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Mailing lists

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Poll: Do you have a Mailing List?
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Offline lyndawrites Reading The Twopenny-Hat Detective by Brian Sellars
21 Sep 2016, 04:23 PM | Post: #1

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Mailing lists

I'd like to start a discussion about mailing lists.

I set up a list via MailChimp four years ago, to announce new releases. I have a link to it in the back  of all my books, on my website, and my FB author page. In those  years, I've garnered a mere 102 sign-ups, perhaps 70% of which are very responsive and open the emails announcing my latest book. Most of those go on to click the link I provide, though there's no real telling if they buy.

Recently, I heard about fellow authors having great success in getting sign-ups from an outfit called Instafreebie: https://www.instafreebie.com
As the name suggests, you put up a free book in exchange for the email address of the person downloading it. You can make this a requirement of the download, or optional. I chose the latter and offered my permafree Strictly Murder. I opened my Instafreebie account on the 1st of September and so  far have had 259 sign-ups. The book has been downloaded 1635 times.

On the face of it, this seems an excellent way to get those all-important email sign-ups, as well as getting more eyes on my book. However the proof of the pudding will come when I send out my next new release notification. I've kept the Instafreebie list separate from my generic list, so that I can better judge its effectiveness when the time comes.
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Offline davidwailing Reading
21 Sep 2016, 05:00 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Mailing lists

I'll be interested in the results from this, Lynda. I must admit I don't really understand the logic behind it. It's easy to sign up to a mailing list to get a freebie and then block that email address, which I suspect most of their members are doing. But maybe I'm a cynical old bugger.

I've had a mailing list for a while but until recently it only had a few dozen members. I only use it to announce new releases or promotions.

I've had a surge of new members since releasing Signal Failure which is a prelude to my new novel, so presumably those people want to be told when that comes out. That suggests I have a small number of 'quality' subscribers who will buy the next book, rather than a large quantity who won't, so I'm happy about that. (Assuming they do actually buy it!)
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Offline Kath Middleton Reading Hell, yes!
21 Sep 2016, 05:50 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Mailing lists

And then there are those people who can't remember if they've signed up and join twice. What's the chance she'll remember to buy the damned book?
Assuming it's a she.
Which I am....
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RE: Mailing lists

Sounds interesting, Lynda. 

I don't have one but I'm going to try and make one of my books perma free next month. It could be something I'd like to try.
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Offline Anna Faversham Reading
21 Sep 2016, 07:13 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Mailing lists

I started a list a while ago and I have a grand total of 4. Blush My usual emoticon says it all.

I'll follow this thread, Lynda. Thanks for letting us know and I hope it works for you.
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Offline lyndawrites Reading The Twopenny-Hat Detective by Brian Sellars
22 Sep 2016, 07:15 AM | Post: #6

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RE: Mailing lists

@David Wailing - I don't think you are being cynical at all. People can always unsubscribe once they've got the freebie, and no doubt many will do so. That's all right - if they don't like my books (and not everyone does) then I'd rather they do that anyway. Those people aren't my readers, but if only one goes on to read another book, or better, stays with the series, then that's one reader I might not otherwise have reached.

The way I see it, my (generic) mailing list is the best promotional tool I have. It's made up of genuine fans and readers - people who want to know when my next book is out and who will buy it, almost immediately, when it is. My mailing list is pure gold.

@Anna, four is a start, and something like Instafreebie might get your work in front of more readers. Don't do it if your books are in Amazon Select, however. If you are, then giving your own book away (just like selling it elsewhere) is against Amazon's Terms of Service.

@David Haynes - Get that list set up now! You of all people should see a benefit, having made a name for yourself in the Horror genre. Your fans and followers want to know when you have a new book out, or if your having a sale on one of your titles. Do it now as a matter of urgency - and don't forget to update the back matter in all of your books with the sign-up links.

Besides MailChimp there are two other mailing list providers that I know of - Aweber and Mailerlite - and there may be others. MailChimp lets you set up a free account until you reach 2,000 subscribers and then charges a monthly fee (about $50, I think). There are benefits with a paid account, but not having got that far, I'm not sure what they are.
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RE: Mailing lists

I have a mailing list, for new releases only (which means it's seldom used). I had a satisfying vwoomph of purchases of my most recent release when I sent out the news to my subscribers. I just hope they haven't all forgotten me by next time.
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RE: Mailing lists

Okay, I'm going to get on it this very minute!
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Offline Rosen Trevithick Reading
22 Sep 2016, 12:07 PM | Post: #9

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RE: Mailing lists

This is very interesting, and I hadn't heard about it. I'll be fascinated to see how you get on.

Everybody who downloaded your book is interested in your books, you can't get more targeted than that!

Have you seen MailChimps average campaign stats?
https://mailchimp.com...

The average open rate for publishing newsletters is 21.99%. The average click rate is 4.66%.

So if you were average, you'd expect about 70-80 people to click on your newsletters. I have every reason to suspect your newsletters are way better than average, but the stats are interesting none the less.

One thing I've noticed is that if you don't email people very soon after they sign up to a mailing list, they are likely to forget that they're signed up and mark your emails as spam! It's a fine line though, because you don't want to send emails just for the sake of sending emails, as that's considered spam too!
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RE: Mailing lists

Okay so  I'm going through Mail Chimp now and I'm being asked for my home address to comply with Federal Laws. This address would be included on any emails I send out. 

I'm not overly eager to supply my home address to people like this, especially in light of my previous occupation and some issues with FB along those lines. A PO box isn't going to be worth the cost. I could create a fictional address I suppose but that doesn't sit right. 

Is this the end of my mailing list dream? Short as it was.
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