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It’s no secret that you should build an audience before you build a product. Many makers decide to build their audience on Twitter, YouTube, Medium, Instagram, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms. But in order to really own your audience, the best option is to start a newsletter and build a mailing list. The good news: it has never been easier to create and grow a newsletter. There are lots of affordable platforms makers can use.

1. MailChimp

The most popular email platform out there, MailChimp has become a full-stack email marketing platform. It allows makers to create campaigns, segment their audience, and even send postcards. It’s free up to 2,000 contacts.

2. Buttondown

While MailChimp is great, many makers find it overly complicated. Buttondown is a simple platform where you can copy and paste some Markdown or HTML, send it to your audience, be on your merry way. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

3. ConvertKit

ConvertKit was designed specifically for makers. All the features are about growing an audience to grow your income. It’s very easy to create a funnel, including incentives such as printables, and to increase conversions with automated emails that feel personal. No free tier though: the pricing starts at $29 per month.

4. Drip

If you run an ecommerce business, Drip is what you will need. Build complex drip campaigns to push customers through your funnel and sell more products with behavior-based visual workflows and cross-channel marketing automation.

4. Substack

Substack makes it simple for a writer to start an email newsletter that makes money from subscriptions. Makers can publish for free, build an audience, and make money by turning on paid subscriptions. They make it easy to transfer your list from any other email platform.

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