One of the hardest parts about launching a hyperlocal publication is attracting a solid base of regular readers. Local print publications can drop their papers off at subscribers’ doorsteps each morning, but most online publishers rely on readers to point-and-click their way to their websites each day.
Email marketing platforms are an excellent solution for busy publishers looking to turn occasional readers into devoted fans. By sending out email newsletters with links to the most important stories of the day, hyperlocal publishers can help their content go viral and build a loyal readership with low acquisition costs.
Here are six email marketing platforms with built-in tools to help online publishers automate the process of creating and publishing daily email newsletters, as well as other important marketing materials.
Contactology is an email marketing platform that local publishers can use to send daily news alerts, recurring newsletters, and social coupons. The company also provides an RSS-to-email template that helps publishers turn their RSS feeds into targeted newsletters. Publishers can pull Flickr photos, Facebook updates, and local weather information into their email marketing campaigns. Larger publishers can also use Contactology’s enterprise solution to manage multiple publications. Contactology clients include Salon.com and the Savannah Morning News. Monthly pricing plans range from free to $675.
Publishers looking for some guidance when setting up their email newsletters can check out Informz, an email marketing platform that provides each publishing client with an eMarketing Advisor to assist in the setup and integration of Informz’s tools. Informz offers HTML newsletter templates and list management tools that publishers can use to create segmented email databases. In addition to its basic email marketing services, Informz also offers tools for event promotion, online voting, and SMS messaging. Clients include LNG Publishing and the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority. The company offers custom pricing options for publishers.
Hyperlocal publishers who are interested in created targeted newsletters based on their readers’ personal interests will appreciate MailChimp. Using the platform’s RSS-to-email tool, publishers can create separate newsletters for readers interested in sports, breaking news, community events, or virtually any other topic covered on their sites. MailChimp’s newsletters are built with advertisers in mind, providing publishers with reports that show open rates and track clicks, as well as geo-maps and clickmap overlays. MailChimp’s publisher clients include Secrets of the City and Yankee Publishing. Pricing plans range from free to $240 per month.
StreamSend is an email marketing platform that provides publishers with all the tools necessary to capture reader email addresses, segment subscriber lists by demographic or interest, and send professional marketing emails. StreamSend offers pre-designed templates, HTML editing tools, and the ability to personalize emails by including the recipient’s name in the subject line. Clients include MTV, Monster.com, and Art.com. StreamSend offers standard pricing plans that range from $19.90 to $209.90 per month.
Local publishers, online magazines, and independent reporters can use EmailBrain to connect with their readers and industry contacts. The email marketing company provides tools for creating professional looking newsletters and managing subscriber lists. EmailBrain says it has “some of the highest deliverability rates in the industry,” thanks to the platform’s top status with ISPs like AOL, MSN, Yahoo, and Comcast. Publishing clients include Tennis.com, Haute Living, and Showcase Publishing. EmailBrain offers periodic pricing plans that range from $9.95 to $799.95 per month.
6. Constant Contact
Although Constant Contact provides a suite of tools that hyperlocal publishers can use to drive traffic and build better relationships with their readers, the platform is best known for its email marketing product. Publishers can create and edit newsletters with Constant Contact’s one-click editing tools, grow their contact lists using the Forward-to-a-Friend and Join My Mailing List tools, and get real-time results with click tracking and Social Stats features. Constant Contact clients include Communiqué Public Relations and AAA Translation. Monthly pricing for the company’s email marketing product can range from free to $150.
Know of other email marketing platforms built with hyperlocal publishers in mind? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.