Before I quit the commercial world to become a full-time writer I worked in marketing. Digital marketing primarily. I helped numerous businesses (large and small) to set up their online activity; social media, websites, analytics and all that good stuff. My favourite part was at the end of the month, tracking what we’d managed to do for the company – how far their reach in social media was, how this reflected back on their website and ultimately turned into sales for them. One of my other favourite things to do was conduct surveys. These could be used for a whole host of reasons. Of course it gave the business an insight into their customers, but a clever spin on some of the data could lead to news stories, blog posts and in one instance a 5 minute slot of TV and radio.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, in true digital marketing style I conducted my own survey last month. I’ve built a solid list of around 1k subscribers to my monthly newsletter. I’ve built it in various ways; through StoryOrigin, Bookfunnel, social media and it’s something I’m rather proud of! My open rate is always around the 70% mark and click through rate (those links included in the body of the email) is around 20 – 25%, this is good, trust me!
I’ve worked hard on this list. I genuinely value being allowed into someones inbox every month. I appreciate that they’ve taken the time to read, click and respond to whatever I’m rambling on about (27.12% enjoy this part lol|). In 2022 I decided I wanted to grow this list if I could. I ‘clean’ it regularly so anyone who isn’t opening is binned off and only the active readers are still there. Anyway, this year I’ve added around 500 or so subscribers so I thought it was time to do a refresh.
Did the receivers enjoy what I was including?
What was their favourite part or least favourite part?
Would they recommend my books?
Did they have anything else to add?
I did promote this with £25 Bookshop.org gift vouchers as prize for anyone who completed it but I would like to think they didn’t really need an incentive, but I also saw it as a thank you for their loyalty.
The results are in, and I’ll detail them below along with my thoughts.
- How do you like the current newsletter?
An even split between love & like a lot so I was very happy with that.
- What’s your favourite section of the newsletter?
I separate my newsletter out into What Cat Read, Listened To, Watched & Recommends as well as chit chat and where I am with my own writing.
The two stand outs for me were that over 60% were interested in where I am in my home life (there’s been A LOT going on and I overshare!) and also where I’m up to in my own writing. This, of course, makes sense. My current work in progress (When We Deceive #3) has fallen off track due to personal circumstances so I’ve had very little to update but hopefully that will change now and I’ll get back on track with updates.
Books I recommend are courtesy of BookFunnel or StoryOrigin mostly. I also like to throw in what I’m currently reading (Joanne Harris, The Narrow Door – brilliant!)
- What’s your least favourite part of the newsletter?
Overwhelmingly it was what I listened to. I’m a huge podcast fan – either true crime or a writers podcast so I like to share but I’ll be doing a lot less of this in the newsletter and do more sharing on social media instead.
- Is there anything else you would like to read about every month?
This was absolutely lovely and completely unexpected. So many readers passed on their best wishes, told me to keep doing what I’m doing and told me I’m doing great 😀
There were also requests for behind the scenes stuff, more about the writing process and more fun. Now that I CAN do. I’ve recently joined TikTok and regularly make a fool of myself but I will start including stuff in the newsletter as well.
- Would you recommend my books to a friend or colleague?
YES, yes they would – whoo hoo. Word of mouth / recommendation is 100% the best form of marketing!
- Would you still be happy to receive the newsletter if it changed to fortnightly?
An amazing 96.30% said YES! So starting in September I’ll be sending every 2 weeks. I’m waiting until September as we’re heading into Summer – I’ve got holidays planned and I’m sure you have too so open rates tend to drop off and I don’t want to be THAT person who emails you whilst you’re on holiday, annoy you and you unsubscribe!
So that’s all the scores on the doors. It really was a useful insight, and I’ll take everything into consideration when I send out my future newsletters.
If you took part, then thank you for taking the time and for allowing me into your inbox every month 😀
If you don’t currently subscribe but would like to then the link is here>>>>>> https://www.subscribepage.com/ziggysstory
You will also receive a free short story ‘Feel The Fear’.
Andrew Thornes had an idyllic childhood. What it lacked in material wealth, it more than made up for in terms of love and adventure. His hardworking parents fought hard and worked relentlessly to put food on the table for Andrew and his siblings, and once a year they would all head to the seaside for a few days of R & R. No one questioned where the extra money for the annual treat came from, or how Andrew always seemed to have the latest Liverpool FC home shirt – it just materialised, and everyone knew better than to ask.
Until the day it all came to an abrupt and savage end. In a matter of seconds, Andrew’s life is torn apart. He and his siblings are separated, and Andrew is thrust into an unfamiliar world of the care system.
At one foster home, he meets Leila Turner, a cheeky, mischievous teen who rebels against everything and everyone – except Andrew. She takes him under her wing and teaches him that sometimes in life you must feel the fear and do it anyway.
But when Andrew is faced with a ‘sliding doors’ moment will he heed the advice of his friend, or be brave enough to strike out on his own?