Create beautiful HTML Email newsletters & weekly web roundups with Publicate

Originally published at siftery.com.

Publicate takes the hassle out of creating beautiful email newsletters and web roundups. The content library connects to all your favorite tools like Slack, Feedly and Pocket so you can curate quality content automatically all in one place. The editor then does the heavy lifting for you by automatically pulling in images, titles and descriptions for each piece of content. Now all you have to do is drag and drop to create a great looking newsletter.

Finally, everything you create can be exported as HTML and is fully mobile responsive so it looks beautiful everywhere. You can send newsletters through any email service provider (Even Outlook!), or embed them on any web page.

Kevin William David interviewed briscradley, Founder of Publicate to learn more.

Can you tell us about what you are working on ? What is Publicate?

Publicate enables marketers and comms teams to create powerful email newsletters, weekly web roundups, client newsletters, Industry roundups and more, from curated content.

Our customers see four core benefits;

Publicate’s content library connects to all the major content discovery platforms, like Feedly, Pocket, Slack, RSS and Cronycle so you can automatically build a library of valuable content, ready for you to use when you need it.

The drag and drop editor is the most powerful on the web, with easy customization features, so you can style things exactly how you want, without the need for a designer or developer. Just drag content from your library to a newsletter or web Publication with unlimited layouts, and add custom elements like dividers, styled titles, call to actions, social share/follow and designed headers and footers.

Everything you create in Publicate can be exported as fully mobile responsive HTML, so it works everywhere, or shared as a single web page.

Publicate also works well with teams. With team workspaces the whole team can add content, connect their content sources and edit Publications, all within the same team workspace.

Why are you building this? What problem are you trying to solve?

Our goal at Publicate is to empower marketers to create better content marketing assets like email newsletters and weekly web roundups, and we believe curation is at the heart of this.

We all spend a lot of time finding awesome content everyday, and with Publicate you can now turn it all into powerful content marketing, without the hassle of cumbersome editors and formatting, giving you more time to just focus on finding the content your audiences will love.

We noticed early on that one of the biggest time wasters for marketers and comms teams was wrestling with restrictive editors, often resulting in businesses getting designers to design the email and then dev to create it, which was very expensive and time consuming, when actually marketers want to be able to manage the whole process. Now with Publicate they can.

How is Publicate different from what’s already exists in the market? What’s unique about what you are building & why do you think companies should use Publicate?

Publicates is unique in several ways. First is with the content library, enabling marketers to bring content curation directly into the creation workflow. There are other tools that bring curation into the workflow, but with these platforms content is always tied to a specific newsletter or roundup, so there is no flexibility to create multiple assets from the same content.

Which is where our second point of value comes in, content marketing is not just about one newsletter a week to one list of subscribers, it’s about blogging, newsletters, specific resources to specific segments of users, content hubs and a variety of other content assets. Where all other tools are restrictive to one of these types of content, Publicate flips this on its head and enables complete flexibility on what you create and who you share it with, all from within one platform.

Our other major differentiator is the simplicity and the power of the editor. Marketers can now create content assets that drive results and look and feel exactly as they need, in minutes, without having to involve the design and dev team.

Who uses Publicate? Can you tell us a bit about the different customer segments using Publicate? What types of roles do your customers have at their companies (Sales, Marketing, Devops, etc.)?

  • Large businesses like Pepsi, Meetup.com, General Assembly
  • Marketing agencies from small boutique agencies to some of the largest, like We Are Social
  • Startups like Geckoboard, Adludio and Onepulse
  • Ecommerce and content publishing websites
  • Freelance content marketers and bloggers

How are your customers using Publicate? Could you share a few different use cases?

Customers use Publicate to;

  • Create email newsletters
  • Update clients with industry and topic roundups
  • Embed resource hubs on blogs and websites
  • Create swipe files
  • Create internal newsletters to share industry and company updates
  • Embed weekly web roundups on blogs

There are some more examples of what customers have created with Publicate, here.

Have there been unique use cases for Publicate that you hadn’t thought of or expected?

One of the biggest use cases that we hadn’t really planned for was internal comms teams using Publicate to send internal newsletters. We’ve even had some companies using Publicate to create onboarding resource roundups for new staff members and teams.

Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?

Up until now we have really focused on doing things that don’t scale and getting to product market fit, to make sure that the value that Publicate delivers is instantly accessible and obvious. One of the biggest things we did was using Linkedin search to find relevant second connections, and then hunter.io to get their email address, then I contacted them directly, asking for advice about the value of the product, what was missing, and doing tons of usability testing to get the early flow and features nailed.

It’s insight from this that led us to creating the no signup required functionality, that lets people get started with Publicate and see the value before having to actually sign up, which increased our conversion rate by 300%.

What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?

We are bootstrapped so the biggest challenge has been making sure we focus resources on what’s valuable to our users, whilst still balancing business objectives, again it just comes down to user testing, and lots of it! The other major challenge has been getting responsive HTML to work in multiple email service providers, there still isn’t commonality amongst email service providers, especially Outlook, so this has been a real challenge for the dev team, but one we are proud to say we have cracked!

What have been some of the most interesting integrations you’ve added? Are there any that have been particularly impactful for you?

We’re all about connecting with the tools our users already use so that their content is there when they need it, without having to go back to several places to find it. As well as being able to easily Publish it where they need, again without too many steps.

Here is an example of a content library with a few integrations already connected, you can easily tab between sources to find what you need;

On the content side Feedly, Slack, Pocket and the Chrome extension are our most popular integrations, automatically adding to your Publicate content library when you save content on those platforms. And on the Publishing side, Gmail, Wordpress and Mailchimp are the big hitters, but we are getting requests for others all the time and are working hard to add them.

What are top 5–10 products that you depend to run the company & how do you use them?

  • Trello — We use this this for managing sprints, backlogs, roadmaps and even my own personal workflow
  • Slack — Most of the team communication happens in Slack, we are a remote team, so keeping in contact easily and on the move is a must
  • Intercom — Customer support and feedback is our bread and butter, so letting users get in touch with us from within the app makes this super easy and means we can help instantly
  • Woopra — This helps us to combine the user feedback with hard numbers so we can see how people are using the product and see opportunities for improvements
  • Woodpecker — Helps me to reach out to people on mass, but still in a personal way
  • Hunter.io — Great for finding people’s email addresses
  • Buzzsumo — Perfect for finding influencers and popular content

Do you use Publicate and recommend them? You can do it here https://siftery.com/publicate?recommend.
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