A free, 12-week email newsletter template for authors (copy+paste conversion)

By Derek Murphy 

Recently I’ve been updating and bundling some of my book marketing resources, and I was sure I’d already posted this but can’t find it on my blog. So here it is:

If you want to write an email autoresponder/”welcome series” newsletter and need a specific plan and timeline to follow, this should help. I recommend that authors have 3 months of content going out on autopilot, so here’s a 12 week email program you can use to set up your campaigns, promotions and autoresponder series.

I’m going to assume it’s for just one book launch; so I’ll include a lot of the other things I’ve talked about already. (Keep in mind, this is pretty basic but still a strong start – my specific funnels for fiction and nonfiction are a bit more advanced so see if you can implement some tips from those as well.)

Base rules:

  • Ideally, one link per email, repeated several times.
  • Want to get them back to your website or social media.
  • WOW readers with something new/unexpected.

Surprise them. Overdeliver on expectations. Joey Coleman, talking about the Buyer’s Journey, says “Build in moments of delight” whether it’s through little gifts, samples, favors or information.

Ask them for feedback. “Did you like the book? Would you recommend it to friends? If so I’d be eternally grateful if you could you do me the small favor of writing a quick review on Amazon…”

1. Confirmation email

Thank them for signing up. If it’s a giveaway, let them know you’ll announce the winners soon, and to keep sharing for more entries. If they’re signing up on your website or for a free book, send it to them right away. Briefly introduce yourself and hint at what value you’ll be providing, ie “I’m partnering with some major scifi authors this summer, stay tuned for more awesome giveaways and free books!”

2. Welcome email

First, offer value – another free book, a bonus surprise or offer, another giveaway etc. Something MORE they didn’t expect.

Tell them who you are and what you’re working on in more detail.

Ask them who THEY are (where they live, favorite kind of books to read, best book they’ve ever read, etc.) This should mirror what you’ve told them about yourself. I usually ask them to comment on a specific Facebook post, which increases engagement on my Facebook page and is easier to start a “real” interaction. They comment, you like or thank them for their comment.

3. What you’re working on

– tell them what you’re working on now and why you’re excited about it. Offer them a sample or preview if you can. Ask them for feedback (You could even post a full chapter on Facebook and then have them comment below it with thoughts). You’re trying to get them to take small, easy action to increase engagement. You want to get them talking to you, so you can start a dialogue.

4. Giveaway

more value, I would do a Gleam giveaway this time or something that increases Twitter and Facebook activity, shares and follows. You basically want to get your list to also follow you on Facebook, Twitter and Bookbub. You might want to do individual giveaways for each of those. A $50 gift card + a free book or two is a decent prize.

I also like to do multi-author giveaways or giveaway bestselling, traditionally published books similar to mine for branding and positioning (I want them to mentally place my books on the shelf with those other books; I also want to increase my also boughts.)

Another way to do this is share one of the posts you created, like “if you liked my book, check out these other books – which ones have you read? Comment here (link to Facebook post).”

5. Share an embarrassing moment

…or personal anecdote. This should be a funny or engaging story that humanizes you. It can be a big mistake or screw up you made, or something about your writing process/history/why you write. Don’t try to sound awesome or professional – you want to sound vulnerable (but not whiny or complaining). Include embarrassing pictures if possible. Then ask them if they’re brave enough to share their own most embarrassing moment/greatest fear, etc. (greatest fear might be too dark/personal… steer clear of genuine trauma, keep this fun and light.)

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