How I was forced to think outside the box with my newsletter.
Over the last couple of months, I have been working hard on my email list. Everything was going well, three weeks in, my account was suspended by MailChimp.
The reason was suspicious activity. Anyone who has subscribed knows that I send standard author newsletters. I emailed them back and asked for clarification. After three weeks I gave up expecting a reply.
As MailChimp had been recommended to me, I was devastated. The fact that MailChimp treats its customers like this, is another matter. I understand that accounts need to be checked. Not replying, is a great example of a company getting too popular, to care about the people who put them at the top.
At the time I was tempted to give up on my newsletter, but why should I let one company ruin my writing career. So I looked for alternatives. I decided to go it alone.
How to have a newsletter your way.
First I was lucky enough to have collected the addresses through a third party. I use Upscribe and I can’t recommend them enough. However, if you want to truly go it alone you could use a Gmail form to collect your addresses.
My next step was to copy and paste these email addresses into your standard email provider. Once this was completed, I started an email group called Newsletter and put all the contacts into it.
I use the internet browser outlook website. Others work as well. Every week I open a new email. Import my header image, write my email. I can include hyperlinks to posts, the same as MailChimp.
I then click the To box and click on Bcc. This means that your subscribers will be unable to see other email addresses. In the Bcc section, I type in Newsletter. This imports all my email addresses saved in that group.
Finally, I hit send and sit back. One hour from start to finish.
The main disadvantage is there are no stats for who opens your email and who doesn’t. An easy solution I have found to this is to ask a question of your followers. You will not know who exactly opens your email, but you will start to build a relationship with your subscribers.
To set up a series of emails for new subscribers is more difficult. It is possible but takes a little more time.
I am doing things my way. I have complete control and I am not reliant on any other company or website.
I have my email subscribers saved in more than one place. Subscribers are also given direct contact with me.
Whether this system will carry on being successful when my subscribers increase, time will tell. I am, at present, sending a professional newsletter with a minimum of trouble. As the song says I did it my way.
Did I also forget to mention it cost me nothing, it’s completely FREE?
Thank you, MailChimp for making me think outside the box.