It’s no surprise I’m a fan of email newsletters — I started Raleigh Convergence as a free newsletter before expanding to a website; I’ve worked on local to national newsletter concepts in my career before my leap into entrepreneurship, too.
Company newsletters, or brand newsletters, are powerful in their ability to connect consistently and build customer loyalty. Unlike social media, you don’t have to worry if your audience has even seen your message. And good newsletters that include a call to action link will have about 10% of people clicking through.
I’m going to be teaching a start-to-finish workshop on email newsletters on Dec. 7, for those of you who want to fast track getting that company email list started for your small business or startup. But I also wanted to share my top tools for email newsletters that I personally use on a regular basis.
Here’s the better news: Most of these are low-cost or free newsletter tools!
Mailchimp email newsletters
This is a great, free option to get started. The email newsletter templates are great for beginners, and you won’t have to pay until you reach a certain number of newsletter sends or audience.
Mailchimp works e-commerce services like WooCommerce and payment platforms such as Stripe and Square, using different integrations.
And you’re not locked in — if you get started with Mailchimp then decide to switch to a different service, you can export your opted-in subscribers to a newsletter alternative.
Canva for design
Yes, this is a design platform. But you’ll want to create consistent assets, headers and other design elements for your newsletter. Just plain ol’ text gets a little boring. Canva is free to start and also offers a paid option with access to a larger creative library and other tools such as resizing.
Flodesk vs. Mailchimp
While I use Mailchimp for my editorial newsletters, I switched to Flodesk for my Minerva Media Co. newsletters, for a few added benefits.
The newsletter templates are much cleaner and design-focused without needing to create external graphics and insert those images into the newsletter. It’s more in line with the look and feel for Minerva Media Co., too. There’s also conversational example text, which is great for beginners.
The embedded sign-up forms are also better. I struggled to get beautiful, well-designed Mailchimp in-line sign up forms on my WordPress site, and Flodesk makes it far easier.
Better tagging: Segmenting your audience can help tailor your message to better serve your brand’s community. With tagging by sign-up form, it makes knowing who’s received what content already and who’s interested in what service far easier.
Are you ready to get started on your email newsletter?
EVEN MORE WORKSHOPS: Storytelling and tools, in an interactive and virtual setting.