At a recent workshop I was asked about free email marketing applications. My answer provoked a lively discussion and not everyone agreed with my position.
You have many choices of bulk email service providers and each has good points and bad points. Turning out a good looking newsletter depends on using suitable software and on being quite proficient with it - whether it’s a free app or not. Free apps (or free versions) will have some or all of these drawbacks:
- limit on the number of subscribers
- limit on the number of emails you can send
- limit on image storage space
- limited options for layout and design
- limited or no available statistics
- no archive of past issues
- no RSS-to-email functionality
- limited or no auto responder functionality
- limited or no segmenting functionality
- inability to manage subscribers on multiple lists
- poor functionality of social media sharing buttons
- no auto posting to social media accounts
- YOU ARE ADVERTISING FOR THE APPLICATION
Most of these points impact your own use of the application, but that last point reveals to all that you are using a free app. What signal are you sending to your readers? You really want them to read your newsletter and connect with you and buy your products... but you don’t value their attention enough to pay to do it properly?
To have a successful regular newsletter, you invest effort to build your subscriber list and create interesting content for them to read. And you execute it in a way that shows respect for your readers’ time and attention.
photo by Tarjei Hanken / Flickr
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