Blogging, E-mail Marketing
12

Who Will You Trust With Your Email Subscribers?

As I said yesterday, e-mail subscriptions can multiply the amount of traffic your site sees, so it’s important to pick a host who you can trust with your community. Doing your research beforehand is important because if you decide to leave and go to a different e-mail host, importing your subscribers to a can prove tricky because of opt-in requirements for each provider. You don’t want to have to start over.

There are three websites that I trust with my e-mail subscribers and they all work for different reasons.

Mailchimp

I started with Mailchimp (affilliate) when I launched Savvy Sexy Social. At the time, I thought I was only going to e-mail my readers periodically with important blog posts and videos. And quite honestly, I wasn’t sure the site would do as well as it has. So I wanted to start with the prettier, cheaper option. Mailchimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers, and provides gorgeous layouts to customize. Also, from what I could tell as a non-designer, this is a great platform if you want more control over the design of your newsletter.

The dashboard is extremely visually pleasing and user-friendly, so that’s going to be a huge plus for anyone that is new to e-mail marketing. Keep in mind, that the service isn’t free forever but you will be well on your way by the time you have to start paying for it.

Aweber

My e-mails were definitely nice to look at on Mailchimp, but the conversions just weren’t where I wanted them to be. By the time I realized I needed to make my e-mails simpler, I also looked into Aweber (affiliate) and noticed that they had a lot more to offer in terms of measurement and analytics. E-mail marketing was something that the site has slowly evolved to, and this service is by far the best for the testing and measurement those campaigns. They also have a lower rate than other services for going into the spam filter. Very important when people don’t always add your newsletter to their contacts to guarantee delivery to their inbox.

Beware if you don’t choose Aweber from the get-go. When I decided to switch, I had to kindly ask my old subscribers to re-opt-in to my newsletter due to the restrictions of importing on Aweber. It’s possible to just import your subscribers and then e-mail them on Aweber to re-opt-in, but then they might be caught off guard by receving an e-mail from you on a different service. You’re more likely to get a better response if you e-mail them through your old service and let them know about the change.

Aweber isn’t free. I got my first month for $1 and they charge $19 per month after that.

(Update: Letterly is no longer in operation. Please see previous options.)

Letterly

Letterly is a free option for those businesses that have a paid subscription to offer. It’s the most simple, and easy program to work with. I have used it before and started a new one recently for Savvy Sexy Social readers to learn about successful social campaigns that they can implement for their business. Letterly makes it feel like I’m e-mailing good friends. But I guess you guys ARE my friends, right? Try Letterly if you have a little something worth paying for to offer your audience. You’ll be pleased with ease of experience for all parties.

What e-mail service is the best for your audience?

Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Amy Schmittauer Visit Website
Amy is the Founder of Savvy Sexy Social and President of Vlog Boss Studios, a digital marketing agency specializing in video content creation. Connect with her on Twitter.
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9 comments
hellobrio
hellobrio

Hmm. I'm using feedburner but haven't played around with it a bunch. I do like how it's all housed under Google, though. What are your thoughts on feedburner?

larry_snow
larry_snow

Hi Amy. Good insight on the above email programs. I was using Aweber when I first started my business. Just recently I switched to Constant Contact (free trial for 60 days). There interface is a little bulky but their social media integration is substantial. Price is a little better than Aweber as well - $15 instead of $19. Have you had some experience using Constant Contact? I'd like to get your feedback since I'm coming to the end of the trial.

Ricardo Bueno
Ricardo Bueno

I use Aweber, Mailchimp and Feedburner.

The first two, I use as a power user to run marketing campaigns and manage paid subscriptions. As for Feedburner, it's just simple blog post delivery is all. Nothing more. It's perfect if that's ALL you want/need to do. But if you want to send a personalized newsletter, or create a drip-campaign, I definitely recommend the first two.

Latest blog post: The Sandbox

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

@jennstaz Feedburner definitely works. But it's more about just making sure your blog get delivered without much of a personal touch. I personally think when you're e-mailing your subscribers, it should be more about building the relationship than just being a messenger. I strongly recommend Mailchimp for your site, Jenn. It's very pretty, just like your blog. And very photo friendly, just like your content.

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

@larry_snow I worked with Constant Contact when I wrote a newsletter for a law firm a couple years ago. Back then I didn't really enjoy using it. I think it did offer a lot of the same great analytics as Aweber, but the user experience just wasn't there for me. What is the social integration that you're talking about? Because at the time I didn't notice anything along those lines.

larry_snow
larry_snow

@schmittastic Constant Contact has made it really easy to share newsletters via social media and integrate social media links inside the newsletters. First, when editing the newsletter you can add social media buttons from a predefined list (YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn Facebook, Flickr, and Blog) with a click of a button. Secondly, you can add social media share links at the top of the email with a tick of a check box. Lastly, and just recently they added in Simple Share which I haven't used just yet. From what I've read it allows you to share your newsletters on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with the ability to edit the message depending on the audience and format and when the email is sent it will get posted to the social media networks you've selected. All of above is connected to Constant Contact's analytics. This sounds like an infomercial but I'm pleased with the progress Constant Contact has made over the last couple of years.

Ricardo Bueno
Ricardo Bueno

@schmittastic@larry_snow Exclusivity definitely drives people to subscribe (I think).

Here's the thing, having social sharing options enabled in emails is great. But ultimately, that's not my goal. My goal is to get as many people to my landing page so that they can actually SUBSCRIBE to the newsletter to begin with. Sharing a copy of the newsletter through a tweet isn't all that effective. It's just a piece of content. It's not a full-on landing page that converts.

Here's an example of my landing page:

http://www.realestateblogtopics.com/blueprint

That page converts really well.

Focus on subscribers. Less on how you're going to share that email.

Latest blog post: The Sandbox

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

@larry_snow That's very social! I think a lot of other programs are making it that easy as well, but I don't usually encourage social share buttons in my newsletters. I know it would probably help my subscriber list grow, but I would rather my readers know they are getting my e-mails exclusive to the rest of the internet. It's definitely important for most people to have those options though, so glad to hear that CC is incorporating that into their design.