Which newsletter service do you use?
How long have you been using this service?
I’ve been using AWeber since April, 2011.
Are you a convert from another service and, if so, why?
Yes. I converted from YMLP because I wanted to send newsletters more frequently than it allowed for free sign-up. Because I found newsletter creation confusing and time-consuming, I decided to give AWeber a shot. I’d heard good things about it.
How did you choose it (ie: what criteria were important to you?)
I wanted to be able to send newsletters and blog posts automatically to an email list with a form that was attractive.
What do you like best about it? The worst?
I appreciate the extensive tracking and reporting feature. I also like that you can tailor the templates and that they are easy to use. They also have videos to guide you and a blog that offers great information. AWeber also sends me a newsletter with tips every so often. I love that I can automatically mail attachments to new subscribers or as follow-ups. I use this as a reward for newsletter sign-up.
What, if anything, is the cost?
I pay $19 a month for my account.
About Your Newsletters
How often do you send a newsletter (or how many have you sent so far)?
I’m still experimenting. At my Novel Books and Live Write Breathe sites, I send weekly blog posts to subscribers in lieu of a newsletter. I started out with a monthly newsletter but didn’t have time for it, but sending blog posts keeps me before my email list once a week. I was also sending blog posts from my author site but I’m not blogging nearly so much from that site anymore because I want to offer exclusive newsletters to subscribers instead.
What is the purpose of your newsletter?
To provide information on promotional discounts, contests, exclusive content and author updates to those who have expressed an interest in my writing.
How easy (or difficult!) do you find creating your newsletters? Why?
AWeber’s templates are easy to use but it takes time to write a newsletter. Writers who blog regularly might consider sending blog posts to a subscribed email list instead. Or you can do as I’ve done and back down your blogging to allow time to write a newsletter.
What do you always try to include in each letter?
My initial newsletters contained an article that was pure takeaway for the reader, an update on some aspect of my author’s journey and an original poem or some other example of my creativity. I made sure to include a picture of myself in the header and cover images and lots of links in the sidebars. My future newsletters will include these components as well.
About Your Subscription Base
How do your subscribers find your email sign up?
Through the beautiful sign-up boxes in the upper left corner of the home page on all my sites. Each list receives that site’s posts plus occasional e-blasts.
Do you offer an incentive for new subscribers?
Right now on my Live Write Breathe site, I’m giving away free query letter and stationery templates. Previously, I gave away a daily planning spreadsheet for writers. On my author site, I’ll offer a free copy of a short story soon. I’m hoping to familiarize readers with my writing style prior to release of DawnSinger, my epic fantasy debut novel.
Are your subscribers the same people who are your Facebook fans, or who follow your blog or Twitter?
Facebook and Twitter account for some of my blog traffic, but that would be hard to track since I have thousands of Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Since those who receive my author newsletter sign up to receive blog posts at the same time, the obvious answer is that my blog followers are the same people. Because I want to use my newsletter as an exclusive advantage for those interested in my writing, that’s not a problem.
Janalyn Voigt is a literary judge and avid reader whose lyrical writing creates worlds of beauty and danger in the historical fiction and fantasy genres.
DawnSinger, the first offering in Janalyn’s epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, will release with Harbourlight Books. Other projects include a western romance set in Montana’s gold rush. Janalyn has been published in magazines by Focus on the Family, Pentecostal Evangel and Scripture Press (now David C. Cook). She trained through Christian Writers Guild and maintains active memberships in ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and NCWA (Northwest Christian Writers).
Janalyn is a member of the NCWA Speaker’s Bureau. She is available as a practical and motivational speaker to church, womens’ and writing groups.
She connects with those interested in her writing at her website. She offers author interviews, book giveaway drawings, book reviews, book videos and reader fun at Novel Books, where subscribers can receive an extra entry in book giveaway drawings. Janalyn mentors other writers at Live Write Breathe. This is where she gives away free query letter and stationery templates as an incentive for newsletter sign-up.
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