Creating an Effective Newsletter, Part 1As discussed in our blog post “Book Marketing Strategy: Make the Most of E-Newsletters and Email Marketing,” email marketing can be one of your most valuable tools for promoting your book to your audience.

When it comes to planning out your newsletter content, consider the newsletters that you receive. What do you like most? What do you dislike? Evaluating other publications, including those of your competitors, will give you some ideas for how to structure yours.

Give readers a reason to read and keep your newsletter by including a special coupon, industry news, statistics, or useful articles. If you are so inclined, you can even turn your newsletter into an additional revenue stream by selling advertising space to other businesses.

An email newsletter does not need to be flashy. It’s more important that it is easy to read and the content is valuable. Include graphic images (including your book’s cover) to give it visual appeal, and use plenty of headlines and bullets to make it easy for readers to scan through your content.

Beware of List Exhaustion

One of the biggest challenges faced with email marketing is keeping your subscribers interested in your messages. If you publish too often or your newsletter does not offer enough value, you will lose subscribers.

The same is true if you send too many promotional messages. It can be tempting to send frequent messages to your entire list to promote various aspects of your business, but if you do this too often, you will begin to exhaust your list. This is part of the churn-and-burn strategy that some internet marketers employ. Though they know they will lose subscribers by sending out frequent messages and sales offers, they don’t care because they simply replace those lost subscribers with new ones. You can avoid this fate and earn loyalty from subscribers by respecting your list and limiting the amount of promotional messages that you send out.

Keep an eye on your statistics. A professional e-newsletter service should be able to track how many join your list, unsubscribe, forward your messages, or report you as a spammer. Newsletters with quality content should see a very small percentage of unsubscribe requests, and if you see yours increasing, reevaluate your strategy.

Newsletter Topic Ideas

  • Articles written by author/business owner
  • Excerpt from your book
  • Roundup of recent blog posts
  • Quick tips (typically a few sentences about something useful)
  • Resources (website URL’s, phone numbers, addresses, etc.)
  • Advertisements
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Greeting from the author/business owner (this is essential to connecting with readers!)
  • Before and after photos
  • Contest announcements
  • Top-10-type lists (“10 Ways to Fabulous Summer Hair,” “12 Reasons Whole Grains Are Good for the Body,” etc.)
  • Industry news
  • New product/service announcements
  • Calendar of events
  • List of contacts
  • Featured product/service
  • Coupons
  • Photos
  • Results of a reader survey
  • Letters to the editor/feedback from readers
  • Product reviews
  • Graphs, tables, or charts
  • Historical events/dates
  • Customer profile
  • Testimonials
  • Book review
  • Book recommendation

Don’t be afraid to promote your books, products, and services within your newsletter. As long as you are providing plenty of useful content, readers will be glad to know about your offers.

In the next post, we’ll discuss e-newsletter delivery options, the importance of the CAN-SPAM Act, and final tips for e-newsletter success.

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