When you first sign up for that free Mailchimp account, it’s easy to think it’ll take forever to reach 2000 subscribers. Back in the “old days”, I had a Yahoo!Groups loop where my newsletter was sent and I had nearly 2000 readers on that loop. But today? I was starting from scratch and surely it would take a long time.

Then, I completed an InstaFreebie promotion. That alone put me over Mailchimp’s free plan, but I also did a few other free book promotions over the holiday season and before I knew it I was pushing 3000 subscribers. Well then, I needed to figure out something and quick because Mailchimp was going to charge me $50/month. That seemed a bit steep so I started looking for options.

I looked at all the usual suspects like MadMimi, Constant Contact, MailerLite, MyEmma, ConvertKit, and Active Campaign. There is no shortage of email newsletter providers. Yet either the pricing was more than what MailChimp wanted, or they lacked good integration with WordPress, or I’d heard things about their service, so none of those were really a viable option. And I was still faced with paying way too much for my email newsletter provider.

Until I found a solution.

All I really needed was a managed email solution and something to keep track of subscribers for me.

I had 3 requirements.

  1. It MUST integrate with WordPress through a plugin. No custom coding. No “work arounds”. It had to work with WordPress. Period.
  2. It MUST automate newsletter subscriber management. Handle unsubscribes and allow me to import subscribers from lists.
  3. It MUST be cheaper than Mailchimp. Preferably by a lot. 🙂

I found my solution. I’m using a newsletter plugin for WordPress (called The Newsletter Plugin) along with SendGrid, which is an email server. That’s all SendGrid does; it sends large volumes of email. There are other services out there. I also looked at MailGun, but SendGrid offered more emails for my total cost.

My monthly cost? $10!

There was a bit of configuration involved, and it took maybe an hour to set up. However, once this was done, I am now using SendGrid to send all emails from my website including order fulfillment emails. (My plan includes 40,000 emails a month and that’s a lot of book orders and newsletters.) By using a dedicated email server, I am using a trusted service that won’t wind up in customer’s spam folders, though really no service has control over that since each email provider has its own rules over what’s “promotion” or “spam”.

And, it’s a solution that I have implemented across all of my sites.

Contact me and ask how I can set up an email solution for you!

If you’re interested in having me implement this time and money-saving solution to your email newsletters, contact me using the email address at the top of this page. I’d love to chat with you about your newsletter and how to make it better work for you!