Instafreebie – The newest rage to reach new readers?

About a month ago, an author friend of mine, JN Chaney, turned me onto a (new-to-me) book delivery system called Instafreebie. Have you heard of them? I hadn’t. Apparently, they’ve been around this game longer than me, but I’ve been working under the rule of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” because I’ve had such great success with Facebook Lead Ads. Remember that post?

Well I still love Facebook Lead Ads, but as their popularity has increased, so has the cost per lead. Honestly, I wasn’t even looking for a new system when Chaney mentioned it, but they had a generous free trial and he wouldn’t shut up about how awesome the system is.

Well…fast forward a month.

Wait…no let’s back up. For those of you who don’t what it is, in a nutshell, Instafreebie delivers free books to readers via email. Imagine if Facebook Leads Ads and BookFunnel got together and had a baby. It works like this: an author sets up a giveaway, readers sign up with their email, and Instafreebie delivers the book in their preferred format.


So I set up a giveaway for my book The Detective (a short prequel novella that I will give away to anyone who wants to read it. I wrote it for the purpose of marketing…and because my leading man in it is hooooottttt.) In order for readers to get it, I REQUIRE them to subscribe to my mailing list (which is optional, and I found out the hard way). Then they get the book. Well, the kind folks at Instafreebie featured it on their website and in one day I got about 1,500 subscribers. FOR. FREE. (Because I was still in the trial period.) That went so well that I added the first book in my series as a second giveaway.

NOW fast forward a month.

I just scaled back my Facebook Lead Ads. I still use them, but I’m now seeing better results with a lower price tag using Instafreebie. Let’s crunch the numbers:

  • My Facebook budget for that ad was $23 per day yielding an average of 49 subscribers per day at an average CPL of $.51.
  • Instafreebie is $20 per month yielding an average of…are you ready for this?
    84 subscribers per day at a CPL of $.0076! Not even joking. 
    (It could have been 129 per day had I figured out that I need to require an email address to download.)

Let’s all say this together:

Thanks for the tip, Chaney.

But price per subscriber isn’t everything, right? Let’s talk about reader engagement.

I have a “welcome sequence” of emails that is almost identical for Instafreebie and Facebook. The biggest whopping difference between the two is that the first email in the Facebook sequence actually sends the free book. So, it should be higher than the Instafreebie “Hi, it’s nice to meet you” email, right? (REMEMBER: Instafreebie sends the book, not me.)


Here are the actual open rate numbers:

  • Facebook Initial email with the book: 74.2%
  • Instafreebie Initial email with NO book: 75.8%

But do they buy??

Now, aside from a definite gradual increase in sales, I don’t know about the buying habits of  Facebook subscribers since Amazon stopped allowing us to use affiliate tags in our emails. And the Facebook subscribers don’t really email me back and chat…but the Instafreebie users DO. And I’ve lost count of how many people have said “I loved the free book, so I bought the whole series.”

I also know this: I’m doing a $.99 promo on the second book in the series this week. So…I sent an email to Instafreebie subscribers only offering it to them. I advertised it nowhere else. This is the sales spike for that book after only 3 hours:


The Biggest Benefit of Instafreebie

By far, the biggest benefit to this system is in the interaction. I’m having real dialogue with these readers which is soooo hard to come by in the book world, particularly the digital age. And reader engagement is really everything, folks. If I can make a personal connection with my reader base, I’ll not only have fans for life–they will make me a better writer. Know your audience. And Instafreebie is an amazing way to do that.

Don’t take my word for it. Like I said, they have a generous free trial. Click here to start yours! Instafreebie Free Trial

UPDATE – 5-30-17:

Instafreebie just announced today they are now integrating with Mailerlite! With this integration, you can automatically import your Instafreebie subscribers to MailerLite (a similar and more affordable alternative to Mailchimp). This means even more powerful book giveaways!

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