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Manage Costs by Culling your Newsletter Subscriber List

We are firm believers that your newsletter list should be at the forefront of your PR and marketing efforts. Nothing beats having a direct channel into your readers' inboxes. Your list should also be protected from any Google penalties, Facebook algorithm changes and other threats that can suddenly affect your ability to reach your readers. Creating your own list comes with many benefits, but costs can escalate quickly, depending on your subscriber count and budget.

Crossing the threshold can cost you

Many of the popular email service providers (ESP) such as GetResponse (that’s what we use), AWeber and Constant Contact base their pricing on your subscriber count. Exceeding a predetermined subscriber threshold, e.g. 2,000, can nearly double the cost of the service.

One way to prevent this cost escalation is to remove subscribers that have proven to be of little or no value to you. [tweet this]

One way to prevent this cost escalation is to remove subscribers that have proven to be of little or no value to you. Over time, some of your subscribers will become unresponsive to your efforts to reach them, without actually unsubscribing. Your newsletter provider will automatically remove email addresses that no longer work, but the subscribers that simply do not open your emails will need to be removed manually.

The easiest way to do this is by following the steps below.

  1. Filter out any subscribers that haven’t opened your emails in a certain period of time (e.g. 12 months). If your ESP doesn't provide the option to filter by time period, you may have to filter by the amount of unopened newsletters per subscriber instead.
  2. Move these “unresponsive” subscribers to a new list.
  3. Offer these subscribers one last opportunity to stay on your list. Send out an email, asking them politely to click on a certain link if they would like to keep receiving your newsletter.
  4. Give it a couple of weeks before checking which subscribers clicked on the link (how you track this will vary, depending on your ESP).
  5. Move the subscribers who have opted in again back to the main list.
  6. Export a backup of the list of unresponsive subscribers (you might want to keep these emails for future use).
  7. Delete the list of unresponsive subscribers from your ESP's system.

Hopefully you are now back below the threshold for the higher price tier and have a more responsive list that should yield more engagement per subscriber.

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