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Have you ever wondered what it would take for you to begin writing effective newsletter opt-ins? Today’s interview is with Sarah Geringer, an author, speaker, podcaster, artist and coach for Christian creatives. She has two solo podcasts: one called Finding Peace in God’s Word, and one for adult children of divorce called Heart in a Drawer. Sarah is a wife and mother of three from Missouri.
She is active on several social media platforms each day, which you can find on the front page of her website.
Click below for show notes!
Click below to visit Sarah’s website.
Healthy newsletter opt-in list
1. R: Do you have a healthy newsletter opt-in list?
S: I started my list back in 2016 when I launched my first self-published book. It has steadily grown over the years, and my Tea on Tuesdays are a key part of my writing platform. If you are seeking to be a traditionally published author, your email list is a must. The time you invest in it is worth your investment. To check my list’s health and growth, I track my list numbers weekly. It’s easier to see growth month-to-month rather than day-to-day or week-to-week.
I hold it loosely and prayerfully, surrendering it to God every week while I craft a new email for subscribers. I also recently sent out a random email on Saturdays with a few quick updates, and I had the highest open rate ever. So I’m planning to send a once-a-month Saturday Sips with monthly highlights, since my subscribers responded so well.
Utilizing printables for opt-ins
R: What types of opt-ins do you offer? Which ones do you think work most effectively?
S: When people sign up for my weekly Tea on Tuesdays email, they also get access to my Library of printables as a bonus. It has dozens of printables. Sometimes I put a printable in there only for a limited time, like a Christmas short story only during the holidays. Offering the Library as a bonus shows my subscribers there is more return for their email than just a single printable.
Trial and error for newsletter opt-ins
R: What are some email list opt-ins you’ve offered in the past that haven’t worked and why?
S: I have two email list drip campaigns that haven’t worked as well as I expected. Drip campaigns send one email per day over a designated time frame, such as 5 days. Things have changed since I first offered these back in 2018. I think now, unless it’s for a summit or event, people want the whole enchilada up front. I still have those free courses available, and I’m fine with still offering them, although people were more willing to receive drip campaigns a few years ago.
Promoting your opt-in on IG
R: How do you promote your opt-in on Instagram?
S: Video works best. A simple video of my desktop screen to show people what’s available in the Library makes it more enticing. Instagram, along with every other social media platform, boosts videos more than static posts.
As I launch my next book soon, I’ll be experimenting with making Reels to promote signups to my list for exclusive content. I’m hoping to get a fresh group of subscribers with the free discussion guide I’m developing based on two of my books.
Weekly subscribes & unsubscribes
R: How many people subscribe would you say in a week?
S: The number varies because when I publish a devotion with Proverbs 31 Ministries, I get a large amount of subscribers in one day. I would guess if I average that out, I get between 30 to 50 new subscribers per week. However, I also have about 10 unsubscribes per week. I’ve learned to accept that as a form of rejection in the publishing world.
A wise writer once told me rejection is a sign that you are a professional, since you don’t get rejected if you aren’t putting your stuff out there. As I archive them from my list, I say out loud, “Thank you, and goodbye,” with a cheerful rather than sarcastic tone. This helps me let them go without holding grudges, and keeps my attitude in the right place.
Where to offer your newsletter opt-ins
R: How many places do you offer your newsletter opt-in on your blog?
S: On every page, I have a signup at the bottom for an email list. I also have a popup through the SumoMe plugin that converts well. I also have a few blog posts with specific printables related to the post. For example, in the fall of 2020 I had a series of prayers for America, and I put them into printable forms in the Library. This combination of opt-in places has worked well.
Also, I have a dedicated Newsletter page where people can learn more about what I offer before signing up, including viewing a sample Tea on Tuesdays email.
Newsletter opt-ins on blog page
R: Is your podcast hosted on your blog? If not, do you offer a newsletter opt in there also?
S: Yes, my podcasts are hosted on my blog. I have a signup form on each episode page for readers as part of the show notes which aids in email list buildings. For my Heart in a Drawer podcast, I have a free printable on each episode of season 1. I’m thinking about starting a Patreon account for printables for seasons 2 and beyond. You have to give some content away for free so people see the value, then they will be more willing to sign up for your list or even pay for more.
R: How can listeners and readers connect with you online?
S: I’m active every day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more. Find me on your favorite social media site through the front page links at sarahgeringer.com.
Sarah is releasing a free discussion guide for adults and teen readers based on both of her Christian meditation books in her library, starting Aug. 27. She is also writing a new course to help moms and daughters talk about being women of integrity which will launch alongside her book for teen girls on Oct. 12. Click the image to visit Sarah’s website to subscribe to her email list and find her social pages!