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Five Ideas to Use in Your Newsletter

ALESSANDRA TORRE, NYT BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Struggling with creating an author newsletter or email send out to readers? You aren’t alone! Writing a newsletter causes most authors heartburn. It’s hard to know what to include and how to present the information you do want to share.

In 2021, we held a reader poll, in search of the email marketing specific info that authors need most. Over a thousand readers responded, and the results were surprising!

For example, we asked readers: 

How often do you want to hear from your favorite author?

  • 37% wanted emails once per month
  • 28% wanted twice a month
  • 20% wanted weekly contact
  • 15% only wanted an email if there was a new release or a book was on sale

Those results are awesome, because it proves that readers really DO want to hear from you, and more often than you might expect. 

So, what should you send readers when you do reach out?

To help you succeed, we’ve put together five ideas on ways to improve or update your newsletter. We did a deep dive into some of the best author newsletters and grabbed five tips, just for you:

Tip #1 – Use a table of contents. Putting a short bullet list of what you’re about to share is a great way to give the reader a snapshot of what is to come and urge them to read all of the way to the end. The below example is from #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken.

Tip #2 – Jump right into an excerpt. This may go against your natural tendency to greet the reader, but it’s a great way to grab their attention right away and urge them to keep reading. The below example is from USA Today bestselling author BB Easton.

Tip #3 – Include a giveaway that is just for your newsletter subscribers. A giveaway is always a great way to entice readers to open your newsletter. To continue on the prior tip, in addition to jumping right into the excerpt, BB Easton followed up that scene with a giveaway (which she headlined at the top of the email). Notice that BB made an entry requirement to Like or Comment on her giveaway posts on social media. This was a great strategy to get the readers to follow her over to social media.

Tip #4 – Offer Bonus scenes just for your subscribers. Bonus scenes are a great way to bring the reader deeper into your writing world. They can be extra epilogues or bonus scenes – anything that ties directly to one of your books. This author has a page on her website that houses all her bonuses, which she links to inside of her newsletter. This example is from Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Lucy Score.

Tip #5 – Participate in a newsletter swap with comparable writers (authors in your same genre with about the same number of subscribers). Newsletter swaps can be a great way to reach new readers who already love your genre. This example is from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennet.

Connecting with your readers and cultivating a relationship via email takes work and consistency, but the payoff is worth the effort. Most authors see a spike in sales when emails are sent. We encourage you to consider some of these five tips to test ways to improve your open and click-thru rate. 

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