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Mailing List Providers

If you are just starting out as an author, or you are looking to swap your newsletter service provider, it can be kind of overwhelming looking at all the options.

Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay

It seems like every second day there’s a new provider. Other authors recommend this service or that service, usually based on the price they have paid.

Price is not the only important factor when looking at newsletter service providers. And depending on how you are going to use your newsletter, you will want to make sure your service has specific features. 

But how do you know which one to choose?

What is a Newsletter Delivery Service?

A newsletter delivery service is the online service provider that delivers your newsletters (as emails) to your subscribers (the people who have given your their email address).

There are many, but the most commonly known are:

  • MailChimp
  • Mailerlite
  • ConstantContact
  • AWeber
  • SendInBlue
  • ActiveCampaign

All authors need a mailing list and need to be in contact with their subscribers. But all authors should also be conscious that money should flow TOWARD the author, not away from them. So, being canny about how much you spend is important.

A bunch of new players have come on the scene quite recently, offering nice prices and sometimes surprisingly good offerings, so I’ve done a quick comparison of them below, to give you a better idea of what to expect from them.
But first, lets look at the tools you will want your newsletter service provider to have.

What to look for in a Newsletter Service Provider

Do you have an existing author website? Do you have an email address connected to that website? 

If you don’t, that will limit the options for you, since not all newsletter service providers will let you run with a Gmail or Yahoo or AOL account (or the other general email providers). 

But if you are a brand new author, you shouldn’t rush to get your website running (although I always recommend buying your author domain – it’s your real estate on the internet and you don’t want someone else buying your house.)

Do you have a sequence of emails welcoming new subscribers to your list?

You should. Whether you are employing an organic or non-organic method to gain subscribers, everyone should be welcomed. 

Automation sequences are used for this, so you don’t have to manually welcome every person who joins your list.

But not all automation sequences perform the same. Some can be quite tricky. So if you are low-tech, you will want to pay attention to how easy/hard setting up your automation sequence will be.

Are you using BookFunnel or ProlificWorks or StoryOrigin to gather subscribers?

These services are a great way to build your non-organic audience (that is, people who allow you to send them email in exchange for a free book)

But if your newsletter service provider does not integrate with the promotions service you have chosen, there will be more work for you, manually shifting subscribers from your promotions service to your newsletter service provider.  

Do you plan to deliver content that may only relevant to one section of your audience?

If so, you need to be able to put your audience into lists, segments or both. Tags are also useful for this purpose.

Check to see if the newsletter service provider you are considering can divide your audience into lists or segments, and whether you can automate adding, moving and removing them from those.

Comparison of Recently Mentioned Newsletter Service Providers.

New newsletter service providers cross my desk all the time, and I’m the first to admit, I can’t keep up with them all.

However, I’ve put together a list of the ones that my fellow authors have used and recommended recently, so you can compare and decide which one (if any of them) is for you.

  FLODESK SENDER MAILERLITE SENDFOX

Features

Feminine touch.

     

Use gmail address

Yes

Yes but must authenticate via domain

Yes but must authenticate via domain

Yes

Automated email

Yes, looks like Mailerlite

Yes, looks like Mailerlite

Yes

Yes

Ways to segment audience

Segments

Lists

Lists & segments

Lists, no segments

Authentication

Domain not required

Requires a doman & domain email

Requires a domain & domain email

Domain not required

Integrations

via Zapier

Only shop integrations, no promo, no Zapier

Many

Many

Pricing

$38 per month or 

$10.69 per month or

$10 per month or

$49 lifetime plan 5000

 

$418 for 12 months

$106.95 for 12 months for 5000

$84 for 12 months for 2500

$49 for each additional 5000

 

unlimited

First 2500 free

First 1000 free

First 1000 free

   

$22.58 for 10000

$20 for 5000

 
   

$34.46 for 15000

$35 for 10000

 
         

If you are building an audience from non-organic sources (via BookFunnel, StoryOrigin, etc.)

Mailerlite

   

If you are building an audience from organic sources (back matter in your books, links on your website

SendFox (with caution)

   

If you are building an audience without having a website

SendFox

   

Why do I suggest caution with SendFox? They have a fantastic price, but they want to lock you in forever. Same as every other service you buy (insurance, electricity, etc.) you should regularly be seeking out the best option for you. And that’s not always going to be the cheapest.

I still can’t go past MailerLite for authors who have their own website and email connected to that.

And my choice is backed up by others in ‘the biz’ – see, for example, Dave Chesson from Kindlepreneur’s examination here. 

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