Author Topic: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers  (Read 537 times)  

Offline TromboneAl

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Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« on: June 19, 2017, 08:53:35 AM »
I'm eight days into my free thirty-day trial of Instafreebie, and I've gotten 225 new subscribers so far.

I will have to decide whether I want to continue with the $20/month option (which will allow me to require newsletter signup).

Of course, there are a lot of variables, but if you had a gun to your head and had to come up with a figure for the monetary value of a Instafreebie subscriber, what value would you choose (e.g. 50 cents per subscriber)?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 08:59:22 AM by TromboneAl »

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Offline Crystal_

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 09:41:35 AM »
How many click book one in my drip campaign? How many click several of the emails on my long welcome drip? What percent of subscribers open none of the emails (I never unsubscribe organic signups but I do unsubscribe giveaway or Instafreebie subs who don't open the drip)? Assuming a 10% conversion rate of clickers, I'd pay $3/clicker easily (I have ten books in my two related series, or I will in July, and each earns me about 2.25-3, depending on KU vs sale, borrow rate, length of book, etc).

I'd probably pay about twice that based on the future value of a subscriber.

Offline notjohn

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 11:05:20 AM »
If you can get 225 subscribers in a month (never mind eight days), I think that would be worth $20. That's less than a dime a name.
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Offline Dolphin

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 01:11:57 PM »
There's also the cost of maintaining the subscribers, which will depend on your mailing list provider's pricing (and could be controlled by pruning your list of non-opening, non-clicking Instafreebie subs, if you'd like).

I don't think anybody's going to be able to give you a dollar value that will apply to your list. Too many different variables. What we know is that you're on pace for over 800 new subscribers a month, which works out to less than 2.5 cents per subscriber. I'm gonna go ahead and say that you should keep going for now.

The coming months will give you a chance to evaluate these new subs and see if they're pulling their weight.

Offline aimeeeasterling

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 02:25:41 PM »
By my math --- based on my own open, sale, and publication rates and 99 cent launch pricing that I offer to newsletter subscribers --- I break even on instafreebie in the first year at 9 cents per subscriber, which equates to 222 subscribers per month. I can easily get that many new subscribers without any group promos, and I generally get at least a couple of thousand if I participate in a cross promotion.

That said, on month seven, I decided to give instafreebie a few months' hiatus since I was starting to get too many repeat subscribers. The real issue, though, is that even after scrubbing my list hard to remove nonopeners, I'm nearing the 10,000 subscriber limit at which I'll have to pay significantly more per month on Aweber. I've yet to decide whether I want to jump through the hoops to move to Mailerlite, to scrub the list further, or to just stay steady where I'm at. So, for now, I'm trying the slower-but-cheaper Bookfunnel promos instead...

...which I guess is a testament to instafreebie since I was nowhere near 10,000 subscribers when I started using their service in November 2016!

Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 07:30:41 AM »
I'll take a crack at quantifying it. Here are some benefits of a subscriber. He/she may ...

  • Buy my current books
  • Spread the word about my work
  • Buy my future books
  • Improve rank and visibility of new releases (by buying them)
  • Provide feedback, beta reading, and/or other assistance
Considering 1 and 3, if a subscriber bought all my current fiction books plus my upcoming book, I would make about $14.50.

Here come the WAG (Wild A__ Guess) assumptions:

Let's say that, on average, 2% of my new subscribers buy half of my books. One in fifty. In that case, each subscriber would be worth 14.5 cents ($14.50 * .5 * .02). Add a bit more for the other benefits, and my guess will be 16 cents per subscriber.

What do you think?

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Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 10:35:37 AM »
[quote author=TromboneAl link=topic=252491.msg3516250#msg3516250 date=1498141841

Here come the WAG (Wild A__ Guess) assumptions:

Let's say that, on average, 2% of my new subscribers buy half of my books. One in fifty. In that case, each subscriber would be worth 14.5 cents ($14.50 * .5 * .02). Add a bit more for the other benefits, and my guess will be 16 cents per subscriber.

What do you think?
[/quote]

The value of the subscriber is going to change based on how they signed up.

Readers who click a link in the back of your books and sign up on their own will be more valuable than those gained through contests, ads or cross-promotions.

The only real way to put a number on them is to use tracking links and segment them based on where they signed up, then run reports on your clicks and conversions from each segment.

Frankly, the whole thing smacks of effort. :)

Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 11:15:59 AM »
... then run reports on your clicks and conversions from each segment.

I know how to track the clicks, but how do I track the conversions?

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Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2017, 03:02:29 PM »
I know how to track the clicks, but how do I track the conversions?

Sadly, you often can't, since there is no way to put a tracking pixel on the Amazon checkout.

You pretty much have to look at your normal baseline sales, then watch for spikes when you add subscribers. This works well when you add a bunch at once, but the normal trickle from your everyday signups gets lost in the general sales.

Offline aimeeeasterling

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2017, 05:12:22 PM »
I know how to track the clicks, but how do I track the conversions?

The way I tracked it was to launch a new book one list segment at a time, each email separated by 12 to 24 hours. If I don't have any other ads going, don't tell anyone on social media, etc., then I can assume most or all of the sales at the very beginning of a launch come directly from my list.

Of course, if I was a very big author who had people searching for my name night and day and finding the new book organically right off the bat, that math wouldn't work. But I usually only get one sale or fewer per day on a new book before I announce it to anyone.

Offline Eugene Kirk

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2017, 06:56:55 PM »
My organic list has been growing far slower than I thought it would. This is from a freebie story at the back and front of the first book. If other people have this, how many email subs to you tend to get per sales/read-throughs?

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Re: Putting a Dollar Value on Subscribers
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2017, 07:30:45 PM »
I use a whole-list calculation for the value of subscribers. I do this because every subscriber is going to be different, and also when a new subscriber is added to my list, they're not worth much because I use a lot of cold-subscriber methods (Instafreebie, for example). I've found it can take a year or more to turn a cold subscriber into someone who reads your books.

Whole-list calculation:

Income:
- How many books do you typically sell off the back of a new release?
- How many people then typically buy other books?
- How many new books do you  release per year
- Affiliate income

Outgoing:
- Cost of running your list
- Cost of acquiring new subscribers, if FB ads or Instafreebie etc.

Average this over a year to see if your list is making money.

There are a number of ways to increase your income from your list:
- Apply strategies to make more people open your emails and click links and buy books
- release more books in series that people on your list want to buy
- reduce the cost of running the list
- increase affiliate income

Increasing your subscribers can be a double-edged sword, because they will typically cost you more and this cost is not always immediately set off by a corresponding increase in sales (oiw they're "cold" subscribers and will need some prodding and time to sort themselves out).