The Productive Solopreneur — On Newsletter

Newsletter tools and services for small teams, to help you collect emails, design beautiful emails and manage email campaigns

Pascal Maniraho
Published in
3 min readSep 7, 2016


Curtesy of, Photo by Gilles Lambert

Be brick and mortar or online business, email newsletter plays a pivotal role to recruit, engage and retain customers .

You will notice the difference newsletter make when starting out, launching a new product, or communicating an emergency message to your customers.

This blog is a part of “The Productive Solopreneur”, a series of articles about tools that help Solopreneurs to stay sane and productive. If you are more into technical stuff, read “AppEconomy” series instead.

There are thousands of mailing list service. That is also a problem! To pick the best turns out to be a challenge. From this context the “best” is subjective, whereas your choice should solely depend on your business needs, including accessibility in terms of money and technology your company uses. transforms your clutter into cash cow, by renting out stuff you don’t use quite often, to your neighbours who prefer borrowing over buying stuff, because sometimes all you need is a hole in a wall and not a drill. “save money, meet new friends, consume less”.

If you use Google apps for your business, you can “Create email distribution lists just using Google Apps”. Depending on use case, that may just not be enough! That is where the following tools come in handy.

For a bit of context, answering Julien Brault’s question on Facebook(French), two suggestions came in mind.

  • TinyLetter — First suggestion was TinyLetter, because of its minimalistic design, run by MailChimp guys and offer up to 5000 subscribers for free. Although most people suggest (and use) MailChimp, its newsletters require optimizations and “spamminess” tests. Which is not fun all the time. Specialists like my friend Arne from “The Millenial Entrpreneur” podcast comes in handy in this area.
  • Rabbut — Second suggestion was Rabbut(now discontinued). People sharing content only via platforms such as LinkedIn’s Pulse or Medium will find this tool useful. From a question I asked on Freelancer Hero Facebook Group, George suggested MailerLite which may interest folks wanting high quality newsletter designs.
  • MailgunHoogy uses transactional emails. Mailgun played nice both with integration and pocket(10k free transactions a month). A newsletter is on our list, but not ready to rollout yet.

The other way to solve this problem, is to break down into smaller chunks of sub-problems.

  • Collecting E-mails — Collecting emails may not be obvious for most of use-cases, since most newsletter applications provide widgets to collect emails as well. The problem is when you have limited control to the platform your content is hosted on, and cannot include subscribe widgets. That is where Rabbut(dead) and come in — these two solutions make it possible to add subscribe widgets in platforms you otherwise wouldn’t (non-scriptable platforms) — such as Medium or Pulse.
  • Sending Transactional E-mails — From infrastructure perspective, the case when more control is needed for deep integration into your system is not available from most newsletter applications. That is when transactional emails services step in. The services like MailGun, SendGrid or Mandrill provide cost-effective critical infrastructure to send emails.
  • Managing Campaigns — For marketing application purposes, the services listed in above may not be well suited to do more complex mass communication tasks such as segmentation, open-rate analytics, or managing subscription channels. That is when marketing-focused solutions such as MailChimp, MailMunch and CakeMail step in.
  • Niche — For application that goes beyond sending emails, gathering key metrics from analytics, above solutions may not well suited for the job! Since such problems are more specific to one use case — niche solutions may be well positioned to solve your problem. Email courses, membership management, reservations, paying content delivered via email, product based — are just a few of niche challenges. Customer serves product customers vertical, SubStack serves paid newsletters vertical, ConvertKit and Get Revue for creatives vertical.

Thanks for reading! This is one of many curated tools to help you if you are a Solopreneur. You can support this project with a recommendation(clapping), or tweet this story(@hoopeez —will follow back guaranteed), giving us a feedback for our website, or by liking our Facebook Page.



Pascal Maniraho
Editor for

Web lover, code crafter, beer drinker, created, Montrealer, and training to run a half-marathon :-)