Finding Hidden Profit In Your Email Newsletter — Lesson Eleven
Best Tools & Resources
This is part ELEVEN of TWELVE lessons in the Finding Hidden Profit course on Skillshare. You will also find links to each of the 12 lessons in the video notes.
Please note: If you are NOT currently a Skillshare member, here is my link [I am an affiliate partner] for a free 30-day trial (more than enough to take the full FHP course and any of the other 15,000+ courses available) on Skillshare.com
If you are a carpenter, you need a box of tools to get the job done. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail and no offense, but I am not going to hire you to build my house.
Playing the newsletter game is no different. You are going to need different tools and resources to make each of the 3 essential pillars strong. So I have put together a list to get started.
This list is not comprehensive (I am sure there are other options out there) but is created from my own direct experience.
Also — none of these links are affiliate links. If you want to visit the Resources page on my website, I post my affiliate links there, so I will earn a small commission with each purchase and I try to connect my supporters with the best bonuses or bundles, when they are available.
Pillar A — Attract and Acquire Your List
- LeadPages.net — LeadPages let you create an unlimited amount of lead capture or sign-up website pages for your subscribers. They pages look great, and all the work is done so all you have to do is adjust the specifics to match your offer. LeadPages does have several designs for giveaways and contests, but does not track all the viral sharing like the other contest software below.
- Upviral — As explained before, UpViral is my preferred tool for running giveaway contests because it not only collects the entrants for each contest, but also tracks who is sharing and who gets credit for additional entries.
- KingSumo, Gleam, RaffleCopter, and Heyo — are all other contest platforms that I have used for different contests. They each have their own strengths and pricing structures.
- Get 10,000 Subscribers — this last resource is not software, but a training program that is fairly expensive but may be a great investment when you are ready to put your list building into overdrive. I have been sharing some of the ideas I learned here, with you in this course.
- ListGoal — We just covered this in the last lesson, but ListGoal is a free app you can use to set your goals, and monitor the growth of your audience.
Pillar B — Build The Know, Like, and Trust
The email service providers:
MailChimp — One of the best known and most popular of the email service providers (ESPs), MailChimp is a great place to start because you can add up to 2,000 subscribers for free.
Drip — The Drip email platform is my preferred ESP and provided by the same people who do LeadPages, so they really know the market. I shifted from MailChimp to Drip because I wanted the advantages of tagging my contacts, versus creating segmented lists, as explained in this blog post.
ConvertKit — If I wasn’t sold on Drip being the best fit for me, I would have gone with ConvertKit. The people who use this love how easy it is to set-up, and how powerful it can be.
TinyLetter — If you are just getting started, TinyLetter is a great option because it is free and it packs a bunch of thing you will need in one easy to use account. You will get a landing page for new subscribers, an archive of past newsletters, and even a way to manage replies. The ONE thing it doesn’t do, is make it easy to past a URL and automatically pull in the image, headline, and description. So many folks who start with TinyLetter tend to send text-focused newsletters. You can still send images, it is just a bit more configuration.
Aweber, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, ConstantContact, iContact, and MyEmma are just some of the other ESPs you could use. Again, they will all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Bryan Harris created this epic review which should help you compare and contrast.
The Curated Newsletter Software Providers
Publicate — People ask me how I create such awesome looking newsletters, and my secret weapon is Publicate. Other curation software has other advantages, but I love Publicate because I can adjust the design week to week and it always looks amazing.
GoodBits — Before using Publicate, I started with GoodBits. I love that it auto-creates a landing page for your subscribers to sign up, and an archive of past emails. You can send your emails from GoodBits (no need for an ESP) or you can connect your ESP to GoodBits.
Curated.co —This is a popular platform that powers a number of long standing newsletters in the tech sector. Curated was bought out by Lithium (enterprise-level email service provider) but continues to serve its smaller publishers as well.
NewsletterBreeze —NB is very focused on making it easy to curate content, in fact watch the video on their homepage because they tout being able to create a curated newsletter in less than five minutes. NB’s Founder Javier Sarda was very responsive when I was using them and had questions, but I eventually shifted to Publicate because I needed more flexibility in the design.
Revue —Revue is a great and low-cost option for sending curated emails. Their mission and content from the blog mirrors what we are trying to accomplish in this course — that everyone should have their own conversational newsletter. Their gallery of newsletters is also very interesting to see how others are using this platform.
Curation Tools To Gather Great Content
Feedly — Currently, this is my favorite tool of choice, because I am able to pull in all the different sources (websites, blogs, news sites, etc) into one feed, as well as add additional feeds based on keywords that matter to my audiences. This gives me one location to go and find content.
ContentGems —Much like Feedly, ContentGems lets you set your target keywords and sources. The paid version is a bit pricey and so far it has not produced the content stream that Feedly has for me, but it is worth trying the free account to see how it works for you.
BuzzSumo —Another paid tool, but you can do a quick search for a topic and find the ten most popular links being shared by other influencers. I only do this on occasion because I don’t want to show the same stuff that everyone else is talking about, but if your niche is small and obscure, your audience may not be seeing these same stories anyways.
One alternate method I have been using, to source the best content for my newsletter has been to integrate my Facebook page with Buffer. This approach does not help me find new stories to share, but it has been a great way to share what I think is interesting, and then review what is getting clicks of interest from others. In that way, it serves as a scoreboard for what SHOULD be included in each week’s newsletter.
Pillar C — Convert Those Eager Readers Into Monthly Income
Autoresponder Madness by Andre’ Chaperon — ARM is Andre’s signature course and has been a great influence on me about how to engage with readers in a way so that they are thanking you for sharing the links that make you money.
Clickbank — Search here for thousands of products that will earn you affiliate commissions. Only pick the ones that are a really good fit for your audience. You might even want to buy a sample or converse with the product owner before promoting, to really get a sense of the value.
How To Make Your First Dollar by Noah Kagan — There are tons of courses online that teach you this same process. But I find Noah to be very authentic (if a bit annoying at times) and he hits the bulls-eye when he says this course is about accountability and making the commitment. That is where his course beats others that just share the information and leave it up to you to take action.
Other Tools Of Interest
- Canva — one of the biggest questions I get is how to make a great looking newsletter when you are not a designer and you cannot afford to hire one. Canva is a free platform (there are paid options too) that gives you a bunch of great templates to work with. You just pick a design, and change the wording or styling to match your needs. This is what I use to create newsletter headers and other graphics to make my newsletters standout from the crowd.
Your homework for Lesson Eleven is to review the list above, and pick one new tool that best fits your need and budget. If you are just getting started, I suggest you look at TinyLetter.com first, as it is free and includes a lot in one package. It is a great tool for building the habit of sending your first newsletters.
This was part ELEVEN of TWELVE lessons in the Finding Hidden Profit course on Skillshare. You will also find links to each of the 12 lessons in the video notes.
Please note: If you are not currently a Skillshare member, here is my link [I am an affiliate partner] for a free 30-day trial (more than enough to take the full Finding Hidden Profit course and any of the other 15,000+ courses available) on Skillshare.com
And if you would like to see an example of my own, personal-branded newsletter called [Tobin Today] you can subscribe here (sent each Thursday morning):