Build Your List: Newsletters as an Author Platform Building Tool
One critical component to building your author platform is to create and maintain a regular newsletter. Speaking directly to those who are interested in what you have to say on a regular basis with relevant and compelling content will bring you some great marketing and conversion opportunities now and well into the future.
First, we will discuss why you need a newsletter in the first place. Then, we’ll get into the finer details of ways it can work for you and how it can be most effectively distributed.
Every author is doing it. Here’s why.
The primary purpose of your newsletter is simple. It’s list building, list building, list building. There is no more direct way to communicate with your audience than through this channel. After all, each person has opted to be included in this list. These are your peeps. They want to hear from you and they welcome you into their inbox. This list is something to be preserved, pampered, and treasured. It’s unique and specific to you as an author and it is priceless. Deliver them content that is useful and uniquely available to them and they will continue letting you into their inbox again and again.
Leverage your list by giving them the good stuff.
Offer exclusives to your newsletter subscribers so they see the tangible benefit of being a member of your list. This could be special discounts or bonus materials for your current book, sneak peeks of your new material, or contests to win things not directly related to your book at all. Get creative and deliver value!
Looking for a way to drive attendees to an event or to capitalize on that great interview or review you have coming up? Let your list know all about it in your newsletter. You just may convert some potential readers to bona fide book buyers by doing so.
You can also let your loyal list take some ownership of your yet-to-be-published works by getting them involved in the process early. Ask them what they want to see from you next, survey them about such topics as title or character names, or let them weigh in on cover comps. You don’t HAVE to take their advice if it’s not what is best for your book, but getting their opinion can create some buy in from their side, which is of paramount importance when it’s time to move the needle on book two, three, or four.
Finally, don’t forget to incentivize them to tell a friend or colleague. After all, the goal is to grow your list. Ask them to help you and give them a great reason to do so, such as free content or access to you directly for a book club or training session.
Now that you know you need one, how should you handle getting it out there?
You can opt to manage your list yourself by essentially sending out a mass email or a series of mass emails once your list gets really big. That is appealing to those who don’t want to learn a new system or outsource something they feel perfectly competent in managing themselves. But there are benefits to utilizing a newsletter distribution service that are worth seriously considering.
Using a newsletter distribution service will ensure that you are meeting any legal requirements necessary, such as including a way to unsubscribe, and also makes those functions hands off for you, saving you time. You can also access analytics such as open rates that would not be available to you if you simply sent out a mass email. Finally, your newsletter can appear more professional in design very easily and will be formatted for either text only or image viewing so that your smart phone readers can still get your message without all the graphics if they choose.
If you aren’t already on the newsletter bandwagon, it’s high time you jumped aboard. With relative ease, you can be up and running on building your author platform with this important marketing tool in no time flat! The benefits of doing so will surely make it worth your while.