Email workflow has been on my mind a lot lately. On the one hand, some of my favorite email designs and campaigns surely went through a long, rigorous process before someone eventually hit send.
But on the other hand, that kind of marketing overhead is unsustainable for 99.9% of folks who need to use email. It's one of the reasons I love concepts like Substack because, among other things, it gets marketers think of "writing an email" like they do "writing a blog post" rather than some of the expectations that have emerged around template design, coding, testing, tweaking, retesting, etc.
But I still love traditional ESPs. So how do you get the power of an ESP with the workflow simplicity of writing a blog post?
Easy, Peasy, Powerful
I came across these guys the other day via a retweet from Rolf van Root and instantly loved the idea.
Going from having a Wordpress site AND an ESP to having a Wordpress site that can send blog posts as emails THROUGH your ESP is a crazy simple process. Huge kudos to Lesley for this onboarding process (and for hooking me up with a license so I could give it a try).
First, you choose your ESP and enter your API key...
Next, you choose a default audience (you can change this each time you send an email, this just makes it easier)...
After that, you choose a couple more defaults: from name and from email...
And...you're done! Now, you might have noticed that this onboarding is in a modal and there appears to be a post behind it...
Because there is! When the plugin is activated, it creates a sample post full of all the cool stuff you'd hope to include in an email (ie, awesome GIFs). This sits behind the onboarding modal, ready for tweaking the moment you're done.
And because you've already chosen all your defaults, those are ready to go at the bottom. You can hit send...
And...VOILA...your post is transformed into an email, pushed through the MailChimp API, and lands in your audience's inboxes. I just did that for this post and, I must say, I was really, really impressed with how it turned out.
And that setup, start to finish? A grand total of...ready for this...7 minutes.
(Not) One More Thing
One of the things I've always found success with as a maker and appreciated as a marketer is when a tool solves my problem without become one more thing to check or log into or remember about.
It lets you use the same workflow for emails that you do for blog posts but it gives you the power and settings of a full-fledged ESP. Sure you'll want to check stats and monitor list health from your ESP, but the key is you don't HAVE to. Once you're set up...you're done.