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Book Marketing Ideas: How To Grow Your Mailing List With An InstaFreebie Trial

Book Marketing Ideas: How to Grow Your Mailing List with an InstaFreebie Trial

Any indie author wanting to sell more books will naturally want to find out more about any new service that starts cropping up in conversation everywhere. New Zealand writer Katherine Hayton was no exception, being quick to test-drive InstaFreebie, which recently started to appear in conversations alongside the relatively new Bookfunnel service. Here she describes how it worked, what she has gained from it, and how she plans to use it going forward. Over to Katherine…

Head and shoulders shot of Katherine Hayton

New Zealand novelist Katherine Hayton

Early in August, I first heard the name InstaFreebie in indie writer circles. When I checked it out, the service seemed similar to BookFunnel. I'm a BookFunnel member already, so didn’t bother to sign-up.

But the name kept popping up, on Kboards and on Facebook groups. Finally, I saw a post from an author who increased her list by 1,500 subscribers in one day and realised I’d missed something. I went back to InstaFreebie and signed up for their service, opting for the one-month free trial of their PLUS plan ($20 per month – downgrade any time). This level enables downloading of subscribers who opt-in on your giveaway.

What's the Difference Between InstaFreebie and BookFunnel?

What I’d missed the first time, is that InstaFreebie is not only a delivery service for your reader magnets and giveaways. They also operate a mailing list of more than 350,000 clients, and they use a variety of methods to promote your giveaways to these customers.

Even if you don’t promote at all, you’ll still receive new subscribers every day.

Screenshot of Katherine Hayton's InstaFreebie dashboard

Katherine Hayton's InstaFreebie dashboard

InstaFreebie recommends similar genre titles whenever a reader downloads a book. These recommendations bring me 5-20 leads every day.

InstaFreebie encourages you to tag them in posts/tweets/newsletters to let them know when you’re sharing their links. Each day they feature authors on their website and the more you share, the more likely they’ll feature you.

That “1500 subscribers in one day” author from earlier? She obtained that large bump through a feature. And this happens every single day.

Encouraging Authors to Cross-Promote

Graphic of All I Want for Christmas offer

Sign-ups so far for the Christmas offer

The sharing nature of the business model has encouraged the growth of an author community who cross-promote each other’s work to grow their newsletter bases. In return for being included on a promotional blog or website, each author shares the website link with their followers through newsletters and social media accounts.

In a recent cross-promotion, I participated with over thirty other authors. None of us had huge lists, but combined we had over 100,000 subscribers—all in the genre of Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense.

That’s an eReader IQ or a Fussy Librarian feature without the price tag.

Add to that the pool of subscribers from InstaFreebie itself, and it’s easy to see how authors are growing their lists exponentially.

How Many New Subscribers Unsubscribe?

Screenshot of a sneak peek offer

Offering a free preview of her next novel

The engagement of subscribers is also very high. Readers email, tag posts, and friend me on Facebook.

  • About 7% unsubscribe during my auto-responder sequence, but the open and click-rates for those who remain currently sits at 81% and 54% overall.
  • In comparison, my organic and Facebook subscriber rates are 65% and 14%.

InstaFreebie lets you manage your giveaways to gain subscribers and readers through the entire process of publication. Only have one book, or you’re pre-publication? InstaFreebie is flexible enough to work for you, too.

Planning Ahead

Graphic of sign-up form for Christmas offer

Katherine Hayton's Christmas InstaFreebie offer

A sneak peek of my upcoming January release has over 300 downloads already. From this growing pool, I’ll invite subscribers to form my street team. Once the book is released, I’ll use InstaFreebie to send out watermarked copies to bloggers/reviewers. When the second in the series is ready for release, I’ll make the first available as a giveaway enticement to try out my series. I can mix and match their services to work for my situation.

Six weeks in, 2,196 new subscribers have joined my list. The giveaways are my existing reader magnets (short stories) and a three-chapter sneak peek of my upcoming release. No new material and no loss of sales.

If you already have a free book or story to entice readers to sign-up to your list, then I encourage you to give InstaFreebie a try.

If you’re an ALLi member and would like to join my Instafreebie group for cross-promotion, please ask to join this Facebook group for more information.

NOTE: This post is about Katherine Hayton's personal experience of InstaFreebie and does not represent ALLi's official endorsement of the service.

OVER TO YOU If you've tried InstaFreebie, we'd love to hear how you got on – equally, if you would like to tell us about any other similar service that works for you. Join the conversation via the comments box!

#Bookmarketing ideas - case study of @Instafreebie by @kathay1973 Click To Tweet



Author: Katherine Hayton

Katherine Hayton is a 42-year-old woman who works in insurance, doesn't have children or pets, can't drive, has lived in Christchurch her entire life, and currently resides a two-minute walk from where she was born. She has self-published three mystery novels and is still on a steep learning curve that she wishes would stop soon because she hates exercise and heights. Almost equally.


This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. […] Katharine’s post explained very clearly how InstaFreebie works from the author’s perspective, but if you’d like the reader’s perspective, visit the Free Reads for Smart Women landing page, hosted on Helena Halme’s website, before the end of February when the offer expires. Feel free to click on any of the books you fancy to see what happens and how the process works. You don’t have to be a woman to take part, or to enjoy these books, but we’ll take it as read that you’re smart! (Doing so will by definition require you to sign up to the mailing lists of the authors whose books you’ve chosen, and to InstaFreebie’s, but don’t worry, you can unsubscribe at any time afterwards.) […]

  2. […] Social media should be part of your marketing plan. Chris Syme lays out how to choose the right social media channel to sell more books, Frances Caballo gives 9 tips on how to use social media for your book launch, Porter Anderson shows how to use Twitter analytics to boost your social media marketing, and Katherine Hayton tells us how to grow your mailing list with an InstaFreebie trial. […]

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