Let’s talk newsletters today. There’s some conversation about whether or not newsletters are dead or necessary these days. It’s my belief that this is a personal choice. Much like me telling you to pick which social media outlets you enjoy and use those, I’ll tell you that if you enjoy receiving information from your favorite authors in an emailed newsletter, or if you consistently subscribe to them for contests or sneak peaks or other perks, you may want to consider cultivating a mailing list and provide your own author newsletter to your readers.
If you generally don’t “do” newsletters – you don’t subscribe, or you’re always unsubscribing, it’s a safe bet this isn’t the gig for you. Don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole. It’s okay if you don’t have a newsletter.
BUT if you are interested in starting your own newsletter, let’s talk platforms. Most email campaign management systems are free, to a point. For example, you may have to start paying when your contact list reaches a certain number, like 500 or 1000. Or you may be asked to choose a plan if you want to email more frequently than quarterly or monthly. Just read the fine print to be sure.
I’ve used MailChimp successfully. It has a decent list manager, campaign manager, and drag and drop message creator. I didn’t find the entire platform particularly intuitive, though, and spent a lot of time pecking around for this or that because it was never where I thought it should be. I reached a limit with MailChimp where I’d sent a certain number of emails and the next one would force me to choose a plan, so…
I did some research and chose Send In Blue for my next experience. I found the entire platform much more intuitive, the message builder easy to use, and importing my contacts and scheduling email was easy. Analytics were easy to understand. I can send “up to 600 emails a day”, so I can send the same message to all 600 or split it up, and then send out to another 600 the next day. I’m still using them.
I’ve also used Emma professionally (with my last paying day-job) and it is NOT FREE but it is easy to use on all fronts. The thing is, aside from offering 24/7 superior customer service (which I’ve never needed), the other (free) platforms do the same things. I’m not sure why you would pay unless you simply have $$$ to burn or an enormous mailing list.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, so please feel free to add your favorite in the comments for others to check out!