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30: What is the best email marketing software for authors?
Episode 3027th April 2022 • Writing Pursuits • Kathrese McKee
00:00:00 00:17:51

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What do you do when your email service provider changes their product, changes their pricing, and doesn't let you migrate your data to the new platform?

This is what happened to me and thousands of other clients lately when MailerLite rolled out their newer, better, shinier MailerLite and assured their existing clients that the "classic" version would continue to function for some time to come at the existing pricing structure. But all new clients would only be able to sign up for the new MailerLite. This is what I did.

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Transcripts

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What do you do when your email marketing software

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provider changes their product changes their pricing and

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doesn't let you migrate your data to the new platform. This

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is what happened to me and 1000s of other clients. When

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MailerLite rolled out their newer, better shinier MailerLite

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and assured their existing clients that the classic version

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would continue to function. But all new clients would only be

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able to sign up for the new MailerLite , what is the best

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email marketing software for authors? I decided to find out.

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Welcome to the writing pursuits podcast where authors like you

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discuss writing craft, author, life and book marketing

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strategies. I'm your host Kathrese. McKee. I own writing

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pursuits and write and produce the weekly newsletter writing

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pursuits tips for authors. In addition, I am a speculative

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fiction author, writing procedures for authors who drink

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too much coffee, endure judgemental looks from their

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furry writing companions and struggle for words. If you are a

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writer seeking encouragement, information and inspiration,

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this podcast is for you. Let's get to it.

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What is the best email marketing software for authors? I decided

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to find out. Let me preface my remarks by saying my approach is

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not scientific at all. I tried to be logical, but let's face

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it, my emotions were running pretty high. So maybe I wasn't

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as logical as I wanted to be. This is what I did. The dilemma

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stay with MailerLite , classic, go to the new version, or leave.

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Last week I found an email from MailerLite in my inbox, an old

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email I had overlooked, dated March 1 2022. And here are two

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quotes from the email. Current MailerLite users will have the

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option to continue using MailerLite , classic, and

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transition to the new app when they're ready. Starting March

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22. All new account signups will have access to the new

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MailerLite , the new MailerLite will launch with a fresh design

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layout, faster UI flow, several new features and tiered pricing

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plans that address different customer needs. There are so

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many noteworthy updates that we want to share with you to make

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your life easier. We wrote a pre launch blog post with all the

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information you'll need. The email included a link to a long

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post entitled first look, the new version of MailerLite is

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preparing to launch. I will include the article in the show

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notes. I was asleep at the switch or you know paying

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attention to other stuff in my life when this all began. So I

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missed the initial reaction of longtime MailerLite customers.

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Let's just say the reception wasn't what MailerLite hoped to

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hear customer complaints. Loyal paying customers were hot under

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the collar. Not only were there no migration tools ready to go,

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but if a current customer wanted to use a new MailerLite , they

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could expect to pay more, sometimes much more than they

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were paying for the classic version. For the same features.

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There wasn't even a temporary discount or a plan to

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grandfather in existing customers. Only the unapologetic

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assurance that existing customers could stay on classic

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for the foreseeable future. But after March 22, all new clients

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would be on the new plan. The complaint screamed more

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strident. On March 22. The cutoff date, the day all hope

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was lost. When MailerLite published an FAQ on the new

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version, which is also in the show notes. I will summarize the

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comments that went along with that blog post. These are not

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direct quotes. They're just like summaries. I will be paying 2.5

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to three times more for the same features and the same number of

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subscribers. As a loyal paying customer, I thought I would

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continue to pay the same amount. Didn't you build the new version

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with the money you got from me? We supported you all these years

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and you think is this way, you've abandoned us to the

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legacy platform, you took away the chat support with some of

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the paid levels. That was one of your best features. I can't

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justify paying more, especially for fewer features. The new

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pricing structure sounds like MailChimp, don't be like

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MailChimp, and so on a new destination with no way to get

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there. The migration plan is what really got to me, and I'm

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quoting from the March 22 post at the moment. Your current

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campaigns and subscriber data are only accessible in

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MailerLite classic. We are currently working on migration

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tools, so you can transfer all of your data to the new

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MailerLite . We will announce the release of the main

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migration tools in the coming months.

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rolls out a new version without having migration tools in place.

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As a former systems engineer, I'm just raising an eyebrow like

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Spock. I did what any angry customer would do. I broke out

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my emergency torch and pitchfork. If MailerLite was

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going to treat me that way. Well, then I would take my

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subscribers somewhere else. What is the best email marketing

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software for authors? I was on a quest, which email marketing

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service did I choose? You need to stick around to find out the

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search for the best email marketing for authors. My

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evaluation criteria, were these the ratio of features surprising

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ease of use, my needs, and vendor reputation. Let's look at

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Vin features versus pricing. What features do most authors

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need to consider? Pricing is a major consideration, especially

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price per subscriber. As authors, we are always trying to

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grow our list, right. So one measure is price per head, so to

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speak. I'm not saying that authors are headhunters. But if

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the description fits, then I can go along with it. Besides price

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per head, it's easier for me to say than price per subscriber if

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you start out with a free plan. Remember, your goal is to grow

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past the free plan. So look at the pricing of the next couple

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of tiers. When you're considering which vendor you're

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going to go with. Let me say that again, if you start out

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with a free plan, which is great. Remember, your goal is to

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grow past the free plan. So make sure you look at the pricing of

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the next couple of tiers. Alright, authors want and need

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easy to build signup forms, and we need an easy to use editor

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for creating newsletters, otherwise, you're going to be

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resistant to doing the work. So look for that I have six books

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and counting and an editing business. So I need attractive

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landing pages. That's one of my criteria. A landing page acts as

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a sales page for your reader magnets, where you entice

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readers with a new story in exchange for their email

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address, or offer a book in exchange for actual money. Ask

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yourself what options your potential email marketing

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service provider offers. Here's a tip if your provider only

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offers one landing page say on their free plan. Consider using

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book funnel or books to read for this functionality. That's just

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a free tip. authors need basic automation to run their new

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subscribers through a welcome sequence of emails. Also, if you

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want to tag users by their interests, like say those who

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like Western romance and those who like Regency romance, you

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might need automation to help with that a basic automation

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sequence can send a reader magnet download, followed by a

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personal message a day or two later, followed by a couple of

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informational emails just to see if your new prospect is going to

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stick around before you add them to your main list. Automation is

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a consideration. What features can most authors live without?

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As fiction authors, at least for those who are starting out, we

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don't need all the gadgets and gizmos. At this point, you

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probably aren't hosting webinars or building complex sales

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funnels, you probably don't need sophisticated customer

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relationship management software that's CRMs for short. Most of

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us don't need integration with a payment platform like Stripe. If

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you don't have an online store, then you don't need to know if

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someone abandon their shopping cart. Maybe your needs differ.

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So figure out your own needs and perform your own evaluation.

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nonfiction authors should give these extra features more

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thought because they might be essential to you vendor

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reputation, let's consider the vendors reputation which comes

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down to three factors deliverability customer support,

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and up to date, well designed applications. deliverability is

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the ratio of emails that make it past the spam filters and get

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delivered to the subscribers inbox. If you get a real bargain

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on your service, but the deliverability rate sucks, then

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is it really a bargain check email tool tester.com for their

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latest deliverability data, but keep in mind that delivery rates

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are subject to change. I will put a link to their latest test

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data in the resources below. It's a great website. The second

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factor is customer support. This generally differs based on the

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tier of service you pay for So watch for that. One reason

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people were displeased with MailerLite's new tiers of

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service is that the chat support isn't available anymore on the

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lower tiers. So you're stuck with 24/7 email support

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Hmm, not a great trade off. The third factor of vendor

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reputation is up to date. Well designed applications this is

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somewhat subjective, but the software needs to work as

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advertised at the very least, writing pursuits is run by

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Kathrese. McKee, who has been trusted by fiction authors since

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2014. To take their writing to a new level of excellence.

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Kathrese is a three story methods certified editor who

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specializes in story diagnostics, coaching, and line

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editing to help you prepare your story for the journey ahead. For

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more information, go to writing pursuits.com. The link is in the

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show notes. And now, back to the podcast. Which vendors did I

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consider and how did they rank these are the services I

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considered active campaign Get Response Aweber Constant Contact

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MailerLite MailChimp, ConvertKit Sendinblue, and

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moosend. There are many other companies out there, but these

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were the ones I chose to check out. Rather than do an in depth

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analysis. I'll give you one Pro and one con. For each company in

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reverse order of my personal preference. How subjective can

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you get?

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Number nine Aweber Aweber is old and kind of clunky, but it does

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a bit of everything. Its deliverability score is not so

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great these days. I would love to see a Weber improve and

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modernize in order to be more competitive. Number eight

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moosend That's m o o s e n d. Man I tried to like moosend but

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it isn't as easy to get started. As I say it is. As you know, I

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am a software guinea pig a certifiable nerd, but I was put

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off looks like their automation is really something but the

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documentation is lacking. Plus their plugins for WordPress

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seemed outdated. It just made me nervous to commit time, effort

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and financial resources to an application I wasn't 100% sold

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on, I did experiment with them. This isn't based on a casual

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look. Number seven Constant Contact. Constant Contact is a

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venerable choice with a good deliverability score. But it had

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more features than I need, then most authors need. So moving on.

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Number six MailChimp gonna step on some toes now but MailChimp

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came in as my number six. First of all, their free plan is not

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what it used to be, MailChimp gets expensive fast. Second, I

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use MailChimp for several years, and was happy to see them in my

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rearview mirror. I moved from MailChimp to ConvertKit because

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ConvertKit understands that one subscriber should count is one

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subscriber, no matter how many lists they are on. Seems

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logical, right? Also, I really hated creating forms in

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MailChimp, because their interface was lacking. Maybe

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MailChimp has improved, but I'm not going back to find out. Oh

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yeah, I was going to give one Pro and one con. Sorry, number

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five, send in blue, send in blue came in at number five. And

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that's probably not fair. They have a stellar deliverability

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rate and a good looking interface. However, they charge

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by the number of emails you send, and that's not compatible

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with my needs. Let's say you have 2500 subscribers, and you

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usually send one email to your subscribers every month. Well,

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great. SendinBlue is highly economical. But then you have a

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launch. And you need to send out multiple emails to your growing

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list for a few months in a row. Ouch. We all need and want

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predictable expenses. Number four ConvertKit. I used

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ConvertKit for a couple of years. And I mean, I really wore

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it out. But I didn't like the way their automations are

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tangled up with rules that need to be set. Maybe I was always

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tired, but somehow it took lots of testing to make things work

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the way I wanted them to work. So I'm giving them a low ease of

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use score for automations. And I don't like their brand colors

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which are very pervasive and I'm not fond of their plain text

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newsletter editor I left ConvertKit for MailerLite ,

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there seems to be a pattern here doesn't they're number three,

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get response. Good response was very tempting, but I was a bit

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worried about their deliverability score, and their

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pricing didn't quite stack up against MailerLite's. Number two

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MailerLite , you guessed it. My second choice is MailerLite,

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either version, their interface is easy to use. They have strong

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deliverability

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The and they are obviously committed to improvement, even

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if their approach to their latest release stinks. Number

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one active campaign. If I had the budget, I would go with

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Active Campaign for sure, because I have champagne tastes

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and that's no lie. They are the top of the heap on features and

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automation, but they know their worth. Until I'm rolling in

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dough. They are not an option. And honestly, they probably have

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more firepower than I actually need. The solution to my dilemma

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after all that which email marketing service provider did I

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choose? You can probably tell I decided to stick with mailer

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lite classic until they build a decent migration tool, or until

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I run out of patience. I may even use the new mailer lite

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free plan for a small test list. You know, because I can't help

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myself.

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Though I started my email marketing services survey in an

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angry frame of mind. I concluded MailerLite's, new price plan and

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feature tiers are comparable with their direct competitors

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plans, and better than most MailerLite is easy to use, with

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enough sophistication to keep me satisfied for a few more years,

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and their UI was really good. And it's getting better. I can

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live with that. The question of the week is: if you are a

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MailerLite customer, what do you plan to do? If you're not a

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MailerLite customer, which email marketing service do you

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use? That's all I have for today. Until next time, keep

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writing. Thank you for joining us today. If you enjoyed this

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episode, please leave a comment and follow the podcast. If

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you're new around here. I hope you will sign up for the weekly

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newsletter writing pursuits. Tips for authors that link and

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all the links mentioned in today's episode are in the show

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notes at writing pursuits.com. Please join us on Wednesdays for

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new episodes and keep writing my friends. Keep writing

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