Welcome author Nicole O’Dell to our third Author Newsletter monthly feature.
About Your Service
Which newsletter service do you use?
Your Mailing List Provider (YMLP for short.)
How long have you been using this service?
This is my second year. That makes it something like 18 monthly newsletters.
Are you a convert from another service and, if so, why?
I monkeyed around with MailChimp, but never actually used it.
(Get it???? Monkeyed? Not funny…? Okaaaay.)
How did you choose it (ie: what criteria were important to you?)
I looked for a cheap inexpensive service with lots of templates to make it easy enough for a monkey to do.
Still not liking the monkey humor? Okay. Okay.
What do you like best about it? The worst?
The best thing is the customizability and easy interface when I’m designing the newsletter. It’s really easy to use and pretty intuitive. And it’s been great to handle my contact lists. No complaints there.
What I like the least is that you can’t be signed into the program on two windows…I like to go back and forth to past newsletters sometimes. Which means saving and backing out, then back in each time. I’ve also had a few mishaps where I’ve lost my work, so I save often. And the actual look of the site is kind of basic. Some of the others have more zing.
Oh, and I can’t believe I almost forgot to say this! My favorite obsession feature is the tracking. I love knowing who opens the newsletter and when. It gives me insight into what’s effective and what isn’t. Also, the links people click—I want to know that info, so I can provide readers with exactly what they want to read about.
What, if anything, is the cost?
It’s free for up to 1000 contacts and then it’s somewhere around 4.00-5.00 a month depending on how many months you prepay. It’s really inexpensive for what you get, in my opinion.
How often do you send a newsletter (or how many have you sent so far)?
I send one in the first week of every month.
What is the purpose of your newsletter?
It’s another avenue of contact between me and my readers. Sometimes I get more feedback from a newsletter than I do from blog posts. People seem to like having a ton of info in a cozy space.
How easy (or difficult!) do you find creating your newsletters? Why?
I think it’s super easy. It usually takes me about two hours, from start to finish, to send my newsletter. A lot of what’s in there is right from my website so I’m able to just paste in the HTML.
What do you always try to include in each letter?
• Any info about a new release
• Any contest or giveaway info
• An update about recent and upcoming Choose NOW Radio shows
• Info about any events I have coming up
• A picture or two from an event
• A little blurb about each of my family members
• Social Media stuff
About Your Subscription Base
How do your subscribers find your email sign up?
This week has been a big boon. I’ve had 16 new ones in the past three days. Usually it’s around 2-3 a week.
Do you offer an incentive for new subscribers?
Well, kind of. When they sign up they can choose to receive my 101 Ways to be a Courageous Teen or Novel Morsels (both e-books) for free. But anyone could have them—they don’t have to subscribe.
Are your subscribers the same people who are your Facebook fans, or who follow your blog or Twitter?
Often, yes, but not always. Sometimes people just want the details and don’t want to have search or follow on a regular basis. The newsletter is a great way to connect readers with info.
Nicole O’Dell is the founder of Choose NOW Ministries, the host of Parent Talk and Teen Talk on Choose NOW Radio, and the author of a bunch of YA and adult fiction and non-fiction. Some of her books include the interactive Scenarios for Girls series, the Diamond Estates series, and the upcoming Hot Buttons series for parents. She’s also the mom of six kids, among them is a set of toddler triplets. Visit Nicole’s website to learn more and find links to all the fun social stuff.
Want to check out my newsletter? You can go HERE to see my most current newsletter and even sign up for my contact list if you’d like to.
Valerie Comer also uses YMLP (Your Mailing List Provider). You can sign up for Valerie’s newsletter here.