How many email newsletters (enewsletters) do you get? Maybe you feel as if you get too many and just hit delete on a lot of them — or even unsubcribe.
But what about the ones you really like?
Email is still the #1 way companies — and authors — communicate with their customers and readers. And it can be a very personal way of connecting.
If you don’t have any experience with sending enewsletters, never fear. There are tools to manage the creating and sending part, and we have hints to assist with the content part.
- Decide on an email management system (EMS). We’ve used and recommend Constant Contact, but there are others. Find some here (most have free options).
- Have a prominent “Subscribe here” button on your web site. The EMS you choose will have instructions for this. Your email list will be managed through the system you choose (unsubscribes, bounces etc.)
- Decide on your email template (there will be lots to choose from; simpler is better).
- Decide on your email frequency (once a month is great to start out).
- Create and send your first newsletter!
What should your enewsletter say? Great question. Some suggestions:
- Content from your blog, if you have one. Include an excerpt and link to a full post.
- Update on what you’re working on. Don’t give away the farm, but let your readers and prospective readers know how it’s going. One author I know uses a spreadsheet to keep track of his progress, and includes a screenshot of it.
- Excerpt from an earlier book, if you have one, with a link to purchase from OSV, Amazon, B&N.
- Have you spotted your book on a bookstore shelf? Great place to take a selfie and include in your enewsletter. Invite your readers to send you their “sightings” and “shelfies.”
- Any upcoming events like talks, webcasts, book signings or guest columns or articles.
- What you’re reading, or is on your “to be read” list, or your favorite author’s latest book.
- Links to your social media — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- A short reflection or prayer that you use before writing.
- Reflection on a saint or Bible verse that has helped you on your writing journey.
- Be sure to include an email address.
- Something fun you’ve read/done/want to do, or somewhere you’ve traveled.