According to what I was told back in 2006, a
newsletter could be the most important tool of all. At the time, my webmistress
urged me to start gathering names because the people who signed up to get my
intermittent letters would be interested in me and my progress. They’d be my
fans –happy for my success, supportive and hopefully proud.
After visiting various workshops at the Emerald City
(Seattle) Conference recently, I do believe that advice was solid. I’m happy to
say that I took her seriously and I did start gathering my list.
I opened my newsletter in a place called Your Mailing List where you can gather up to 1,000 names before the price of
$3.99/mo kicks in. There are other places out there and I do believe one of the
most popular sites is called Mail Chimp where you can have 2,000 on your
mailing list for free (why didn’t I sign there???) Mimi—pounding desk!! After further checking,
it seems once the 2,000 range is reached, the cost increases
significantly…hummm! Lifting head off desk, grinning…
Unfortunately, since I haven’t been very active
about garnering names, I probably won’t have to worry about slipping into the
paying slot for some time. But that changes as of today. From now on, anyone I
meet who touches my life in some way will be invited – notice I didn’t say
begged – invited to join my mailing list.
Recently, I listened to a seminar on
newsletters where the speaker strongly urged anyone who had a product for sale
to send out letters at least once a week and always be prepared to reward the
reader in some way for opening and reading the post. Giving the reader an incentive
for reading my news made sense, whether it is a bit of humor to brighten their
day or maybe a chance to win a gift certificate or even a free book. I could do
that. But not four times a month.
Face it, there just isn’t that much to say between
books and I’m lucky to get one released every couple of months. Myself, I do
enjoy reading what some of my colleagues are working on but I wouldn’t be so
interested if I became inundated with too many people sending me continuous
updates. Therefore, I decided that a monthly letter would be sufficient. Now,
all I have to do is make sure that there’s some excitement in my life so I can
pass it on.
And you know what? There is. Lately, I’ve seen my income steadily
rise from all the hard work I’ve put in. My books are becoming popular and have
reached a lot more people than I ever dreamed they would. It’s brilliant to know
that I have touched that many lives with my stories. It’s also wonderful to
have made so many new friends in the industry.
And here comes the fun part – Ahem!! Are you
YOU sign up for my newsletter?? There’s a hot little button on the right side
and anyone who signs up in the next month will have a chance to win a $20 Amazon
did I do? Did you sign??
Rhonda Albom says
Well done. The possibility of winning, got me to join 🙂
I am just on my first draft now, no editors or publishers (yet). When do I want to start a newsletter?
Mimi Barbour says
If I were you, I'd start working on one now. Hopefully, you have a blog or a website where you can start gathering names. Of course, your private list of friends' e-mails are the first to be added. They always want to hear from you :-)) Thanks for joining mine and I hope you do win XO
Thanks for sharing your experience with having a mailing list. I don't even have one yet which after reading your post here, I think I should. maybe i should start one for the new year.
Mimi Barbour says
Hi Andrea, Trust me, darlin. You should really be looking into starting a newsletter. And when you do….I'll be the first to sign up for you XO
I signed up Mimi!
I started my monthly newsletter this past summer and have been tweaking as I go. Per your advice, the next step is to add fun incentives. If you're interested in mine, here is the sign up form Missy's Monthly Newsletter
Mimi Barbour says
Hi Missy, so glad you've got yours started. I think that's the hardest part. I'm off to sign up for yours – can't wait to see what fun stuff you come up with. BTW Copy-catting is allowed heheh