A friend of mine named Red who runs a yummy dark chocolate company once asked for my help with a few newsletters. English isn’t her first language, so she wanted to make sure everything sounded okay. She sent me some copy she’d prepared and asked for my thoughts, and after a few sessions of back-and-forth she began sending out the newsletters, one a week leading up to the holidays.
Each time I received one, I was impressed by the presentation. Red had chosen an appealing font and beautiful images for each “issue,” which I loved. Also, in addition to links to buy her tasty chocolate bars from her website, she included snippets from blog posts (all related to chocolate) with links to the full content, another way to encourage recipients to visit the site.
When I reached the end of the first newsletter I received, I saw Red had used Mailchimp to create it. Mailchimp, which I also use (but clearly not as well as she does), is free if the audience is less than 2000 subscribers, with tiered pricing starting after that. That means for many authors without a huge mailing list, it’s not just a way to create beautiful newsletters, but a way to create beautiful newsletters for free. Beautiful and free are two very good adjectives, wouldn’t you agree?
Here are links to the newsletters Red made without spending a penny.
Constant Contact used to offer free newsletters as well for up to a certain number of subscribers, but now it charges for its basic package. So if you’re on a budget, I suggest giving Mailchimp a try. It’s easy to use and comes loaded with templates, so what do you have to lose?