Author Topic: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?  (Read 3627 times)  

Offline sisley

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« on: February 06, 2018, 05:57:11 PM »
Is it worth it?

Offline thevoiceofone

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2043
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 06:33:24 PM »
Is it worth it?

Isn't he the guy who spams people? I'm pretty sure i got a spam email from him. Anyone who spams me goes into my dungeon pile, even if they are trying to build a business. There is no need for it.

Offline LilyBLily

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 06:55:26 PM »
I've done a couple newsletter list-building promos with Ryan. No problems, no insistence that I discount my books during the promo, and best of all, no drama. I intend to sign up for a couple more with him. I believe he also offers more elaborate promos. I prefer the modestly priced, simple ones.

Offline caarsen

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 99
    • View Profile
    • Carolyne Aarsen
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 06:59:46 PM »
I've used him numerous times and am signed up to do another one. I've had good open rates from the lists I've gotten from him. His service has really helped me build my list. I'd recommend it any day. Plus he has a large variety of types of lists.

Coming Home to Family and Faith
Carolyne Aarsen | website | Facebook | Book Bub

Offline Doglover

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • Gender: Female
  • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • View Profile
    • Margaret Brazear Author
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 12:01:22 AM »
Isn't he the guy who spams people? I'm pretty sure i got a spam email from him. Anyone who spams me goes into my dungeon pile, even if they are trying to build a business. There is no need for it.
Unlike a lot of companies, I wouldn't call his emails spam so much as an honest enquiry. He has a good reputation and I am pretty sure he doesn't contact willy nilly, but chooses his targets with more care. He has no real reason to spam anyone. I haven't used him, because $60 is too much for me, but I've looked him up and he seems legit.


The past is another country; they do things differently there
Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Readers Group | Newsletter

Online katherinef

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1014
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 01:11:49 AM »
Isn't he the guy who spams people? I'm pretty sure i got a spam email from him. Anyone who spams me goes into my dungeon pile, even if they are trying to build a business. There is no need for it.

This. I'm not going to work with anyone who signs up for authors' mailing lists just to get their email addresses. There are usually plenty of ways to contact an author that don't include doing things like that.
De gustibus non est disputandum.

Ignore people's pet peeves and write on!

"If you tell me the characters should be smarter, I'm going to wonder if you've actually met any humans." - T

Offline Doglover

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • Gender: Female
  • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • View Profile
    • Margaret Brazear Author
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 01:46:45 AM »
This. I'm not going to work with anyone who signs up for authors' mailing lists just to get their email addresses. There are usually plenty of ways to contact an author that don't include doing things like that.
He's not on my mailing list, but I still get the occasional e-mail from him, if he doing a promotion in my genre.


The past is another country; they do things differently there
Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Readers Group | Newsletter

Offline PaulineMRoss

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3159
  • Gender: Female
  • Nairn, Scotland
    • View Profile
    • The Brightmoon Annals
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 02:12:58 AM »
I've used him three times for list-building purposes, using a giveaway as the inducement. I've had a good number of signups each time and they haven't unsubbed in droves afterwards. His promos are very targeted at specific sub-genres, which I think helps a lot, and he does some pruning before he sends out the lists, to weed out those who only signed up for the freebie. Well worth it, for me.
   

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub status: 2 for 70

Online katherinef

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1014
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 02:31:01 AM »
He's not on my mailing list, but I still get the occasional e-mail from him, if he doing a promotion in my genre.

Whoever (he or someone he hired) is signing up is doing it just to collect email addresses, so if you (general you) have double opt-in, they'll just take the address from the verification email and will never become an active subscriber, so you probably won't even know about it, but they'll make you their subscriber without even asking. I'm just not okay with that.
De gustibus non est disputandum.

Ignore people's pet peeves and write on!

"If you tell me the characters should be smarter, I'm going to wonder if you've actually met any humans." - T

Offline Doglover

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • Gender: Female
  • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • View Profile
    • Margaret Brazear Author
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2018, 02:45:44 AM »
Whoever (he or someone he hired) is signing up is doing it just to collect email addresses, so if you (general you) have double opt-in, they'll just take the address from the verification email and will never become an active subscriber, so you probably won't even know about it, but they'll make you their subscriber without even asking. I'm just not okay with that.
I've had people sign up, then try to sell me their editing, proof reading, cover design services. I see no difference with this.


The past is another country; they do things differently there
Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Readers Group | Newsletter

Offline PaulineMRoss

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3159
  • Gender: Female
  • Nairn, Scotland
    • View Profile
    • The Brightmoon Annals
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2018, 03:08:56 AM »
Whoever (he or someone he hired) is signing up is doing it just to collect email addresses, so if you (general you) have double opt-in, they'll just take the address from the verification email and will never become an active subscriber, so you probably won't even know about it, but they'll make you their subscriber without even asking. I'm just not okay with that.

I don't understand what you're saying here.

When I've used Ryan Zee, I get a csv file at the end of it with the emails of everyone who agreed to join my list. I import them manually into Mailerlite. Ryan Zee has nothing at all to do with the verification email or the double opt-in process.

I always sign up for the giveaways myself, using a different email address, and I've never, ever had email from them as a result after the giveaway finished. The only emails I ever get are author-directed, because I'm a previous customer, and they're very rare.
   

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub status: 2 for 70

Online evdarcy

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 427
  • Gender: Female
  • Cheshire, UK
    • View Profile
    • My Author Site
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 03:30:49 AM »
From the way people were describing this I was seeing red flags - I was thinking of 'other' list building services that have been discussed on these boards which weren't on the up and up.

However, I took a gander through the site and upon looking at his giveaways I like what I see. These seem very, very targeted, which IMO means that people are signing up because they are definitely interested in what's being promoted.
Although, it's so targeted there's only one list I could even sign up to which is right at the very end of April - again a good thing I think because it means the same authors aren't targeting people, or people aren't signing up to the same author multiple times.

I think I'll give him ago. It can't hurt and I've spent more for zero results so...

E. V. Darcy | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

Offline Marty South

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 193
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 04:37:01 AM »
I know some writers who have used him, and they were very happy with the results.

Offline Romancer

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2018, 09:11:26 AM »
He charges WAY too much for his services. I haven't looked in a while, so I could be wrong... But it was $60 for his mailing list builder and I might get 600-800 emails? And half would either be duplicates from a previous promo or duds who unsubbed. So not worth it, IMO.

Write a short reader magnet and slap that thing up on Instafreebie or BookFunnel. Better subs, more of them, and MUCH cheaper.

But honestly, I think organic is the way to go these days. It's much slower, but your list is better. People are so inundated with NLs now (especially in romance) that their impact has lessened quite a bit.

Online katherinef

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1014
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2018, 10:26:42 AM »
I've had people sign up, then try to sell me their editing, proof reading, cover design services. I see no difference with this.

Everyone who does that goes on my blacklist of people I'll never work with. If you're okay with such practices, that's your choice, but I'm not.

I don't understand what you're saying here.

When I've used Ryan Zee, I get a csv file at the end of it with the emails of everyone who agreed to join my list. I import them manually into Mailerlite. Ryan Zee has nothing at all to do with the verification email or the double opt-in process.

I always sign up for the giveaways myself, using a different email address, and I've never, ever had email from them as a result after the giveaway finished.
The only emails I ever get are author-directed, because I'm a previous customer, and they're very rare.

I'm not talking about the services he provides, just about the way he gets authors' email addresses to offer them his services. Some of us have different email addresses for everything, including mailing lists, so when someone sends an unsolicited email offering their services to a certain email address, we know how they got our address and how it ended up on their mailing list. His services might be awesome, but I guess I'll never know.
De gustibus non est disputandum.

Ignore people's pet peeves and write on!

"If you tell me the characters should be smarter, I'm going to wonder if you've actually met any humans." - T

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2018, 10:37:55 AM »
I am in the middle of a list building promo with him right now for "Mages & Sages." In other words an epic fantasy giveaway. I won't know the results until the end of the promo (as someone mentioned he sends a csv after all is said and done and then we have to import the sign ups into our mailing list by hand). So far, I haven't seen anything shady about it. I'll post results here after I get them. The giveaway goes until next Monday and then we get our csv file sometime after that.
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline RTW

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 197
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2018, 11:47:11 AM »
I have to admit that I never heard of Ryan Zee until this thread and, reading their website, I'm still not sure I can even participate, since my books are all in KU.

I wrote to them and someone wrote back to me, referencing a page on their site which seems to be saying that there are 2 winners to the multi-author giveaway and that, through Amazon, you gift them the copies of your book. But--and please excuse me for being totally clueless about this, but this is the first I heard of this service--the $60 one is paying for this is surely not just so you can then pay for 2 of your Kindle books and gift them to 2 people. Do people just sign up for your mailing list because you're in this promo?

Obviously, I've never done anything like this, and there are a couple of promos coming up that I could participate in--if only I could figure out how I can offer my KU books for free and what I might expect to get out of the promo.

Feel free to answer this as though I just landed here from Planet Hunh?--because I guess I have.

Edited to add: I wrote back to Ryan Zee's customer service and got a more detailed answer. In case anyone else is reading this thread who had the same questions I did, I thought I'd post here. This was her answer:

For these giveaways, only 2 people win the prizes, but usually anywhere from 1500-3000 readers sign up for a chance to win. Those readers can opt-in to the participating authors' email lists on the contest page.

At the end of the promotion, we email you your list of new subscribers, and depending on the popularity of your genre, this is usually around 400-1000+ new emails for you to upload to your list.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 02:17:11 PM by RTW »


Offline meholstein

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Gender: Female
  • Columbus, OH
    • View Profile
    • meganeholstein.com
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2018, 11:48:14 AM »
Those of you who bought Ryan Zee's service and got emails, did you actually see a noticeable sales increase from that email list? Did it impact your sales, either in the short term or the long term?

Offline PaulineMRoss

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3159
  • Gender: Female
  • Nairn, Scotland
    • View Profile
    • The Brightmoon Annals
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2018, 12:24:20 PM »
Those of you who bought Ryan Zee's service and got emails, did you actually see a noticeable sales increase from that email list? Did it impact your sales, either in the short term or the long term?

It's very, very hard to know for sure how many extra sales result. Here are some numbers from my last Ryan Zee campaign:

Signups: 900+
Unsubs from welcome email: 4%
Unsubs from first sales email: 2%
Open rate on first sales email: 38% (similar to rest of list)
Click rate on first sales email: 14% (similar to rest of list)

I can't tell you what happened after that because I blended them into the rest of the list somewhat, but I'd think that of that 14% who clicked, at least a few would have bought the book.
   

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub status: 2 for 70

Offline thevoiceofone

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2043
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2018, 04:03:18 PM »
Unlike a lot of companies, I wouldn't call his emails spam so much as an honest enquiry. He has a good reputation and I am pretty sure he doesn't contact willy nilly, but chooses his targets with more care. He has no real reason to spam anyone. I haven't used him, because $60 is too much for me, but I've looked him up and he seems legit.

"Definition of spam
: unsolicited usually commercial messages (such as e-mails, text messages, or Internet postings) sent to a large number of recipients or posted in a large number of places"

If i didn't request his email. It's spam. Plain and simple. You spam me, you aren't getting any respect from me.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 04:05:03 PM by thevoiceofone »

Offline Doglover

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • Gender: Female
  • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • View Profile
    • Margaret Brazear Author
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2018, 12:44:40 AM »
Everyone who does that goes on my blacklist of people I'll never work with. If you're okay with such practices, that's your choice, but I'm not.

I'm not ok with it. I find it insulting actually, because they get a newsletter, then reply asking if I need any editing, which seems like they're saying it isn't edited properly. That's no way to get new business. They get unsubscribed from my list straight away.


The past is another country; they do things differently there
Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Readers Group | Newsletter

Offline SummerNights

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2018, 12:47:40 PM »
This. I'm not going to work with anyone who signs up for authors' mailing lists just to get their email addresses. There are usually plenty of ways to contact an author that don't include doing things like that.

I can confirm that this is one of the ways they collect author email addresses. They contacted me using an email address I only use for my mailing list, so the only way they could have gotten it is by subscribing to my newsletter.

Offline Crystal_

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2367
  • Gender: Female
  • Portland, OR
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2018, 08:16:03 PM »
He charges WAY too much for his services. I haven't looked in a while, so I could be wrong... But it was $60 for his mailing list builder and I might get 600-800 emails? And half would either be duplicates from a previous promo or duds who unsubbed. So not worth it, IMO.

Write a short reader magnet and slap that thing up on Instafreebie or BookFunnel. Better subs, more of them, and MUCH cheaper.

But honestly, I think organic is the way to go these days. It's much slower, but your list is better. People are so inundated with NLs now (especially in romance) that their impact has lessened quite a bit.

They opportunity cost of writing a freebie is much higher than $60. But if you're going to do that anyway, why not both? I'm happy to pay $60 for 600 emailed because I only need to get 1% of those subscribers to read through my series to break even. Then the new subs on top of that are gravy.

Offline Norman Steele Taylor

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 203
  • Kindle Publishers' Best Friend
    • View Profile
    • Get targeted promotions for your kindle book - starts at only $75
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2018, 12:24:57 AM »
How does his service work?

Is it some sort of SOLO AD service or does he offer free content snippets to get people to sign up to your list?

What kind of free incentives are offered to list members?


Online kathrynoh

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2525
  • Gender: Female
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • View Profile
    • Kathryn O'Halloran
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2018, 12:28:43 AM »
Maybe I'm confused about this but the main complaint is that you sign up and you're on his mailing list so you get emails about other things?

But isn't that the same with pretty much every business in this world? I book a flight and I get emails from the airline about every flight special they have. I buy a dress and get constant emails about sale going on. I got groceries delivered when I was in KL about 6 months ago and I can't get off that list no matter what I do. I've never signed up for any of this. I've never checked a box. I've never even had a box to uncheck. It's annoying but it's a common business practice.

Offline PaulineMRoss

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3159
  • Gender: Female
  • Nairn, Scotland
    • View Profile
    • The Brightmoon Annals
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2018, 01:41:49 AM »
Maybe I'm confused about this but the main complaint is that you sign up and you're on his mailing list so you get emails about other things?

I think the complaint is that Ryan Zee is harvesting author email addresses by signing up for authors' mailing lists, and then sending advertising emails to those authors. I've never experienced this myself, in fact, I've never had anything but positive experiences with them, but several people have experienced this behaviour.
   

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub status: 2 for 70

Offline Doglover

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • Gender: Female
  • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • View Profile
    • Margaret Brazear Author
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2018, 01:46:51 AM »
Maybe I'm confused about this but the main complaint is that you sign up and you're on his mailing list so you get emails about other things?

But isn't that the same with pretty much every business in this world? I book a flight and I get emails from the airline about every flight special they have. I buy a dress and get constant emails about sale going on. I got groceries delivered when I was in KL about 6 months ago and I can't get off that list no matter what I do. I've never signed up for any of this. I've never checked a box. I've never even had a box to uncheck. It's annoying but it's a common business practice.
I think it's more where he is getting our email addresses from that is bothering people. But, having said that, my books and my genre are no secret and it is easy enough to find out my contact details. He has only emailed me when he is doing a promotion in my genre.


The past is another country; they do things differently there
Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Readers Group | Newsletter

Offline Norman Steele Taylor

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 203
  • Kindle Publishers' Best Friend
    • View Profile
    • Get targeted promotions for your kindle book - starts at only $75
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2018, 01:56:25 AM »
I think the complaint is that Ryan Zee is harvesting author email addresses by signing up for authors' mailing lists, and then sending advertising emails to those authors. I've never experienced this myself, in fact, I've never had anything but positive experiences with them, but several people have experienced this behaviour.

I hope that's not the case because he'd be SERIOUSLY diluting his brand's perceived value if he engaged in such practices.


Online kathrynoh

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2525
  • Gender: Female
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • View Profile
    • Kathryn O'Halloran
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2018, 04:23:39 AM »
Aha, so you mean he's getting addresses of authors who never signed up in the first place? Not good.

Offline Doglover

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • Gender: Female
  • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • View Profile
    • Margaret Brazear Author
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2018, 04:30:15 AM »
Aha, so you mean he's getting addresses of authors who never signed up in the first place? Not good.
I certainly never signed up, but it never occurred to me to be offended by his invitations. It's not like something that keeps spamming you with stuff you will probably have no interest in.


The past is another country; they do things differently there
Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Readers Group | Newsletter

Offline RomanceAuthor

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 224
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2018, 04:45:06 AM »
I haven't used his services, but I just wanted to say that cold "calls" (or emails in this case) are legit business practices. You (general author you) are a business. Everyone is welcome to sell you their services, so him emailing authors (I also get his emails often) is NOT spamming, even if you didn't subscribe to his list or anything. he's not "harvesting" emails, he's just doing what business have done since forever: sending out cold inquiries.

Offline PaulineMRoss

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3159
  • Gender: Female
  • Nairn, Scotland
    • View Profile
    • The Brightmoon Annals
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2018, 05:34:31 AM »
I haven't used his services, but I just wanted to say that cold "calls" (or emails in this case) are legit business practices. You (general author you) are a business. Everyone is welcome to sell you their services, so him emailing authors (I also get his emails often) is NOT spamming, even if you didn't subscribe to his list or anything. he's not "harvesting" emails, he's just doing what business have done since forever: sending out cold inquiries.

It may have been done since time immemorial, but sending unsolicited advertising emails is the very essence of spam.
   

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub status: 2 for 70

Offline RomanceAuthor

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 224
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2018, 05:46:32 AM »
It may have been done since time immemorial, but sending unsolicited advertising emails is the very essence of spam.

Yes, that was a poor choice of words on my part :-) I guess I just can't put him in the same category as people sending me ads for pills I don't need for members of anatomy I don't have. In any case, if he gets solid results, I'll check out the services. 

Offline Anarchist

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2561
  • Methodological individualist
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2018, 05:58:00 AM »
In my opinion...

Spam is unsolicited, commercial, bulk email (e.g. an email sent to 15 million people to promote a Russian dating site).

I don't consider one-off emails sent to drum up business to be spam.

Again, it's just my opinion. The FTC defines it differently.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Offline PaulineMRoss

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3159
  • Gender: Female
  • Nairn, Scotland
    • View Profile
    • The Brightmoon Annals
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2018, 06:13:45 AM »
Yes, that was a poor choice of words on my part :-) I guess I just can't put him in the same category as people sending me ads for pills I don't need for members of anatomy I don't have. In any case, if he gets solid results, I'll check out the services.

I agree. There are far worse cases. But still, I can't blame people for calling it spam.
   

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub status: 2 for 70

Online katherinef

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1014
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2018, 10:17:13 AM »
I haven't used his services, but I just wanted to say that cold "calls" (or emails in this case) are legit business practices. You (general author you) are a business. Everyone is welcome to sell you their services, so him emailing authors (I also get his emails often) is NOT spamming, even if you didn't subscribe to his list or anything. he's not "harvesting" emails, he's just doing what business have done since forever: sending out cold inquiries.

I get a lot of emails from businesses offering me their services, and that's fine, but that's because they're using the contact info I provided, or they contact me through Facebook, Twitter, etc. None of those businesses ignored all the legit ways to contact me and signed up for my mailing list to get their hands on my email address so they could add me to their mailing list.
De gustibus non est disputandum.

Ignore people's pet peeves and write on!

"If you tell me the characters should be smarter, I'm going to wonder if you've actually met any humans." - T

Offline SummerNights

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2018, 01:34:01 PM »
I get a lot of emails from businesses offering me their services, and that's fine, but that's because they're using the contact info I provided, or they contact me through Facebook, Twitter, etc. None of those businesses ignored all the legit ways to contact me and signed up for my mailing list to get their hands on my email address so they could add me to their mailing list.

Well said! I have a website that lists ways to contact me, same with Facebook, Twitter etc. Signing up for my mailing list to get en email address I don't share publicly and then add said email to a marketing list is unacceptable.

Offline Escapee

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 101
  • Gender: Female
  • Australia
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2018, 06:59:30 PM »
I just received an email from someone representing Ryan Zee wanting me to join their sweet contemporary mail building list. I write paranormal romance and urban fantasy, neither of which are in any way sweet contemporary romance. Way to do your research, people ::)

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2018, 01:55:09 PM »
Hey Folks,

I got my results back from the Mages & Sages giveaway list building promotion and I got almost 800 (772--minus a handful of folks who were already signed up to my list) new email addresses to add to my mailing list.

I have my welcome e-mail scheduled to go out tomorrow morning so I can report back soon with the unsubscribe rate, open rate, etc., but I'm quite satisfied with those numbers so far as my previous list was only 167 people! This is a huge jump for me, and I will certainly be signing up for another promo with Ryan Zee as long as there is a decent retention rate on this list.

(To be fair, I have done very little to grow my list organically using FB ads etc., and I will do more of that in the coming months, but this was a simple way to get my list started and reach new readers, and so far I am very happy with the results.)
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2018, 02:33:06 PM »
Update on my list results:

This morning at 8:30am central my welcome newsletter for the new e-mail addresses went out. This went ONLY to the folks that I got from the Ryan Zee BookSweeps promotion.

So far (and the day is far from over) the open rate is 27% and the click rate is over 8%. Less than 2% have unsubscribed. My average rates for my newsletter are 35% open rate (usually not reached until a day or two after the e-mail is sent) with a 4.5% click rate and between 1-2% unsubscribe rate. Those are averages of course. My last release email had a 43% open rate and a 8.2% click rate, and that's close to my normal for most e-mails (the average is dragged down by a couple repeat e-mails to make sure folks received messages etc.). Also, list interaction has been nice and high, I've gotten a few personal replies from folks who got the message and wanted to say hi, thank you, or "How do I make this free ebook work on my kindle?" All good stuff.

In summary, I am quite pleased with the results so far. It may even have produced a sale and a couple of social media follows, so that's a bonus. Meanwhile, I am slowly building towards the 1000 true fans that will hopefully make this writing thing stick. I'm playing the long game, and I like the results from this one $60 promo. I have already signed up for another BookSweeps promo in April under a slightly different category. Well worth it in my book! 
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline thevoiceofone

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2043
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2018, 03:04:12 PM »
These people keep spamming me. I'm getting tired of it. I've had 3 emails this past week from them.

In my books they are spammers ( who send email without my permission ).

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2018, 03:09:34 PM »
These people keep spamming me. I'm getting of it. I've had 3 emails this past week from them.

In my books they are spammers ( who send email without my permission ).

Sure. That would annoy me as well. If I had had that experience with them it would bother me, and I might never have tried their services. However, that was never my experience with them. I heard about them through a social media post, signed up to hear about their next fantasy promotion and then signed up accordingly when the notification I requested came in.

With me they've never been anything but civil, and I've never received anything from them that falls under the category of spam. Meanwhile, the OP asked if anyone had used their services and what their experiences were, not if anyone was getting e-mails from them that they thought were spam. So, those of us who have used their services are attempting to provide useful information in that regard.
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2018, 11:07:51 AM »
Ok. One final update: After a full 24 hours post sending my welcome letter the open rate is at 36.7% (higher than my list average) the click rate is 12.5% (almost triple my list average) and the unsubscribe rate is just shy of 3% (slightly higher than my list average, but still nothing alarming).

Personally, that puts this first $60 promo at a "wholeheartedly recommend" rating for me. As with anything, YMMV, but I hope this info is helpful for folks.
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline RTW

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 197
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #43 on: May 15, 2018, 07:24:40 AM »
Virginia,

Just wanted to thank you for your posts on Ryan Zee. Your info was helpful in my deciding to use BookSweeps.

Yesterday I sent out an exclusive email to the list I'd gotten from BookSweeps after a late-April sweepstakes. In my email I advertised a first-in-series book for free. I had no other promos or ads and didn't send the email to anyone other than the new subscribers.

Here's where I have to admit that I don't quite understand all of MailChimp's stats, so I'll just list them: 278 opened / 125 clicked.
Total opens: 389 / Clicks per unique opens: 45% / Total clicks: 168.

Out of 697 signups, only 25 people unsubscribed.

Whatever these stats mean, I consider this a huge success. I added 672 people to my mailing list and around 200 of them took advantage of the free book yesterday. I don't know exactly how many account for the free books I "sold" yesterday, since I was getting sales long before the email went out. Also, my book had a lovely time in the Kindle free store, where it was #4 or #5 in its category, Sci-Fi Time Travel, all day.

I wanted to thank you, Virginia, and to post my results so others could see them.


Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #44 on: May 15, 2018, 08:42:03 AM »
Virginia,

Just wanted to thank you for your posts on Ryan Zee. Your info was helpful in my deciding to use BookSweeps.

Yesterday I sent out an exclusive email to the list I'd gotten from BookSweeps after a late-April sweepstakes. In my email I advertised a first-in-series book for free. I had no other promos or ads and didn't send the email to anyone other than the new subscribers.

Here's where I have to admit that I don't quite understand all of MailChimp's stats, so I'll just list them: 278 opened / 125 clicked.
Total opens: 389 / Clicks per unique opens: 45% / Total clicks: 168.

Out of 697 signups, only 25 people unsubscribed.

Whatever these stats mean, I consider this a huge success. I added 672 people to my mailing list and around 200 of them took advantage of the free book yesterday. I don't know exactly how many account for the free books I "sold" yesterday, since I was getting sales long before the email went out. Also, my book had a lovely time in the Kindle free store, where it was #4 or #5 in its category, Sci-Fi Time Travel, all day.

I wanted to thank you, Virginia, and to post my results so others could see them.

That's great to hear! I have since done an additional Booksweep giveaway and now have just under 1300 subscribers to my list. Overall, I consider it a success. I will say this though, they tend to respond very well anytime I send them something free, and less well anytime I try to announce something that isn't a free book. Still, that's probably true of most humans, and I do use free promotions occasionally, so it isn't problematic. Congrats on your Booksweeps results, and on the free promotion!
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline NathanBurrows

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 110
  • Gender: Male
  • Norwich, United Kingdom
    • View Profile
    • Nathan Burrows
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2018, 10:41:56 AM »
The only promo I can find on the Booksweep site (in the Thriller genre) is $150. Am I missing something. 60 bucks is one thing, but 150 another altogether.

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2018, 11:48:19 AM »
The only promo I can find on the Booksweep site (in the Thriller genre) is $150. Am I missing something. 60 bucks is one thing, but 150 another altogether.

Hey Nathan, so the group promos are the ones that are $60 and they happen on a scheduled rotation by genre, so there isn't always one available. The $150 service is new, and I haven't tried that one yet, and it appears to be a free book promotion rather than a list builder. There is a BookSweeps facebook group that you can join where you can ask Ryan Zee direct questions, and I recommend signing up for that group and maybe getting some info about the free book promotion e-mails.  You can ask other authors who have used the service how it went for them, as well as get info directly from the BookSweeps organizers. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1092781607460063 It's a closed group, but I am fairly certain all authors/publishers are welcome.
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline mike h

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 133
    • View Profile
    • Herman_Santangelo
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2018, 04:08:50 PM »
Out of curiosity I went to what I assume is the correct site. https://ryanzee.com/multi-author-giveaways/
Everything stops at April. No May and forward. Am I missing something here? Nothing about a $150 thriller thing.

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2018, 04:20:11 PM »
Out of curiosity I went to what I assume is the correct site. https://ryanzee.com/multi-author-giveaways/
Everything stops at April. No May and forward. Am I missing something here? Nothing about a $150 thriller thing.

They are in the middle of a site redesign, and I can't figure out where to find the relevant info for you, so I have mentioned it to Ryan Zee and am hoping he will swing by to clarify things.
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline WasAnn

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 959
  • Gender: Female
  • I is me.
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2018, 04:37:17 PM »
I just tried to use their contact form to ask about the MA giveaways page not having anything beyond April, and even that didn't work. Submit button doesn't do anything. I sure hope it's a redesign and they aren't done yet.

Online Crime fighters

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1541
  • Ohio
  • Something in the way
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2018, 04:43:43 PM »
You are a business. If someone attempts to reach out to you for business matters, its not spam. Youre free to believe its spam, but you cant change the definition of it. That would be like saying that if you sent a request for a review to a blogger that it would be spam.

How do you think upstart freelancers get work? They find the contact information of prospective clients to cold sell them.

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #51 on: May 15, 2018, 06:13:18 PM »
I just tried to use their contact form to ask about the MA giveaways page not having anything beyond April, and even that didn't work. Submit button doesn't do anything. I sure hope it's a redesign and they aren't done yet.

I've let Ryan know that folks have questions over here and linked this thread to him, so he should show up in a bit to reply. :-)
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline SummerNights

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #52 on: May 15, 2018, 06:31:20 PM »
You are a business. If someone attempts to reach out to you for business matters, its not spam. Youre free to believe its spam, but you cant change the definition of it. That would be like saying that if you sent a request for a review to a blogger that it would be spam.

How do you think upstart freelancers get work? They find the contact information of prospective clients to cold sell them.

Sure, it's not spam if they contact you through one of the ways you have listed on your website or your FB page etc. But if they go out of their way to find your personal address, or a unique address you use at the end of your newsletters in case your subscribers have comments etc. then it's the definition of spam in my book.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 06:42:02 PM by SummerNights »

Offline ryanzee

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Gender: Male
  • Founder, BookSweeps & Ryan Zee Author Marketing
    • View Profile
    • Ryan Zee Author Marketing
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2018, 10:56:44 AM »
Hi Everyone!

Sorry for not responding to this thread earlier, as I wasn't aware until this week that it existed. (Thanks to Virginia McClain for the tip!)

I run Ryan Zee Author Marketing and BookSweeps, and I just want to take a moment to introduce myself and address some of the questions here:

1) Promo Information:

We run a number of different types of promotions already, with much more coming this year:

Multi-Author List Building Giveaways: These promotions currently cost $60, and generate about 600 - 1,200 emails on average (about 5 to 15 cents per lead).

These promotions have two winners, so you only have to send out two books. We also encourage authors to promote the giveaways to their own audience, since it does help amplify the results, but as you're paying for the service, we don't require anyone to send us an email confirming this has been done.

In addition, these promotions are GDPR compliant, as we have always required readers to actively check boxes to indicate their consent to the authors whose newsletters they join (going back to 2016), and we have multiple confirmation steps as well, so readers can easily opt out before their emails get to authors.

As an FYI, our list-building promotions are released quarterly, and the summer 2018 schedule should be coming out within the next week.

You can read more about the promotions here: https://booksweeps.com/multi-author-email-list-building-giveaway/

You can also read about our GDPR compliance here: https://booksweeps.com/gdpr-booksweeps-updates/

BookBub Follower Promotions: These promotions currently cost $50, and generate anywhere from 200 - 1,000 new BB followers (romance usually does best, followed by mysteries & thrillers, but we have seen good results in just about every major genre).

You can learn more here: https://booksweeps.com/bookbub-follower-promotions/

Author Email Spotlights: This is our newest list-building service, which has just come out of testing (we've been running them with a select group of about 50 authors since February 2018).

The results so far have been great -- just about every author has gained at least 1,000 new subscribers (with just a few exceptions), and our top genres (romance / mysteries & thrillers) have seen results eclipsing 2,000 or 3,000.

You can think of this as a kind of BookBub for email list growth, as your free download book (e.g. BookFunnel) is featured individually, alongside up to 4 others in selected genres, in an email sent to over 100,000 readers. (Some of the Spotlights do cost upwards of $150, depending on genre, based on an estimated cost of 10 cents per sub.)

You can learn more here: https://booksweeps.com/author-email-spotlight/

2) Website Redesign:

Yes, we are currently relaunching the BookSweeps website! This has been a massive effort, requiring the many talents of our team, and has been in the works for about 6 months.

The author side of the site is now accessible, and we are working on getting the reader side ready for June.

If you'd like to learn more, you can visit our landing page for authors here: https://booksweeps.com/authors

If you have had any issue contacting us as a result of the changes, either via BookSweeps.com or RyanZee.com, I do sincerely apologize.

We will look into the contact issues described in this thread. In the meantime, we can always be reached directly using this form here: https://booksweeps.com/authors/support or via support@booksweeps.com

3) Cold Emailing:

We do occasionally cold email authors to invite them to participate in our promotions -- this has been a useful approach for us, and the majority of authors respond positively to the notice. I do apologize to anyone who has been bothered by it, and we are constantly revisiting our outreach procedures to best serve the community.

We put great effort into ensuring those emails are only sent to authors we believe would be interested in the promotion, based on genre match, and often provide extensive discounts -- unfortunately, mistakes do happen, and sometimes an email goes to someone who it shouldn't.

Please note that we respect all requests to be removed from cold email campaigns. Our intention has never been to "spam" anyone, and again I apologize to anyone here who feels that way.

To @SummerNights and @thevoiceofone, et. al, feel free to email us and we'd be glad to hook you up with a free promotional opportunity -- if you're interested, you can reach us here: support@booksweeps.com

Our doors are open to you.

4) Some Background:

I also just want to take a step back for a second and introduce myself... I have been working in the publishing industry in various capacities since about 2013.

The summer I graduated from college in 2012, I had no idea what I wanted to do, or that working with authors was even an option. I decided on a whim one night to create a fan Twitter handle for one of my favorite authors, and after growing it to a few thousand fans, his publisher actually reached out to me.

That was kind of a lightbulb moment.

In 2013, I made the decision to start applying to publishing internships, while also freelancing on the side, mostly copywriting and managing content for other websites. (One of my "favorite" parts was writing copy for a plastic surgeon -- I still can't unsee some of those images!)

From about October 2013 through the end of 2014, when I decided I was really going to pursue working with authors, I was working publishing internships during the day, while freelancing to pay my bills at night. (I'm sure many of you have experienced similar schedules.) At one point, I think I held four separate positions at the same time.

In the summer of 2014, I was fortunate to accept a prominent internship at Writers House Literary Agency (home to folks like John Green, Nora Roberts, Neil Gaiman, Stephenie Meyer, Michael Lewis, and others) -- after working there about 6 months, they were happy enough with my work to keep sending me clients when I left.

I started my business in January 2015. Fast forward a few years, and it has grown to the point that we have a staff of almost 10, with over 3,000 paying customers.

I am very grateful for the trad. publishing folks who helped me get started, and the many, many indie authors who have supported the business, and I try to pay that forward by being as helpful as I can to all authors who ask for support, marketing advice, referrals, what have you.

If I can, I'd be happy to help you too.

5) Have a Question?

While I'm happy to respond to queries here, if you have a question you'd like to keep private, you can email us directly at support@booksweeps.com

Our support team is available weekdays from 10am - 6pm EST and very glad to assist.

Thanks all! I'll keep an eye on this thread moving forward so that my team and I can address any general questions or concerns that pop up.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 12:27:50 PM by ryanzee »

Offline Amyshojai

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 6119
  • Gender: Female
  • North Texas
  • Pet Info-Tainment & Pet-Centric Thrillers!
    • View Profile
    • Amy's Pet Peeves Newsletter
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #54 on: May 16, 2018, 12:28:59 PM »
~~~waving at @ryanzee

Testimonial here -- love the service, have purchased several of the multi-author, BB and Author Central list building promos. It's the real deal!

Offline mike h

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 133
    • View Profile
    • Herman_Santangelo
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #55 on: May 16, 2018, 03:36:44 PM »
Ryan, apparently you are not finished building your website because I have found at least one link that simply takes you to a blank page. FWIW.

Offline ryanzee

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Gender: Male
  • Founder, BookSweeps & Ryan Zee Author Marketing
    • View Profile
    • Ryan Zee Author Marketing
Re: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?
« Reply #56 on: May 16, 2018, 05:16:56 PM »
Ryan, apparently you are not finished building your website because I have found at least one link that simply takes you to a blank page. FWIW.


Thanks, Mike. Just DMed you. Appreciate the heads up.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 05:21:33 PM by ryanzee »