One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that if you want to generate serious revenue for your business, email marketing is the way to go. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that the money is in your email list, and it’s true. My email lists for all of my websites attributes to roughly 30% of my income. This is a decent amount of revenue, considering my local web design and SEO business focuses on higher priced services. With all that being said, it’s tough to find an email marketing service where you can quickly and easily create your own email newsletter, but I decided to give a new service a try.

If you’ve ever heard of Wix, they have a drag and drop website builder, where you can create a website without knowing how to code. They started a new service, called Wix Shoutout that is free to try, but you can upgrade at what I found was a surprisingly reasonable price. I decided to start with the free offer, putting the service through its paces.

Wix ShoutOut: Getting started

Wix ShoutOut: Getting Started

You start out by clicking on the “new shoutout” button, and it takes you to a page where you can either start from scratch, designing your own email newsletter, or you can choose from several nicely designed templates. I was genuinely surpised by how nice their templates were. Usually when you think of email templates from any service provider, they are typically junk. They either look bad or they are poorly coded. You can choose from promoting a sale, sending a newsletter, promoting an event, showing off a new collection, promoting your latest blog post, promoting your business, promoting a coupon, and more.

Wix ShoutOut interface

Once you choose a template

Now you can choose a style. Believe it or not, I really like the default style, with a big image background. If you want a solid color instead, click the diagonal striped boxed and you can edit the background. You can upload your own custom image background. The interface is really simple, too, giving you the ability to tweak most aspects of your newsletter design. I was easily able to drop in my logo. Wix ShoutOut already has pre-placed text to help you visualize where headers and text should go. To edit any element, hover your mouse over that section and click the pencil icon to edit the content. I was surprised at how easy this was.

Editing Elements

The editor is really easy to use. When you click the pencil icon, you can edit just about every aspect of an element imaginable. For example, the text can edited so that you change the font, the color, its weight, if it links to anything, etc. You can also create things like ordered and bulleted lists, and you can control leading, tracking indentation, etc. This is a nice, and refreshing focus on design and typography that I haven’t seen in other email design platforms.

Add elements in the ShoutOut interface

Adding Elements

One thing I really like about Wix ShoutOut is how easy it is to add an element, as well as the different options of things you can add to your newsletter. The ability to create a dynamic layout so quickly is what blew me away about this service. You can add text, images, buttons and dividers with a click of a button. There’s visrtually no lag or hang up time at all. Here are a couple of standout features in the content editor that got my attention.

Mix

This is great! It is super easy to create a varied layout. I don’t know about you, but in other email marketing platforms, their builder always leaves a lot to be desired in terms of layout flexibility. With the mix option, you can click a button and choose from several different content variations, including a side by side images and text, with a call to action button. This makes building your newsletter layout a breeze.

YouTube Video

You can paste your YouTube video link and it creates a screenshot of your video in the email. This is great, because it has the video play button overlay which tells your subscribers that it is a working video they can watch. They’ll be enticed to click on it and go watch your YouTube video.

Adding events

Event

Using the power of Eventbrite, you can sell tickets to an event. This is a great way to substantially increase your registrations and revenue from an event. People are more likely to sign up and pay for an event when it is convenient for them to do so. You can also create an event in ShoutOut.

Sign Up

Believe it or not, a great way to grow your email list is to add a subscribe form to your email newsletter. A lot of people will forward your newsletter on to friends and coworkers, so making it easy for them to subscribe to your list is a quick and easy way to grow your list.

Building your newsletter

Finishing Up

So I added a couple of other articles to the newsletter, and clicked the next button. It’s time to tell Wix ShoutOut who I’ll be sending to. Since it is my first time, I have to import my email list. If you’re not familiar with this, whatever platform you use, it usually allows you to export your email list as a CSV file, which is an Excel file. Wix Shoutout lets you import it, and you are all set. Just match the fields up to the right ones, which are name, email address, and the other typical fields you’d expect to find. It won’t let you import data into 2 fields. Once they are imported, select all to choose who to send to.

Importing contacts

Sending your email

Wix Shoutout is ready to send your email, but there are a couple of steps that need to be done. First, choose a recognizable from name so your recipients will recognize you. Then, choose a working reply-to email address. Wix will make sure you verify your email address, so you don’t send illegitimate emails (which you wouldn’t, I’m sure). Then, they inspect it for quality, and that it meets specific guidelines, which takes roughly 15 minutes.

Wix ShoutOut Results

The Results

So I sent a test email to 389 subscribers. Once a campaign has sent, you can see how many people opened it, and how many clicks to your website there were. It also tells you how many were not delivered, likely due to an inaccurate email address. You can see a list of all of the contacts that opened your email, which tells you who your most active subscribers are. You can event download this list as a CSV file, which is handy to see who opens your emails on a regular basis.

Sample email

As you can see from the screenshot, I sent a test email to my own email address, and it looked exactly like I’d designed it to look. I was very impressed, as there were no coding errors or glitches.

Wix ShoutOut Pricing

My Thoughts on Wix ShoutOut Overall

I was very impressed with Wix ShoutOut as a breakout email marketing solution. Not only do they make the process of creating an email newsletter quick and easy, but the service is surprisingly affordable if you decide to upgrade. Trust me, I have looked at and evaluated the prices of other email marketing platforms out there, and they are way more expensive. For example, the Pro Unlimited plan is their largest plan, which gives you 200,000 contacts and you can send up to one million emails in that one month. To give you an idea, that type of plan is considered Enterprise level with other platforms and can run hundreds of dollars per months, if not more, just based on the number of emails. Most email marketing companies will allow up to 15000 subscribers for around $75 per month and 25000 subscribers for $150 per month. Wix ShoutOut, for their top level plan, only costs $44.90 per month if you pay monthly, but if you pay annually, it drops to $32.75 per month. Their Business Essential plan, for 25000 contacts is only $12.90 per month. One sale per month from your email list could pay for this. If you sell high ticket items or services, one sale could pay for an entire year.

Overall, if I had to rate Wix ShoutOut, I’d have to give it a 4.6 out of 5 stars. It is easy to use. Your emails look great, and you can see who opened your emails. The only reason It doesn’t get a five star rating is because you can’t see what your subscribers clicked on, and there is not an option to create autoresponders. Other than those 2 things, Wix ShoutOut has created an email marketing service that takes the hassle out of newsletter and email marketing creation.

 

I am a professional graphic designer and web designer with years of experience. I am also an illustrator and Wordpress theme creator and author of this design blog. I write tutorials and build custom websites. I do what I love, and I love what I do! You can:Follow Me on Twitter, Join Me on Facebook, & Or Follow James George on Google+

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