Newsletter Mania~Round Three

Written By: Jackie Weger - Sep• 25•16
eNovel Authors at Work...a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow. Always FREE

eNovel Authors at Work…a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow. Always FREE

A couple of months ago we talked about marketing our books via our newsletter, and more recently, gathering subscribers.

Today, I’m updating because as usual, changes are in the air. Most authors I know love the idea of a newsletter and having a subscriber list in the thousands. I hear you.  But composing a newsletter does not happen by magic. Moreover, building a subscriber list just got more difficult. 90 days ago, we could engage in unlimited cross promotions, the administrator of the promo collected the subscriber email addresses in an excel sheet, sent the list along to all author participants to upload  to MailChimp or Mad Mimi or whomever we had our newsletter service. Those lists are termed third party generated. Mad Mimi tells me it is now disallowing  third party generated subscriber lists.  A subscriber must now opt directly into your newsletter. Don’t take my word for it. Check with your newsletter carrier.

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Every state and every country has its own laws  governing email solicitation. Does not matter the product one is hoping to sell.  The mechanism for a Giveaway is the Rafflecopter. A Rafflecopter is designed as a Sweepstakes. No Purchase necessary. No  one under the age of 18  may enter my Sweepstakes. All of us must abide the The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. That’s the link. Read it. Because YOU are the responsible party when you create the Rafflecopter Giveaway/Sweepstakes. Not trying to scare you because it is easy to stay within the law.  Greg Goodson, Co-founder of Rafflecopter explains it clear as bell. Read his blog.

I often see a Rafflecopter with one of the entrant tasks to download a 99c book. Extra points. Guess what? That is not a Sweepstakes. That is a lottery–and a whole different set of laws must be met. A Rafflecopter/Sweepstakes in Canada must be licensed. Yep. Canadian laws allow contests, but not sweepstakes. What does that mean? I now add USA residents only. No Purchase necessary. Must be 18 years old or older to enter/participate.

snipit-newsletter-memeOkay, I’ve prolly bored you beyond measure. How about some of the shoddy details of mega promos in which we hope to collect thousands of subscribers.  Let’s say 50 authors participate. Rafflecopter offers one winner $100 plus a basket of all 50 books. Wow. Entrants number 5K in the Rafflecopter. Next thing, all 50 authors are slamming out newsletters to all 5K subscribers.  I awoke one recent morning to above 100 newsletters in my inbox. I didn’t subscribe, but somehow my email address got mixed in with the entrants in a giveaway. Horrid. I looked at each before I kindly unsubscribed instead of marking each spam. Of those 100 newsletters, only three were well composed and hit all cylinders. Many were sloppy and all were beggin’ letters offering the subscriber no value. Some were offering free short stories or novellas, but those were already free on Amazon or other sales venues or from the author’s website. This not the first time my inbox has been slammed and spammed.

Only one of those newsletters promoted colleague’s book.  Erotica. Golly. I did not subscribe. Networking is so key to our success. I love promoting my colleague’s new releases, free and discounted books. And hey! If you want to see how I put together a newsletter sign up here. It is not the greatest, but it gets the job done and is respectful of my subscribers. To read earlier blogs on newsletters go here and here. Some good tips in those blogs that will generate downloads. Remember! Downloads are the goal of a newsletter.

Sharing this promotion to drive subscribers because the promotion is done right. E.B. Brown [Beth] sets up the Mega Mailing List Promotion so that entrants must subscribe directly to the individual author’s newsletter. That avoids 3rd party generated lists–which are useless for some carriers–NOT ALL. Even if you have a newsletter carrier that accepts 3rd party generated list, beware of spam. No carrier likes to see spam running at 5%. Industry standards for hard and soft bounces is between 2% – 5%.  Mad Mimi culls hard bounces automatically and allows soft bounces up to five sends. After that, the subscriber is culled from the subscriber list. A soft bounce is perhaps Wi-fi service is down.

JackieWeger-BioHeadShot (1)

@2016, Jackie Weger

I’m Jackie Weger, founder of eNovel Authors at Work. Fabulous group of networking indie authors. Here is a heads up. Don’t take my word as gospel. Do your own research. Check things out. Do NOT assume anything.

Comment always welcome. Add to the discussion. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, be articulate. We love to learn and appreciate different viewpoints.



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  1. Thanks Jackie Weger. So hard keeping up with it all. Rules are constantly changing. And one thing you don’t want to do is end up in trouble with the law or annoying your valued subscribers. Great advice?

  2. MM Jaye says:

    Thumbs up for networking. I got ARC readers (60+) for my next release solely through friends sharing the link to my signup form in their newsletters or on their FB profile. Thumbs down for bad networking, though. It’s self-defeating and potentially dangerous.

  3. meilaan says:

    Wow. Definitely want to keep our noses clean! But more than anything, we don’t want to annoy readers.

    (EM Kaplan)

  4. Thanks for keeping us straight!

  5. Jeff Shear says:

    Okay. Breezy writing on a windy topic. Well done. I don’t know how you do it, keep up with all the reality (read: business of the indie life) of publishing. Did you sit at the front of the class? 🙂

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Jeff Shear…you are so funny. I spent my entire first year as an indie author Eating Stupid for Breakfast. But it only took me a nano second to figure out most authors ‘spout’ something they ‘heard,’ or rumors. Usually, misinformation. Now, I go to the source. If we are to make the best decisions for our book lives, we need to avoid missteps that are not only costly, but rise to the level of angst. Thanks for commenting, I’m always happy to see you here. Best, Jackie

  6. Lots of info here, some scary, some inspiring. Makes sense you shouldn’t have to pay to participate in a rafflecopter but I had no idea about Canada, thank you. And I love the Book Tavern! I joined about 10 days ago and I’ve already connected with so many wonderful bookworms. It’s turning into my favorite hangout on Facebook 🙂

  7. Traci Hall says:

    Jackie, thank you for sharing all of your research…I love how you can sum it up!

  8. jhines340 says:

    Jackie, You are a great mentor!! Thanks for always being there directing us in the right direction!

  9. cokittykat says:

    This is a terrific page!I just got a free book from a new author!Thanks for doing this for the many booklovers out there!??❤

  10. Linda Lee says:

    Things change, and not always for the better. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date, Jackie. Pinned & shared. 🙂

  11. Donna Fasano says:

    As always, your information is clear and concise. Thanks! I’m sharing this info on my social networks.

  12. Mike Markel says:

    Thanks, Jackie, for the useful information. We all need to up our game–while not offending or pestering our readers.

  13. TJ Shortt says:

    Great post as always.

  14. dalefurse says:

    Thanks, Jackie. I didn’t know about the third party lists. Always something new, huh?

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Dale: Yes! We no more than get a handle or master once concept…next thing we know a service changes the rules on us. There are newsletter services that accept 3rd party generated subscriber list. I haven’t hired one yet…but I will. The learning curve is always vicious. Once I’ve mastered it, I’ll share what works or doesn’t.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      True. But here on October 4th, I just got a note from Arial Burnz, Uber Overlord of Author Platform Rocket that Mad Mimi accepts all of her 3rd party generated opt in list builder promos. So. Like I say: Chheck with your newsletter support for clarification. I am.

  15. Great post! helpful, as always!

  16. So much food in here! Thank you for welcoming us to your table, Jackie.

  17. Thanks for your insightful post, Jackie. I have a list of third-party subscribers that I’ll be sending an opt-in link to just to make it official. Thanks for the reminder on how to avoid being slapped for spamming.

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