Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Nope, I'm not getting married in the traditional sense, but I have had some huge changes in marital-type agreements this week. And since this month’s theme is NEWSLETTERS, I’m starting off with what I use and how I use it. So, let's start in so you can get back to the writing you're supposed to be doing, right?
Something old for me is Mailchimp. I am so over this platform and so tired of the things I send not actually arriving in someone's inbox. When the GDPR regulations came into effect, I pushed forward with an "all-in" mentality with Mailchimp. They had seemed to me to be the most prepared for the changes this new regulation the EU was bringing in and had made it the simplest that I could uncover. They also offered a seamless integration with Squarespace, one of my current website hosts. What more could I ask for?
Well, I could ask for my emails to land in my client's inboxes, that's what! After noticing the open rate had dropped drastically and clients were letting me know they thought I had gone into hiding as they hadn't seen an email from me in months, I came up with the dumbest workaround: Go hybrid. Each time I sent an email, I exported the names from Mailchimp over to my tried and true fav, Convertkit. Well, this process is incredibly time consuming and not that effective.
The last email I delivered from Mailchimp last week has missed the mark entirely and I fully surrendered to the something new.
I have now migrated all of my clients, students, members and nearly all my readers, over to Convertkit and I'm feeling so incredibly relieved. (Readers are fully coming over next newsletter) I love this email service provider, I love their customer service and I love how simple it is to create automated sequences. Wondering what the hell an automated sequence is? That's where Something Borrowed comes in. Read on to find out my favourite feature of Convertkit and most all email service providers.
Writers, it's high time we borrowed a page from the traditional business world and implemented some digital marketing best practices. The very first best practice we're borrowing is an Automated Welcome Sequence. What the hell is one of these crazy things? Well, if you've listened to me for any length of time you'll know my first priority is ALWAYS list building. Getting that stable of names of readers who have traded their email address for the juicy goodness you deliver to their inbox, hopefully on a consistent basis, whether you're published or not. But that's an entirely different lesson.
An Automated Welcome Sequence (AWS) occurs when said reader enters their email address, and you, in a completely legal and above-board manner, welcome them into your fold with a series of emails delivering whatever it is you promised them. Here's a peek into my welcome sequence (which, by the way, is getting a massive overhaul this week and I couldn't be more excited!)
Reader requests access to my FREE read (a companion novella that I whipped out and spent very little money on, but that can be read quickly and leaves them wanting to know the characters that much more!).
Within the pop up that appears on my website, I have set clear expectations as to what they will get from me (bi-weekly emails that can contain promotional material and a ton of Irish goodness) and have clear links to my policy and terms and conditions. They are also required to select their delivery options. Check out the picture below for a more clear explanation of what this looks like.
Now, I need to preface this with this signup looks very different depending on the service provider. The above pop-up is from Mailchimp and has been designed by my web designer. It looks completely different inside The Socialvert, but the language is still the same. The design is less important. What is important for those selling outside of the US, is that you meet both CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation) and GDPR (General Data Protection Rights) rules. Those are that one has the right to receive your freebie, without exchanging their email for it. They must also be able to clearly read your terms and know exactly what they're opting into, and in Canada, we go with the good old double opt-in. I'm going to add, I've only had 2 readers take the read and run, so it's not something I'm even worried about. What it actually does quite nicely, is cull those readers there for only the free stuff and builds me a solid list of readers eager to grow a relationship with me.
They get their free novella delivered via a password protected document (at this point, it's what I'm going with. This is sure to change). The cool part is, the password is delivered as a thank-you email.
Okay, so this "lead magnet" practice that effectively grows your list at a rapid rate has been put into practice in general digital business operations for a long time and trust me, once it's set up, it works like magic!
So, let's review. They sign up. They get a double opt-in ensuring they know what they're signing up for. Then, they get a welcome email with the password for the free read in it, and finally the free read.
Now, here's the beautiful part. With Convertkit, I can set up a sequence quite easily, that delivers them a series of 3 potential emails.
They do nothing with the download? They get a friendly reminder email with a picture of me laughing, or a hot, steamy pic of the main character.
They open the download, I send an email 3 days later asking them how they liked it with links to my backlist.
They all then get a welcome to the VIP group email, giving them the links to my Reader Group on Facebook, my IG profile link and a review. (This is what I'm building out this week now that I'm back in with my fav, Convertkit)
Phew! That was intense right? Feel free to go back and take it step by step. Now for the something blue...
Well, it's really only that blue is my favourite colour, so much so that it's my brand colour and I wanted to leave you with something that didn't make your brain hurt!
If you'd like help and guides to creating and developing sequences, along with all of your other marketing strategies, don't forget about our comprehensive romance marketing course, The Romance Writer's Marketing Academy Course. We're taking you through all of the high-converting digital marketing options out there, with step-by-step tutorials on how to get it all done. But the big piece to this offering is the coaching opportunities that come with the course AND the bonus social media content! That’s right. I’ve written all your socials for the month. All you have to do is copy, paste and customize. You'll also get access to an exclusive mastermind group of romance writers and me. :) We offer training, Q&A, lots of peer support and so much more! Hours and hours of training options and full support, all for only $299.00 (a monthly payment plan option is available!) Find Out More About The Academy
So, I hope you're crazy excited to get working on your newsletter welcome sequence. Don't forget, that newsletters convert at a rate so very much higher than any other sales technique.
Holly, The Socialvert