A couple of weeks ago, when I recapped June in the Write-Up, I introduced our brand new mailing list. Everybody and their grandmother knows that authors should have some sort of mailing list to be able to reliably contact their readers. Want a specific example of why? Check out this blog where I talked about the uncertainty of relying on social media.
But I am not going to spend this blog talking about the perks and necessities of having an email list. Instead, today we will be looking at the other side: Why should people sign up for your email list?
It is no secret that people need an incentive to sign up for your mailing list. You cannot expect someone to give you their contact information and consent to email them without giving something back in return. So here are ten ideas for email list incentives for you to build your subscriber list.
The basics. A newsletter is great to keep your subscribers up to date on what is happening, specifically with your content or products. It does not really offer anything new, or it might incorporate some of the later items on this list into it.
2. Early Access to Some Content
Your subscribers are most likely joining your list because they actually like your content. Shocking, I know, but you are probably doing better than you think. If this is the case, perhaps give them access to some upcoming content a week or two in advance. I don't mean blogs in this case, but perhaps short stories, podcasts, or videos. Give them what they want!
3. Discounts and Promotions
Reward their loyalty with exclusive deals. Subscribers should be able to get something of yours at a discount, even if just for a limited time. But keep in mind that they probably already have some of your products, so make sure it is worth their while!
4. Exclusive Content
This content is for your subscribers alone. Perhaps it is an eBook or a novella, or some of your videos and short stories. Make them feel special by knowing that they are the only ones who have access to this content. They are giving you something valuable, so give them something exclusive.
5. Content Upgrades
You probably already have a wealth of blogs on your site. If you don't, you really only need a few. But take some of your best, most popular blogs, and upgrade them! This could mean making a partner blog, a video, a podcast, a graphic, or anything you think your subscribers might enjoy.
6. Partner Promotions
If you are a content creator, odds are you have networked until your eyes are sore and your fingers are worn out from messaging and emailing. Leverage those connections for your subscribers; what might they like from people that you have met? Work out a deal with your network and offer more content and deals to your mailing list!
7. Curated Lists
You know what your subscribers like, so show them more of it! Create lists that would be of interest to your subscribers. Focus on content that is not yours, but is similar to it. This way your subscribers get a great experience, courtesy of you! Your list could include videos, blogs, podcasts, books, etc.
Sometimes you just need to reward your fans. You could give away one of your products for free to your mailing list, or you could do a random draw from your list to be rewarded with something a little bigger. Just make sure that whatever you give away is specific to you and your niche or genre; you don't want to attract people who are just after generic free stuff.
Get your subscribers engaged! Think of a contest that they can participate in, one with a prize that they want to win. Perhaps it is a fan art contest? Maybe I will ask my list to create their own monster for a future Nightshade story, and they get a cameo or a prize in return. Make it fun for them, but not too challenging.
Never underestimate the power of a personal update. Remember that you are a character, not just a writer, when it comes to blogs and content. Your mailing list is vested in you, so let them know how you are doing every now and then. Just got engaged? Moved to a new house? Let them know! Things get lost in social media feeds, so be sure to connect directly with them.
Now this ultimately begs the question: What will my subscribers get?
I’ve been thinking long and hard about it. At first I thought it would just come to me, like the perfect content would just show up. After almost a year of running this blog, you would think I would know better.
But I finally decided on the perfect content. On top of the dabbling in most of the above list, my subscribers will primarily be getting content upgrades and exclusive stories. The upgrades will be additional content building off the most popular blogs on the site, making them more engaging and beneficial for you.
The exclusive content is what I’m most excited for. These subscriber-only pieces will be Survivor Stories, short tales about the events that take place before Archangel, during the Apocalypse. Unlike Archangel, which boasts a cast of extraordinary heroes, Survivor Stories will be all about the men and women during and after the war for Earth.
As I mentioned, there will be other perks to being a subscriber, but these two are the ones coming up soon! So be sure to subscribe to get all the upcoming benefits.
Are you an author or a blogger? Have you setup your email list? Let us know in the comments below what incentives you use and why we should subscribe to you!