Newsletters are much more popular these days then ever before. In the past, when I wrote my book “How to Publish a Newsletter” you were forced to print them and mail them out. That meant for many businesses the costs were prohibitive. Nowadays, though, you can produce a newsletter and distribute it at very low costs – indeed for small distribution lists it can even be free.
But which system should you use to send out your newsletters? There are dozens of options and the choices can be confusing.
When human beings are faced with too much choice it leads to indecision. The result of the widespread availability of electronic newsletter systems means that many businesses have the idea that they want to produce a newsletter but end up frozen in making a decision over which system to use. That leads to no newsletter being produced by those businesses and the marketing benefits such activity are being held back. Businesses want to produce newsletters – partly because they see their competitors and suppliers doing so – but end up like rabbits in the headlights of the plethora of systems available.
Do you choose Aweber or GetResponse or Constant Contact or iContact? Should you use Campaign Monitor or MailChimp? Or what about Benchmark or MailerLite? Then there is software such as SendBlaster or plugins for your content management system like AcyMailing for Joomla or Newsletter for WordPress. The list goes on and on.
The answer to this question is easy: it does NOT matter…!
You can spend many happy hours if you like, comparing and contrasting the features available. In doing so you will discover that they all do pretty much the same. They enable you to collect or add email addresses to mailing lists and then send out newsletters to the people on those lists. The systems allow you to edit templates and control the date and time of your distribution. In essence they all do what you need – produce a newsletter in the style you want and send it out to the people you want when you want.
And if you are comparing prices, well they are all pretty much the same. They tend to offer free distribution to a small number of people – usually less than 500 – and then beyond that they start charging. The differences are a dollar here and a dollar there. The most significant exception to this is Sendy, which uses Amazon Web Services to distribute your newsletter meaning it works out at a fraction of the cost of the traditional email newsletter sector.
But there are so many comparison tables on all the various websites you can spend many hours looking at all the information and then finding you haven’t a clue as to which is better for you. So, you end up moving to do some other work deciding to “come back” to thinking about the newsletter when you have “more time”. And then people go through the same comparison rigmarole all over again.
Here’s the solution. Take a quick look at the systems – many offer trial accounts. “Plump” for one that you like the look of and which you “feel” is “up your street”. Play about with a couple for day or two to get the feel of them and then decide the one you LIKE THE BEST.
It doesn’t matter if it is missing a particular bell or whistle on the comparison charts or if it is a dollar a month more than its rivals. What matters is the fact that you like it.
If you like it, the chances are you will use it. If you make all the detailed comparisons and end up with a system you do not enjoy, then you won’t use it as much and so you may as well not have gone through the hours of hard work trying to find the “best” system.
Ultimately the “best” system is the one you USE. That means you have to like it, enjoy using it and find it easy and attractive. Check out a couple that you think you will like, find the one that is most attractive to you and then stick with that, ignoring the rest.
The most important thing is that you do send out newsletters. Indecision over which is the best system is only preventing you from marketing your business.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+