The Foolproof Guide to Choosing The Perfect Email List Platform

Continuing on with this month’s focus on email lists, today I’m sharing a guest post written by the lovely Kory Woodard. I asked Kory to share her top tips to help you ladies choose your email list platform, and boy did she deliver!

 
Read on to learn:
 
• What factors to consider when choosing your email list platform
• A major mistakes people make when choosing
• Pros and cons of three popular platforms for bloggers
• Plus snag some EPIC worksheets to help you choose a platform and grow your list!
 
 

How to Choose Your Email List Platform

Email lists seem to be the thing that everyone is talking about right now, but there’s so much that goes into even getting your email list up and running that it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed. Let’s banish a little of that overwhelm today, and get you started with your email list, yeah?
 

The first place you have to start when you’re thinking about an email list is choosing which platform you want your list to live on. There are several great options out there right now with a variety of features, and it’s all too easy to want the biggest and best software, or what everyone else uses. This is a big mistake people make!
 

You want to make sure you’re picking the right platform for you and your goals. Before we start talking about the pros and cons of any one platform, let’s talk about what you should be considering first…

 
Struggling to choose your email list platform? This foolproof guide has everything you need! Includes pros and cons of three popular platforms. via Blog Beautifully

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. This means I earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. For my full disclaimer, click here.*

 

WHY YOU’RE STARTING YOUR LIST

It’s important to consider why you’re starting your list in the first place, because it gives you an idea of what sort of things you need to be able to do with your email marketing platform. Knowing your ‘why’ will tell you if you need a super robust platform or if you can get away with something pretty simple that doesn’t necessarily include a lot of features.

 
For example, I started my list because I wanted to build a stronger community with my audience, so when I was getting started I decided on the free version of MailChimp.

 
Here are a few examples of what your ‘why’ might be:
 
• To generate sales on your products or services
• To build a stronger community beyond your blog
• To generate interest in a paid product or course

 

THE COST + HOW YOU’LL BE BILLED

There’s a huge range of pricing when it comes to the different email list platforms, but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re charging you for the number of subscribers you have. Some start at lower price points, some jump around based on how your list grows, and some are even free!

 
The first thing you have to ask yourself is: “Can I afford this?” As I mentioned before, just because someone else that you look up to is using a certain platform, that doesn’t mean YOU can afford it or that you even should be using that platform.

 
If you can’t afford that email list provider, that’s okay! In that case, there are two things you can do:
 
1. Start with a cheaper option.
2. See where you can make room in your budget.

 

WHAT INTEGRATIONS DOES THE PLATFORM OFFER?

So many of us are working on some really cool stuff right now, whether it’s automating parts of our business, creating free or paid content for our audience, or something else – there’s a lot going on!

 
For this reason, we need our email marketing platform to integrate with other tools we’re using to run our business. And that means integrations are another thing you have to keep in mind when you’re picking your email list platform!

 
For example, a ton of people are creating free courses on Teachable. Say you jump on board and get all of your content created, sign up for the platform, it’s all ready to go, except: Teachable doesn’t yet integrate with your chosen email list provider.

 
Now you have to go all the way back to square one and either find another place to host your content, somewhere else for your email list, or manually add people to your list as they sign up for your free course. Yikes!

 
So now that you know what to consider first, let’s compare some of the more popular email list platforms you can choose from.
 

1. MAILCHIMP

The pros of MailChimp make it a clear choice for those who are just getting started with their list. In fact, I started on MailChimp and stayed with them for a while before moving on to a bigger platform. Krista has a great post on starting your list with MailChimp, if you decide to use them!
 

MAILCHIMP PROS

• Free option up until 2,000 subscribers
• Super easy to use – no tech training (drag and drop email builder)
• Easy to make your email template match your brand

 
Just like with anything else, though, there are cons, and these might keep you from wanting to pick MailChimp for your platform.

MAILCHIMP CONS

• Automation feature is only available to paid customers
• Pay per subscriber, which means you pay more if 1 person is on multiple lists
• Need another platform (like LeadPages) to offer content upgrades easily
• Not so easy to organize your subscribers based on their interests

 

2. CONVERTKIT

There are a ton of people, even really big brands, using ConvertKit, which makes it sounds amazing. I’m not going to lie, these pros are really nice…
 

CONVERTKIT PROS

• Easily create simple landing pages
• Embedded opt-in forms are mobile responsive with no additional coding
• Super easy to organize your subscribers based on their interests
• No extra platform (like LeadPages) required to offer multiple content upgrades
• Not paying double for the same subscriber being on multiple lists
 

However, the cons for ConvertKit might steer you away:

CONVERTKIT CONS

• No free option
• Pop-up forms aren’t mobile responsive
• Quite a few integrations are missing (like Squarespace)
• To brand your emails, you need to know basic CSS

 

3. MAILER LITE

I don’t know a ton about Mailer Lite, but I do have a few friends who use the platform and absolutely love it. With these pros, it’s no surprise:
 

MAILER LITE PROS

• Free up to 1,000 subscribers and cheaper plans
• Automation feature on the free plan
• Easily create simple landing pages
• Not paying double for the same subscriber being on multiple lists
 

There are cons, though:

MAILER LITE CONS

• Doesn’t integrate easily with Teachable
• No current easy way to organize subscribers based on interest (according to Mailer Lite, this feature is coming soon, though !)

 

SO, WHICH PLATFORM WILL YOU GO WITH?

There are many platforms out there, and it’s okay to test out a few before landing on the one you stay with for the long term. In fact, I’ve been on 3 different email marketing platforms over the course of the last year before finally finding one I can see myself staying with for the next few years (at least!)

 
If you need more help picking the right platform for you, be sure to grab the worksheets below! They’ll walk you through the things mentioned above that you should look for in a platform, as well as how to create a plan for your email list.
 

Download the free worksheets!
 

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* Photos from the Styled Stock Library.

 

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