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My Marketings Learnings from Creating My Own Newsletter pt. 2/? - Website / Landing Page Build

Yesterday, I explained that I'm starting a newsletter from scratch (no company, no website, no existing audience), and I'm learning a lot along the way.

So, after I had a logo, which included a color palate, then I could work more on the newsletter sign-up page - because how else are you going to get a newsletter if you can't sign-up.

Enabling Newsletter Sign-up

I'm quite familiar with websites and a number of tools to build websites (i.e. Squarespace or Wix or Wordpress, for example - and don't get me started on custom code. I've been down that rabbit hole before, and it's a lot of wasted time and money). And I'm also very familiar with landing pages (i.e., Marketo, HubSpot, Unbounce, Instapage, Leadpages, and ClickFunnels, as just a few of many examples).

Tip: Landing Page School has some excellent free resources that work for every marketer at every level.

All I need is a sign-up page. I did start playing around with both Squarespace and Wix, but they were really much more robust than I wanted. Ultimately for factors that are unique to me and this project I ended up with Instapage.

I get into it, and of course I also need a page for Terms & Conditions and a Privacy Policy. I am taking people's information, after all.

Again, it's been my experience that I've worked with companies that have lawyers who draw up these things.

I found Termsfeed to be straight forward and cost effective for my needs.

So, a couple more landing pages to be created.

I'm using MailChimp to send out my newsletter for a variety of reasons. I'm familiar with it. I've used it before - again in both big and small companies. I already have an active account, and it's free when your audience is small.

I did look at MailChimp's landing page functionality, because it would be ideal to be in one platform for newsletter sign-up and send out. However, I really hated MailChimp's landing page functionality. It's likely that because I'm experienced enough with websites and landing pages, I have expectations and wants that are just a touch beyond basic. Besides, MailChimp was created for newsletters, and in my opinion, that's what they do best.

Someone else may need to run some trails with various newsletter platforms, which I'm not covering, because of all the things I explored, I already had the answer. Though, one of the people in my trusted network suggested Sailthru for newsletter blast engine. They position themselves as marketing automation, though at the time I write this, I've never run across it when exploring Marketo and HubSpot. - just my experience, though.

By using two different platforms for sign-up and newsletter send-out, I had to ensure they integrate. This is a perfect example of a small task that both companies present as easy, and for the person who does this day-in-and-day-out, probably so. But I found myself fumbling around a bit longer than "easy" suggests.

My entire growing up, my mother always said, "Everything takes longer than you think."

And that maxim is the entire thread of truth behind this project.


1) It's going to take you time to play around with several platforms and find the one that works for you. Do some amount of research and experimentation - which takes time.

2) You'll need your website, landing page and emails to integrate with each other, but also with other platforms like Google Analytics and social media websites. And while all of the best tools do have automatic integrations, it's not as "automatic" as putting your foot on the gas. If not something you do every single day, again, it will take a few hours of testing, messing up and trying again.

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