We all know we have to create amazing emails and fabulously curated newsletter lists.
But did you know you could summon demons with them?
I've test-driven every newsletter manager I could and here's how it went for me on the ones worth mentioning. There's one on the list where I'm almost a hundred percent certain I summoned something non-email related.
You’ve heard me harp and harp and harp about not letting your frustration tolerance get the best of you. There are reasons for that. You can’t learn to work smarter if you refuse to learn.
That’s kinda where I was with Mailerlite. I had three marketing clients. I was managing their newsletters and content. Our newsletters weren’t getting through. People weren’t opening them. Launches flopped—like all of our launches flopped. It was a fail all around.
All authors across the board were having issues with Mailerlite at that point. We all liked it because the interface was great, and it was set up for VA's to come in and manage the newsletters. But we needed to sell books and in order to that, we had to get into people's inboxes. I had to leave and try something else out.
Easy to use
Easy to build automation sequences
Enjoy the segmentation of the subscribers
Price was good
Emails weren't getting to readers' inboxes
So, I put out the S.O.S. on Facebook, asking for people to tell me what they were using. Everyone said Mailchimp. However, when I looked at the price tag, my budget had a heart attack, and when I broached this with my three clients, one of them dropped me for mentioning it.
So, I decided to try Sendy. The authors who recommended it said it was great and they would never go back to anything else.
I checked out the prices, and my budget did backflips! It was super excited.
However, I wasn’t finding the program anywhere. All I kept getting were posts on how to install it. "It’s great," but you’ve gotta sacrifice your firstborn under a wolf moon to the god of emails on a rainy night in order to figure it out.
Well, my budget told me to find my Big Girl Panties and get it worked out. This was my grand solution.
So, I tried. I bought the software. I tried walking myself through it. I threw my stubborn will at it. I yelled. I pounded. I scared the cat. I had to get help from their help desk and from a fellow author's helper's helper who knew how to do this.
Dude, I have no frelling idea what demon we were summoning! I kid you not. We were not doing emails. That much I do know. Not once did I ever make it to a screen that looked like an email sending platform. To this day, I have no idea if Sendy works. It’s a part of the Amazon engine, so I’m sure it does. But it’s so proprietary and you have to speak eight dead languages and know how to dance a jig while playing the pipes.
No. Sendy is over my frustration tolerance level.
It made me stupid trying to figure it out
So, I went back to Mailchimp. It’s where I started ten or so years ago so I already knew it. I only left because of the price.
Mailchimp is easy to use. The narrative is funny. I think they did that because of the frustration tolerance issue. They knew that if their end-user got frustrated, they’d leave. The thing I didn’t like besides the price was that the automation portion was clunky. I couldn’t see what I was trying to do. Mailerlite spoiled me there. Because I couldn’t see the automation sequence, it didn’t get designed well, and the whole thing fell apart. It never gained “evergreen.”
Easy to use
Open rates were good
Clunky automation system
Charge you for unsubscribeds and for subscribers on multiple lists
The next one on my list was Aweber. It looks great. The templates are gorgeous like Mailchimp’s. They look like newsletters.
The automation sequencing was clunky, a lot like Mailchimp. They’re very similar in a lot of ways. Except that AWeber doesn’t look cool when you get to the site. It’s hard to find things. When you’re at the end of the day and you have two brain cells left to rub together to put together eight emails, AWeber is just too much.
It’s not laid out well. The automation sequence is hard to create and hard to follow. And it’s hard to find what you need. Let’s face it. We work really hard. And our “marketing” time is the few scraps of “free” time we have while we’re cooking dinner or after we’ve put the kids to bed or after the cat woke you up to barf sounds at midnight. So, things have to be easy to find. They have to be easy to manage. They have to be easy to organize.
Because even the “logical” authors are walking chaos.
So, if the program we’re dealing with doesn’t curb that chaos, then it’s not worth the time. It’s about the same price as Mailchimp, and if I had to choose between the two, I was going to go with Mailchimp.
Clunky automation system
Hard to find what I was looking for
I’d been ignoring ConvertKit because it doesn’t come with pretty templates. It’s a plain email newsletter system. But I was at my wit’s end. I needed a solution. My emails were failing. It didn’t matter what classes I took or what books I read—actually read, not just stared at the page, hoping to glean the information by osmosis—I couldn’t get my newsletters to perform. So, I decided to invest more than eight seconds into ConvertKit.
It’s easy to understand.
The automation sequencing is freaking amazing!
The price is reasonable.
The send-through and open rates are the best I’ve ever had.
People are finally getting my emails and they’re reading them! Two of them even emailed me and thanked me for sending normal emails without the pretty templates. They said it was too confusing before.
So, I’m now setting everything up through ConverKit. It’s great. I love it! And! I have managed to build an evergreen email sequence that didn’t take forever to build! The best news is that you can start for free while you’re playing around and getting a feel for things.
The sequencing is the best! And the open rates? I’m at 78.6% open on a list that has been neglected!
Easy to use
Easy to set up
The automation system is the best!
High open rates
It’s plain text
Conclusion I am moving over to ConvertKit officially. It’s working out really well and I’m very glad of the change.