Author Topic: Has anyone ever used Ryan Zee's list building service?  (Read 3470 times)  

Online PaulineMRoss

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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.
 

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Offline Doglover

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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.


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Offline Norman Steele Taylor

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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.


Offline kathrynoh

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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

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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.


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Offline RomanceAuthor

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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.

Online PaulineMRoss

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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.
 

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Offline RomanceAuthor

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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. 

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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.
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Online PaulineMRoss

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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.
 

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Online katherinef

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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.
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Offline SummerNights

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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

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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

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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.)
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Offline VirginiaMcClain

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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! 
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Offline thevoiceofone

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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

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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.
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Offline VirginiaMcClain

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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.
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Offline RTW

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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

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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!
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Offline NathanBurrows

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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

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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.
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Offline mike h

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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

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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.
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Offline WasAnn

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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.