5 Mailing List Services for Authors

You know it’s a good idea as an author to send newsletters out to readers. It helps them get to know you and your work, so when they’re ready to buy, they choose one of your books. But what service should you use to send those newsletters and store those email addresses? We’ve put together a list of 5 mailing list services so you’ll know what each can do for you.

MailChimp is free, as long as you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers and don’t send more than 12,000 emails a month, although not all features are available in the free version. Above that, prices range from $10 (for 500 subscribers and unlimited emails) to several hundred dollars a month (depending on subscriber number). For comparison, 2,500 subscribers costs $30, and 25,000 subscribers cost $150.

If you’re not a techie person, MailChimp may be the service for you. It has a simple, beautiful, user-friendly interface. That design also extends into the email campaigns you create-you can choose the look of your emails from a list of design templates and modify it from there, or you can even code your email design from scratch.

You can view reports on who opened your emails, see the time they did, and what they clicked on. Using these reports, you can target groups of your subscribers with an emailed geared toward them. You can also set up autoresponder emails and a drip email marketing campaign (where you specify delays between sending emails as well as who gets what email-for example, new subscribers might get several introductory emails first before being merged into the main list). MailChimp also has the RSS-to-Email feature, which allows you to automatically send your blog post as an email to your subscribers.

MailChimp has a lot of help posts to give you information if you get stuck or have questions. But if you have specific questions that aren’t answered in these articles, getting help is cumbersome. You have to log in, find a Knowledge Base article, locate the Technical Support section, then either click the button that says “Email Us” or the button that says “Chat With Us” (online chat is only available for paying customers). MailChimp does not have a customer support number that you can call.

Price Overall: ★★★★

Free Limit: 2,000 subscribers (limited automation and reporting)

Automation and Reporting: ★★★★★

$ for 500 subscribers: free

$ for 2,500 subscribers: $30

$ for 25,000 subscribers: $150

AWeber costs anywhere from $19 (for 500 subscribers and unlimited emails) to $149+ (for 25,000 subscribers and unlimited emails) a month. AWeber is overall more expensive than MailChimp, but it is cheaper on the upper end of the scale.

AWeber offers drag and drop email templates, as well as an HTML editor to make a custom email. Email deliverability rates are very high, meaning that more of your emails end up in your subscribers inbox, rather than their spam folder.

AWeber also provides detailed reports on who opened your email and what they did with it. They provide the same sort of features that MailChimp does, where you can set up specific email campaigns and autoresponder emails. They also have the RSS-to-Email feature. AWeber provides very advanced automation features.

If you have questions about using AWeber, getting help is easy. You can chat online with a representative on any page, you can send an email, or you can call them directly. If you have a lot of subscribers and still want a ton of reports, this may be a good choice for you.

Price Overall: ★★★

Free Limit: N/A (Free trial available)

Automation and Reporting: ★★★★★

$ for 500 subscribers: $19

$ for 2,500 subscribers: $29

$ for 25,000 subscribers: $149

Mailerlite is free for up to 1,000 subscribers (and unlimited emails). After that, prices range from $10 (up to 2,500 subscribers) to $140 (up to 50,000 subscribers) per month, although you can buy an annual subscription and get a 30% discount. Mailerlite is cheaperer than both MailChimp and AWeber.

Mailerlite also provides email templates that you can choose from, a drag and drop editor, and an option to edit the HTML, although these options are not as flexible as the design options MailChimp offers.

Just like MailChimp and AWeber, Mailerlite allows you to track statistics, although it doesn’t have as many analytics as Mailerlite and AWeber do. Mailerlite also has automation options, like setting up a drip email marketing campaign, and although MailChimp and AWeber do offer more automation options, the range that Mailerlite offers is plenty for an author newsletter. If you’re on a budget, this is a great choice.

Support includes email and 24/7 chat for any customer, paying or not.

Price Overall: ★★★★★

Free Limit: 1,000 subscribers

Automation and Reporting: ★★★★

$ for 500 subscribers: free

$ for 2,500 subscribers: $10

$ for 25,000 subscribers: $80

Campaign Monitor costs $9 (for 500 subscribers and 2,500 emails) to $989+ (50,000 subscribers and unlimited emails and a host of extra features) a month. The pricing depends on how many subscribers you have and what features you want. For comparison, you can get unlimited emails for up to 2,500 subscribers for $59 a month, and 25,000 subscribers for $399 a month.

Campaign Monitor has email templates with a drag and drop editor, as well as a way to upload a custom HTML file.

They also offer advanced automation and tracking, send-time optimization, and even 1:1 email content (where you can create content specific to individual subscribers), among other features, but which of these features you get change based off of how much you pay.

If you have a support question, you can email Campaign Monitor by clicking the easy-to-find “Contact us” option at the top of the page. There is not a phone number listed for support.

Price Overall: ★

Free Limit: N/A (You can get started for free but are charged once you send an email)

Automation and Reporting: ★★★★★

$ for 500 subscribers: $9

$ for 2,500 subscribers: $59

$ for 25,000 subscribers: $399

MailPoet is different from these other mailing list services in that it is a WordPress plugin. If your website is on WordPress, you may want to look into MailPoet.

MailPoet is free for up to 2,000 subscribers (the free version has limited reporting and analytics). After that, prices range from $10 (for 500 subscribers) to hundreds of dollars a month, depending on number of subscribers. For comparison, 2,500 subscribers costs $25 and 25,000 subscribers costs $150. You can also get a discount by paying annually instead of monthly. Additionally, you can get the plugin for even cheaper if you plan on using your email or a third-party email service to actually send the emails (the prices listed above include email service through MailPoet).

You can design your email with MailPoet’s drag and drop email designer.

Automation includes autoresponders, drip email marketing, and the RSS-to-Email feature. MailPoet also offers statistics on who opened your email, when they opened it, and what they clicked on. MailPoet does not have A/B or split testing like the other email services have.

Support for the free version of MailPoet is only available in the Support forums. Paid plans gets you an email you can use to contact support.

Price Overall: ★★★★

Free Limit: 2,000 (limited automation and reporting)

Automation and Reporting: ★★

$ for 500 subscribers: free

$ for 2,500 subscribers: $25

$ for 25,000 subscribers: $150

To Sum Up the Mailing List Services . . .

Originally published at https://mybookcave.com on February 28, 2018.

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