Email marketing is an important element of the marketing strategy to stay in contact with your people and grow your business. Many of you have probably heard of MailChimp which is one of the most popular email marketing systems.
It’s a great starting point for many of you who begin to blog and want to reach their audience by sending newsletters. I quickly realised I needed to search for something more – a MailChimp alternative that would cover the points below.
What I don’t like about MailChimp
– MailChimp has just now come back with an integrated WordPress plugin called “WordPress List Subscribe Form“. Plugins such as “MailChimp for WordPress” ARE NOT developed by MailChimp but other developers.
– Customising your own subscribe form is a nightmare for beginners. You get those ugly basic forms that aren’t that bad, but these days you’d like to have your website look slick and in a consistent style.
– Even if you do manage to code your own form, subscribing still doesn’t happen on your own website. What happens is, MailChimp will take your users to their external platform where the ugly MailChimp form is shown, diminishing the user experience. Eventually, your subscribers need to click on “return to site” if they still want to see your site.
– You need to show your offline address in the newsletter according to the international anti-spam regulations. The reason behind such move from MailChimp is valid, but whatMailChimp fails to acknowledge is a lot of their users have small online businesses or even just simple blogs, so sharing their home address is not really an option.
-MailChimp makes it clear you need to pay to remove their logo from your campaign. And it’s not pocket money for beginners. I had to pay the starting fee of $10 to e.g. unlock the automisation feature (that means e.g. sending a confirmation email once someone has subscribed). Seems pretty expensive for a feature you would assume should be for free right?
– Even with automated emails, the templates are not entirely customisable. For example, your (office) address is still in there. And one more point, my newsletter gets straight to “Promotions” tab on Gmail, even if they’re double opt-ins.
Here’s a great MailChimp alternative I discovered not so long ago:
SendinBlue – this is a system I can genuinely recommend to everybody. From small to medium businesses to simple blogging, SendinBlue should help you send great newsletters.
Go to www.sendinblue.com and create a free account and start setting it up: verify your domain, set up signup forms, import lists and create new campaigns.
If you have a WordPress site, install their plugin at https://resources.sendinblue.com/en/plugin-wordpress/ and connect your account with a generated API key. Once installed, a new SendinBlue option appears on the left sidebar of your admin.
Here are some features you might find useful for your business:
– Building a basic signup form and customising it easy also with HTML. The end result is wrapped in a short code that you can easily embed on pages, posts footers, sidebars and more.
– Signup form comes also in a widget for the WordPress users.
– Automating signup process is free – you can either choose between sending a welcome or a confirmation email once someone has subscribed to our list.
– Sending out newsletters (up to 9000 emails) is free. More details on pricing here.
What do you do to grow your email list?
Are your email newsletters educating and entertaining? Do you use any other system that you could recommend? Let me know what your think about Mailchimp or SendinBlue here in the comments below!