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When you are just starting your blog you need to consider if you are going to start an email list and which email server you are going to use.
Not everyone who starts a blog has to have an email list. But for the vast majority of people who blog, the question of whether or not you are going to collect email addresses should be answered with a “yes”.
Who needs to collect emails and start a list? If you are looking to either promote anything or sell anything now or at any time in the future, an email list is going to be your most important community building tool.
When someone provides you with their email address it’s a sign of trust. It’s like they’re saying, “hey, I want to be a part of your tribe.
Why is having an email list important?
Studies have shown that email has a higher conversion rate than social media campaigns.
Email is the easiest way to stay in touch with the community which you are building. When you post to your blog, people are not going to return each day to read your blog posts, but they will be checking their email.
When you have an email list you can use it in a number of ways to deepen your level of engagement with your community.
You can use your email list service to segment your email list into groups. You can segment them by any segment you desire such as
- Those who enrolled in a class
- Those who made a purchase
- Those who responded to the last email,
Once you have segments set up you can then send targeted messages to specific groups of people. For example, for those who have enrolled in classes you can send emails about upcoming classes, etc.
You can also test your messages to see what’s working and what isn’t. You can see how many people opened each email and who clicked on which links.
You can also conduct A/B testing with your email list. A/B testing is when you send half your group one email and half your group another email to test which one receives better engagement. You can conduct A/B testing on the subject line or the actual wording in the email, or even on the layout or image within the email.
Which email service should you use?
That’s a good question and you have lots of options to choose from.
The three I would most recommend are
All three have their pros and cons.
I currently use Mailchimp but will be switching to ConvertKit sometime in the near future. Mailchimp has served me well up to this point but ConvertKit has a few features which I am finding I need and Mailchimp does not offer.
If you are using Squarespace for your website, Mailchimp integrates the easiest with Squarespace. That isn’t to say that you can’t use the other two with Squarespace just that you will have one additional step to take. This website is on Squarespace and as I said before, I am using Mailchimp but will be switching to ConvertKit sometime in the future.
If you are just starting out Mailchimp may be the best option because they are the only one of the three which offers a free option. Mailchimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails per month.
Here’s the breakdown of pricing for all three options (according to their websites as of today):
- is free for 30 days after that the pricing is
- $19.00 per month for up to 500 subscribers (unlimited emails)
- $29.00 per month for up to 2,500 subscribers (unlimited emails)
- $49.00 per month for up to 5,000 subscribers (unlimited emails)
- $69.00 per month for up to 10,000 subscribers (unlimited emails)
- $149.00 per month for up to 25,000 subscribers (unlimited emails)
- If you have more than 25,00 subscribers submit to receive a quote
Free up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. I love that Mailchimp offers this. It gives people opportunity to get started in blogging at minimal expense.
As you can see, Convertkit it the most expensive option. However, I also believe it to be the most flexible and offers the most bells and whistles.
What you choose for an email server will greatly depend upon your needs. My recommendation is for you to write down everything you are looking for and what features you really need. This will help you to make a more informed decision.
What features are most important to you when choosing an email list service?
If you would like to read more on this topic see this post:
To read the other posts in this series: