If you attend one of my workshops, one of the sheets of paper at the workshop is a newsletter sign up sheet. If a person puts their name and email address on that sheet it tells me they are okay with getting a newsletter from me. I add them to my newsletter and they get an email twice a month with articles, as well as the occasional promotional email. What surprises me, however, is how few other Pagan authors actually use a newsletter. I’ll go to their presentations or walk by a table where they have books and a person vending for them and there is never a newsletter sign-up in sight. A newsletter can be one of the best tools you use a writer, because it helps you reach an audience who has signed to receive the newsletter and wants to read the content.
You need a newsletter because it allows to stay in touch with people who are your fans and want to hear from you. It allows you to share special promotions and articles with them and keep them in the loop about special events you’ll be presenting at. A newsletter also allows you to make contact with them directly, via email, as opposed to indirectly through social media. They are getting a specific communication from you to them, which means you aren’t having to hope you’ll get their attention on a social media site.
If you want to set up a newsletter, I recommend using mailchimp, which has affordable rate and even has a program that allows you to use it for free (up to a specific number of sent emails). You can create multiple lists for specific subjects. For example I have a list for my business coaching and one for my writing. You can even create specific headers with appropriate branding as well as templates for your email. The templates can make it easy to write future emails, once you set them up. You just plug-in your content to the relevant part of the newsletter and then schedule it to be sent.
In terms of content, I recommend including the following: Events you’ll be presenting at with links to relevant information, an information article on a topic of relevant interest, and a request that people share your article if they find it useful. I also suggest that you keep promotional emails for classes distinct. Don’t include the promotion in every newsletter, but instead develop specific content for the promotion, which is sent out separate from the information articles you send.
A typical newsletter gets between 25 and 40% opens. If 37% of the people subscribed are opening your newsletter then you’re actually writing some compelling titles. It’s important to understand that not everyone who signs up for a newsletter will open it up and also that someone who does will only spend a few minutes at most reading unless the content is compelling. Nonetheless if they read and click links, you know they are engaged with your content. One additional benefit of a newsletter service like mailchimp is that you can share it on your social media. Whenever a newsletter is sent out, I can share a link to it for people who aren’t on the list to read.
If you’ve never used a newsletter before, now is the time to give it a try. Sign up and create one. Then create a sign up sheet for people who see you at events. Make sure you don’t add people without their permission. If they haven’t given you permission, it can be considered spam to send them unsolicited emails. You also want to create a sign up form for your website. I recommend also creating an offer of a free gift that people will get when they sign up for your site. For example, if you sign up for my newsletter on magical experiments, you get a free e-book. If you use a free e-book, provide a cover image for the e-book with the sign up sheet.
Newsletters are a useful marketing tool for authors. If you don’t have one, create one and give it a try.