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.
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?