Many Facebook page owners are discovering the importance of building communication with customers and supporters on channels you control, namely Websites and Email Campaigns. (I’ll say a few more words about this toward the end of the post.) If you are new to managing email lists and sending campaigns here are a few platforms to help you get started.
MailChimp has all the bells and whistles and may seem a bit complicated at first but MailChimp’s documentation is very well done. Basically you’ll create a List, (e.g. Subscribers”) and publish a sign-up form for people to subscribe. Over time you might delve into creating sharp templates but to get started I highly recommend using their “Email Beamer” to send an update to your list directly from your email client. In other words you can send an email to all of your subscribers just as easy as you send an email to a friend. Here’s how:
- Send an email to your list’s unique email address (this is automatically created when you create the list)
- Mailchimp will reply with a confirmation that a draft has been created.
- Reply to the confirmation with the word “Send” and voila it will deliver.
I love Mailchimp and highly recommend them. If you have fewer than 2000 subscribers you can send up to 12,000 emails per month completely FREE. If you sign up for their service I’d appreciate you using my affiliate link to sign-up.
TinyLetter, which is now part of the MailChimp family, is the no fuss method of sending email newsletters. It’s very simple to use and free to setup. I haven’t used it extensively so I don’t know the limitations of the product but knowing its pedigree I think you’ll be very pleased with this stripped-down email campaign tool.
Letter.ly is similar to TinyLetter but focused on newsletters that charge a subscription fee. It’s fairly widely used and beyond simple to setup so if you want to charge a few dollars for access to the newsletter this is the fastest way to get up and running.
A word on Facebook Page Posts and visibility
If you manage a Facebook Page you are no doubt aware that your posts are no longer reaching as wide of an audience. Through edge rank algorithms and the introduction of promoted posts you probably feel like you’ve encountered a bait-and-switch. Here is the hones truth… Facebook doesn’t charge you for pages and they don’t owe you anything. Social networks can be an invaluable tool but realize that you are always at their mercy.
It is essential that you tie your community and communication to channels that you can control, (i.e. your website, your email database).
For further discussion on the subject I recommend reading these touchstone posts by @copyblogger:
- Is It Time for Content Marketers to Abandon Facebook?
- The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Online Marketing Efforts
There are many sites email campaign manager tools available (e.g. ConstantContact, Aweber) but Mailchimp is what I prefer, use and recommend. If you know of other email tools that focus on simple and easy email newsletters I’d love to hear about them. If you need help with Mailchimp feel free to contact me. I help a number of clients in the setup and management of Mailchimp and I’d be glad to help you as well.