When building an author’s platform, writers often fail to create a sizable subscriber list. They think their list of email addresses will suffice. However, this is not enough.The way to successfully promote a book, service or information product is through a subscriber list–a list of people who have actually asked to be notified about you books, services and products. A publisher will find a large subscriber list an impressive platform element, and it will prove a successful way to sell an independently published book, e-book or any other information product as well.
Producing an e-zine provides one of the best ways to create or increase a mailing list. Many writers balk at this idea, complaining that this job just involves more work–writing that takes them away from writing their book. However, it doesn’t have to do so; in fact, much of what goes into newsletter can be repurposed into a book or vice versa.
Today, Stephanie Chandler, author of LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business and From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, eBooks and Information Products, offers some great tips on how to build a large e-zine subscriber list. Although some of this may sound like it relates more to someone building a business rather than writing and selling books, remember that you are in the book writing, publishing and selling business. You are a business person as well as an author. All these tips relate to you, so take them to heart.
22 Ways to Increase Your E-zine Subscriber List
By Stephanie Chandler
Publishing an electronic newsletter (e-zine) is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business. To achieve the best results, it’s important to continue growing your subscriber list. Here’s a round-up of methods you can use to increase your database and ultimately, your profits.
1. Put a “Subscribe Here” link on EVERY PAGE of your Web site. Your e-zine shouldn’t be a well-kept secret; make it easy to subscribe.
2. Offer a bonus for signing up. A special report, e-book, coupon, discount or other special offer provides great incentive.
4. Include a “Forward to a Friend” link in your e-zine message. Sometimes all you have to do is ask!
5. Cross-promote your e-zine with business alliance partners. Contact businesses that compliment yours and offer to swap ads in each other’s e-zines.
6. Publish articles related to your industry in other e-zines and Web sites. You can distribute articles through sites like www.ezinearticles.com and www.ideamarketers.com. Make sure you include your author bio and a link back to your site.
7. Send your articles directly to industry-related Web sites. Let them know they can reprint your article as long as your bio is included. Many sites are in search of quality content so you have a good chance of getting your articles published.
8. Update your e-mail signature with a call to action: “Sign up for our monthly e-zine to receive industry reports and special offers!”
9. Print your call to action on the front or back of your business card and those of your employees.
10. If you conduct speaking engagements, make it easy for the audience to sign up for your e-zine either by using a bowl to capture business cards or by passing a sign-up sheet around the room.
11. Notify your friends, family and business alliance partners about your e-zine. Ask them to sign up and to refer others who might be interested.
12. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to build your list. If you’re hosting a trade show booth, give away something great—like an iPod—to entice people to leave their business cards.
13. If you meet a potential prospect at a business event or networking function, ask if you can add them to your list.
14. Never add someone to your list without asking first. This will frustrate recipients and they could end up marking your message as spam. If you generate enough spam reports, your e-mail address could get black listed by e-mail hosts, preventing future messages to your true subscribers from being delivered.
FOR RETAIL LOCATIONS
15. When your customers check-out or exit your business, make it a policy to ask every single person if they would like to receive your e-zine. Don’t forget to tell them WHY they should want it: “Would you like to receive our monthly e-zine? It contains industry articles along with a special subscribers-only discount!”
16. Host a promotion to capture e-mail addresses by placing a bowl in your lobby to collect business cards. Then conduct a monthly drawing and give away something of value such as a gift certificate or high-value product.
17. If you have a client application or intake form, include a line to capture the client’s e-mail address and a box the client can check to sign up for your e-zine.
18. Archive previous editions of your e-zine so that potential subscribers can preview your publication.
19. Follow the 60/40 rule. Your e-zine should contain at least 60% content and no more than 40% sales messaging. You will lose readers quickly if you aren’t providing interesting and valuable information.
20. Look at the e-zines you receive. What do you like about them? What do you dislike? How can your e-zine meet the needs of your readers? What incentive can you offer so that they open it each time it’s delivered (great content, special offers, information they can’t easily find elsewhere, etc.).
21. Be consistent with delivery. Your e-zine should go out on or around the same time each week, month or quarter. Whatever schedule you set, stick with it.
22. Make sure your e-zine aligns with the goals of your business. Your publication should have a clear purpose, consistent content, professional appearance, and ultimately become something your clients look forward to receiving.
About the Author
Stephanie Chandler is an author of several business and marketing books including “LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business” and From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, eBooks and Information Products. She is also founder and CEO of http://AuthorityPublishing.com, which specializes in custom publishing and internet marketing services, and http://BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs. For author and speaker details, visit http://StephanieChandler.com.