Well... it's been just over four years since Kevin and I sat down and hashed out what we'd want to see in an email service provider (ESP). Email marketing is a tricky thing, because you're dealing with not just the company you choose, but who that company chooses for sending the actual emails, and then it all depends on the relationship that company/server has built with the individual ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and mailboxes (@gmail, @yahoo, etc.) throughout the world.
That being said, it's absolutely crazy to think that the only way to get high-quality email marketing services with top-notch deliverability and scalability is to pay big bucks for a server farm, architects and engineers to babysit it, and developers to handcraft email headers and DKIMs and all that jazz.
We decided we'd find (or build) a better solution.
And we did.
Author.Email 1.0b was the first shot at that. It worked well, and it served us well. In total, we had about 100 authors sending millions of emails per month for those first four years, and things were going well. But we grew slowly, and that was purposeful. Building relationships between the emailer, the servers and ISPs in-between, and the recipient takes work and a lot of time. Too fast and we "scare" the providers who think we're just sending spam emails. Too slow and we can't prove to them what we're about, what we're doing, and that we're serious.
So... it took four years. Here we are. Author.Email 2.0 is ready. There's still growth, and there's still work to be done, but we are so freaking excited to share with you the results of four years of tweaking, customizing, building, testing, and lots of failing. We wanted not just the most affordable and secure email platform we've ever seen — we wanted the hands-down best ESP for authors.
No matter where you are in your author journey — just starting out with no one but your mom on your list, or a multi-author publishing goliath with hundreds of thousands of subscribers — we can handle it. We can scale, because we're not tied down to a single, brick-and-mortar facility. We can grow, because we're going to do it sustainably and steadily. We can deliver the goods, because we've been doing it for four years.
So, without further adieu, here's a (somewhat incomplete) list of the new features you can expect in Author.Email 2.0:
- Easy, 1-step import. Don't worry about all those extra fields and tags in that .csv file dump from your old provider — they'll transfer over perfectly. If you don't want some of those fields, easily delete them right in Author.Email.
- Advanced automation. Now you can choose what happens after someone clicks or opens. Want to have them automatically move to another list when they click a link? Boom. Easy.
- Send only to unopened/opened subscribers. Want to re-send that email to just the folks who didn't open it the first time? Now do it in fewer than three clicks.
- Custom campaign tags. Use fancy, fresh campaign tags that are exclusive just to a certain campaign.
- Brand-new drag-and-drop editor. Don't worry about HTML or CSS (or what those mean!). Just drag-and-drop your way to the best email template designs you've ever seen.
- Template gallery. Author.Email 2.0 has a template gallery that will boast free templates from successful authors, so you can see (and import) what other authors are using.
- Random content. If you want an easy way to split-test some cover designs, put links to both covers in the Random Content tag, and let Author.Email randomly decide which cover to send to each subscriber.
- Split subscribers. With one click, split your list in nearly infinite configurations. Need 4 lists of 500 subscribers each for an advanced A/B test? Done.
- Sync subscribers. Likewise, sync any two lists to bring them together, with powerful customization.
- Advanced form building. We'll create the initial form, using the fields you used at import, but now you can customize it however you'd like, and style it to match where you'll embed it.
- Free signup page. For every list you have (and you can have as many as you'd like), we'll create a simple signup page and give you the link, so you don't have to worry about embedding it on a website.
- Randomize subscribers. Want to tease a new release to only a portion of your list? Have Author.Email create a temporary randomized segment in one click before sending your campaign.
- Send stats. If you're working with a business manager or personal assistant, it might be helpful to send them a copy of the campaign stats. Now, do it simply by filling out the "Email Stats" box while creating a campaign.
- Advanced segmentation. Create segments of your larger list that you can use for more specific purposes. Send one cover to your UK readers and another cover to your US crowd, for example.
- Autoresponder magic. We still have autoresponders for all package levels, but they're better than ever. Easier to use, with nearly unlimited options.
- Autoresponders on import. One of the most requested features we get is the ability to choose to enroll subscribers who have been imported (as opposed to signed up to your list organically) into your autoresponder sequence.
- Double opt-out (and in!) Choose to have your subscribers jump through one additional hoop to get off your mailing list. (There's still a immediate unsubscribe link you can use instead!)
- Stats heatmap. Now, visualize your opens, unsubscribes, and complaints on a worldwide map!
- Full, proper REST API. Had a nerdy streak in college? Know a code-monkey? Now, use your very own API keys to tie in external services directly to your list!