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As we discussed previously, giving your e-book away to subscribers can be a good way to build your newsletter list. There are a number of services designed to effectively distribute a professional looking newsletter and provide subscribers with an easy, secure way to sign up.
Mail Chimp is a very popular and highly recommended option for newsletters. I personally use Mail Chimp and have set up accounts for a number of clients. I have found their customer support to be excellent. You can even use Mail Chimp for both your newsletter and your blog’s email subscribers to streamline your processes.
If you have less than 2,000 subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails via Mail Chimp per month for free. Beyond that, you will need to upgrade to one of their paid services.
It is important to note that Mail Chimp does not allow you to use affiliate links.
Aweber is a highly respected newsletter option. They’ve been around for over 12 years and offer excellent customer support. They do not have a free option, so you are looking at a minimum of $19 per month (this is for 500 or less subscribers). They do have a lot to offer, including newsletter delivery and the option to use their service for your blog’s email subscribers as well.
Constant Contact has been around for a long time. Started in 1998, they in many ways paved the way for email marketing to become what it is today. You can use their service starting at $15 per month. I personally find their interface to be clunky and more difficult to use, but over 500,000 customers find that it fits their needs.
I recently heard about a service called Mad Mimi, and it looks promising. The interface is simple and easy to use and the pricing affordable. Their customer list is impressive, and Mashable calls it “simple and beautiful email marketing.” That’s a pretty good endorsement!
Once you have chosen your newsletter service, you will need to set up an email list and newsletter campaign. I won’t go into details here since the method for doing this will be different for each of the services listed. The main thing is that you will need to include a download link for your book in the final confirmation email that the reader receives.
Each of these services uses a double opt-in method for subscriptions. When a person signs up to receive your newsletter, they will receive an email asking them to activate their subscription. Once the person does this, they receive a second email confirming their subscription.
You need to upload the PDF version of your book somewhere for them to download. If you are on WordPress, this is as simple as uploading the PDF as a media file and copying the URL. Then just paste that link, along with an explanation of what it is, in the auto-responder email at your newsletter account.
I recommend that you subscribe to your own newsletter once you have everything set up. You need to make sure that everything is working properly. Also, keep in mind that you are the person your readers will contact for technical help if things are not working correctly! It’s best to be familiar with the process so you can help others.
During this series, we’re chatting about everything self-publishing—design, branding, marketing, formats—you name it! Pulling questions from Design by Insight clients, Re:Write Conference attendees, and you, we’ll take a look at what can often be a confusing and potentially overwhelming subject. Have a question you’d like me to answer? Leave it in the comments below!