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Author Topic: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?  (Read 1854 times)  

Offline Gregg Bell

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Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« on: January 16, 2018, 10:51:51 AM »
Instafreebie has been great to me. I have nothing but good things to say about them. But I also have been running into so many of the email signups I get already having signed up before. I would say only about 30% of the signups I get are new people. So an IF cross promo runs and I get 100 signups from it. But 70 have already signed up for one of my other IF books or short stories. Even more problematic perhaps, I try to convince myself that it takes very little time to do IF, but that's not true. Keeping track of the promos, evaluating and signing up for new ones. Promoting. Organizing the new signups. It takes a lot of time. Time that could be spent writing and publishing new books.

"When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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Offline josielitton

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 11:50:53 AM »
Instafreebie has been great to me. I have nothing but good things to say about them. But I also have been running into so many of the email signups I get already having signed up before. I would say only about 30% of the signups I get are new people. So an IF cross promo runs and I get 100 signups from it. But 70 have already signed up for one of my other IF books or short stories. Even more problematic perhaps, I try to convince myself that it takes very little time to do IF, but that's not true. Keeping track of the promos, evaluating and signing up for new ones. Promoting. Organizing the new signups. It takes a lot of time. Time that could be spent writing and publishing new books.

I'm fine with people downloading more than one freebie of mine even though, as you say, that leads to diminished returns that call into question the usefulness of IF. The larger issue I have is how much of an impact the changes made last year by IF are having on the effectiveness of these promos. I hope by now we all know that if a promo is done directly through IF, they create a link that automatically defaults to optional mailing list sign up. Good for them, I suppose, because they still get the person's email but now we don't. We have to go into each link and change that manually. Meanwhile, IF's own newsletter seems to be emphasizing offerings from professional promoters rather than those organized directly by authors. Either I'm somehow just not seeing them or a lot of the author-created IF promos that I'm in aren't showing up in IF's own newsletter. Most importantly, I'd like to know what IF is doing to grow its own list beyond the people we send their way and I'd like a commitment from them to include all IF promos running at a given time so that readers have the largest possible choice.


Offline Guy Riessen

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 11:59:14 AM »
Instafreebie has been great to me. I have nothing but good things to say about them. But I also have been running into so many of the email signups I get already having signed up before. I would say only about 30% of the signups I get are new people. So an IF cross promo runs and I get 100 signups from it. But 70 have already signed up for one of my other IF books or short stories. Even more problematic perhaps, I try to convince myself that it takes very little time to do IF, but that's not true. Keeping track of the promos, evaluating and signing up for new ones. Promoting. Organizing the new signups. It takes a lot of time. Time that could be spent writing and publishing new books.

At 70% repeat email addresses, I would think yeah, youre saturated at the moment. You might consider leaving IF for a while and focusing on other thingscan you expand your reach by spending time on message boards, commenting on Facebook or twitter, writing on a blog and doing guest posts on others blogs. Of course there is also always more writing but theres a point for many of us where that too is counterproductive. Adding other social inroads to new customers can be a welcome break after hours of writing.

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Offline aimeeeasterling

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2018, 02:07:37 PM »
You might try a Bookfunnel giveaway or two to switch reader pools a bit. I generally try to do one Instafreebie or Bookfunnel per month, but it's true that the former tends to start sending me quite a lot of repeat subscribers after a while. Then I take a few months off before heading back to the giveaway circuit.

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Online Carol (was Dara)

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 02:15:21 PM »
What Aimee said. It helps to mix things up. Too many IF or BF giveaways with the same groups of authors eventually start bringing in a lot of duplicates.

Offline C. Gockel

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2018, 03:35:40 PM »
For those of you who use BookFunnel, which level of service do you purchase?


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Offline Gregg Bell

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2018, 05:42:29 PM »
I'm fine with people downloading more than one freebie of mine even though, as you say, that leads to diminished returns that call into question the usefulness of IF. The larger issue I have is how much of an impact the changes made last year by IF are having on the effectiveness of these promos. I hope by now we all know that if a promo is done directly through IF, they create a link that automatically defaults to optional mailing list sign up. Good for them, I suppose, because they still get the person's email but now we don't. We have to go into each link and change that manually. Meanwhile, IF's own newsletter seems to be emphasizing offerings from professional promoters rather than those organized directly by authors. Either I'm somehow just not seeing them or a lot of the author-created IF promos that I'm in aren't showing up in IF's own newsletter. Most importantly, I'd like to know what IF is doing to grow its own list beyond the people we send their way and I'd like a commitment from them to include all IF promos running at a given time so that readers have the largest possible choice.



Thanks Josie. Yeah, I've noticed those professional promoters. Everybody's always looking for a new wrinkle, I guess. And yeah, we all have to figure out we need to change that optional signup default. I only found out because I was getting all kinds of downloads and very few signups. It would have been nice had they told us about that.

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Offline Gregg Bell

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 05:45:21 PM »
At 70% repeat email addresses, I would think yeah, youre saturated at the moment. You might consider leaving IF for a while and focusing on other thingscan you expand your reach by spending time on message boards, commenting on Facebook or twitter, writing on a blog and doing guest posts on others blogs. Of course there is also always more writing but theres a point for many of us where that too is counterproductive. Adding other social inroads to new customers can be a welcome break after hours of writing.

That's a good point, Guy. I think my pendulum has swung a little too far, though, in the non-writing direction lately. It's like that non-writing stuff can just grow and you don't notice that it has. Sometimes it seems every service I use is coming out with new features and it takes me a ton of time just to read up on them. It's a balancing act. Thanks.

"When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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Offline Gregg Bell

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2018, 05:47:50 PM »
You might try a Bookfunnel giveaway or two to switch reader pools a bit. I generally try to do one Instafreebie or Bookfunnel per month, but it's true that the former tends to start sending me quite a lot of repeat subscribers after a while. Then I take a few months off before heading back to the giveaway circuit.

Thanks Aime. I'm assuming when you take some months off of Instafreebie you stop paying and revert to the Forever Free version. Is the stop and starting back up pretty seamless?

"When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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Offline Gregg Bell

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2018, 05:48:16 PM »
What Aimee said. It helps to mix things up. Too many IF or BF giveaways with the same groups of authors eventually start bringing in a lot of duplicates.

Thanks Carol.

"When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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Offline Gregg Bell

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 05:52:09 PM »
For those of you who use BookFunnel, which level of service do you purchase?

Hey C. Cockel. I use the Mid-List Author plan and pay $10/month. I think it's great. You can join promos, have 5K downloads a month, and BF is fantastic at getting the books to people's devices. Great support too.

https://bookfunnel.com/pricing/

"When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2018, 06:20:58 PM »
I have a system that requires very little time to set up an Instafreebie giveaway.

I get notifications for all giveaways in my genres.

A promo has to:
  Overlap a date of my newsletter (1st or 15th of the month)
  Not require me to sign up in any manner other than via IF
  Not have a long list of Soup-Nazi-ish requirements
  Be free

If a promo is appropriate:
  I join
  I grab the image from the preview and reduce it to 600 pixels wide (Using Quick JPEG Image Resize and Crop)
  I add the image and the link to my Steals & Deals page
  I schedule any Twitter or Facebook posts via HootSuite

I can do that in less than ten minutes.
 
My newsletter always has a section like this:



That button got an 81% click rate on my last newsletter.

I plan to ditch InstaFreebie (paid) this summer.

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Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2018, 06:29:53 PM »
For those of you who use BookFunnel, which level of service do you purchase?

I use the $20/year plan (starving artist), but I think I was grandfathered in. I have more than five books.

I use InstaFreebie for getting emails.
I get around the 500 downloads/month limit this way:



Twice as many readers chose to download the MOBI directly, so I stayed below the 500 downloads/month limit.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 06:32:57 PM by TromboneAl »

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2018, 10:10:55 PM »
For those of you who use BookFunnel, which level of service do you purchase?

Mid-List plan for me. It allows 2 pen names, unlimited books, mailing list integration, ability to collect email addresses, and 5,000 downloads per month, which is usually enough. When I go over, they bill me $5 for every additional 1k downloads, which works out fine.

Offline vstewart

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2018, 10:41:21 PM »
I have a system that requires very little time to set up an Instafreebie giveaway.

...

This was so helpful, Al! Thank you!

To the OP: I signed up for Instafreebie because of some of your posts. I'm happy to see my tiny newsletter growing. Good to know I may eventually hit saturation levels once I've got more of a backlist.

Offline josielitton

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2018, 01:43:03 AM »
I have a system that requires very little time to set up an Instafreebie giveaway.

I get notifications for all giveaways in my genres....


I use a very similar system but may I ask how you get notifications for all giveaways in your genres? I have to go looking for them on Instafreebie (and Bookfunnel).

Offline aimeeeasterling

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2018, 04:50:50 AM »
Thanks Aime. I'm assuming when you take some months off of Instafreebie you stop paying and revert to the Forever Free version. Is the stop and starting back up pretty seamless?

I had been continuing to pay during non-promo months since I got just enough subscribers organically on IF to break even via backlist sales. But it looks like that discoverability is down, so it's good you asked! I do believe I've paused before with no ill effects, so I'll go back to that method in the future.

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Offline aimeeeasterling

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2018, 05:05:25 AM »
For those of you who use BookFunnel, which level of service do you purchase?

I was paying yearly, so I upgraded to the $100/year version of Midlist author. I regret not just going monthly, though. There aren't enough Bookfunnel giveaways to make it worth paying for a year in advance.

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Offline C. Gockel

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2018, 07:11:56 AM »
Thanks everyone who has responded WRT BookFunnel. It looks like I can just go in a month at a time with one of the options ... that sounds reasonable.

Just want to pipe up and say that I find that Instafreebie readers do convert, so I don't stress over subscribers. I make mailing list signup optional, but still get plenty of subs.


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Offline Ethan Jones

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2018, 09:31:55 AM »
I pulled the plug on IF in December. I lost about 1/3 of subscribers I got from IF in a matter of three months (300 out of 1000) and the remaining ones are usually not that engaged.
IF is dead; long live the new IF.
Blessings,
E

Offline Gregg Bell

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2018, 12:22:19 PM »
I have a system that requires very little time to set up an Instafreebie giveaway.

I get notifications for all giveaways in my genres.

A promo has to:
  Overlap a date of my newsletter (1st or 15th of the month)
  Not require me to sign up in any manner other than via IF
  Not have a long list of Soup-Nazi-ish requirements
  Be free

If a promo is appropriate:
  I join
  I grab the image from the preview and reduce it to 600 pixels wide (Using Quick JPEG Image Resize and Crop)
  I add the image and the link to my Steals & Deals page
  I schedule any Twitter or Facebook posts via HootSuite

I can do that in less than ten minutes.
 
My newsletter always has a section like this:



That button got an 81% click rate on my last newsletter.

I plan to ditch InstaFreebie (paid) this summer.

Well, you're just a machine, Al. LOL Nice system! But if it's working so well, why ditch it?

"When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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Offline Gregg Bell

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2018, 12:23:07 PM »
This was so helpful, Al! Thank you!

To the OP: I signed up for Instafreebie because of some of your posts. I'm happy to see my tiny newsletter growing. Good to know I may eventually hit saturation levels once I've got more of a backlist.

Glad it's working for you!

"When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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Offline Gregg Bell

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2018, 12:27:00 PM »
I use a very similar system but may I ask how you get notifications for all giveaways in your genres? I have to go looking for them on Instafreebie (and Bookfunnel).


Hey Josie. Go to link and click on (or just scroll down to) "How to Set Alerts for Group Giveaways."

http://support.instafreebie.com/article/216-how-to-join-an-instafreebie-group-giveaway

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Offline Gregg Bell

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2018, 12:28:36 PM »
I had been continuing to pay during non-promo months since I got just enough subscribers organically on IF to break even via backlist sales. But it looks like that discoverability is down, so it's good you asked! I do believe I've paused before with no ill effects, so I'll go back to that method in the future.

Thanks Aime. Yeah, those little monthly costs can add up quickly.

"When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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Offline josielitton

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Re: Diminishing returns and too much time spent at Instafreebie?
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2018, 12:41:10 PM »
Hey Josie. Go to link and click on (or just scroll down to) "How to Set Alerts for Group Giveaways."

http://support.instafreebie.com/article/216-how-to-join-an-instafreebie-group-giveaway

Thank you, Gregg! I noticed that little bell but didn't pay any attention to it. Obviously, I should have!