When we talk about mailing lists and newsletters, we often use the terms organic and non-organic subscribers.
But what’s the difference? And why does it matter?
Non-organic subscribers are those you have to provide with an incentive to join your list. Generally known as a ‘reader magnet’ (with thanks to Nick Stephenson for coining this phrase a squillion years ago) this is something you offer potential subscribers in payment for giving you access to their email address.
These subscribers will likely be mostly only freebie seekers and tyre kickers – not people who will become your screaming fans – but there are exceptions too, so don’t disregard these guys.
I scour my non-organic subscribers to look for people who have engaged with my newsletter to invite them to my Super Secret Advance Readers Group, who get a copy of my new books and are asked to write a review.
Non-organic lists should be culled regularly to get rid of people who don’t open or engage with your newsletter at all – they aren’t your target market.
Organic subscribers usually start with your mum. These are the people who sign up to your mailing list without needing any other incentive apart from wanting to know about you and your books.
Organic subscribers are slow to build – but they are the ones who will buy your books and become your super fans, especially if you treat them like the reader royalty they are. After all, they’ve given you their email address for no other reason than they liked the sound of you.
Organic subscribers might come from your website, social media pages, signups in the back matter of your books, and even from your email signature. Don’t disregard any of these methods for gaining new subscribers!
Offer your organic subscribers special things from time to time to let them know how much they are appreciated – story prologues or cut scenes or character sketches are good. If you can, offer them secret deals and make it known the deals are only available to this super special group of subscribers.
Identifying Organic or Non-Organic Subscribers
The only way to know whether a subscriber is organic or non-organic is to know where they signed up for your mailing list.
In Mailerlite (and other platforms) you can set up different signup forms as well as different groups and segments that you can direct those signing up to. So, the link you use in, for example, your email signature will be different to the one you use for BookFunnel promotions.
If you’d like more information about how these things are set up, give me a hoy and I’d be happy to schedule a session with you to work through it.