TLDR; Use MailChimp to start your author mailing list. Do it now.
This will sound like an ad. It’s not. There are no affiliate links. No sponsorships. No promotions. Just this simple advice to authors: Use MailChimp.
There are many good options – that’s the problem
You need a mailing list as a key part of your author platform. Your author newsletter, sent to that list, will be how you best reach and reward your most devoted fans, and will become your most valuable marketing asset over time. But for too many emerging authors, choosing the right tool to develop that mailing list and your author newsletter is a paralyzing process. Good options abound: Constant Contact, AWeber, MailerLite, iContact, Drip, ConvertKit – plenty more. That’s the problem. Too many choices.
And yet in all the conversations I have with authors – beginners and best-sellers alike – when we discuss newsletters and mailing lists (and we always do), almost all point to MailChimp as having the best combination of pricing, ease, and effectiveness. My personal experience helping many dozens of authors backs this up.
A detailed comparison (or not)
Here’s where you might expect to see a matrix showing all the alternatives with the pros and cons of each. How MailerLite is cheaper. How ConvertKit has more marketing tools. How Drip’s third-party integrations are more intuitive. All true.
And yet. Not worth your time to compare. Because, really, they’re all pretty fine. They all serve their niches well enough. But MailChimp happens to serve the author community better than the others.
This is largely because it’s free for up to 2000 users.
And once you have more subscribers than that you won’t mind paying a small fee to keep them engaged.
If you think you need a fancy chart with all the options (you don’t), I’m sure that some website with an agenda will guide you through all the choices. But that matrix will be out of date within months anyway. And in that same amount of time, MailChimp, like all the rest, will become a little better at simplifying its interface, getting through spam filters, and helping you heap love on the people who matter most to your writing career.
At Career Authors, our agenda is to give you between-the-eyes, practical advice so you can spend your time writing. In this case, pick MailChimp and get back to what you love.
The important decisions
You don’t need to spend more time choosing which email service provider you should use to build your author newsletter. The only question for your author newsletter ought to be “When?”
Agree? Disagree? Let’s chat on Facebook.