This has been the latest thing I’ve tackled in my round of do-overs. My mailing list. I have made so many mistakes with this. And I knew as much, but just hadn’t found the time to sort things out. Recently though I finally got round to reading Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque, made notes, and got stuck in.

I have made the mistake in the past of taking part in big newsletter building promotions. I say mistake as I feel it was a mistake for me, but if it works for you, fine. However, I have ended up with a lot of names on my list that are purely there because once upon a time they picked up my book in a promotion. They, mostly, have no interest in me or my work and are so unengaged they can’t even be bothered to unsubscribe – so I assume I’m not even making it past their spam filters. I’m not saying they all don’t have any interest as some may have actually read the book and become interested, but on the whole, no, I don’t think this is a good way of building a list. Plus, I’m constantly, well monthly, reminded I’m paying for all those names. Gulp.

The other way I was trying to build the list, somewhat organically, was to offer my second book, Before the Dawn, to readers who signed up to my newsletter (and according to Tammi this is a bad thing). This has meant a lot of readers took up the offer, yay, but a fair proportion of them got the free book and then unsubscribed… not yay at all.

Georgia Rose - Before The Dawn

And I had allowed this to go on for far too long.

So this is what I did. I wrote some exclusive content that only my subscribers get and loaded it up to Book Funnel in mobi, ePub and PDF formats.

I then created landing pages on Mailchimp and wrote onboarding sequences for each of the sources my subscribers could come from:

  • Back matter of my books – this is the most popular place to get sign ups but it has required me to alter the back matter in all seven of my eBooks and re-upload them to all five platforms I publish on, as all are published wide, and that took a fair chunk of time.
  • FaceBook Author Page – I found this wasn’t linked to my mailing list at all! So I set that up.
  • Email signature – post your links in every place possible people!
  • Book Cave – this is a site where you can load up your books, take part in promotions and those that take part become subscribers. It’s not like the promotion blasts I mentioned above.
  • Website – this one proved the trickiest as I’ll explain in a minute.

I daresay at some point I will suddenly remember other possible sources but for now this is it.

For the first four of that list I was able to set things up in Mailchimp so that as a subscriber signs up a tag is added to their name which triggers the onboarding sequence of emails during which the exclusive content is delivered.

Book Cave was slightly more convoluted but there is no need to go into all that now – if you are interested, contact me.

The problem with the website sign up form though is that there is no way for a subscriber to be tagged at sign up, so there’s no triggering, which is a little annoying as I will have to keep checking Mailchimp to see if anyone has signed up that way and then add the tag manually which should trigger the sequence. I’ll probably do this weekly. The only positive about this is that subscribers signing up this way will probably be unaware of the exclusive content I’m going to send their way so won’t be sitting there expecting something to arrive in their inbox any time soon.

Anyway, this is all now set up and I’m keeping everything crossed it will work. In theory it should, in practice I’ll feel happier once one or two have gone through the system.

Anyone fancy giving it a go?

 

How about you? Do you have any tips and tricks for managing your mailing list? If you have one, of course. If you haven’t, is it something you’re considering?

6 Responses to My new and, hopefully, improved mailing list #MondayBlogs #Mailchimp #mailinglist #newsletter
  1. You have just landed me a pile of work, but it needs doing as I have done everything you mention and it has gotten me nowhere!

  2. Every one of these things is such a learning curve, isn’t it, Georgia? I get exhausted just thinking about some of the procedures I need to address!
    I have 2 forms on my website, one which is a contact form which I set up using my usual website software and the other is a sign-up form which I created through Mailchimp so it triggers everything in the usual way. Is that what you mean you need?

    • Possibly? I’ve made a landing page on Mailchimp which readers sign up on and then a series of emails which get triggered depending on where the subscriber has come from (so that hopefully the emails are personalised). These emails deliver The Gift and then there are a couple of follow up emails that introduce me and my work etc. I pretty much followed the book as best I could.

      But you’re right, it’s all a massive learning curve. And I still have to work up to do the big purge!!

  3. Sounds horrendously complicated! Never had a newsletter. Anne R Allen reckons they’re unnecessary and limiting, because of the reasons you stated, and because the only people who see your stuff are those who have subscribed and actually open it, whereas if you put whatever you want to put on your blog, it is open for the whole world to see. That seems logical to me???? When I want to get the word out about, say, a new book, I just use my blog. Have you considered just doing that?

    • Well, I actually do both. I have to say the biggest response I ever get is from my mailing list though, which stands to reason. If they’ve gone to the trouble to subscribe to something like that they are genuinely interested. I appreciate what you say here though and of course they are not for everyone.


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