I've been trying different strategies when it comes to my newsletter (NL), and I'm forever researching them. I've even signed up for dozens of them. Probably more than 100. Yeah, you can imagine how my inbox looks!
But it is very helpful in seeing how authors set up their NLs, what works and what doesn't, and what motivates subscribers to keep reading.
Here's the info I gathered:
- authors who send out their NLs daily offer little more than "buy my or my friends' books"
- authors who send out their NLs weekly have more exclusive content, but still are mainly just advertising books
- authors who send out their NLs monthly (or less) feature the most personal content and news
- almost all authors offer something free to new subscribers
- a few authors offer something for free in every NL while more hold giveaways
- giveaways for gift cards get more responses than giveaways for books
- most authors only offer excerpts or first chapters when a new release comes out
- less than half talk about what they're writing now
- less than half have a NL and a blog
- less than 10% of authors talk about what's going on their lives
My preferences as a reader:
- I don't like the daily NLs, and I especially don't like the NLs where the author is advertising another author's books and says nothing at all about what they personally are doing
- I will enter giveaways, but only for books if I like the author's work
- I read NLs most often when they offer something special or personal like their experience at a recent signing, a family trip, or a regular feature that isn't focused on books
What I have tried as an author:
- I offered up a free ebook to new subscribers. It's not much of a motivator, and I would prefer to sell the book instead. After my poll on Monday, I have decided to write a short story that will be exclusive to new subscribers.
- I've tried drip campaigns (a series of NLs sent every week). Subscribers do not respond better or worse to them. I get the same amount of opens and clicks for the campaigns as I do normally.
- I sent out one NL recently that offered no giveaways or freebies. I had the most amount of unsubscribes I've ever gotten and my first spam complaint.
- I've tried numerous NL swaps. They did not bring me more subscribers or sales.
What I am going to try this year:
- I will pull back on how frequently I send out my NL. My next one comes out on March 17th, and then I won't send out another until mid-April. Monthly (except on special occasions) seems like the best way to go for me.
- I will try to always have a giveaway or freebie involved, whether it be one I'm participating in or a link to an author's I like.
- I want to add in personal news and/or a feature, but I still want to keep the NL separate from my blog. They are not the same thing, and I won't treat them as such.
Do you have a newsletter? Do you subscribe to any? What do you like and don't like about them?