I like the changes to your sign-up text. Perhaps shorten it slightly:
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You don’t have to have a sign-up bonus. I went without one for 6 or 8 months. I recently changed my sign-up bonus from an ebook to an “ecourse” (super-short emails with writing tips). That seems to work well – open rates are high, sign ups seem to be up (difficult to measure) & interaction is much much higher than before. I email daily for the first week, after that every other day for three more weeks, then people are moved to blog updates.
Enchant readers. Woo customers. Win business.