Do you have an email list that you message regularly? Email is a proven channel of communication. An email is more likely to be seen than a social post and more likely to be acted upon than a call-to-action on your website. Emails are relational, providing a chance for authors to speak directly into the lives of readers via their personal inbox. What an opportunity to impact lives for the cause of the Kingdom!
So, if you haven’t started one yet, it’s time to get to work. Sign up with an email service provider (like Constant Contact, Mailchimp, or Emma) and get started! If you have a list, but could use some help growing it, check out the following 5 tips.
- Create great content.
Great content gets read and shared, but for many organizations, creating compelling content is a challenge. That’s where you as an author have an advantage. Great content is what you are known for and people already want to hear from you. Before you begin delivering content via email, make sure it is easily sharable. Enable the sharing feature for your emails, and add “Click to Tweet” buttons to increase shares from your readers. Other ideas for content include creating excerpts from your existing works, and writing articles on current issues or events relevant to your expertise. If you are a blogger, convert popular posts into newsletter content to promote awareness of your blog, or give readers a behind-the-scenes look at daily life.
- Provide a free resource online.
Host a giveaway on your website or social sites. Whether you are giving away an ebook, chapter excerpt, a video, or physical prize, ask for an email address in exchange for the content. Be clear that those who give their email address are being added to your email list. Ideally, provide a checkbox that readers can check to opt-in or uncheck to opt-out upon sign up.
- Give multiple opportunities to sign up.
Place a sign-up box at the top of your website or blog so that it is one of the first things people see when they access your site. Also, include a little text to tell your readers exactly what they will receive. Something like this can go a long way: Place a sign-up box on each page of your website and the sidebar of your blog. And if you are speaking at a conference, include a link to sign up in your slides or allow attendees to sign up with you afterward, even if it is on a physical sheet of paper.
- Partner with influencers.
Write a guest blog for a site who has a similar following and include an opportunity to join your email list. Give an influencer an opportunity to have a blurb in your newsletter in exchange for placement in their newsletter. Support those who have similar audiences, and view it as a partnership with a common goal of pointing people to the Gospel rather than a competition for readers.
- Be consistent.
Provide great content consistently. Provide timely content consistently. If you tell readers you will send an email every three weeks, do that. Be predictable. Love people well with the content you provide. We don’t write email content just to “make sales,” but to make connections and serve the body of Christ well!
If you devote the attention and time needed, we believe that you will soon find your email list becomes one of your most effective tools in growing your ministry.