Growth January 20, 2020

Setting up a newsletter?

Corstian

Hey ya all!

From a previous developer job I have been traumatized by everything which involves emails. However, I would love to create a channel where I can keep target customers up to date about my progress via a newsletter.

What are some tools which you can recommend for building an email list. What I'm looking for is an easy way to let people subscribe to a newsletter, and some easy to use tool to compose emails.

Go!

  1. 2

    Helpful list of email marketing tools and prices: https://www.starterstory.com/email-marketing-services

    Also cc @tcurdt as might be interesting

  2. 2

    Sorry for asking something not directly related to your question.
    Could you share what experience you had with emails at your previous job?

    1. 1

      Email deliverability was a big issue overall. Primarily related to the mail servers we were using. After that came transactional emails. Those were a pita to maintain, and I have only recently found a way to combine transactional emails and business logic in a fairly straightforward way (http://corstianboerman.com/2020-01-07/sending-transactional-emails-from-asp-net-core.html).

      Even with that out of the way, I'm not necessarily looking forward to building an interface to compose emails for a newsletter. And then I'm not even talking about unsubscribe links et al.

      Overall there is an insane amount of complexity being hidden behind every email which grabs your attention in your inbox, and that's not easy to build overnight.

      1. 1

        Thanks for insights.
        Now I'm understanding what founder of Nylas was talking about in the IH podcast interview.
        BTW, related to your original question: I use ActiveCampaign. It's working fine, but it's core value around automation. I guess there are better solutions for a simple newsletters.

  3. 1

    Have to give a big vote to MailerLite - easy to set up, startup-friendly, developers-friendly and good domain authority as well. @Corstian

    I've been using it for my [side hustle] several months. It works pretty well so far.

    You will feel the love from the Facebook community where people exchange ideas actively.

  4. 1

    I am currently looking for the very same thing. I came across https://sender.net which looks pretty good and I love their idea of a prepaid plan. While they have good 1st level support, their technical team unfortunately seems to be quite slows. So your mileage may vary.

  5. 1

    Mailchimp is solid and very easy to use but can get expensive out of the free tier. Convertkit are now offering a freemium tier. Both those can do simple newsletters or more automated stuff if you need it.

    Both have easy sign up forms and landing pages. The tools to compose are also very easy to use.

    Don’t over complicate it.

    1. 1

      Freemium? I only see 0-1000k for 29/month - which is way to expensive for just building a simple list IMO.

      1. 1

        Freemium with a catch - https://convertkit.com/convertkit-goes-freemium

        I think email octopus also has a free tier

        1. 1

          Even freemium "with a catch" is not listed on their pricing page. https://convertkit.com/pricing

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            Check the link I sent.

            BTW, I don’t work for convertkit so can’t comment why it is or isn’t on their pricing page. Reach out to their support if you need more info.

  6. 1

    I’m really loving Substack. It’s free, simple to use, and is a good mix between blog and newsletter. You write a post/update, schedule it to go live, then everybody on your list gets an email with the update. If folks don’t subscribe, you can still point them to the content at “yourdomain.substack.com

    I just started mine a few weeks ago at teamsignal.substack.com if you want to see how it works.

    1. 1

      I have looked into Substack, and while it might be great for people just starting to write content, the distinction between blog and email is too small for me, especially as I'm already running a blog.

      But, for people wanting to start, they offer options to monetize your mailing list, so I can definitely recommend them in that regard!

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        That's a fair point. I'm definitely just starting out and my strategy is evolving bit by bit. For starting out, Substack has made it easy to get up and running.

        How does the content on your blog differ from the content in the newsletter?

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          My blog is mostly for sharing knowledge, while I would love to use email to keep in touch with people. Share a bit of context on the stuff I'm working on, test whether ideas are worth pursuing etc.

          I find that more difficult on my blog as I rely on slow growth for visibility. Email works better in that regard as people actively say 'I want to know what this guy is up to', instead of the situation where people are searching for the solution on some problem, and end up on my blog.

          I feel like they can perfectly complement each other in that regard.

          1. 1

            Very interesting to hear! My current approach has been 100% the opposite lol. The newsletter has been the communication vehicle for progress on the book I'm writing, while the blog has been more of the behind-the-scenes stuff.

            It's too early to know if it's working and the sample size is too small, but I'll keep pounding down this path for a bit and see how it works.

  7. 1

    Go with the safest and the most reliable option to start with - Mailchimp

    If you are feeling lucky, then go for Sendinblue.

  8. 1

    I have been planning a switch to Mautic for like a year now but have yet to pull the trigger haha

    PS Just saw your profile pic, that is some GLORIOUS hair you have

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      Mautic is absolutely a beast for marketing purposes, but I just don't have a clue where to start ':)

      And thanks, makes it easy to connect with internet strangers on conferences :)

      1. 1

        Hahaha ya can’t miss that

  9. 1

    After browsing a bit I found ListMonk (https://listmonk.app/), which is quite good looking and open source, which I want to try out. I'm still curious about what methods you use whatsoever!

    1. 1

      Listmonk does look awesome. I don't think there's much there yet for handling subscriptions. (Filtering out bots, etc)

      Email Octopus has been an interesting prospect. The only thing that's preventing me from switching (from Mailchimp) is there is no segmentation. You have to create completely new lists for each segment you want to send to. (Bummer)

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        Listmonk also does not have bounce handling yet - which unfortunately disqualifies it. Would love for that one to be a little more mature.

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          I think that's fairly difficult to implement as they have a bring your own mailserver policy.

          As I'm personally using the mail address I'll be sending from, I could manually remove bounced emails from the list.

          1. 1

            Some are trailing logs, some use IMAP/POP. It's not that hard.
            But manually removing the bounces - that surely is a lofi way that works.