This article originally posted in 2017, and several other authors using MailerLite provided their own tips in the comment section. Here are a few ideas that we thought were excellent!
Author: Monica Burns
I keep it folksy. Readers want to know authors, not just what they have coming out. I share quite a bit of personal stuff with readers, triumphs, losses, etc. I'll do the occasional survey, and to the best of my ability, I keep it as a real newsletter. I do limited sale info and more of a newsletter where it's fun stuff. That helps with open rates from regular readers.
Author: Sarah Darlington
Lately, I feel like freebies are a dime a dozen. I like polls! I like excerpts! I like teasers! But not all at once, this going back to the short/sweet newsletter being my favorite. I like to know when a book goes live early. I like to know if a book hits the top of the charts. I really only want to hear from you about once a month.
Author: Meg Cowley
What works best for me is being myself! It can be scary to open up, but actually, the best responses I have had from my readers/customers have been when I have been 100% me. Apologizing for a mistake (like sending out an email with a broken link - it happens), or even sending them a picture of my cats and asking to see their pets. The emails that provoke a natural dialogue between readers and I are 100% my most favorite ways to communicate :)
Author: Bridgid Gallagher
A good welcome sequence (automation) makes a big difference, too. Not only does it help my readers get to know me (and vice versa), it's a great way to dole out info instead of dumping it all in one email. I think it helps readers create an association between you & your books. That way you're not a stranger popping up in their inbox, you're a recognized name/brand — and they get excited when they see your emails.
Author: Helen Scott
I survey my readers to find out how often they want to hear from me then with segmentation and a custom field I can e-mail them as often as they want. Some/most want to hear from me all the time, others only once a month, and still others only when I have a new release. They each get what they want that way
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2017, but has been updated with new tips.