Author Topic: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?  (Read 4852 times)  

Offline A J Sika

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Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« on: March 18, 2017, 04:08:05 AM »
This year I've decided to work on growing my list, and that means I need to pick a giveaway distributor. Book Funnel & Instafreebie are the most popular and I'm trying to decide who to go with. Now, I know these things depend entirely on your situation so here are my stats:

  • I have an organic 500 strong mailing list through Mailchimp. By Organic I mean that I got them purely through back matter links in published books offering updates on the next book in the series. The response rate never falls below 60%.

    To keep my list entertained, I usually offer a free bonus chapter based on my most recently published book. Since I write Romance, it's usually a 3-5k word feel-good sort-of-epilogue just to let them know that the couple are doing okay. I usually just post the story on Wattpad and direct my list there. I will keep posting these shorts on Wattpad since they introduce drive-by readers to my work, but I'd also like to give the stories directly to my subscribers in the format they prefer and can keep. Book Funnel could work for this, but Instafreebie will introduce me to new readers.

    I just created my first reader magnet. It's a 3-part serial that follows one couple from their dating, to break up to getting back together.  Part 1 will be free on all stores but the more places I can offer it, the better. Part 2 will be free to people who subscribe to my mailing list and Part 3 will be on sale. I will be using Mailerlite for people who come in to my list through Part 2 then later export the most responsive readers to my Mailchimp list. Instafreebie would be awesome for offering Part 1 & 2 but they don't integrate to Mailerlite. Book Funnel does.

Obviously Book Funnel is cheaper. But if Instafreebie gives me more advantages, I'll consider it. Who would you go with if you were in my position?

Thanks in advance
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Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 11:06:15 AM »
Personally, I canceled my instafreebie after going through a group promotion. I know some people really like it, but I didn't find it all that useful as a discovery tool, and my readers weren't crazy about it.

I REALLY like bookfunnel. The service is great, and my readers seem to like it.


If I could offer some unsolicited advice on your plan:

If you have book 1 available to everyone, and book 3 available to everyone, I personally would NOT make book 2 a newsletter exclusive. I find that readers get annoyed if they feel like the only way they can get a full story is to sign up for your newsletter. You will also get a lot of people signing up just for the book and then immediately unsubscribing. (And often marking you as SPAM out of spite for forcing them to jump through hoops for a book they would have gladly bought.)

If you have book 2 up for sale AS WELL AS being offered as a newsletter incentive, it will show the readers that what they are getting in exchange for their email address has an actual dollar value. They like that.

Just my 2 cents!  :)

Offline A J Sika

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 01:37:15 PM »
Personally, I canceled my instafreebie after going through a group promotion. I know some people really like it, but I didn't find it all that useful as a discovery tool, and my readers weren't crazy about it.

I REALLY like bookfunnel. The service is great, and my readers seem to like it..............

........................... If you have book 2 up for sale AS WELL AS being offered as a newsletter incentive, it will show the readers that what they are getting in exchange for their email address has an actual dollar value. They like that.

Just my 2 cents!  :)

Thanks for the response Steve,

Everyone keeps saying how great Instafreebie is a discovery tool... it's good to hear the other side of the story.

I think I didn't explain the whole concept of my reader magnet series well. I plan on offering all 3 books in all stores I can get them into. Book 1 will be free. Book 2 will be 3.99 but free for anyone who signs up to my list and Book 3 will be 3.99.  So yes, we are on the same page on that.
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Online Patty Jansen

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 02:40:22 PM »
I have and pay for both, since they do different things and are not interchangeable.

Instafreebie is like a Facebook ad for subscribers, only way, way, way cheaper. Plus the people who sign up are actually readers. Of books, you know. Take part in the occasional author cross-promo and that's all you have to do. Watch the subscribers come in.

Bookfunnel is an excellent platform to deliver free books to readers. I have them so that I can palm off those annoying and pesky people who email you with messages like this (yes, in allcaps): YES I GOT THE BOOKS THANKS BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUT THEM ON MY KINDLE!!!!!

So I tell them to go to Bookfunnel and get the instructions or pester the people there with eye-stabbing allcaps. It's magic.

Offline Ryn Shell

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 07:07:41 PM »
I am with both. Book Funnel is my essential tool, I love it. Instafriebie is useful. A few readers find me and stay via Instafreebie. 

Book funnel is easy for readers to use.

The five mailing lists for five separate reader preference groups I manage are automated so that when a reader joins one of the genre-targeted groups, they are sent a welcome email that contains a free book in that genre that they can download through BookFunnel. If I'd done that via Instafreebie, they would immediately be offered three more books in unrelated genres, by authors that I'm not working (voluntary) to assist with cross promotions.

If InstaFreebie got their genre targeting right, it might be of more value to me and the authors I cross-promote. If I, a literary fiction reader, am offered erotica, then, it's logical to assume that the historical fiction books, one of the four book genre groupings that I cross-promote, are offered free to erotica readers. BookBub's research says that those groups are at opposite poles. How valuable is a mailing list gained from a service that isn't genre targeting? InstaFreebie claims to genre target, but each time I test the system I am shown erotica as their suggestion of books that I might like to read.

When I've promoted through Instafreebie, I've question if I've promoted my service or their service. You may need InstaFreebie to be in many group promotions. That may suit your genre. In marketing, one approach does not suit everyone.

I'm avoiding group promotions where a lot of authors from the same genre all end up with the same people on their mailing list. That just leads to a lot of unsubscribes. I don't get unsubscribes with the reader lists that I build from independent promotions using BookFunnel links to welcome my subscribers, prior to most of them becoming active readers, choosing ebooks from the monthly author cross-promotion. I love BookFunnel
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 07:21:22 PM by Ryn Shell »

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Offline Andie

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 08:20:09 PM »
Both, for the reasons Patty listed above.


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Offline Carol (was Dara)

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 12:04:54 AM »
As the others say, I use both for different things. Bookfunnel for delivery to existing subscribers and InstaFreebie to gain new ones.

Offline Guy Riessen

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 08:21:52 AM »
Yep, both forth the reasons mentioned above. That said, Bookfunnel is now looking to start some method of discovery, to be determined, that we might see released relatively soon--this according to a survey of users they sent out, and their subsequent email response about what they learned.

Bookfunnel is 10X easier for readers to use. Instafreebie is a mire of steps--but, right now they're the predominant method for free-book list building, so we're kinda stuck with them for now. If Bookfunnel builds similar discoverability tools, I think you'll see lots of people shift in that direction.

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Offline edwardgtalbot

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 12:18:11 PM »
Just to add to this, a key difference is that instafreebie collects email addresses for you and bookfunnel doesn't, right? So they would serve two different purposes, as others have said.

My unsubscribe rate a month into instafreebie is staggeringly low - several hundred people have received either one or two emails from me, and I only have 7 unsubscribes. That's not very different rate from the several hundred I gained organically. But I won't know until May how good the instafreebie ones are when I launch a new book.
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Offline edwardgtalbot

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 12:21:27 PM »
To add to my comment above, bookfunnel DOES collect email addresses if you pay $100 a month, but that is an order of magnitude higher expense than instafreebie.
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Offline Shawneda

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 12:32:44 PM »
Book Funnel is the win for me. InstaFreebie isn't right for my brand. I've had people respond to emails saying stuff like... Don't email me unless it's about free books. I deleted them. I'm not paying for subscribers who only want free words... I created a mobile app for readers to provide freebies to see if they would like to buy my books. That is more cost effective than paying for newsletters. So to answer the question for me BookFunnel is the win.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 07:04:35 AM by Shawneda »

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Offline hunterone

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 02:45:40 PM »
I have and pay for both, since they do different things and are not interchangeable.

Instafreebie is like a Facebook ad for subscribers, only way, way, way cheaper. Plus the people who sign up are actually readers. Of books, you know. Take part in the occasional author cross-promo and that's all you have to do. Watch the subscribers come in.

Bookfunnel is an excellent platform to deliver free books to readers. I have them so that I can palm off those annoying and pesky people who email you with messages like this (yes, in allcaps): YES I GOT THE BOOKS THANKS BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUT THEM ON MY KINDLE!!!!!

So I tell them to go to Bookfunnel and get the instructions or pester the people there with eye-stabbing allcaps. It's magic.

lol

Offline Ryn Shell

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2017, 04:58:27 PM »
To add to my comment above, bookfunnel DOES collect email addresses if you pay $100 a month, but that is an order of magnitude higher expense than instafreebie.

I pay US$100. a year for email collection, not a month, from BookFunnel.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 07:10:16 PM by Ryn Shell »

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Offline edwardgtalbot

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2017, 05:11:18 PM »
I pay US$100. a year for email collection, not a month, for that service from BookFunnel.
My apologies - it is per year. And it appears that they have automation with several mail providers. So I guess I am rethinking this whole thing - why would someone pay more for instafreebie when it doesn't appear to offer any advantages? I know instafreebie sends promo emails when there are group promos - is there any other advantage?
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Offline Ryn Shell

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2017, 07:25:56 PM »
My apologies - it is per year. And it appears that they have automation with several mail providers. So I guess I am rethinking this whole thing - why would someone pay more for instafreebie when it doesn't appear to offer any advantages? I know instafreebie sends promo emails when there are group promos - is there any other advantage?

 :) I'ts hard to keep track in our minds of all of the changes and expenditure. It's fresh in my mind because I've been writing it down recently.
I think the main advantages are for those authors doing InstaFreebie group promotions. I suspect that might work better for some genres rather than others. I'm not one of those authors who finds that Instafreebie provides the most valuable source of future book buyers for the time and money spent.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 04:16:05 AM by Ryn Shell »

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Offline Guy Riessen

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2017, 03:59:54 PM »
I think the main advantages are for those authors doing InstaFreebie group promotions.

This is the primary reason. Also Instafreebie does have discoverability whereas currently Bookfunnel does not. What do I mean? I mean Instafreebie has a newsletter, website and blog that features author group promotions. Bookfunnel does not. Instafreebie also picks (I don't know what determines this) certain books to feature in their media as well. Bookfunnel does not.

So far, I've had great subscriber open, click and retention rates with the 3 multi-author Instafreebie promos I've joined.

But as a book delivery service, Bookfunnel blows the doors off of Instafreebie.

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Offline edwardgtalbot

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2017, 05:05:42 PM »

Whereas Bookfunnel is $20 a year with no freebie plan, but you also can't collect email addresses at that price, and it's only use is for handing out ARCs and having them handle any issues with that? You couldn't put the Bookfunnel link in your Mailchimp emails to hand out a freebie to everyone who joins your list, correct?

Yes, you could put your bookfunnel link in your mailchimp emails. In fact, that's how many people deliver the free books they offer in exchange for people joining their list. They can use a mailchimp form/page for signups and bookfunnel for delivery.

It's also true that instafreebie currently has discovery options that bookfunnel doesn't have, even if you pay $100 for bookfunnel and get the ability to collect email addresses. Most free book group promos use instafreebie, not book funnel, because there's a decent chance of getting into instafreebie's newsletter.

The debate will go on about the quality of subs obtained via instafreebie versus fb ads versus organic signups, with some having tremendous results with each and others having terrible results with each. So there isn't a one size fits all answer as far as that goes.
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Offline hardnutt

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 08:08:24 PM »
I've found bookfunnel great. I've had 71 new sign-ups, and I've only used their service for a few weeks. I use the Mid-List author price-plan. At $100 a year/$10 a month, it's definitely worth it. I can collect emails easily - I just download their collated collection.

I create an enticing email on bookfunnel, and send it to my FB timeline, page, groups and twitter. That's all I've done so far, but it's been productive. I may try another FB Ad using them. I've not had much luck using these so far, but if the reader has actual human help, which bookfunnel provides, in getting the book onto their device, things might improve.


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Offline Guy Riessen

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2017, 08:50:20 PM »
Just so I can keep this all straight, there's no way to collect email addresses at all with the free plan on Instafreebie? So you just offer a free book and then ... that's it? Hope they decide to join your list after or review the book?

So Instafreebie really only has a benefit if you pay at least the 20/monthly plan so you can make those potential readers join your list to get the book in the first place, right?


Yes.
No.  What? Really, no. See Instafreebie has a 30-day trial that includes their full mailchimp-integrated email-collecting goodness. So do this...
1. Join instafreebie at the free level so you can get onto their forums.
2. Peruse their forums and find a couple (or more) multi-author promos which are going to start and run a month.
3. Contact the person running the multi-author promo and tell them you want to time the free instafreebie time with their promo and ask to turn in your links at the last minute--tell them you will provide the professional cover and a blurb as soon as they want it (then do that!)
4. Run your free Instafreebie trial time right along with your first multi-author promos.
5. make sure you share the promos with as many social platforms as you can during the promo--work hard to make a good impression with your fellow authors because that's always great :)
6. Be absolutely stunned at how many email sign-ups you get!
7. If you don't want to pay $20 to run more promos right away, let your Instafreebie drop back to the free level until you are ready.

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Offline Steven Kelliher

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2017, 09:30:20 PM »
Excuse the possibly-dumb question, but can't you use Instafreebie in the same way you use Bookfunnel for delivery? Can't you just create a giveaway for your book file and set it to private, not public and send that link out to your list if you're offering a freebie?

I don't get what BF offers that you can't do through IF.

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Offline Lefevre

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2017, 09:36:53 PM »
To add to my comment above, bookfunnel DOES collect email addresses if you pay $100 a month, but that is an order of magnitude higher expense than instafreebie.

Just use the $20 a year book funnel service. All you have to do is create a list on mailchimp, put the book funnel download link into the appropriate mail chimp subscribe sequence page. Then just use that list link to collect an email from your book or wherever. Easy peezy lemon sqeezy

I tried both, but went with book funnel because my subscribers say they love it. Instafreebie is branded to attract free seekers, and I am not too keen on paying for subscribers who only want free books.

I suggest trying both with an A/B test and see what works the best for your type of books.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 09:41:30 PM by Lefevre »
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Online Patty Jansen

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2017, 09:37:41 PM »
Excuse the possibly-dumb question, but can't you use Instafreebie in the same way you use Bookfunnel for delivery? Can't you just create a giveaway for your book file and set it to private, not public and send that link out to your list if you're offering a freebie?

I don't get what BF offers that you can't do through IF.

Instafreebie emails the book to people. Bookfunnel puts it on their device. You only need a few clueless emails from readers to know that there is a big difference.

Offline Guy Riessen

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2017, 09:52:00 PM »
Instafreebie emails the book to people. Bookfunnel puts it on their device. You only need a few clueless emails from readers to know that there is a big difference.

This. No question, BF wins hands down for delivery (they'll hand-hold the most non-tech person through the process. Really), which is why some people  pay for both.

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Offline BookSproutChris

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2017, 02:33:53 AM »
I'm going to throw my name into the ring here. I recently introduced a "reader's choice" giveaway to Booksprout that gives readers the ability to choose whichever book they want from you when they join your list.

I created a demo so that people could see what it looks like:
https://booksproutapp.com/author/giveaway/748/mark-twain

Basically, as an author, I found that readers were more likely to subscribe to my list if they got to choose any book when they sign up. It was too tedious to do it manually for very long, so I automated the process and made it available to everyone.
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Offline ADDavies

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Re: Book Funnel VS Instafreebie: Who Would You Go With?
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2017, 10:10:57 AM »
I use both. With the instafreebie mailing list collection, my first welcome auto-responder says "thanks for signing up. [blah blah blah] if you have any difficulty getting the book from Instafreebie, here's another option: [link to bookfunnel]

I also use bookfunnel for ARCs and for another mailing list gathering service, so I already have an account anyway, meaning I'm not blindly paying twice.

I've had instafreebie for a month and gathered over 700 email addresses. I'm going to continue paying for one month at least then decide whether to continue based on how engaged those new signups prove to be.
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