Written by Alison Newth ~ Northeastern BC, Canada
I Thought Email Was 'Old School'?
Everywhere I go in search of information about starting a website, I get the same message: "start a mailing list." But why? I thought that with social media being all the rage, emailing people would seem so...so...old school.
Out with the old, in with the new? I was wrong.
You see, even though people love social media, it is constantly changing. Site that are popular one month or year, aren't the next and there are new ones starting all the time. But email is always there. Always the same. An email address is like a phone number or home address.
Another reason that mailing lists rock is that the news feeds on social media are constantly updating. If I post a message on one of the social media sites and you don't log on at the right time, you may not see it. If I email you, it sits in your inbox happily until you log in, whether it be in a day or a month.
What Do I Use?
I thought I could do it from my actual email account, which is Outlook or Hotmail. It didn't work.
I went searching for a provider that would be easy, free and had great reviews. Enter...MailChimp.com. MailChimp provides templates for newsletters, organizes your mailing list subscribers and send the newsletters...and the basic service is FREE, which I love.
The initial set-up is very easy. Once you have a basic account set up (5-10 min.), they provide html code for you to copy and paste onto your website somewhere...wherever you want it. The code is for a mailing list subscription box, so that people can sign up to be on your mailing list.
MAILCHIMP UPDATE A FEW WEEKS AFTER WRITING THIS POST: Sigh. I just spent the last hour trying to figure out how to create a welcome newsletter and then actually send it to people on my list. The making of the newsletter wasn't too tricky. It was the 'trying to figure how to send it to certain people' part that was the trickiest....sigh...I will never get that hour back.
Ok, the silver lining...I have subscribers:) Also, maybe the next newsletter won't be so tricky?? Fingers crossed.
How Does This Work?
Find a place to put the mailing list form/code. This is where I put my mailing list subscription code.
If you were looking on my website, you would notice that it is easy to find, simple and clear (which also happens to be the topic of another blog "How to Improve Your Bounce Rate").
Basically, if things aren't easy to fine, simple and clear, your viewers might not find them or stick around looking.
So, put your mailing list subscription somewhere people can find it. I have mine on a page under the Artist tab.
You can sign up to be on my mailing list so you can receive the odd newsletters with interesting articles, promotions or to show some new artwork (like the super-cool fishy pillow!!!!!). Which is exactly the point. You can send specific things to people who are interested in receiving them. You know they are interested, because they SIGNED UP! It feels less spammy. Which is a good thing.