I use MailChimp for mailing out my various Newsletters. A company like MailChimp sends out the emails for my Newsletters. They are of great service because they get the emails delivered. If you sent out a mass email like that using your own email account, the majority of the emails you sent would end up in the Spam folder of the recipient, in other words, it would be worthless.
I have a number of different newsletters, on different topics, for different blogs. My main Newsletter, the “biggie” is my “MindanaoBob Newsletter” which primarily focuses on moving to or living in the Philippines. That particular mailing list runs about 1800 subscribers. My other Newsletters, about 5 others, range from just 5 subscribers up to 65 subscribers.
On MailChimp, I have the “Forever Free” account. As the name implies, it is free, no charge. However, there are limitations. For a Forever Free account on MailChimp allows you up to a total of 2,000 subscribers. Also, for each month you can send out a total of 12,000 emails. So, for example, if you have 2,000 subscribers, and sent out emails to your entire subscriber list, you could send out 6 emails per month, and no more, unless you step up to a paid account.
At this time, I am fine using the free account, but in time I may start paying if the need arises. The reason why I have never bothered with a paid account is that I have not been good about sending out Newsletters. Yesterday, I decided that I needed to send one out, so I went to MailChimp and looked at my account. The last time I sent out a Newsletter was around 6 months ago, or so. Boom… I immediately found out that I suddenly had more than 2,000 subscribers! Just a little bit over. So, if I wanted to send out an email, I needed to upgrade my account.
What did I do?
The first thing I did was go to my mailing list subscribers and pruned it down. I deleted people. How did I know who to delete? Well, I didn’t need to delete very many to get under the limit, so I started looking for duplication. I found a number of people who had subscribed under multiple email addresses. I deleted any email addresses above one for those people. Next, I found some spammer types who had subscribed (under known spam domains from Russia and such). Frankly, it was pretty easy to get below 2,000 subscribers.
Why not just go for a paid account?
Well, I might go for a paid account, but this was not the time. Why? Because I had not sent out a newsletter for so long! I will explain that shortly.
You see, if you sent out a mass email like this, some of the emails will bounce because people closed that email account. Also, some people are no longer interested in getting those emails from you, so when they get your Newsletter they will unsubscribe. So, once I pruned my list and sent out an email, boom… like 65 emails bounced, so that reduced my list by 65 more emails. Next, so far, 9 people unsubscribed from the list. They just were no longer interested. If somebody is not interested any longer, I want them to unsubscribe. If they are not interested, they really are not a good prospect for sales or even reading of what I write to them, so unsubscribing is fine. Not only does it stop from bothering the person, but it also gives me more room on my list for subscribers who want those emails!
Another thing…. if you send out an email and the person thinks that it is Spam, they will report it. If you get too many Spam reports, then companies like MailChimp will then ban you from using their company for sending out bulk emails. So, if you don’t send out a Newsletter for a LONG time, many people will forget that they signed up for your Newsletter, and they think that it is Spam. It is not Spam, because they signed up, and said that they wanted it. Spam is unsolicited email, and they certainly did ask to get this.
So, sending out emails on a regular basis is a way to keep your list fresh, and people know and remember that they are the ones who signed up to receive the emails. Sending out the mail regularly keeps your list fresh. That is why I wanted to prune down my list, both through manual pruning and natural attrition, before paying to keep the extra subscribers.
Now, I have things set up where I will be sending out weekly emails to my subscribers. By doing that, I can then keep my list fresh at all times. If I now get too many subscribers, I will feel fine about paying for the service!
What about you?
Do you use a mass email provider like MailChimp? Who do you use? How often do you send out email? Leave a comment to let me know about your experiences!
I have tried quite a few different ways to do email newsletters over the years. I switched to Mailchimp a while back and I really like it. I also don’t have enough subscribers to switch to the paid service.
Hi Kevin – Since I am right on the edge, I will have to decide soon! I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve. Since mailing lists are quite successful at generating income, paying $30 per month should be worth it, provided that I send out newsletters as often as I should! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Stephen M Gray
Great article Bob… will be following as you proceed with using MailChimp. Out of curiosity, do you use an auto-responder on any or all of your sites? And if so, how does use of the auto-responder associate with MailChimp? Perhaps not at all. 🙂
Hi Stephen – Right now, I do not use any auto-responder. It is something that I have wanted to use, and I have studied over the years. With MailChimp you must have a premium account to use an auto-responder, so that is another reason to move in that direction!
Nice to know Bob
As you know, I also use MailChimp. Beyond just having a place available on your website, do you do other things to build up your email list(s)?
Hi Tom, thanks for stopping by. You always support this blog with your comments, and I greatly appreciate that, as it is one of my small sites. I know we have a mutual interest on this topic, though, and I enjoy hearing your thoughts.
for the mailing list, I don’t promote it in any way other than just having a sign up form on my various websites. 🙂
So it’s all about the traffic. That’s a good number to get such interest. Good for you!
I used a format for my newsletter back in the day when I wrote my own code in HTML, it was inside my hosting account. It was called mailman I think? I know it is not a great format today, but I had 6900 subscribers, think I should clean it up some are over 12 years old. Problem is I have to send the email from another email address and it gets forwarded to the subscribers, don’t know if emails get caught in the spam box. Even though it does get back to my address. And sometime people ask to be unsubscribed by responding to my email address or the newsletter’s email address, instead of clicking unsubscribe on the email. And that gets caught in my spam LOL.
Since I have gone to word press I use jet pack. I like the stats it tells me for my web page. But only have 5 subscribers right now, and one is me.
Hi James – nice to hear from you. Oh yeah, that was the old days with that type of mailing list… I have done the same! But, these days, 90%+ of those emails won’t end up anywhere but SPAM, which is useless! 🙂
always good reading bob.
Thanks, Anthony! I appreciate your kind words!