I encourage all authors who are developing a website to have a newsletter sign-up area where they can start collecting names and email addresses. This list can be invaluable, because it’s comprised of people who have already expressed interest in your writing and want to hear from you. You couldn’t BUY a list like this. Next time your book is going to be featured on TV (don’t we all wish that were the case) or when your next book is close to being released, you can notify everyone via email newsletter. Rather than waiting for them to come to you, you can come to them.
But getting people to sign up for a newsletter (and be satisfied with it) isn’t as easy as you would think. There are some simple, common mistakes that you can make in the process that can turn people off. Almost all of them fall into the same category: lack of information. Here are the common newsletter no-nos that you should make sure to avoid.
1. Not offering anything for signing up. You’re far more likely to get people to sign up for your newsletter if you offer them a reward for doing so. Maybe a downloadable PDF with some fun facts or free entry in a raffle. Get creative with your ideas.
2. Not letting people know what they’re getting. When you’re signing up for a newsletter, you want to know what kind of information you’ll be getting and how often it will arrive. So do your readers! Give them a general idea of how often they should expect to hear from you (weekly? monthly? quarterly?) and what your newsletters will include. Will they be news? Special offers? Contests? Ads? Tell them right off the bat.
3. Not guaranteeing privacy of information. Everyone is wary — and rightly so, nowadays — about giving out their email address. Too many websites have collected addresses and then sold them to vendors who are looking to advertise to a specific type of audience. Hence, all the SPAM messages we get. Make it a point to assure your readers that you won’t share their email addresses with anyone.
Add these three crucial pieces of information to the newsletter sign-up process and we guarantee that your numbers will increase. And when it does, share your story with us!