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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched the board and found an old thread about Mailchimp vs Aweber, but I thought I would ask my question. I hope that's alright. My PO Box came through today so I started looking seriously at signing up for a mailing list. My first book isn't going to the editor until next month so I'm still some time away from publication but there is so much to get sorted, I guess I'm trying to get a bit of a jump on it.

Basically I'm confused and not sure what to do for the best.

What I want to do is when people sign up, send them a "thank you for signing up, here's a link to download a free short story" as I guess a sort of bribe to sign up in the first place.

I had thought about just putting a link to my website in the back of the book, with a "sign up for the mailing list, to hear about new releases" etc. but then I wasn't sure. If I follow the plan I've drawn up, I will have two series going on and they are different genres. They aren't tremendously different, one's Crime/Sci-Fi and the other is Espionage/Crime.

However, people who like one, aren't necessarily going to care to hear about the other. I don't want to spam people but I do want people to know about it if they want. So I thought maybe send out one mass email, then have a link in it to sign up for just that list. So have a general list, then have a separate specific series list. Although I'm not sure how that would work for new sign-ups. Maybe say about the specific list in the welcome email?

To be honest I'm not sure whether it's possible to accomplish that, having opt ins for different lists. I know this mailing list I'm subscribed to does it, but I don't know how they do it.

Anyway, I looked at MailChimp and Aweber as they are the two big providers I know about. I have to admit, I like that MailChimp starts off free, as that helps with getting started. However, I got confused looking at the options. It said that automation was a paid service, and I'm guessing that the welcome email is automated so I couldn't do that?

Plus thinking long term I don't at all understand MailChimp's pricing. I tried to select what it would cost for just over the allowed 2000 free subscribers and it wouldn't show me. I know that reaching that level is a long way off but I have read warning stories, about having to swap email providers and then losing a lot of subs during the transfer.

TLDR: Yeah sorry for the long post, I was just trying to explain. I am totally new to mailing lists, never done one before. Basically can you recommend who you use and say why they are good? Thanks. I really appreciate any response.
 

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Short answer:
They pretty much do the same thing.
They are pretty much the same price at higher levels.

You will hear people swear by both. It comes down to personal preference.

Many writers seem to like Mailchimp, since it is user friendly, has lots of templates, and doesn't take much time away from writing.

Internet marketers prefer Aweber, since it more customizable.

My opinion:
If an email list important to your business, but you don't want to spend a huge amount of time on it, go with Mailchimp.
If an email list is your business, go with Aweber.

Also, the welcome email in Mailchimp is part of the free service.

Good luck!
 

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I use MailChimp, and I send an auto reply with a download link to stories.

But I also don't know if you actually need the different lists. Your genres sound close enough, and there's no reason why you can't talk about both books in one email--people will skim over the info on the book they're not interested and read the one they like--and people who like both will read both. It seems to me that people tend to subscribe to a newsletter because they like the author, not necessarily just the book (how much new info on a *book* can one get; whereas author news changes frequently).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bethrevis said:
I use MailChimp, and I send an auto reply with a download link to stories.

But I also don't know if you actually need the different lists. Your genres sound close enough, and there's no reason why you can't talk about both books in one email--people will skim over the info on the book they're not interested and read the one they like--and people who like both will read both. It seems to me that people tend to subscribe to a newsletter because they like the author, not necessarily just the book (how much new info on a *book* can one get; whereas author news changes frequently).
That was what I thought originally. I guess I then started to overthink it. I want to get this right.

You say you put a download link in your auto reply. May I ask how you do that? Is it just that you've uploaded the story in whatever format to your web server? Or do you use some sort of external service? Thanks :)
 

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Voelker58 said:
My opinion:
If an email list important to your business, but you don't want to spend a huge amount of time on it, go with Mailchimp.
If an email list is your business, go with Aweber.

Also, the welcome email in Mailchimp is part of the free service.

Good luck!
This is my opinion also.
 

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Unless this is the only book you plan to write, your mailing list will probably be better off revolving around you as an author, not a single book.

I use mailchimp. I also have two different lists. One for my urban fantasy name, and one for my contemporary erotic romance name. I did this because they are two COMPLETELY different things. Both links are on my website, as both pen names share my website.
Then I put the appropriate link in the back of each book as well.
 

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Keep one list - your genres are close enough to make it work and besides as long as its the same name/pen name your readers will want to know what you've got going. I use Mailchimp and didn't start paying until I hit 2,500 subscribers. Think that's $35 a month? It took me a 1.5 years to get that large, so you have some time to mooch off the Mailchimp free set. For authors, I'd recommend them over Aweber just because its a simple interface and you're not an emarketing company focused on daily t-shirt emails. ;)
 

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Mailchimp or www.ActiveCampaign.com

AC is more powerful than MC and allows for more segmentation of readers etc.

Most start with MC and it's not hard. Download Nick Stephenson's Reader Magnets book on Amazon (should be freebie) and it lays out everything needed. Also there is a big post on Kboards on how to start using MailChimp so just do a search for that on Kboards and it will help.
 

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PC magazine did a side-by-side comparison of ten of Email Marketing Software providers for 2015:

http://www.pcmag.me/a/2453354

MailChimp was one of two "editors choice".

I use Aweber. It's just what I started using and I'm happy with their services, but I know a lot of folks that are happy with the chimp. The fact that you can start with MailChimp for free is pretty nifty. Whatever you choose think longterm because it can get a bit complicated switching since importing a list from another provider requires some extra steps to prove your subscribers were confirmed. It shouldn't be that difficult, but just something to think about. Some companies will force your already confirmed subscribers to re-confirm guaranteeing you'll lose some of them.
 

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I use Mailchimp and I'm happy with it. If you're worrying about losing subscribers if you move providers you can export your list. And re the paid thing: I figure if I have 2,000 people reading my books I can afford to pay for a mailing list. My list has been going a year and a half now and I'm still not quite at the 1,000 mark, so I'm not worrying about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just wanted to say thank you for all the responses. It's reassuring and useful about something I was worrying about. I think I had started to overthink it and you brought me back to planet Earth. I will stick with one list and Wansit thanks for saying about fees, I was getting ahead of myself in trying to 'future proof' so that's reassuring too.

RBC said:
Download Nick Stephenson's Reader Magnets book on Amazon (should be freebie) and it lays out everything needed. Also there is a big post on Kboards on how to start using MailChimp so just do a search for that on Kboards and it will help.
Just downloaded the book and read it, thanks for the recommendation. I'm not going to be in a position to use his plan at the beginning, not going to have enough books out, but I will revisit it when I have more, see if it works for me. I will also google for the kboards thread. Appreciate it.
 

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Taitrina said:
Just downloaded the book and read it, thanks for the recommendation. I'm not going to be in a position to use his plan at the beginning, not going to have enough books out, but I will revisit it when I have more, see if it works for me. I will also google for the kboards thread. Appreciate it.
You're very welcome! Don't overthink it as you said. You're on the right path!

And it will work for you. If it worked for him and other authors here then it can work for anyone.
 
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