The Return of Newsletter Swap Digest

Almost a year ago I had to shut down Newsletter Swap Digest. Mailerlite ran afoul of Spamhaus and had their servers blacklisted as spam. Since NSD was created utilizing Mailerlite’s API to automate the creation and sending of the emails, the open rate dropped to near 0% (from 64%) for three consecutive months. That was it, I shut it down.

For the 200+ authors that used it, NSD provided a much-needed service. Finding newsletter swaps always feels, for me at least, like a sh*tty scavenger hunt. I search about 8-10 facebook groups, and at least three different websites and then wait for responses, and check back daily. Ugh… what a slog. Thankfully, Mailerlite is now back in the game and stronger than ever. So now, it’s coming back — for me as much as for anyone else. And the even better news is, it gave me an opportunity to recreate and streamline the service a bit. 

Here’s how it will work this time around:

  1. Fill out the Create/Update a Swap Form.

    • If you have filled out promo signup forms with us before, it should all look pretty familiar. The one major difference will be this choice:
      Seeking Swaps
      The purpose of that selection is to allow you to turn off incoming requests from other authors, and stop your swap info from being shared in the next digest. However, it will also stop you from requesting swaps with others. (“Swaps” are a two way street)
  2. Confirmation Email

    • You will receive a confirmation email within a few minutes. You will need to keep this email. Inside that email will be a link update your swap information. I am currently working with Cognito Forms support to try to generate that link outside of this email, but thus far I have no solutions for that. I will keep you updated, but initially this will be the only place that link can be found.
    • The form will limit each email address entered to one swap listing. However, there is a note section where you can tell swap seekers about your other swap opportunities and other books.
  3. The Digest

    • An email will hit your inbox/promotions tab, once a week.  In that email you will see a list of swaps, and each swap will look something like this:
      swap example
    • At the top of the email (or in each swap info box, not sure yet) there will be a link to go to the next step, the “Request A Swap” form.
  4. Request A Swap Form

    • You will find a link to the Request Form in the Digest email each week. The form is very short.
    • Just copy the Swap Number of the swap you would like to request from the Digest email and paste it into the form. If the author is still looking for a swap for that book, the swap info will appear.If the author is not, there will be a message saying the author has turned “Seeking Swaps” off.
    • Select a date you would like to share their book, and click “Submit.”
    • A Transactional Email (like when you buy something – so it’s sure to land in the inbox) will be sent to the person you want to swap with. It will contain your “Swap Request Number” and a link to the next form to accept or decline your request.
  5. Accept/Decline A Swap Form

    • On this form you need only enter the “Swap Request Number” from the email, and the information about the swap will display. Now, just select Accept or Decline.
    • If you Accept:
      • Select a date to share their swap info.
      • You may send a short note. (optional)
      • A Transactional Email will be sent to the requester notifying them of the swap, containing your email address for future communication.
      • A Transactional Email will be sent to you, containing your swap mate’s email address for future communication.
      • 2 Calendar events will be created. One for you, and one for your swap mate.
    • If you Decline:
      • You may a leave a short note explaining why. (Optional)
      • A Transactional Email will be sent to the requester notifying them that you have declined.

It may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. Once you have filled out the “Create a Swap” form, that is the last time you should need to do it, other than to update your swap info once in a while. Then, it’s just make requests and accept/decline requests. That’s it, and it will all be handled through your email.

Once we have a few hundred signups again, there will be no need to go looking on a bunch of sites, facebook groups, or re-creating posts over and over. Calendar events will be set for you with all the relevant information  for each swap, so organization is easy, and no one forgets. We may even send reminders to each swap partner the day before their agreed upon share date, so you dont have to. (Still considering this last one. Let me know your thoughts.)

Newsletter Swap Digest should be in accepting signups by next week, beta testing will start the following week, and the first Digest email should go out in early June.

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