To grow your list, you need three things:
- A way for people to sign up (previous post)
- A reason for people to sign up (previous post)
- A way to invite people to sign up (this post)
Third, invite people to sign up
Now that you’ve got a way for them to sign up and a good reason to sign up, you need to get the word out. The basic principle is that everywhere your current and potential readers find you, they should also find a signup form with a “call to action” where the action is “sign up.” A call to action means you don’t just let the form speak for itself – you visibly and overtly ask them to fill it out. Don’t shout, exactly, but speak up!
Your call to action should be everywhere the form is, in the form itself, leading up to a link to the form, and above the form on a webpage.
Calls to action have both the action and the benefit in them:
“I’d love to be able to keep in touch via email! Please enter your name and email in the form below, and I’d be happy to send you a free copy of my recent short story The Mystery of The Bodice Ripper, which features my main series character Norse God”
Ask for the action (“enter your name and email”), mention the benefit (“free copy of my recent short story”) and if appropriate add a little something for people who already know your work (“features my main series character”).
Tip: You’ve added value to the signup with your giveaway. Now go further and reduce the perceived risk of the signup by stating two things clearly near or on the signup form:
You hate spam and will never, never give or sell your email address to anyone else; and
It will always be very easy for them to unsubscribe whenever they want. On this point, most major CES company’s provide an Instant Unsubscribe button to allow them to do just that. Highly recommended.
Tip: I recommend that you have a dedicated signup page (called a “landing page”) on your website, and that all your signup links go there instead of the to CES provided page (in other words, use the “embedded form” option the CES provides). The advantage is that you can dress up your call to action and describe your giveaway in more depth than you can in a little box. Not to mention parade your book covers one more time. And the boost that traffic gives to your website in Google’s search algorithms.
Now that you have an invitation, it’s time to put it out there: (Note: references to “signup page” refer to the dedicated page on your website if you have one, or to the CES provided page if not.)
Where to put your invitation
Now that you have an invitation, it’s time to put it out there:
- Include a sign-up form and call to action on most if not all pages of your website (even if you have a dedicated signup page). Make it easy to see without it dominating the page.
- Include a call to action and link to your signup page at the end of blog posts, books, social media profiles, author pages, etc.).
- Add the call to action and signup link to your email signature.
- Create a signup tab on your Facebook author/book page, Amazon author page, Goodreads author page, etc. etc.
- Add the call to action and signup link at the end of your newsletter (include social sharing buttons as well).
- Place a QR code on your physical handouts (book sheet, book mark) that takes people to your signup page (or home page, since you’ll have a signup form there as well).
- Have a signup sign at all public events, real or electronic, with a call to action (ask + benefit) boldly displayed. Use the CES app to collect names if possible. If you add them manually, don’t forget to follow up with a thank-you-and-please-confirm email.