Newsletters, these days, it feels like everyone has one. Some people are consistent, some aren’t, and many make you feel like they are explicitly trying to sell you something. Having an average open rate for any particular newsletter of 40.3% might not seem great if you don’t have a newsletter, but that’s versus an industry average of 17.4%, and I’ve had my newsletter since March 10, 2014.
I used to put it out monthly, then I up’ed it to weekly, and now I’ve pushed it back down to bi-weekly because I just have too much going on, and I spend time on the content. You have to find the right frequency that your subscribers are able to absorb. Sending out dailies is probably going to result in people reading every one in ten or so.
My newsletter focuses on a few things:
- What I’m up to. For example, conventions or books that I’m working on.
- Things that readers can get involved in. For example, I ran a book give away to schools, everyone could nominate one. I also ask questions and solicit feedback.
- Special Offers. There are offers that are made only to the subscribers, for example at one point you could get a print copy of Snappy & Dashing (which is at the end of its run) for only $5 plus postage. Also if I’m running a 99c sale, I want them to know, but I’m not pushing it in anyone’s face.
- Special Content. In recent weeks I’ve been sharing raw excerpts from The Man of Cloud 9, I’ll be revealing my cover first to the newsletter crew. I’m planning on doing a very special pre-sale offer for The Man of Cloud 9 to everyone on the newsletter. There will be a special announcement regarding a Yellow Hoods derived series soon, and more. This is content that I don’t usually blog, or if I do it’s a while later.
- Blog Summary. I hand pick the best of what I’ve posted to my blog since the last newsletter, and I include it with a brief description. That way if you missed something when it was first posted, you can know about it.
There are some letters that just blast and blast at subscribers, I think that’s wrong. It’s similar to social media, be genuine, be human, and be thoughtful. Is it hard? Yes, particularly doing it weeks in and weeks out, but it’s worth it. It’s easy to be forgotten as an author these days.
If you aren’t already a subscriber, why not take a moment and signup. Come see what the fuss is all about.