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?