Discover more from Erica Drayton Writes
Can the "Free Preview" Option of Paid Posts Undo Your Email List?
My tl;dr answer: No.
My longer answer:
The whole point of a newsletter, aside from making sales, is creating a connection and community with readers who want to read your work (and eventually buy whatever you choose to sell). By this definition, the last thing you want is someone who is only there for the free stuff and would be bothered by the very notion that you would be eventually selling them something.
It just makes little sense to make accommodations for the person who is turned off by buying something you’re selling. If we all did that we’d be selling nothing to everyone. What we all should aim to do is build an email list of people who appreciate our free emails but also understand we are creators and by that definition we must sell what we create. That is the nature of things. Unless, of course, you don’t want to sell anyone anything. In that case, you wouldn’t have a paid posts option on your newsletter to begin with, now would you?
But, if you do have paid posts as an option and you’re wondering why you’d want to share a preview of your paid posts to your free list? The answer is simple. You want the free subscribers to know there are paid posts out there! And that by the nature of their becoming a paid subscriber they will get access to those paid posts. Otherwise, how will they know? How will you entice them to convert?
I’ve heard the fear that if a free subscriber receives an email where they only see a portion of it unless they become a paid subscriber, they will quickly unsubscribe! Oh, no! Well, my response to that is: Good riddance!
No, seriously. That person, no matter how much you may want to cherish them and keep them for always will likely have never converted. In which case, whether you’re using a free account like Subtack that allows you to have an unlimited email list size or you use MailChimp which is much more stringent about your list, you don’t want them taking up space.
Your list is meant to cultivate your “true fans” and what makes a subscriber a true fan? The fact that they will buy whatever you’re selling, when you decide to sell something. If turning on the paid part of your newsletter means it will help to root out those who are just along for the free stuff and they’ll eventually unsubscribe once they’ve received one too many paid preview only emails, well, count yourself lucky.
I know what it’s like to have a small email list and how crushing it can be when just one person on that list unsubscribes. You worry if it was something you said or did and you try desperately to undo all that you did to prepare for that last email just before they unsubscribed. But all of that is a waste of time. Short of straight up asking them why they unsubscribed (and they may not answer you) there is nothing you could do and quite frankly they aren’t worth your time.
All of our time would be better spent keeping happy those who not only choose to stay subscribed, but who comment or reply to our emails. They are engaging with us and deserve our time. Not the ones who chose to leave for any number of reasons.
So, don’t fret over how often you deliver a FREE PREVIEW of your paid posts to those who are free subscribers. Instead, make sure that the free preview portion is so damn good it converts more people and do nothing more than wave goodbye to those who go. They were probably never meant to be a part of your community to begin with.
Tap that heart if you like what you just read. Want to leave a comment? Click below the talking head. Or if you just want to share my work with your friends, click below the mailbox. Thanks!