Balancing new email subscribers with old is a good problem to have. This balance for me is because I am using MailChimp as a starting point. They allow a generous 2,000 subscribers before they start charging you. (Most other companies are around 1000 subscribers) However, I am currently gaining around 18 subscribers per day through all my various methods. That means I could fill up the entire 2000 subscribers in about 3 – 4 months, even if I started with 0.
Here is where the balance comes in. I want to continually check to make sure I have the right people and an engaged crowd. To do that, I’ve sectioned off my list into two lists. The first is a slower build with a less engaged crowd and has a singular focus: share free deals I’ve found. In exchange for these free deals, I have those places market my books, if they are a fit for their readers.
Readers that are engaged with my books go on a second list. These readers get more information on what I am writing and review copies. I also interact with this list in a more personal manner, sending individual emails out and looking for more genuine connection. Ultimately, this is my focus for my mailing lists: build up readers that connect with what I am writing.
The flip of this also needs to be considered. I am not going to keep anyone on a list they don’t gain value from. Currently I am making two “archiving” rules. If they are on both lists, remove them from them from a list. That way, each person of the 2000 is unique. Next up, I want them engaged. I measure that by how many emails of mine they’ve opened. If they’ve had the opportunity to open up 2-3 emails, but didn’t, they may not be very engaged. (I send out an email to each person about once or twice a month) That means they’ve ignored my emails for two+ months.
If I were hungry for mailing list contacts, I would send out one more unique email that was a “I show you haven’t been active. Are you sure you want to continue?” Then, if they don’t do anything with that for a few weeks, remove them. However, with a rate of 18 people coming in per day, I don’t feel like I have time to manage that extra leg of the journey. That being said, when I move above the 2000 and need to start paying… perhaps it may be worth it?