This is the third post in our Mail Newsletter Series.
One big sticking point for most bloggers that are setting up a newsletter is deciding what email service to utilize. There are tons of different, competing, options out there, and there is no one ideal solution.
In case you were considering it… do not attempt to run a newsletter by emailing everybody through your regular email client, using the”BCC” field. If you personal email hosting readers from your own gmail, yahoo, even @yourdomain. Com email account, you put your own IP address in danger for being authenticated by Internet Service Providers if you get flagged as spam.
Meaning all your emails — not only bulk emails delivered to your readers but regular everyday communications — could have difficulty getting to anybody. Definitely not a scenario you would like to find yourself in. You also want to be certain that you don’t unintentionally violate any privacy or anti-spam laws or you might end up in even more trouble.
Why Use an Email Service Provider?
Most email services have quite similar features, including those principles which really do eliminate the hassle of sending mass emails by:
Distributing emails. Obviously you’ll want to be able to domain and email hosting your list whenever you like! Most services allow you to send unlimited emails — nonetheless, if you’re on a free or cheap program, check the small print.
Offering a load of innovative features such as sign-up kinds, scheduled sending, automated message sequences, tagging and segmenting your audience to aim with Various messages and elaborate templates to assist your emails look great
What email support is going to work for you depends upon what you need from a service and often what point of blogging you have at. For example, obtaining a free or low monthly rate may be more significant once you’re just starting out. Whereas a intricate array of trigger-based autoresponders according to subscriber action will be useful to convert your readers to become paying clients via an best email hosting uk sales funnel.
A simple trap to fall into would be to begin looking at email support providers before analysing your own needs and priorities. You can very quickly become overwhelmed by the array of choice and diverted by features that might not be necessary or even useful for you.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
In what direction would you think your site will develop? Are you currently planning to monetize and in what ways?
Just how many subscribers do you have? What goals/objectives do you have for subscriber growth and over what time span?
What’s your budget? If you’re intending to monetize your blog, it is easier to offset the cost of email against sales earnings.
Are you currently technically-minded?
Is graphic layout and using images relevant to your mails? If you’re a fashion, lifestyle or food blogger, this may be much more important than if you are writing about more visual issues.
How much time do you need to set things up and devote continuing to your email system?
Once you’ve got a frame of your requirements, it becomes much easier to sort through the various features and options to evaluate what email systems will do the job for you and if there is one which suits you best.
The good thing is that even if you change your mind at a later stage, it is possible to change from 1 support to another. Most will make it quite straightforward to export your subscriber database to proceed to some other supplier.
In ProBlogger, we have only finished the process of changing our email service provider. We have used AWeber for about 12 decades, alongside Mailchimp on event and we continue to do so for my other site Digital Photography School. We took our time to explore other email options, trialling a couple of alternatives and working out what will also work best with different systems we are using. You do not have to spend so long as you did in this process, but do enough homework to work out what suits you best. I’m an affiliate for those programs we utilize and the subsequent recommendations comprise our affiliate links.
Which Email Service Should You Use?
The following list is a review of popular email service providers that we’ve personally trialled over a long time. Each of these have their own weaknesses and strengths and are suitable for bloggers with various priorities and at several stages. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but hopefully it will give you an notion of a few of the essential alternatives for conducting an email list.
This is free up to 2,000 subscribers, and utilized by lots of newer bloggers to get up and running. Mailchimp provides a really friendly interface, making it easy to produce good-looking emails using their nice templates with a drag and drop editor. The simple version is not so feature-rich as other options, but does offer some neat integration with Facebook and Instagram. Mailchimp charges an extra $199/month for their Pro add-ons which give you more advanced tracking, targeting and automation.
RECOMMENDED FOR: MailChimp could be a good option if you’re (a) just starting out with email and also have under 1,000 subscribers (b) visual demonstration and images are important (c) not yet ready to use a lot of detailed features like tagging.
ALTERNATIVE: You may also want to consider the more recent MailerLite that’s quite a bit cheaper (after you get past 1,000 subscribers) and provides a few extra features.
This well-established service costs from $19/month to get as many as 500 subscribers, and contains slightly different strengths and features from MailChimp. It is possible to refer to our comparison table below for specifics. While AWeber’s user interface is a bit dated, it signifies increasingly excellent value for money as your list grows and contains useful functionality to maintain your email marketing up a notch. You can use tags to your readers to section them, activate email campaigns and autoresponder sequences. AWeber also supplies split-testing allowing you to test different subject line text or message content, even different sign-up forms to increase response rates. The AWeber coverage is a bit more difficult to use and doesn’t quantify far beyond open and click rates. AWeber do provide decent customer support via phone, email and live chat which is above and beyond most suppliers who only supply you with an online library of tools.
RECOMMENDED: AWeber is a solid, no-frills option that’s functioned for several (ProBlogger included) to get a long-time. It is particularly cost-effective as you create a large list to advertise to.
“Built by bloggers for bloggers” is the tagline of the new child on the email block. We trialled Convertkit early and were amazed with the system’s simplicity and recently added performance which suits’professional’ bloggers. If you would like to segment your list in several different ways (e.g. based on which links a single subscriber has clicked), Convertkit has hosted, customizable landing pages and opt-in forms that allow you a lot of tagging choices together with easy to use trigger-based email automations and sequences. There are no beautifully designed templates here (if you don’t code it yourself): the focus is on sending easy, simple content.
RECOMMENDED: If you’re able to budget for this, ConvertKit allows a whole lot of power and flexibility, and works very well to deliver a sign-up incentive (e.g. a free .pdf) — this is incorporated together with the”confirmation” email, so whenever your contributor clicks to receive their freebie, they mechanically affirm their email address too. It’s simplicity allows you to get up and running quickly and if you are switching to Convertkit with over 5,000 subscribers, they offer a free migration support.
ALTERNATIVE: GetResponse provides similar features to Convertkit but with more of a visual focus providing you created email templates and a stock picture library.
Drip is a bit pricier than the other choices we have covered thus far ($83/month to get 5,000+ readers ) but it has more features and comes with a money-back warranty. It is possible to compare it with different options here though note this is Drip’s own comparison tool. Finally ProBlogger decided on Drip as it gave us the best insights to our readers, beyond email activity. Drip empowers us to identify how valuable subscribers are, scoring each individual as a lead and also monitoring their action over on the blog. We could follow up on those interests with quite personalized automatic email workflows. Many similarly strong systems require that you employ a consultant to browse their complexities, whereas Drip is simple enough to handle yourself with fantastic learning tools such as a Facebook Group along with a supportive customer service staff to assist.
RECOMMENDED: If you’ve got a proven blogging business and are searching for a powerful but easy to use CRM-type system check out Drip.
ALTERNATIVE: There are quite a few solutions within this top-end class, but none of them are inexpensive. Leading options include ActiveCampaign, Ontraport and Infusionsoft.
Desire a convenient comparison of the options we have utilized and trialled? Download the ProBlogger Email Service Provider Comparison for Writers, based on the majority of the the same criteria we had to pick our email service provider.
Whichever service you select, the main issue is that you choose something and get started on building your list. Hopefully, the options above have given you a few thoughts of what may suit you best.
Got your listing setup but still feeling stuck? Do not worry. Next week, I’ll be taking a look at seven frequent newsletter issues… and solving them for you.