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.
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.
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.
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?