Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Second Rumble: Another Completed Thunderclap

After my first Thunderclap to promote the launch of Extra Credit: Loyalty!, I wrote a post here about the mistakes I made and lessons I learned. Shortly after that, I created my second Thunderclap to promote this blog. When I did, I mentioned on Facebook (in the ThunderClap Campaigns group) that I would post another "post-mortem" here. The following is my analysis of the results of the second campaign and how it compares to the first one. In general, I'd say the lessons learned were valuable indeed!

First, some basic numbers:

  • Supporters: 137
  • Claimed reach: 562,159
  • Clicks (as of this writing): 211

Unfortunately, to really compare, I should have taken note of the click count at 24 hours. I believe it was around 190.

The claimed reach for the second one wasn't much higher than for the first one (a difference of less than 20,000, i.e., only a few percent), but the number of supporters was—percentage-wise—more significant, and the clicks on the Thunderclap link were almost 10 times higher. It's still remarkably low, with a click/claimed-impression ratio less than four-hundredths of a percent, but it's better than the approximately five-thousandths of a percent of the first campaign.

To consider the mistakes/lessons from that earlier post...

Header design. I designed the second header to be useful both for recruiting for the Thunderclap and for the messages sent out in the Thunderclap itself. I won't claim to be a graphic designer, but I believe that just understanding how it would be seen by others helped.

Participant motivation. The different purposes of the campaigns make this a bit of an apples/oranges comparison, but I think I did a better job of tuning the promotion to what would benefit participants. Before it was just getting a free copy of a book from a relatively-unknown author (me). This time it was improving book marketing, in a campaign oriented toward writers.

Audience of supporters. In this, the two campaigns were more alike than I originally intended, because the bulk of the supporters were other Thunderclap users sharing support. Since they may be pumping out a lot of Thunderclap promo posts, their followers are less likely to notice yet another one. So, more noise among the noise. If I ever develop enough of an audience to have 100 Thunderclap supporters among people who never post promotional posts, I think the reach will be much lower but the engagement much higher. This should take the CTR from tiny fractions of a percent to a more reasonable rate (maybe 2-5 percent), and those who click may be more open-minded about what they will see.

I hope this information is of interest and/or use to other writers. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!


  1. I wrote a post after being inspired by yours, but have yet to get it up on the blog. I'll get it there eventually. Since then, I've had my second one too. The interesting thing I saw was even though I had less supporters, I had more clicks on the second campaign. Could be lessons learned from your post and my first time experience.

    1. I'm glad to hear you also got better results the second time around. That would be great if my observations helped, too. :) When you that post published, feel free to leave a link to it here, I'd like to read it.

    2. I finally posted it. I think when I'm done with my novella series, I'll do another post about it since I've used TC for three of them and will do it again for the 4th. Already I've seen some interesting results that surprised me.