Newsletters are some of the greatest marketing tools an author has.
Think about it. Someone has given you their explicit permission to contact them directly through their e-mail. That’s huge, and not a privilege that you want to lose.
So how do you write newsletter content that is relevant and interesting?
Keep it simple
Your audience’s attention is limited. As tempting as it may be to include a personal story, plus a recipe, plus an excerpt from your book, plus a blog post, plus your latest news…don’t. Resist the temptation. Keep it short and sweet, and limit yourself to one or two main pieces of information.
Everything that doesn’t fit in your newsletter? Save it for your blog. Or in some cases, for your close friends.
- @AuthorMedia taught me how to write a great author newsletter. Click to Tweet
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- Newsletters: A superb marketing tool for authors. Here’s how to write one. Click to Tweet
- Newsletter subscribers are giving you their personal contact information. Reward them. Click to Tweet
Keep it about them
The same rule that applies to your website applies to your newsletter (perhaps even more so since you’re taking up space in their inbox): It’s not about you, it’s about them. Think about what they want, and give it to them.
If you don’t consider what your audience wants, you may find your subscribers unsubscribing. Or worse, marking your newsletter as spam.
So what are some things that your audience wants?
Whatever you do, don’t make your newsletter an exact copy of your blog. Otherwise, why would people read your newsletter? Give them a reason to sign up. Offer exclusive content that isn’t found on the blog.
Many of your followers would probably love to meet you in person. So when they have the opportunity, let them know! Don’t make this difficult for them, give them as much information as possible: dates, times, locations, ticket information, links to directions or tickets, etc. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to show up.
Definitely do NOT skip this one! A good chunk of book sales come from pre-orders, and your newsletter is a fantastic way to let your followers know when the book is available. You’ll want to make sure and send out several newsletters when you have a book launch approaching. This makes it more likely for your followers to take action and order your book.
We recommend that our authors send out book launch reminders on the following schedule:
- 1 month before
- 2 weeks before
- 1 week before
- The day before
- The day of the launch
If you use Mailchimp (which we recommend), it’s super easy to schedule these newsletters in advance.
Maybe you just signed a contract for another book, or just landed an agent. These are exciting pieces of news that your audience is likely interested in knowing. Save these pieces of news for newsletter subscribers only, or tell them at least a week in advance of going public.
Give your subscribers the feeling of being “insiders.” After all, they’ve given you their personal contact information. Now reward them.
Keep it You
Some of you may find yourselves writing differently in a newsletter than in a blog post. If at all possible, maintain the same writing style across all forms of communication. While there will be some differences, your subscribers joined because they enjoy what they saw publicly–your blog. Don’t forget that!
What about you?
What kind of information do you put in your newsletter? What have you found your audience enjoys?