Turn Freebie Subscribers into Buying Readers

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Turn Freebie subscribersWith so many great opportunities for authors to grow their reader email list through giveaways, a new problem arises. (Or as we’re taught in project management, it’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity!)

When we gain subscribers by giving them a free book (or other giveaway), are we teaching readers to expect books for free?

Maybe. If we’re not using a series of onboarding emails.

But with an effective email automation sequence, you can teach those freebie readers to value your books and turn those new subscribers into fans!

What is an automation sequence, you ask? It’s a series of emails that automatically send awhen a subscriber completes the trigger action. In this case, we’re talking about a series of welcome emails.

The goals of your welcome automation sequence are to:

  1. Introduce the new reader to you, your books, and your writing voice.
  2. Show them that your books are worth purchasing at regular price.
  3. Make this all happen behind the scenes without you having to do or remember anything (after you do the initial set-up).

I’ll admit, that’s a tall order for a few measly emails, but let me walk you through my reader welcome sequence and I’ll show you how it can be done.

  1. Email #1: Immediately sends them my permafree book and reminds them how they signed up for my list. I also take a paragraph to introduce them to what I write, making sure to keep a conversational tone. I want readers to feel as if I’m speaking directly to them.  *Note: Whether they asked for the free book or not, I send it (using a link to Bookfunnel for them to send the correct version to their ereader). For some, it’s a pleasant surprise. For others, they may have already received the free book through Instafreebie or My Book Cave, but this helps in case one of those emails didn’t come through.*
  2. Email #2: Sent a week after the first email, I ask if they enjoyed the free book. Then I tell them about book 2 in the series, including buy links for the retailers and the first two pages as a teaser.
  3. Email #3: Sent a week after the second email, in this final message I tell the reader about my newest release (since I promised to share new release alerts), along with buy links to the retailers.

I receive so many fun reader emails in response to this sequence. It’s a great opportunity to interact with them!

Your email list provider (like Mailchimp, Mailerlite, or another) has the capability for you to set-up an automation sequence, telling the system how much of a delay you want between each email.

Once you’ve created the initial sequence, the only changes you’ll need to make are:

  • Tweaking Email #1 to remind the new batch of subscribers how they joined your list.
  • Changing Email #3 any time you have a new book on preorder or a new release.

In my opinion, a welcome automation sequence is a necessity for your reader email list. It’s one of the many keys to turn readers into avid fans!


Now it’s your turn! Do you have a welcome automation sequence different from what I’ve described? What have you found to work well?


5 thoughts on “Turn Freebie Subscribers into Buying Readers

    Robin Patchen said:
    July 26, 2017 at 7:16 am

    I need to do this. It’s an excellent idea, and I like your sequence. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

      Misty M. Beller responded:
      July 26, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Go for it, Robin! Once you have those emails set-up, it works like magic behind the scenes. I think you’ll love the results. 🙂


    onereasonableperson said:
    July 26, 2017 at 10:26 am

    If you want to establish a niche for yourself in the indie marketing world, write a book about this subject.


    There is currently a large number of authors getting a lot of signups from IF, and they have little to no direction on what to do next. If you have ideas on what to include in emails, examples of autoresponders, etc. I think there’s a huge market for that information. I’d buy a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

      Misty M. Beller responded:
      July 26, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      That’s great feedback, and I agree 100% that so many authors aren’t properly onboarding those new subscribers received through giveaways. That initial welcome phase is critical for helping those new readers become fans!
      I’ll have to give the book idea some thought. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    […] your book is available for preorder or sale, change the “New book” email in autoresponder welcome sequence to reflect this latest […]


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