8 actionable ways to grow your email/newsletter subscribers (by optimizing your author website & more)

In this post I talk about the importance of growing your mailing list and why it’s every author’s biggest asset. (Hint: it’s evergreen, more personal, and should even take priority over growing your FB page or Twitter following!)

Today I’d like to offer some suggestions for how to steadily grow your mailing list (or email followers ;)) either by optimizing your author website or collecting email addresses in various ways offline. Let’s dig in!

1. Notification Bars.

As you can see on 30 Day Books, there is a ‘notification’ bar that sits at the top of the page (look up!).

We change the copy from time to time, but it lets you know what our latest news is and hopefully draws attention to it. You can use this to advertise your newsletter as Brandon does on his personal blog:

(From http://www.plinan.com) There are several options available that offer this banner bar –> Check out Hellobar, Viper Bar, Attention Bar.

2. Back of Your Book (esp. with a contest or link to bonuses).

What better time to capture your reader’s attention than at the back of your book or eBook? Make it more compelling for them to actually visit your site and sign up by offering an exclusive bonus or contest. The great thing about eBooks is that you can experiment with this often and try different things to see what entices more readers to your site.

3. At the end of your blogposts.

You’ll see this at the end of every post I publish on 30 Day Books. If a reader has found the post entertaining or educational, then it’s likely they’ll want to read more of my stuff – it’s a great time to offer for them to come on board!

The plugin I use for this to appear is called ‘Bottom of every post’ and is available for WordPress sites.

4. By adding the ‘Tweet Old Post’ plugin for WordPress.

The ‘Tweet Old Post’ plugin sends out your blogposts to Twitter while you’re sleeping. Or writing. Or doing whatever you should be doing instead of Twittering!

It drives more traffic to your blog and to the posts that you are no longer actively promoting, and these posts will likely attract new readers to your blog. If you’re doing everything else right on your site, you’ll hopefully convert some of these new readers to newsletter subscribers.

5. Guest post on other writers’ sites.

Offer to write informative, useful or entertaining articles for those who share a similar audience to yours, and people will want to hear more from you! In your bio signature at the end of the post, invite people to sign up for your newsletter.

6. Collect email addresses physically when you speak/ sign/ take part in other book events.

When doing a signing, reading, or other in-person event, be sure to leave a guest book on the table you’re signing at, or even your iPad or laptop so that interested readers can add their info digitally to your newsletter sign up.

Just be sure to let people know what they are signing up for, and give specifics such as once a week updates, or “very occasional book news” (1-4 times a year)

7. Offer an “Ethical bribe”

People don’t part with their email address without good reason!

To give people an extra incentive to sign up, offer a deleted scene, the first chapter of your next book, tips and advice, a “look beyond the scenes” or something you have to offer, and you’ll see conversion rates (that’s fancy talk for “more email addresses left”) improve enormously.

Sign up form on author Robert B Lowe’s homepage

Sign up form on Lauren Clark’s site

8. Add an opt-in form on your About page. 

On most sites, the About page is the second most visited page on your site (after whatever you consider to be your landing page; either a static page or your blog). People want to know more about you, and if you make your About page juicy, fun, or alluring, then you’ll convert people on this page like nowhere else!

What other ideas do you have that I missed? Leave a comment!

By the way, if you’re wondering which email management system to use, we love Mailchimp (free up to 2,000 subscribers) and AWeber.

pssst… Looking for a new author website you can update and manage hassle free? Authorlicious is here!



Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!

Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.