I recently started an Instafreebie (IF) campaign to grow my newsletter. IF is a place to giveaway ebooks providing people opt-in to your newsletter. My (and many others) newsletter is set up through Mailchimp (MC). However, I have found that automation is best when dealing with new subscribers, and MC wants to charge for that.

What is automation? Automation services allow you to automatically send out a welcome e-mail instead of having to do them by hand every time someone joins your newsletter, a time consuming and bothersome process I assure you. It can also allow you to send timed automatic letters such as 1 week or 2 weeks later, etc.

I’m currently taking a couple of marketing courses, and will implement what I learn from them, but in the meantime, I’m keeping it simple and low pressure. These courses suggest several letters on a step-progression, but I don’t want to over kill just yet.

Thankfully though, I found Mailerlite (ML). It has free automation. I still have to import addresses from MC, and eventually from IF itself when my free trial runs out, but at this point, it’s worth it to me.

I also want to point out that registering with MC was no hassle at all. ML? That’s another story. I had to register a new e-mail address tied to my domain with Zoho, add MX’s and CNAME’s details to my domain. It was a royal pain and took several hours. So, you have to weigh your options. Is it worth several hours one day to offset $20 a month? To me it is. ML does walk you through it, and it’s easier if you have a common domain supplier, like GoDaddy, so it isn’t impossible, just annoying.

In summary, IF integration with MC along with automation will cost you $40 a month. You can always get coupons, discounts, and referral points, but that’s never a guarantee. If you want to avoid this charge, you’ll have to use ML and manually add addresses, which, in all honesty, isn’t that bad as you can export subscribers quickly and easily, and IF deletes duplicates, preventing you from having to do that manually (I couldn’t imagine). Either way is going to cost you some time, but in the end, both appear to be very similar in the amount of time (aside from setup), and quite frankly, why pay $40 a month extra?