Newsletters are one of the most useful tools that an author has at their disposal. This is true whether you use MailChimp, MailerLite, ActiveCampaign, or a different email marketing platform to send newsletters to your subscribers.

You can send a newsletter to announce pre-orders and new releases to current subscribers, promote your backlist titles to new subscribers and stay in touch between releases.

No matter why you're sending a newsletter, all of this communication serves an important purpose. It helps you build a relationship with your readers and get them to like you. When readers like you, they're more likely to trust you. Do you know who readers are most likely to buy books from? If you said “authors they trust,” then you're completely right.

Getting It Right From the Start

The subject line is the first contact your subscribers have with your newsletter. If it's too boring, then you risk having subscribers pass over it—or worse, send it to spam. On the other hand, if the subject line is click-bait*, then you risk having them feeling duped and taking their frustration out in the form of clicking that dreaded unsubscribe button.

When creating subject lines, it's important to keep some basic principles in mind. Different resources will give you different advice, but here are our tried and true methods.

  1. Let readers know what content to expect in that particular newsletter. Calls to action are likely fine but, as mentioned above, click-bait subject lines are not.
  2. Use popular emojis that readers will recognize. Obscure emojis or ones with secret meanings (We're looking at you, ?.) could risk confusing subscribers.
  3. Limit your subject line to 4-7 words, which equals about 40 characters. You want it to neatly fit the space allotted in the subscriber's inbox. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
  4. The subject line should be about the reader, not about you as the author. Focusing on your subscriber makes them feel noticed and that you truly care about them as a person and not as just another person who you hope will buy your books.
  5. You don't have to capitalize each word in the subject line. You can if you like, but it's not a dealbreaker for your newsletter subscribers.

Inject Some FOMO

FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out, and it's not a good feeling. If you're offering bonus content that's only available in your newsletter, for example, be sure to inject FOMO by using the appropriate language in your newsletter subject line. 

Here are some catchy words and phrases we like:

  • Exclusive
  • Special
  • Limited time
  • Subscribers only
  • Only X days left

You can find more information on this topic in this article about subject lines from MailerLite, a popular email marketing platform among authors. 

A Final Tip

If all else fails, take a look at your email inbox. Look at the spam folder. Which subject lines make you want to one-click and read the entire newsletter? Which ones make you cringe and rush to click the delete button? 

Now make a list of catchy subject lines about books and reading based on what you've learned from your research. The next time you're stuck for a subject line, you can pluck one from this list to save time.
If you still need help, the Novel Publicity team is at the ready and not only for newsletters. Check out the full list of marketing services and schedule a call today to discuss your options!

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