you can avoid that hassle, do it at all costs.
  2. You want an auto-responder as soon as they subscribe. This allows you to make sure that you don’t end up in their spam, thank them for joining you, and if you give a sample away, it sends it to them automatically. Why? Well, when I first started with Mailchimp, they didn’t have that for free. Which meant that I had to send an email every time someone subscribed giving them that information. I didn’t do it at first, and found I was losing a lot of subscribers on their first email. Why? Some of them forgot a week later that they had subscribed, or didn’t understand what they were signing up for. Since I added my autoresponder my unsub rate has dropped from 30% (Kinda high!) to less than 2%. We’ll talk more next week on what to put in the autoresponders, but for those who want to see how mine works. Feel free to subscribe. You’ll also get awesome bookish e-news in your inbox once a month!
  3. Fits your budget. A lot of these offer free features up to XX numbers of subscribers or XX number of emails sent. You have to weigh out when your list might become profitable if you need your book sales to pay for your project. For me, Mailchimp allows 2K free subscribers before you start getting charged. There wasn’t a limit on the number of emails. That was important to me as I was sending weekly e-newsletters and most of those weren’t selling my books. I know that I only publish 3-5 books a year, and even with sales, that list wasn’t going to be able to support sales for awhile. (Keep in mind that the average sales conversion rate is less than 24% of your audience. And I doubt they will be buying each book more than once. It’s complicated math. My husband did it for me.)

Those are the three basic things you really must have. (Besides the Can-Spam requirements, but I don’t remember coming across a single company that didn’t provide those, and certainly all the ones mentioned here do.)  

Extra Features You May Want

If you are a multi-genre author or offer multiple services besides your e-books, you might want to include:

  1. List segmentation- This means that you can have a subscriber list for each genre. I plan to do this in the near future because I’ve learned that not everyone wants that weekly e-newsletter, and not all my readers cross all my genres. I will put the e-newsletter sign up for those segments in the back of each genre to match that segmentation so I don’t lose people. I’m still in the world view stage working on those.
  2. Good Analytics- Authors do not spend enough time looking at analytics (except maybe their sales and KENP charts, I think!) I get it. I’m not a fan of stats. Trying to understand what everything means is a bit of a brain wrap. But those analytics let you know if what you are doing is working people down the sales funnel. For example, just because you send an email out to your 500 subscribers, doesn’t mean they all open it and read it. Right? It also doesn’t tell you if after they opened it, they clicked on anything inside it, let alone what they clicked on.  Mailchimp offers analytics, but they are based on open rates as reported by e-mail providers and that’s spotty, at best. I linked google analytics to my Mailchimp and according to Mailchimp, I only have a 24% open rate (A little above average) and a 2% click-thru (A little below average.) However, thanks to google analytics, I know that my click-thru on most emails is actually closer to 15%, which is really high! The key to this information is that you have to direct people to your website link rather than your amazon link if you want to be able to track this information. But it is definitely worth it!

Now, are you a social media hound and do social media advertising? You want social media ad integration to grow your list. (Yep, I cared, and Mailchimp has it.)

Do you have a webstore? You want the online store integration. (This is a paid feature on Mailchimp, but I know one day I plan on having this, so I wanted it with Mailchimp too.)

Are you ready to flex your marketing muscles? A./B testing allows you to send out slightly different e-newsletters to different parts of your list to see which one performs better. This allows you to improve your content to get better analytics and constantly up your e-newsletter game!

I know, this is a lot to  unpack, and we only had a little bit of space, but if you have questions go ahead and drop them in the comments below. I’m always happy to help!

Until next time,

Keep Reading!

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Building an E-newsletter List Part 2 of 5

Building an E-newsletter List Part 2 of 5

Hello Lovely Authors,

Last time we talked about why you should be doing an e-newsletter. (If you missed out on the rest of the series, it is as follows: the importance of having an e-mail newsletter,  the broad planning of what you will offer, choosing a Service Provider, and What goes in the Welcome Email, Just Because You Build it, Doesn’t Mean they’ll Come. be sure to see the whole series.)

Now let’s talk about the broad scope of how to get started. Before you can do an e-newsletter list, you need to decide a few things: What you want to accomplish with your newsletter, what you should include in your newsletter, and how often you should send out your newsletter.

What Do You Want to Accomplish?

“SALES!!!” Yeah, I know you do, but put yourself in your readers’ spot for a moment. Would YOU want to get an e-newsletter that was nothing but “Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book?”

That’s a big nope, right?

customer_sale_funnel.png

What we need to determine is how we are going to approach connecting with our reader and moving them from preference into purchase, loyalty, and advocacy, right? 

This is where you need to decide what your Worldview as an author is, and pitch that to your readers.

There are several different approaches to take with this. I have a monthly e-newsletter that’s all about An Angell’s Life of bookish goodness. It shares my top blog posts of author interviews, book reviews, booktubing, bookstagramming and other bookish adventures. I am looking to appeal to readers as a reader. This works for me.

Another author, Andy Peloquin, has chosen a solid niche to write in (dark fantasy) and all his stories happen in the same world. He is targeting readers who will fall in love with that world. He sends out a monthly e-newsletter with short stories in his world, as well as notices on when the next book will release, if there are any promos, other dark fantasy authors he’s reading and a variety of other things. But he always has that short story to offer his readers. I LOVE it!

Author Alex J. Cavanaugh does the “Ninja Newsletter” and it is geared around his pop-culture obsessions. There are tons of pop-culture bits, and he spotlights bloggers from the Insecure Writers Group, providing a wide range of interesting articles about everything from movie critique to book releases, to writing about writing. Plus, it pulls at the heartstrings of anyone who’d “Rather be a Ninja” (ME!)

Make sure that your worldview is a true extension of both you, and your writing. You don’t want to be constantly changing expectations for your readers. You will lose a lot of them.

So figure out your worldview and that will determine your next step:

What Should You Include In Your Newsletter?

This should be all about building that worldview you’ve decided to cultivate. If you are cultivating the world view that erotica is awesome, then only focus on sharing erotica content.

If you are building the worldview that indies are awesome, then only share indie work.

If you are building the worldview that we need strong female characters, only share books about strong female characters.

If your worldview is that you are an accessible writer, then share personal stories, short samples, and what you’re doing besides writing.

How often should you send your newsletter?

It’s tempting to just leave this on a whim but don’t. There’s nothing worse than telling someone they will get something, and not following through. We feel cheated, or worse, annoyed when three months down the road we open our email to discover an email from some weird person we don’t remember subscribing to, telling us that their book is on sale. No. Thank. You. Unsubscribe.

The worldview you’ve chosen will determine, in part, how often you email. In my case, because I’m sharing lots of bookish goodness, not just my own, I can email weekly and it isn’t too annoying for my readers. But my personal schedule doesn’t permit it so I took it back to once a month. If Andy emailed me weekly, I might get annoyed. Andy emails once a month. But he’s publishing three or more books a year, so that’s not super overwhelming, and he always offers those cool little short stories, so it’s something I look forward to.

I have other authors who email me once a month and I don’t read it most of the time. Why? Because I don’t really care about their new crafting project, I’m not interested in knitting, I don’t want to hear about their book signing in Alberta. That’s me, I’m probably not their best audience, but they will find their niche audience and those people will like those things!

Alex emails quarterly. It’s a huge newsletter, and sometimes it takes me a week before I get to it, but it’s worth it and I know I will enjoy spending most of a day hopping through all the fun articles and getting my pop-culture geek on.

The key is to establish your frequency and follow through. You want your loyal fans to know that you will send an email on the 15th, or the first and second Thursdays of the month, or during the four seasons, and be looking forward to that newsletter.

Next time I will discuss the mechanics of How to Do your E-newsletter, some options of programs to use, and automation. Fun stuff! Do you have any questions, or want to bounce your ideas off me? Drop them in the comments below. I’m always happy to help!

Until next time,

Keep Writing!

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Building an E-newsletter list Part 1 of 5

Building an E-newsletter list Part 1 of 5

Hello Lovely Writers,

I am doing a segment on what I think is one of the most important parts of an author’s marketing strategy. E-newsletter lists.

Do you have an e-newsletter list yet? It surprises me how many authors don’t.  For many, I hear that they are just too busy. They depend on social media to reach their fans.  They don’t know where to start with an email list, or why they should try. We are going to delve into those issues today.

Why an E-newsletter List is Necessary for a Serious Author 

(no matter how busy you are)

I know, being an author is hard. It is time-consuming. Just writing a book is time-consuming, but this whole marketing thing? Talk about overwhelming! I get it, I do. We are all just doing the best that we can. Many authors are still on the Social Media Band Wagon, in regards to reaching new fans and keeping them engaged.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to get rid of social media, anyone who knows me knows I have a ridiculous number of social media accounts that I post to and interact with regularly!

However, I prefer to keep my fans as close to my personal control as possible. I don’t want to have to pay Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other social media platforms to find new fans AND to stay in front of them. That’s just crazy!

That’s why I have a newsletter. I own that list. Yes, I have to pay my newsletter emailer, but if I don’t like their prices, or if I develop a problem, I can take my list when I leave their service for another. As long as that reader wants to stay in touch with me, no one can keep us apart.

Can I say the same for Social Media? Nope.

 Where Social Media & E-newsletters fall on the Sales Funnel

Reader Sales Funnel

I have a much higher conversion of sales from my e-newsletter list than from social media. Most marketing professionals will tell you that social media is toward the top of the sales funnel. This is the point where you are getting them interested. It’s the digital candy shop display, so to speak. But once you get them to your e-newsletter list, they already prefer you as an author. Now you just have to offer them the products to purchase, a little love and attention to nurture their loyalty, and a nudge in the right direction on how they can advocate for you!  

So, are you sold on why you should do an e-newsletter? Great, next time we’ll talk about how to plan your newsletter. If you have any questions or opinions about e-newsletters, drop them in the comments below. We’re here to help!

(If you would like to view the rest of the series, it is as follows: the importance of having an e-mail newsletter,  the broad planning of what you will offer, choosing a Service Provider, and What goes in the Welcome Email, Just Because You Build it, Doesn’t Mean they’ll Come. be sure to see the whole series.)

Until next time,

Keep Writing!

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Building an E-newsletter list Part 4 of 5

Building an E-newsletter List part 4 of 5

Hello Lovelies,

Hopefully by now, you understand the importance of having an e-mail newsletter, You’ve done the broad planning of what you will offer, and you’ve chosen a service provider. (If you missed out on the rest of the series, it is as follows: the importance of having an e-mail newsletter,  the broad planning of what you will offer, choosing a Service Provider, and What goes in the Welcome Email, Just Because You Build it, Doesn’t Mean they’ll Come. be sure to see the whole series.)

Now what?

You need to craft an automated responder to your new subscribers. For those who subscribed to see how mine looks, you won’t necessarily have so much to say. (I also have different autoresponders depending on how they got to my e-newsletter.) The key to the auto-responder length is to give them just enough to keep them subscribed, without annoying them to the point that they unsubscribe. A fine balance that you will need to A/B test to make sure yours is most effective.

So what should you say? Well, first you want to thank them. Then you want to let them know a little bit about who you are. Don’t just assume that they will know. Let them know about your books. Last, let them know what they can expect from your e-newsletter.

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When I was doing B2B CyCon in 2016, I signed up for a bunch of e-newsletters as part of entering for prizes and such. I got some really interesting responses.

A few were obviously new and their genre manager coached them on the importance of using this as an opportunity to build an e-newsletter list. They emailed me directly from their personal email accounts. And that was actually what inspired this whole segment, to be honest.

Some were really… awful. But there were some really great gems.

One, a brand new author who emailed from his gmail account, actually did a lot right! He reminded me how I happened to come across him and then immediately said “ If you’d rather not be on my list, just reply to this email with the word “Unsubscribe” in the Subject line.,” (Can-Spam requirement, check!)

He shared his book cover and a sample from the book and let me know when the next book was coming out. (Telling me about his books, check!)

Unfortunately, it’s been four months and he hasn’t emailed me since.

Another author, Zachery Paul Chopchinski, stole my geeky little heart with his intro:

The Official Bowtie Author Newsletter

Welcome

Any Whovian subscribing to a steampunk author’s newsletter and getting this intro would have their little heart skip a beat!

Then he made sure to get me in the geeky feels:

Hi Friends, First off, I want to welcome you to the fold! There is a secret handshake, though…we will have to go over that later, since it’s a little hard to do over email.

Secret handshake? The fangirl is swooning!

He told me about his book, offered it for free even, and about his future publishing plans, then sealed my staying on the list with this adorable ending

Until next time friends,

#BowTieAuthor out!

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Yes, that’s him with a bowtie! And all in blue, like so not even subtly drawing a comparison to that big blue box! SOLD!

He emails monthly and every email is as delightfully geeky!

But none of them quite got the whole formula right. So I decided to lay it out for you.

First Step- Thank You

You want to thank them (And if you are doing an event or something that leads to subscribers, mention that’s where they met you. If you are doing instafreebie, mention that’s where they found you, etc. This is where creating tags and multiple auto-responders comes in really handy!)

Second Step- Introduce yourself

Now introduce yourself. Make it fun and charming, and as perfectly to your genre as Zach did!

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If you have more than one book in a series, go ahead and give it away free to get them started if you want. But if you don’t, give them a chance to buy it. Zach was probably just following the advice on pretty much every single blog out there to give them something good. But he already did that with his intro. He didn’t have to give me his book too. Now he won’t get as many sales (FYI, I totally bought it and can’t wait to read it. But most readers won’t think like that.) 

Do you want to give them something, but you’re on your first book like Zach? Give them a popular icon in the genre, like a free copy of a classic book. Give them a taste of your writing by sharing a short story or a bit that got cut from the original story, or a character one sheet (Make it fun. Make it really fun by casting your book with celebrity actors!) But if you only have the one book out, don’t give them that book.

Third Step- What’s in it for them?

Now, you want to let them know what they will be getting from this newsletter and how often. Something none of the folks from B2B got right, but Andy Peloquin nails beautifully with his intro (Which I can’t quote because I no longer have it, DARN!) He lets you know that he will send monthly short stories from the world of Voramis, along with progress on his works, books he’s reading, and any other fantasy fun that crosses his desk. (Leaving him open to share all his fun during his signing at San Diego ComicCon and to do newsletter swaps with other Fantasy authors. Well, played, sir. Well, played!)

Fourth Step- Tell them about your book

Now you want to let them know about your book(s) and where to find them. After all, that’s the main purpose of the e-newsletter, right? But don’t be heavy-handed, just give them the brief introduction and 1 link, (If you sell on multiple retailers, a nice way to get around leaving five million links is to say “Available at all major retailers, or from the author’s website” and link to your book page. Another great option is to use the Draft 2 Digital universal book link.)

If you have not published yet, that’s ok too. Tell them about your work in progress. Don’t make the mistake I make ALL THE TIME and give them an unrealistic deadline for when you will be done. Setting deadlines is great for keeping you motivated, but breaking deadlines is a great way to lose fans. Ask Cristopher Paolini. He lost a LOT of fans when he was almost a year late with book 2 in the Inheritance Cycle.

Final Step- Make Them Feel Special

Lastly, leave them feeling special. Whether that’s a fun signing off, like Zach used, or a free short story, like Andy uses. Leave them with warm fuzzies so they don’t scroll to the bottom and click the unsubscribe button that has to be there thanks to Can-Spam.

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And there you have it. Automated responder set and ready to go.

Have you experienced any great or bad autoresponder e-mails? Let us know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Keep Writing!