Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wicked Wednesday - examining newsletters


One of the most handy tools a writer can use is the newsletter. You can promote your new book, share a contest, and tease your readers with a new project. Newsletters are a special tool in our arsenal because they're all about the readers. Or, at least, they should be.

My newsletter - Geeks, Freaks, & EEKS! - is one year old this month. It was intimidating when I started. I use MailChimp, and it took a little while to get the hang of it. Now it's easy to piece together a bulletin when I've decided what I want to say.

I worried that no one except a few friends would sign up for it. I pointed readers to the little widget on the sidebar of my blog and website. All you have to do is put in your email address. So simple! I was right to worry. Very few people subscribed.

Why? How could I entice readers to sign up? I offered contests just for my subscribers and a couple more folks added their names to the list. When I toured earlier this year, I gave the most points on my raffles to those that signed up for my newsletter. It attracted another dozen readers.

Now that I've reached the anniversary of my newsletter, I'm re-examining what I want to do with it and how to draw new subscribers. I've done a bunch of research, and here is what I have planned:

1. I will be sending out my newsletter quarterly instead of every month. (And for special events like book releases.)
2. There will be something in each newsletter exclusively for subscribers that won't be released anywhere else until at least two days after the newsletter has been sent.
3. I'll be attracting new subscribers with a free book.

Oh yes. You read it right! New subscribers to my newsletter will receive their choice of either The 13th Floor Complete Collection or Of Blood and Sorrow. (Sorry I cannot give away my Dice & Debauchery books.)

I'll be sending out my anniversary newsletter this Friday (August 14th). One lucky subscriber will win some swag including one of my special Christine Rains dice. So if you do sign up, you'll not only get a free book, but you'll have a chance to win some more cool stuff!

It's all about the readers.

Do you have a newsletter? If you do, what tips can you share about how to attract subscribers?

19 comments:

  1. I don't have a newsletter yet, but I might consider it if I sense that my readership (which currently mostly consists of people who go to my blog anyway) needs it. :-)

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  2. Newsletter is very important to promote any information!

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  3. Elizabeth S. Craig does the same thing - she gives away a book to new subscribers.
    Congratulations on one year!

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  4. I subscribe to tons of newsletters, b/c I love getting them in my mailbox, and seeing the different things authors put in them. Fascinating! =)

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  5. Sounds like you have a really good plan. Way to go!

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  6. Misha, my blog is still my number one tool. I'm still toying with the whole newsletter thing, trying to make it work for me.

    WW, yes, it is!

    Alex, thank you!

    Leandra, I like it too. Some are super creative!

    Ava, thanks! :)

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  7. As you know, I am just starting my newsletter. I've been signed up for yours for a while now and I love to get it. I'm looking forward to the changes. :D Best of luck!

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  8. I don't usually like to sign up for newsletters if the person is just sending out the same information that could be found on their blog/website. I like the idea of it being different for subscribers. And you may have just sucked me in with the whole free book thing...

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  9. I've thought about it off and on. But I feel I would only get my blog readers to sign up. Sounds like you have some good ideas.
    Susan Says

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  10. I, too, would like to get some more subscribers for my newsletter. Thanks for the ideas!

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  11. I did a newsletter a few years ago, but got rid of it because I never did anything with it. Sometimes I toy with trying again, but I usually say everything I want over on my blog so it seems redundant.

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  12. I think it's a good idea to have a newsletter as well as to offer a free book as an incentive for people to sign up. I've recently started offering a book for mine, and I'm still considering how often to send out newsletters.

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  13. You know about me and newsletters. I've been offering free books and am now approaching 500. These are people who have read at least one other of my books. So it consider it a valuable tool. I've begun sending them out more frequently. After tons of research. I know. It can contradict. In the end, we have to decide on what works for us. That's always the best choice. :)

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  14. I've thought about doing a newsletter but my readers are so young...and I don't know if the parents, teachers, and librarians I'm trying to market to would sign up for it.

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  15. Sounds like a wonderful plan.
    I signed up for the newsletter, need to learn all I can, and you and Chrys are going to teach me! Good luck!

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  16. I have wondered about newsletters, too. People are inundated with emails, so I wonder how many people who subscribe to newsletters even read them.

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  17. Hey, I love the title of your newsletter. Very catchy! I get new subscribers every time I do a Facebook party or event. Or a blog tour. Or a trickle of them any old time. I have offered them free books of they do a R2R and I got TONS of signups, but I found that only about a third actually read and posted a review.
    So, next time I may make them jump through an extra hoop or two. But I always alert them to book sales.

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  18. I don't usually sign up for newsletters just because my inbox in always so full. I really need to create a separate email for writing and blogging that is not connected to my primary email full of legal stuff. You've enticed me to sign up for yours and I love your title.

    I'm not ready to offer a newsletter. I don't have a published book - yet- and I don't think I have anything additional to offer in one. But, thank you for sharing the tips. I know that in the future, a newsletter will be a valuable tool and it helps to learn as much as I can before that time.

    You have a good plan and I feel certain it will increase your number of subscribers

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  19. One year old already? Wow! I've always enjoyed your newsletter, so hopefully the free book angle helps compel even more people to sign up for it... :)

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