One of the biggest mistakes authors make is thinking their newsletter is about selling. Marketing, which is what your newsletter is part of, is about building relationships. When you have good relationships with people, they’ll buy without you “selling” at all.
When you imagine that one person you’re writing your newsletter for, also remember that you’re not dragging a friend down the alley to mug them (because it’s not about money.) Instead, you’re chatting with someone who asked you to talk to them. Would you really say “I’m sure you don’t really want to talk to me, so I’ll keep this brief and infrequent”?
The origin of this problem is that too many folks aren’t building their list the right way. Numbers mean nothing. The people on your list should want to be there, to hear from you. If they signed up as some 7-author extravaganza where they got a bunch of free books in exchange, the chances of them feeling a close personal connection to you are small indeed. Organic growth from people who know, like, and trust you results in a list that’s eager to hear from you.
Not that giving away a freebie to get folks on your list is bad; it’s actually perfect for authors. Just as a nothing gets folks to buy the bread & butter pickles like a free sample in the deli aisle, nothing gets the right folks on your list like giving them samples of your work before and after they sign up. First, it’s your blog posts. Then they want (want) the freebie and newsletter.
And now you’ve got a list full of people eager to hear from you, not just when you have a book, but at least once a month. Roy H. Williams, the Wizard of Ads, greatest advertising writer alive, sends his Monday Morning Memo, erm, every Monday. And I’d pay to read it. When it arrives I drop everything and dig in. Every single week.
And if you shudder at the thought of bread & butter pickles? That’s right, the sample tells you to stay away.
And that’s another reason to give samples: it keeps the wrong people off your list. Can’t have insiders if you never have outsiders. Tomorrow, how to help insiders and outsiders identify themselves so you build a more engaged responsive fan base.