Sending an email newsletter is a great way to spread word-of-mouth on your design business. There are many ways to do it for free, but there are also many services that offer email marketing tools and software, giving you control over design, contact management and statistics to test the effectiveness of your emails. Campaign Monitor is a great, user-friendly email marketing service with affordable pricing.
Email Newsletter Design
With Campaign Monitor, it’s easy to import your existing newsletter design. They call themselves “email marketing software just for designers,” and from my tests this is true. Simply upload an HTML file and a Zip file with your images and CSS, and Campaign Monitor takes care of the rest. It will even embed your CSS in the HTML file for you. If you need help getting started, they offer over 30 design templates to work from, and each has been tested in popular email clients. You can also set up templates for your clients, giving them access to update content while leaving the design alone. This process was also quite easy, requiring only a few tags to be added to an HTML template.
Campaign Monitor handles all the standard contact management features, including subscription forms, unsubscribe options, and “tell a friend.” Contacts can be added one-by-one or imported in bulk using a comma or tab delimited file… they provide help and examples for creating such files. Multiple contact lists can easily be set up, so you can send newsletters to different groups.
Sending Email Newsletters
Sending a new newsletter, or “campaign,” is a simple 4-step process. You enter basic information such as the title and “from” address, and then select if you want to use an existing template, import a new design or send as plain text. You then select a contact list or enter names manually, and finally test and send your newsletter. You can send it immediately or schedule it for a date and time, and receive a confirmation email when it is complete.
The Campaign Monitor statistics are straightforward and are provided instantly. You can see who opens your email, how many bounced and specifically what links each recipient clicked on. You can also see if anyone unsubscribed, marked your email as spam or didn’t open it at all. Being able to see who clicked your newsletter links, and when, is extremely helpful for determining the effectiveness of your marketing and for adjusting future mailings. You can also attach Google Analytics tags to your newsletter with a click of a box, and track activity on your website from newsletter recipients.