I’ve read a lot about the importance of building a mailing list. I use Mailchimp, seemingly the king of the hill for small businesses and artists.
This post series is about wordpress plugins, not third party software, so I’ll save a Mailchimp post for later. But if you already use it, then you should get the most out of it by installing the Mailchimp for WordPress Plugin.
While I do not use this plugin to its fullest extent, there is one feature about it that is extremely useful. Earlier, I mentioned that selling your work on your own site had the benefit of harvesting emails. Well, here’s the easiest way to accomplish that.
Inside the Mailchimp Plugin’s settings, there’s an area for third party integrations, and one of the plugins it integrates with is the one from my earlier post, Easy Digital Downloads. If you use EDD to sell your work, you can use Mailchimp Plugin’s settings to create a checkbox that says “subscribe me to your mailing list” and have it default to checked on the EDD checkout page. This sort of cross-plugin cooperation makes your life a lot easier.
The reason I say this opens a Pandora’s box is because the line between promotion and spam is a fine one. If your customer unchecks the mailing list box, but you have their email, do you manually add them anyway?
That’s an ethical question, among many, that you will have to feel out as an indie writer. Mailing list etiquette is all about how best to engage existing and potential fans. How best to do this without running them off? I don’t have the answer. Please, just don’t use this plugin to create a “SUBSCRIBE NOW!” popup box on your home page.
I’ll roll another plugin into this same post because it’s along the same lines. I don’t like Jetpack’s built in email subscriber, so I use the Email Subscribers Plugin. I don’t use this plugin to solicit email addresses on my site, I use Mailchimp instead. However, there are those, like my mother and grandmother, who aren’t the savviest web users, so there are a handful of people I want to “spam” with a link every time I do a blog post, to keep them engaged. Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.
Victor Davis is the author of one short story collection, Grains of Sand, and is publishing a second book, The Gingerbread Collection, in the spring of 2016. He shares his writing and reading adventures at his blog Mediascover. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. His Books & Stories are available on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.
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