For the launch of my most recent book, I decided to utilize Instafreebie as part of my pre-launch phase (see here for a great intro to Instafreebie if you are unfamiliar). I figured it would net me a few subscribers, and best of all, they offer an introductory 30 days free. Hard to beat, especially because we are authors on a budget!
I first heard about Instafreebie through one of my author buddies, Michal Stawicki. He used the site to gain new subscribers while giving away one of his books, and had success, so I finally decided to follow suit and give it a try.
My results far exceeded my expectations. In one month of using it, I gained over 700 subscribers. Better yet, my follow-ups are seeing great open rates, and a recent broadcast to subscribers saw an open rate of 30% and click rate of 9.2% (and still climbing). This tells me that trust is building, and that people are at least interested in what I have to say.
You can see the stats for that exact broadcast below:
The common worry that some authors have, and I admit, that I had first about Instafreebie, is that these subscribers might not be interested in receiving further emails. This has not been the case so far at all, and I am pleasantly surprised that the people on my list seem to want to hear from me. Go Figure. 🙂
How did I get 700 subscribers? Let me show you.
Getting Traction: The First Spike
As with all things, you need to start from somewhere to get the ball rolling. Your first few subscribers can come from your own blog, your list (if you have one), or social media. If you are a brand new author you might not be able to pull too many people here, but that’s okay, there is still plenty you can do to get the ball rolling.
The next thing I did was to share it to appropriate Reddit lists like this one. I shared my Instafreebie link to the freebie subreddit, which explicitly says not to advertise digital freebies, only physical products. Whoops! Normally I am above board with this stuff, because I believe that going white hat is the way to go, but this mistake worked in my favor.
This was the top contributor to my first downloads spike as seen in the image above.
While I don’t recommend following in the footsteps of my blunder, it did get the ball rolling for my promotion. I was able to share it with the Instafreebie blog, and because I already had some of my own momentum, they agreed to share my giveaway as a feature on their blog!
The Second Spike
As you can see by the second spike above, the Instafreebie blog post netted around 260 subscribers in two days. I was really excited, because this was totally free for me.
All it took was a simple to Instafreebie asking them to share my giveaway. They have a selection process they go through, but it didn’t hurt to ask. They got back to me pretty quickly and stated that since my giveaway had already been gaining some momentum, they would be happy to feature me.
The lesson here? Get your own momentum, and then reach out to Instafreebie and ask them to share, you have nothing to lose.
The 3rd and 4th Spikes
To continue the growth of my subscriber base I sought out two different promotion services that agreed to send my download link to Instafreebie. Most book promo services only agree to send links to Amazon, Apple, or Barnes and Noble (and more like it), but most don’t offer Instafreebie.
The two that I found that did offer this option were Book Doggy ($12) and The Fussy Librarian ($25). You can see their results above.
I will probably continue to do paid promos as I can find them, because these results are fantastic.
Because I have emails, and not just sales. This allows me to communicate directly to readers, and to learn how to help them with their specific needs.
Sure, I would probably get more downloads per dollar sending people to Amazon to get a free book, but only a small % of those will sign up for my email list. I wish I could access to the emails of Amazon purchasers, but that probably won’t ever happen.
Overall, I am thrilled with the results from Instafreebie. If you have used it, let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading!
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