One of the best ways to keep your readers involved and engaged (and buying your books) is to send them regular emails, but it’s important to make sure that the message is relevant else they’ll unsubscribe. Here’s a list of things that will get people joining your list and keep them opening your emails.
1Teasers, pre-releases, and exclusive content
People like secrets and gossip, they like knowing things other people do not and being part of a select group. You can take advantage of this by releasing teasers and exclusive content to your email subscribers.
Things like a synopsis of what book you’re currently working on, cover designs you have in the pipeline, book trailers on YouTube, etc. Your readers will enjoy getting this information first, and will be more likely to share it across social media when they do.
Use key words like ‘exclusive’, ‘advanced’, and ‘sneak-peek’ in your sign-up forms and subject lines to encourage new subscribers and openers.
One of the best places to put a link to your sign-up form is in your actual book. A final page with a link or URL at the end of your book works wonders. Who is more likely to sign-up to your list than someone who’s just finished and enjoyed your book?
Everyone loves a freebie, and will quite happily engage for the chance of something for nothing. Giving your subscribers a preview of your upcoming book will give them the chance to read your work for free as well as getting them invested in the story early.
Once you’ve published your work you could offer it for free for the first day (giving them prior warning). This will encourage your fans to download the book and write good reviews, which will in turn encourage more people to buy in the future.
You could also create free works like poems or short-stories one by one, unlockable by subscribing to your list, and release them at a later date as a published collection.
It might sound like a bit of extra work, but imagine it the same as free samples of product at the supermarket. People who have tried a bit of your work are more likely to buy the full product.
As with a freebie, everyone loves a competition. This could be a free copy of your latest work for download, or even a physical print edition of your book.
If you’re feeling a bit rich, you could even offer up a new eReader, or other expensive equipment as a prize. The bigger the prize, the more likely people are to sign up.
If you haven’t got deep pockets, you could offer ‘walk-on’ parts in your story, the opportunity to name characters, or have part of the story involve someone’s hometown.
People love asking questions. You could offer a Q&A session with your readers, giving them the chance to ask questions about your published books or about stories you have coming up, as well as tips and techniques on how you come up with your ideas.
Offering Q&A sessions encourages engagement, and keeps your reader invested in your work.
Even if you haven’t got a book you’re currently promoting you need to keep up the momentum with your newsletters and continue sending relevant content. A good way to do this is to recommend other author’s books.
Suggesting other works to your readers is a great way to keep them invested in you, any good reads you recommend will reflect well back on you, making you seem more personable and authoritative. They’ll trust your taste and will be more likely to buy your book when it comes out.
You could network with other, like-minded authors, and recommend each other’s books, helping to promote each other whilst pleasing fans at the same time as expanding your subscriber list.
Don’t abuse the system
Once you’ve got a good number of people on your list don’t abuse the system. It’s difficult to get subscribers and incredibly easy to lose them.
Plan your emails in advance and mention upcoming content in each send, much like television shows have a preview of what’s happening next week at the end of each episode.
There is a fine line between sending regular content and spamming people incessantly.
Make sure you keep some sort of regular pattern to your sends, maybe once a week or a fortnight, and try not to go outside that unless your news is time dependent. Your subscribers should know when to expect your email and look forward to it rather than be pestered.
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