Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

mailYou’ve often heard the simple notion expressed, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It has a meaning that if you do nothing don’t expect anything. When it comes to building your email list, this is still true. But how you approach it can make a difference between gaining and losing people from your list.

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I recently approached my email list growth with some trepidation. Why? Well, none of us want to be, or feel like, we are being spammed. However, I was faced with a particular problem – converting blog followers to email list members.

For many self-hosted site owners followers and email list members are synonymous – whoever subscribes is a part of both sets. However, for someone like me who is hosted on WordPress, people can follow my site as a member of the WordPress community without subscribing to my email list (and there are those who do follow by email too who are email list members).

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Some of my site members have made their email address available so I’ve collected these over time but resisted using them for my email list. However, I realized that these followers are valued members of my site community just as much as those on my mailing list who receive my newsletter, Archer’s Aim Digest. With that thought, I wanted to provide these WordPress followers the opportunity to receive my newsletter but I did not want to come across as a spammer and lose followers to my site.

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This is a delicate issue and here’s how I approached it. I wrote a sincere email to these blog followers, thanking them for their time and loyalty to my site. The message also indicated that I was including them on my newsletter list but it also offered them the opportunity to opt-our of the subscription. However, I also indicated that anyone who did opt-out was still an appreciated part of my little area of the blogosphere.

emailWhat were the results? I had a good message open rate. Interestingly, there were less than 10 followers who chose to drop the newsletter subscription. However, most interestingly, none of those who stopped subscribing dropped off my site. Why? Well, obviously the act of opting-out is personal but these followers likely did so due to time which is very understandable. But the reason they stayed with the site is loyalty. I was careful to express that everyone matters and they still felt that they receive useful information through this site. They could easily have gotten upset and bailed on my site. However, they continued to feel welcome and valued as followers.

So when handling your mailing list, make sure you express your gratitude to your subscribers and make sure that they feel welcome. Approach each message you send with the sense that you respect each subscriber’s time as if it were your own. This, along with solid content, will build trust along with your list.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events (this months volume has already gone out). Want to be listed in The Bow of Destiny credits? Join the Street Team to share upcoming links. Either way, you’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Anyone who reserves a copy by 8/7 on Barnes & Noble, Kobo or iBooks (via the iTunes app) and emails me the screen-shot of the order will also receive a free coupon to download my e-book short story, The Black Bag containing a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Wattpad until the final version goes to retailers (remaining free).

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The Bow of Destiny Trading Knives 1 What Is Needed 4 Black Bag Cover 7

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