Designer Diary: Mailing Lists

I was having a conversation on discord yesterday when I made the observation that in theory the other publishers and I should never need to write another book/list/adventure/whatever. We have more titles in our product catalogs than many big businesses. All we have to do is get the word out to all the existing roleplayers and even reaching a tiny percentage of them would be enough to live out the rest of our lives not having to work/write/publish ever again.

The trick is reaching enough people. That bit is not so easy.

That was of course purely theoretical. Businesses spend billions of dollars getting their branding in front of audiences. We are playing with zero dollars or very small budgets.

Starting your mailing list is one of those things that can start you on a journey to selling more of what you already have. It also fits in the zero dollars or very small budget. You can have a list of about 2000 emails using a free Mailchimp account, and the basic newsletter plugin for WordPress is free.

All you need to do is get the sign-up form on your pages and start collecting contacts.

DTRPG won’t let you link out to other storefronts or sites except in your purchaser notes. Your own mailing list will allow you to link out to anywhere you want. If you have a big enough list, something I am working on, you can use it to kickstart any new venture. If I wanted to start live streaming (not gonna happen!), I could tell my subscribers where and when it was going to happen, and I would probably get an audience right from the start. It helps in every way if you do not have to start from zero with every new project.

My list is small, but it is growing every day. Not everything I send out is of interest to everyone on the list, but that is fine. It is an opt-in list and I try to send useful content. I do not expect to ever have a massive list. Solo RPG is a pretty niche part of our hobby. The lion’s share of soloists are devoted Mythic or Ironsworn fans. My audience is pretty much one-third of a very small niche. The thing is, I have no idea how big that could possibly get. It is possible that the niche is bigger than I think it is.

But, with my own list, I get to see how many people want to opt in. How many people want to use DTRPG, how many Amazon, and so on for every storefront I expand into. It gives me a level of insight that DTRPG alone cannot give me.

You can set this up today, for free, and there is no downside to do it.

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