Which Newsletter Platform Is Right for You?
Whether you have an existing newsletter or you're planning to start one, this article will help you decide which newsletter platform is right for you. You may be thinking, What? There's more than one platform?! Yes, indeed but luckily, you have this article to help you decide which one is the best fit for you.
Geared toward small businesses, MailChimp is where a lot of authors begin with their newsletters. If you're looking for a basic platform to deliver newsletters to a small list without a lot of bells and whistles, MailChimp will work.
PROS – The free plan allows you to grow your list a bit more than some other plans, which is a definite perk. The reports section is easy to navigate, and the drag-and-drop editor allows some flexibility with creating new templates or modifying existing ones.
CONS – However, the MailChimp interface is a bit clunky overall. Customizing the template can be confusing for authors lacking in tech-savviness. Another downside is the lack of automation and segmenting that other providers allow, which is essential as your authorship grows.
Can we geek out for a second over how user-friendly MailerLite is for authors who are creating their very first newsletter list? From segmenting and automation to photo-editing and mobile-friendliness, MailerLite has everything an author needs without blowing their budget.
PROS – You can build a template from scratch or customize an existing one using the drag-and-drop editor. The templates are also mobile-friendly which is important in today's society where phones are a natural extension of most human hands. The aforementioned photo editing capabilities make it easy to adjust images without leaving the platform.
CONS – The free plan allows for fewer subscribers overall compared to MailChimp. Some of the nicer bells and whistles—like the removal of the MailerLite logo—are available exclusively for premium plan users.
If you want a newsletter that can do it all, then you need ActiveCampaign. With the most sophisticated automation, segmentation, and even direct Facebook and website analytics tracking, data nerds like us will find Active Campaign to be a dream come true! It's pricier than other options but worth every penny—and it's the platform NYT bestselling author and Novel Publicity owner Melissa Storm uses to send out newsletters to her subscribers.
PROS – In addition to having 500+ easy-to-use templates, ActiveCampaign allows niche segmenting that gives you a snapshot of each subscriber's history with just a few clicks so you can adjust as needed when creating re-engagement campaigns. It's easy to set up campaigns without getting distracted by other features. And Active Campaign makes it exceptionally easy to integrate with Zapier.
CONS – ActiveCampaign has the highest price point of any platform mentioned in this article. While a tech background isn't necessary to send newsletters with Active Campaign, it does help as tracking can get complicated, especially if you have an exceptionally large list.
Originally designed for bloggers and podcasters, ConvertKit‘s free plan packs a punch for authors with fewer than 1k subscribers. Once you reach 1001 subscribers, prepare to pay the price for all those bells and whistles.
PROS – You can use your custom domain on ConvertKit landing pages—even when using the free plan. The free plan also allows you to sell digital products or even charge a subscription fee for readers to get your newsletter. (An alternative to Kindle Vella? Hmm…) And the deep dive into targeting and automations is available in the free plan, too.
CONS – The number of templates is severely limited, and they don't allow for colorful images to help keep your readers interested in your newsletter. Unlike the above-mentioned platforms, their open and click reports are bare bones. The premium plans for ConvertKit are at a higher price point than their competitors as well.
Once you decide which newsletter platform is right for you, it's time to choose what content you're going to give to your readers. Book news, sales, giveaways, and personal anecdotes are a given. Check out last week's article for details about other kinds of bonus content you can include. And if you need assistance, the Novel Publicity team is standing by to help.