Weebly introduced a new email marketing service called “Weebly Promote” and offering it as a separate premium service for all existing plan users. You might have noticed a new “Newsletter” element was added in Weebly site builder for this purpose. Let us explore what is Weebly promote, how to send out emails and comparing it with a popular MailChimp service.
What is Weebly Promote?
Weebly promote is an integrated email marketing service using SendGrid API and Weebly users can send out emails to their subscribers with Weebly promote. This is being offered as a separate paid service and NOT included in any of the existing plans. You need to create a mailing list on Weebly platform, design email and send to the needed groups. At this moment Weebly offers a free trial of creating 2 email campaigns for all users.
Features and Pricing
Weebly promote service is applicable at account level so Weebly users can use it on all 10 sites under an account. Users can send email to subscribers and customers based on the purchased plan. Weebly promote is being offered under three different plans as shown in the below table:
|Features / Plans||Build||Grow||Accelerate|
|Price / month||$8||$25||$75|
|Number of Contacts||No Limit||No Limit||No Limit|
|Email Campaigns Limit||5 / month||20 / month||No Limit|
|Number of Recipients /email||500||2500||No Limit|
|Maximum Number of Emails / month||2500||50,000||250,000|
|“As you go” Option||No||No||Yes|
Above is the pricing showing under our grandfather Weebly account which may differ for new users. Below is pricing for a new user as mentioned in Weebly blog:
- Build level is $10 per month or $96 per year
- Grow level is $35 per month or $300 per year
- Accelerate level is $98 a month or $900 a year
How to Use Weebly Promote?
Follow the below instructions to create a mailing list and use Weebly promote.
Creating a Mailing List
All existing Weebly users will have access to Weebly promote which can be accessed with the URL.
The first step before building an email campaign is to add subscriber lists. Click on the “Contact” option and choose one of the available options.
- Sync Weebly Contacts – add all existing Weebly contacts from the contact form and other forms used on your site. If you are newly building a mailing list then use the new “Newsletter” element to collect subscriber’s email ids. The form will look as shown below:
- Add Individual – manually add individual subscriber.
- Copy & Paste Email Addresses – copy and paste email addresses with comma separated values.
- Import from a file – manually create a CSV file in the following format and upload on Weebly to create a mailing list.
You can group subscribers into different groups and send the email to any specific group. Note that Weebly does not offer any ways to import mailing lists from existing services like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
Creating an Email Campaign
Once a mailing list is created, click on the “Compose” button and follow the step by process to create an email campaign and send to the required user groups.
Step 1 – Choose Email Purpose
Weebly offers categories like General, Commerce, Newsletter, Event, Blog Summary and Saved. Select one of the categories and choose the template for the email to continue to the next step.
Step 2 – Design Email
An email builder similar to Weebly site builder will open with drag and drop elements. There are elements under “Builder” tab like logo, social icons, button, etc. which can be dropped on the form and customized as you need.
More options like changing fonts, border and colors are available under “Design” tab.
Step 3 – Email Information
Next step is to add details of the sender (generally your details) and subject line for the email.
Step 4 – Add Recipients
You have the following options for adding recipients of the email:
- Add individually email ids.
- Add emails from existing groups.
- Import from CSV file as explained above in the creating a mailing list section.
Step 5 – Review and Send
The final step is to review the email and send to recipients. You can send a testing email to check the connectivity and the look of your email also there is an option to schedule the email to be sent on predefined time.
Once an email is sent to the subscribers, the performance of the campaign can be monitored under “Sent” tab. It will show you the open and click rate percentages indicating how many people opened your email and how many people clicked the links in the email.
Terms and Conditions
Email marketing is a double edged sword and there are very few genuine companies sending useful emails with business ethics. Sending out junk emails to unknown people will end up in marking your domain as spam by email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo!, etc. and below is a clear statement from Weebly to enforce this:
We do not allow the use of third party mailing lists in our system. If you bought a list or borrowed a list or another company gave you their list to use, these are all against our Terms of Service and can lead to the immediate termination of your account. Any list you upload to our service must be a list of opt-in subscribers and/or your customers (or the customers of a company on whose behalf you’re sending the messages), no one else.
Besides other terms, be aware that Weebly promote can’t be used with many industries as mentioned under section “18 – Email Marketing Service” of Weebly’s terms and service:
- Pharmaceutical products;
- Work from home, make money online, “get rich schemes”, and lead generation opportunities;
- Online trading, day trading tips, or stock market-related content;
- Mortgage and loan content;
- Nutritional, herbal and vitamin supplements;
- Gambling services, products, or tips;
- Multi-level marketing;
- Affiliate marketing or any type of performance marketing, in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts;
- Credit repair and get out of debt opportunities; and
- Counterfeit or “knock off” products appearing to be another brand.
Comparison – Weebly Promote Vs MailChimp
The problem with Weebly is adding new feature as a separate paid service while having different premium plans on the card. Even a business user needs to pay at least $8 per month to the lowest build plan of Weebly promote. This is costly option compared to the free services like MailChimp who offers considerably more features for less price.
MailChimp offers a free plan with a limit of 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. You can also choose to use “pay as you go” mode when the limit is reached out. Also MailChimp offers exhaustive reporting with lot of metrics like social performance, geographical performance, top links clicked, last 24 hour performance, etc.
Below is the simple comparison the Weebly promote “Build” plan and MailChimp “Starting Up” plan.
|Features||Weebly Build Plan||MailChimp Free Plan|
|Subscribers Limit||No Limit||2,000|
|Number of Campaigns||5||No Limit|
|Recipients Limit / email||500||No Limit (maximum 2,000 as with subscribers limit)|
|Emails / month||2,500||12,000|
|Pay as you go option||No||Yes|
|Footer Logo||No Weebly Logo||MailChimp Logo|
Note that it is mandatory to include the MailChimp logo in the newsletter for free users.
By looking at Weebly promote, we can conclude Weebly as usual comes up very late with an old email marketing feature without much appealing to both premium as well as free users. A business plan user will end up in paying $33 minimum ($25 for business plan + $8 for Weebly promote build plan) for using a Newsletter function which is very costly in our opinion. Again features of the build plan costing $8 per month are not comparable to the free plan offered by MailChimp and other providers.
Since the process of creating campaigns and sending emails remains unchanged with Weebly promote and third parties like MailChimp, we really do not see any great value will be added using Weebly promote. On other hand, Weebly promote is suitable for those looking for an integrated email marketing solution with the customer and contact form details from their Weebly site.