Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your readership. There are many tools you can use for the job, let’s have a look at the good ones.
Take MailChimp for example. They offer free as well as paid options depending on your needs. Why not check out MailChimp today.
We’re currently playing around with what MailChimp has to offer and we like what we see. Other premium options are Aweber and Constant Contact.
They’re all managed via web interfaces and usually require payment for x amount of subcribers; the more subscribers you have on your list, the more you’ll have to pay them. They all have nice widgets that you can use for people to sign up to your mailing list.
I use a free solution called PHPlist – it’s similar to WordPress in that it is Open Source. Not very elegant I have to admit but does the job (and it’s free). Requires a MySQL database and a bit of techie hacking to get going but works very reliable. Integrates with WordPress via another plugin called PHPlist Integration.
There is a complete Newsletter plugin for WordPress called Newsletter: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/newsletter/ – it does all this for free from the WordPress backend – however I’ve not tried it in a live environment.
I currently use a solution that’s part of Google’s Feedburner service. Technically it replaces your Website’s RSS feed with a new one and has several other benefits you may find useful:
- it tweets new blog posts for you automatically
- it can send new posts to your subscribers once a day automatically
- it adds your new post to Google so readers can find it immediately
- it can add your latest Flickr images into each newsletter
- it provides detailed statistics on who reads your emails
- and it gives you a simple signup (and unsubscribe) option, plus you can export the collected email addresses for other uses
All of this is free at http://feedburner.google.com.