Email newsletters may be ready for a comeback. The fact is that despite the communications mechanism being old-school, publishers can put in less effort to get more views in an inbox than on a blog. AOL exec Bob Pittman has bet big on email newsletters, funding a number of media startups built around the form of communication. Philip Kaplan (a.k.a. Pud), the founder of FuckedCompany, AdBrite and Blippy, has created his own email newsletter platform called TinyLetter.
TinyLetter is a dead simple way to create email newsletters. You pick out a name for your newsletter, and TinyLetter will create a URL to send to contacts via email, Facebook, Twitter and more so they can sign-up. You can then write your newsletter, customize your newsletters by design, add subscribers, read replies from subscribers and track old newsletters. You can also turn on the option to charge per month for your newsletter.
For background, Kaplan had an email newsletter about 10 years ago called the “FuckedCompany Sporadic,” which had about 250,000 subscribers. He felt like resurrecting the email newsletter because he didn’t want to put the work into writing a blog. His point is that if you don’t blog daily, you won’t build an audience, but email newsletters can be sent out weekly and have a built in audience. And people check their email everyday. And people can reply to emails, says Kaplan.
Speaking like a true entrepreneur, Kaplan said he was tired of using poor email services for sending newsletters, so he decided to build his own. He actually built and launched it in one day, on Oct. 31.
He’s not the first entrepreneur to quit blogging to try to create a legitimate email newsletter platform. Sam Lessin, the CEO of Drop.io and new employee of Facebook, launched Letter.ly, a similar service that allows people to create and sell subscription newsletters.