Time to monkey around with email newsletters

by myetsy on June 19, 2013

Online people like to be connected. That’s why email newsletters are still the best tool for supplementing a website or online shop – according to Internet guru Jacob Neilsen. So starting an online newsletter is sort of a no-brainer for serious sellers. And the best place to begin is with Mail Chimp, the online service that provides an absolutely free account for up to 2000 subscribers. That’s a lot of subscribers! The “free” status also limits you to no more than 12000 emails per month. But hey, that’s 6 emails a month to your 2000 members, and you really don’t want to contact folks even that often.

You can eventually upgrade to a paid MailChimp account if you want for a monthly fee ($30 per month and up)…but the “forever free” option generally fits most artists and crafters promoting themselves online. The free account lacks a couple of the advanced delivery and tracking features that MailChimp offers, but the main reason folks upgrade is to get rid of the small “MailChimp’s badge” from their email footers. And to add more than 2000 subscribers. A lovely place to be, and well worth the monthly fee when you eventually get there.

You can integrate a MailChimp sign up form to your website and to many other online profiles – Etsy, Facebook, and so on. So let’s get started building your email newsletter…

Go to MailChimp and click “Sign Up For Free.” Enter your email, a distinctive user name, and a good solid password. MailChimp will send you an email link to activate your new account, authenticate and log in. Fill out your basic profile information, and advance to your MailChimp dashboard.

The first thing to do is create a list. The simple approach is to have one list to hold all of the people who subscribe to your e-news. Click “Create a list” and fill out the form, giving your list a title, a reply-to email, and so on. Writing a short “permission reminder” is particularly important – it reminds folks why they subscribed so they don’t forget and report your newsletter as spam.

The next step is to create a sign-up form and begin collecting real live subscribers.

Check out MailChimp’s Guide for Online Sellers to learn more about using email to promote yourself and your artwork.

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