You’ve heard it before. “Your small business needs to build an email list for marketing. Without an email list, you have no business.” But you’re working with a very small budget right now, so what are your options?
Here are three easy-to-use, no cost email newsletter services to use to build your small business email list. All work with a WordPress website, and two work with any website. All can use double opt-in, so that you comply with CAN-SPAM Act. And you do need to comply, so that your business newsletter is not marked as spam, and also so that more of your email newsletters reach your client’s inbox, rather than being delivered to their spam folders. You can read more about the “why” for using an email newsletter service, instead of your personal email. Also be sure to read the Terms of Service before you choose a newsletter service because the no-cost plan may not be available for your type of business.
- Jetpack Plugin Subscriptions
- Mad Mimi
- Mail Chimp
Jetpack Plugin Subscriptions
If you use the Jetpack for WordPress plugin, building an email list is as easy as activating the Jetpack Subscriptions module. Once you activate the module, you can add the Blog Subscriptions (Jetpack) widget to your sidebar. Visitors will then be able to sign up to receive every blog post in their email. You can view your list of subscribers from your WordPress Admin. Just click on Jetpack, and then on Site Stats. At the very bottom is Subscribers with Blog and Comment links below. Click on Blog, and you will see the complete list of email addresses. This is a great way to start your list, but you are limited to only sending your blog posts.
The newsletter sent has only one look.
Mad Mimi has a starter option in which you can send to an email list of up to 100 subscribers for free. When you sign up, you get started with the Compose button. Mad Mimi has a 2 minute video that gets you started quickly with your newsletter right in the compose window. Choose from their themes or create your own. It’s all easy to use — point and click and drag and drop.
- Click the Audience tab to upload your current email list.
- Click Social to add your social media connections to each email.
- Click Webform to add a link or embed the sign up form into your website. If you use WordPress, you can add the Mad Mimi Signup Form plugin to help add the sign up form.
- You can even add a sign up form to your Facebook business page by clicking on “Stuff You Can Add.”
- Free add-ons include: RSS to Email (to send your latest blog post or news), Google Analytics, Etsy integration, Survey Monkey surveys, Stats Sharing.
Mad Mimi works with any website.
MailChimp has always had the Forever Free/New Business plan for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month. They have a drag and drop newsletter editor which makes it easy to use. MailChimp has more options than other newsletter choices, but is still fairly straight-forward to use. You can:
- Create your account and verify your domain
- Create a new list
- Create a signup form and edit the response emails
- Create a regular campaign or an RSS campaign to send your blog posts automatically
You can design a sign up form and share it as a web page or embed the sign up code in your sidebar, as this site does. If you use WordPress you can also use plugins to add the form to your sidebar: MailChimp for WordPress plugin. Mail Chimp also has an RSS-to-email campaign to send your latest blog post to your subscribers.
MailChimp has lots of extras like Facebook Integration, Social Sharing, Subscriber Analytics.
So even though you’re running your small business on a budget, you can build your list and send email newsletters for free!