Once you’ve built an address book of contacts who have an interest in your business, an email newsletter is a perfect way to keep those contacts engaged. There are many services that you can pay to create and send email blasts to your contacts, but a favorite of ours is MailChimp, a service that is free up to 2, 000 contacts and 12, 000 emails a month. (If you need more contacts or monthly emails, MailChimp’s pricing is reasonable and has both monthly and pay-as-you-go options that will fit any budget).
MailChimp has a suite of tools that allow you to create custom email newsletters without needing to know anything about coding or design software–think of it as a WordPress or Blogspot for e-mail newsletters. It can be an easy process even for someone who isn’t familiar with Web development. MailChimp can pull a logo and company colors right from your Web site and add them to your newsletter template automatically.
You can also choose from a variety of templates already on the site, or link your MailChimp account to your Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, iTunes or Etsy page. MailChimp can add social widgets to your emails too, so that you’re reminding your contacts to follow you each time they receive an email. The coolest feature of MailChimp, and the one that powers blog-fed automatic newsletters, is being able to link the RSS feed of your blog content. This RSS feed capability allows you to decide if you’d like to email your readers daily, weekly or monthly.