|Tools and Tidbits for Writers|
by JQ Rose
Hello and welcome!
Today on Tools and Tidbits for Writers, we're talking about building an email list filled with folks who are interested in you as a writer. But why bother? How do you find people wanting to be on your email list? Once you have the list, how do you send a large number of emails without getting in trouble?
Well, let's dive in. Feel free to ask questions and/or share your experience with email lists in the comments section below.
Why do you need an email list?
I thought having an email list was not necessary until many experts explained that the connections I have on Facebook or Youtube and my free blog could easily be broken because I don't have any real estate on those sites. What if FB or YouTube went out of business? Just this summer, Blogger which is the home of this blog, decided to abandon using RSS feeds to let my subscribers know when a new blog post was published. That hurt. I have installed follow.it hoping subscribers will come back and follow me again.
About 2 years ago, I signed up with mailerlite to be my email responder, also known as an autoresponder. I send my monthly newsletters through mailerlite thanks to a heads-up from my author friend, Juneta. There are so many companies that offer this service with a free membership up to a designated amount of emails. Once the list hits their maximum, such as 1000 emails, they will charge for the service.
Constant Contact, Aweber, Mailchimp, sendinblue and more are some of the most recognized names for emailing, landing page creations, promotions, etc. Autoresponders could be another blog post topic!
Once you decide you do want to offer a monthly or weekly contact with friends, family, readers, you can join the autoresponder company, and they will compile the addresses. This connection is usually in the form of a newsletter.
I suggest you not refer to it as a newsletter. Another newsletter filling up the inbox will erase the idea of subscribing to another one. The title of my surreptitious newsletter is The Rose Courier. Think of something catchy to get their attention and curiosity stirred up, and not a reminder it is actually a newsletter e.g. Jan's Newsletter or Newsletter from Jan.
Newsletters can be fun to put together and an entertaining piece that is fun for readers to enjoy photos, articles, jokes, quizzes, polls. It doesn't have to be a dry old letter shouting "buy my book."
HOW DO YOU GET READERS' EMAIL ADDRESSES?
I know, it was a puzzle to me too as to how to direct people to join the list. Don't worry about that. The autoresponder directs you through the setup. Then gives you a link so when people click on the link they subscribe to your list. This does take some study and watching tutorials, but I believe having the ability to connect to readers whenever you wish is worth the effort (and even the hair-pulling!)
TIP: You probably have friends' and acquaintances' email addresses. Do not add people to your list without their permission.
HOW DO YOU GROW AN EMAIL LIST?
Once you have your friends and family on the email list, how do you grow that list? That is the question!
1. Many experts in the field suggest giveaways, also referred to as freebies, lead magnets, reader magnets (or bribes) to connect with readers. A giveaway can be about anything pertaining to your writing, teaching, speaking, business. Just don't make it something you spend hours and days on creating. It can be a checklist, an article, an excerpt or a chapter of an eBook (such as the first in a series of books). When sending the freebie, a note will accompany the gift inviting the person to join your newsletter. So, in exchange for the gift, the person gives up his/her email address.
A lot of testing is needed to discover what giveaway works in getting readers' attention. So, create more than one. You can have several giveaways going at once.
I must admit I have not done this giveaway idea because experts explain that a lot of the email addresses are just there to get a freebie. They will probably not be active, so if you are paying the autoresponder to send an email, you are wasting your money. What is your experience with giveaways?
2. Authors XP offers a paid program for growing email lists. Click here to find out all the ways they can help you build your list.
3. Use a sign-up sheet at events such as author talks, book signings, festivals, any in-person events, but be sure the person knows they are subscribing to your newsletter with the ability to unsubscribe after receiving it.
4. Include the link to the newsletter in your email signature.
5. Spread the word on social media.
6. Make it easy to sign-up on your blog.
7. Be a guest on a blog, podcast and YouTube shows.
8. Swap newsletters with an author who writes in your genre or field.
9. The old-fashioned way of getting the word out--word-of-mouth. Ask friends to tell their friends about your newsletter.
And yes, reaching out to people to sign up for your newsletter is similar to marketing a book. Use all the resources you have.
Thank you for stopping in.
I just happen to have the link to sign up for the Rose Courier below. I'd appreciate a chance to deliver it to your inbox once a month. In fact, this Friday is delivery day. You can unsubscribe if it is not for you. Thank you for your consideration.
|The Rose Courier|