Ideas and Validation June 1, 2020

No-BS Email List Signups for Static Sites?

Spencer Jones @jones_spencera

It seemed overly complicated to put an email list signup on my Gatsby blog...

JAMStack is blowing up these days. There are tons of static site generators out there.

But, like why does it require multiple tools (Netlify forms + Zapier) and cost $40/mo if I want to collect 150 emails in a month? Heaven forbid you collect a few thousand...

I've got a vision to solve this: https://rotini.carrd.co/

Would love some feedback!

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    I'm a little confused on this. I know of a bunch of sites to collect emails for less than $40/month. There's Versoly made by @volkandkaya and there's big companies like Mailchimp where you can set it up for free even. What's the exact niche you think is unfulfilled?

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      I believe Carrd lets you collect emails for $19 a year or something crazy low.

      At Versoly you can collect emails for free, but if you want a custom domain got to upgrade.

      Also I see so many developers waste a crazy amount of time editing CSS and making the site fast when they should just be writing content for their blog.

      That is one huge problem with static site generators no one talks about :)

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      Hey @roddanan, thanks for the reply! Clearly, the page is a little confusing in what it does.

      It’s not about managing the email list (sending emails, segmenting, etc) ... but actually collecting the emails. Obviously, it’s not super clear from the landing page :)

      With most static sites, you don’t have a server/back-end ... but in order to Interact with, say, Mailchimp and add a subscriber, you need a server to manage private API keys.

      A lot of tutorials suggest using Netlify forms + Zapier to make this work. And it’s about simplifying that.

      Does that help clarify?

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    I use a combination of Cardd Pro and the free tier of EmailOctopus Which allows me to have 2500 subscribers and send a total of 10000 emails per month. Probably the cheapest combination you can get at the moment.

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    I had a similar idea...integrating services like Analytics and Email capture (using ConvertKit for example) with static sites to offer a packaged deal. I wouldn't say its overly complicated but the value is saving people time.

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    Website doesn't work.

    Also, why not use MailChimp or any of the other marketing providers?
    https://mailchimp.com/help/add-a-signup-form-to-your-website/

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    Substack..

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    Curious to hear from @momoko (I've been following along on blogging platforms and would love to hear from your expertise :) ).

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      Thanks for the tag :)

      Mailer Lite is free up to 1000 subscribers and has basic automations in the free plan. ConvertKit is also free up to 500 subscribers (without automations).

      I've integrated both of them with static sites (both Hugo and Gatsby) without major issues? Happy to share code snippets if it would help.

      Also published a blog post about this recently:
      https://monicalent.com/blog/2020/05/04/tag-and-segment-convertkit-hugo-gatsby/

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        @momoko, thanks for the push in the right direction with your comments and blog. I ended up borrowing a bit of the code in your blog, and implementing a signup form with Gatsby + netlify functions. Final result here: https://premiumjs.netlify.app/hello-world/.

        It wasn't too troublesome once I got the hang of netlify (it's my first time using it).

        Anyway, hopefully a fuller write-up in coming days with code examples. :)

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        Thanks for the reply @momoko! I’ll take a look a look at the post.

        Yes, some code snippets would help! And, whether you’re running a server alongside your static site to power the integration too.

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          Nope! Just old school <form> with an action and then preventing the default submission of the form and submitting it with fetch. If you want to see a Gatsby + ConvertKit example, there's one in the blog post here:

          https://monicalent.com/blog/2020/05/04/tag-and-segment-convertkit-hugo-gatsby/#step-5 (scroll a little till you see the javascript).

          It's way easier with Hugo, the real pain is just using external javascript inside a Gatsby website. With Hugo I literally just embed the form and replace a couple variables with templating.

          Even that blog post is more complicated than it needs to be, I'm just using hidden form fields generated via data. You can get away with less than half the code if you just want an email address.

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            Awesome. I wasn’t aware the ConvertKit exposed an API that you could hit without API keys. Pretty handy :) Thanks!!

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              Yeah, kinda, I had to slightly reverse engineer it from one of their normal embedded forms. I did bang my head a little bit trying to figure out WTF a WebKit Form Boundary is (https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3508338/what-is-the-boundary-in-multipart-form-data) but as long as you don't pass a data type to fetch, it magically works :D

              You should be able to pretty much copy the code and remove the bits you don't need, and it'll work.

              FYI - Privacy Badger extension apparently blocks ConvertKit, I've had reports that people couldn't use it with that extension enabled.

              Good luck! If you get stuck feel free to ask.

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