Moving forward in this 1000 “True” Fan blog series, I’ll be focusing on converting mailing list subscribers into TRUE Fans. I’m changing the formats of these posts to be a bigger project each month, rather than lots of little ones.
May’s focus is creating a mailing list subscriber sequence.
The other day, I had a brilliant epiphany. I know, the information is out there in magical internet-land, but for some reason I was missing the BIG PICTURE.
Your mailing list serves MULTIPLE purposes, and you need to leverage it to meet the intended purpose.
First, it’s a great way to communicate with your fans. Keep them entertained, let them know about new releases, and to interact. (This was what purpose I had saw in my mailing list up to his point.)
BUT, it has a few more purposes too.
- Gathering a list of active readers and informing them of who you are and what you have to offer. What makes you stick out from the crowd? (Okay, it’s selling yourself some…)
- A continuous flow of new subscribers/readers gives you a new audience to showcase your older novels to.
What I had been doing wrong is lumping all my subscribers into one master list and sending out the same Monthly Newsletter to everyone. I needed to change my thinking. In reality, I have two groups: established fans and potential fans.
Now, knowing this allows me to tailor my content to fit my audience. I had seen a lot about a welcome email series to new subscribers and finally understand the purpose. It’s like speed dating. I know, terrible analogy but you get to meet a lot of people quickly, and determine who matches with you.
I gain mailing list subscribers in two ways:
- Organic sign ups from the backs of my books, blog, and social media. These readers are already interested in what I have to say, so the welcome emails series can be different.
- Readers who sign up in exchange for receiving a free book or sample of my book. These readers have probably never heard of me before and are just checking things out. The great thing about these readers is they are ones who are at least interested in the genre I write.
So…With this all said…
This Weeks Mission: Creating and sending out new subscriber sequences to convert casual signups to fans. (Bonus goal – people who don’t enjoy my writing style will have many opportunities to unsubscribe, which keeps my newsletter service free…or as cheap as possible.)
When I researched a subscriber email sequence, many people state having a five part series. If everyone has a five email sequence, I’m sure it’s the best option…but…I still feel this is too much for me getting started. I’m opting for a three part welcome, all tailored to how the reader joined my list.
For instance, today I sent out a welcome email to 75 subscribers that downloaded a 10% Sample of Blood & Holy Water. Here’s the three emails I will include in my welcome series:
- Email 1 (Today): Titled “A Thank You & A Free Book” that thanks them for joining my list, says that I cannot give Blood & Holy Water away free at this time, but do have another Fantasy story they could get for free called “Quick Escape, Fantasy Tales.” I also threw in a P.S. that Blood & Holy Water is 99 cents for a few more days. (Click HERE to actually see the newsletter)
- Email 2 (Next Week): Titled “Another Free Book” where I check in with them to see if they got Quick Escape okay. It will also offer them another one of my books free, Love, Lies & Clones. (I coordinated a “free” day through Kindle Select to coincide with this email going out. That way I don’t violate any contracts I’m in.) (I’ll post a link to the actual newsletter when I send it out next week.)
- Email 3 (Following Week): Titled “Want More of my Books Free?” where I ask if they’d like to join my Advanced Reader Team. (I’ll post a link to the actual newsletter when I send it out.)
***Note, the goal is to somehow connect with the subscribers. The emails need to tell a story and not be all sales-y.
Here’s another idea for a mailing list welcome series (obtained from this website: http://nicholaserik.com/mailing-lists-for-authors/):
- Immediate: Welcome (e.g. what to expect) + Your Free Book (give them a link to the free book)
- Day 3: Free Book #2 (if you have another – don’t send them all at once) or Ask Them if They Got Book #1 Okay/How They Like It
- Day 10: Free Book #3 or Ask Them About Their Favorite Books in the Genre/Recommend Them One
- Day 17: The Next Paid Book in the Series (or Box Set), with retailer link/cover + small backstory/blurb
- Day 25: Ask Them to Join Your ARC Review Team or Ask Them to Review the Free Book
Note that most welcome series are automatic, triggered the day a reader signs up for the list. I’m doing mine manually right now, to carefully review what’s going out before it’s automatically triggered. It also helps me review results.
My plan is to create a different welcome sequence for each of the freebies I’m giving away and one for my organic subscribers. I’m still working on all this, but this month should prove to be loads of fun!
Next Week: I’ll update weekly on results of the emails.
So…a summary of how last week went, for those of you who are following this journey on a week-to-week basis.
Review of Past Week (Mission 16: My Own Domain): Fail?
I only had a slight increase in my newsletter open rate…and dished out $85 to do it. This next year, I need to investigate cheaper web hosting and personalized email addresses.
So…how’s my progress going on my way to 1000 true fans?
Current Mailing List Subscriptions: 1892 fans / 1000 true fans (Up 125 people since last week.)
If you want to get caught up on 2017’s journey to find 1000 fans, check out the 1000 “True” Fan Landing Page.