Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday Link List - newsletters

I've been thinking about starting an email newsletter.  For ten years, I've been writing a newsletter for the Museum (where I work) so I think I can handle this.  But... where do I start online?  Here are some sites I visited when doing my research - hope that you find it helpful and interested.

First of all, what services are out there?
There are a number of companies that deal with online newsletters, such as Constant Contact, VerticalResponse and iContact.  These all have monthly fees after the initial one to two months of a free trail.  They all have support systems and link to social networks, like facebook, twitter and LinkedIn.  VerticalResponse looks to be the most flexibilty.  For example, you can pay 1¢ per email or a monthly fee of $8.50.  Then if you want to send a  survey or special event announcement, there is another price.   

I did find an inexpensive service called letterpop; for up to 25 contacts and 10 newsletters, a basic plan can be purchased for $4.95/year.  But that's not a lot of contacts...  Their personal plan ($24.98/year) jumps to 500 contacts and 52 email/year.  That's one email a week.  Plus you can add many more photographs than the basic plan allows and you don't have to worry about ads.  Ugh!  

But I'm looking for a free service.  When I modified my search, I was surprised to find so many opportunities.  

I guess MailChimp is the most popular.  As long as you have less than 2,000 subscribers, it remains free.  Two things that I liked about MailChimp: there are links to Facebook, and if you're interested in "mobile" newsletters like I am, there's a special app.

"We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time."
If you use WordPress for your blogging software, there's a free email newsletter service.  

The easiest way to send out a newsletter is using your gmail account.  All you need to do is create a new account name for the newsletter.   eHow has a good explanation of how to do this.

Has anyone ever heard of tinyletter before?  Their logo: "email for people with something to say."  They make it possible to import and add new contacts, respond to individuals, and customize to a certain extent.  

Nabble is a bit different than the other newsletter sites I found.  They make it possible for you to start a newspaper online.  That's kinda neat!  

There's another option available, if you don't want to go through an newsletter service, and that's using a distribution service for your blog, like Google's FeedBurner.  This will allow you to redistribute your blog posts and monitor the traffic you get.  Here's some instructions on setting up FeedBurner on Blogger

There are alternatives to FeedBurner; you can read about them here on makeuseof.

So, there's a lot of opportunities out there.  I'd love to hear your feedback on this.  
What are YOU doing to distribute your newsletter? 
Or, if you're interested in starting a newsletter, which service at are you thinking of using?  


Linda Blatchford said...

I've been using Mailchimp and I like the ease of use.

Don't have a regular schedule in place yet, but thinking about it.

Good luck.

Tisha said...

I've been thinking about a newsletter, so your info is very helpful to me. Will check out all of these.

FabricFascination said...

I've been using vertical response for awhile now, and have been happy with their service.

Rose said...

Thanks for the great resources as always! I use MailChimp and have been pretty happy with it. It's very unlikely that I'll have over 2,000 subscribers any time soon so the free system works out well.

BluMoon said...

Very interesting, I used to do a newsletter but with under 50 people I just sent it on an email, I didn't need a service to send it. I no longer do one since we changed web sites and our name all we get is spam!

BeadedTail said...

I need to do a newsletter too but I just can't find the time to do it. Thanks for the info on the resources though!

Kathleen said...

Great information! Thanks for sharing! I don't have a newsletter, but I have thought about starting one, too.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

I don't have my own newsletter, but I receive several. Constant Contact and Mail Chimp are the two I see used most.
Great list of both free and fee services!

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