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Learning about email newsletters the hard way, week 2

Issue 2 of The Round Down is out, but I had to abandon the TinyLetter service at the very last minute when it flagged the finished newsletter as containing spam, and refused to send it out until a human on their team could verify it wasn’t. That simply doesn’t work for our weekend publishing schedule, so I decided that relationship was over.

Although TinyLetter was acquired by Mailchimp, it doesn’t seem to share tools and services with its larger parent, which is honestly the only game in town if you want to do full-featured newsletters for no money down. I’m betting on it being more reliable and letting us do neat things like submit posts by email. Issue #2 went out without getting caught in a spam filter, so that’s a start.

TinyLetter provides a front page for your newsletter, but Mailchimp does not. I’m now using a custom domain + Tumblr for that, and that’s where old issues will go too. http://therounddown.com

One thing I wish I’d caught: a link that got corrupted in the Markdown to HTML conversion, that I forgot to fix. Rushing to set up Mailchimp and Tumblr over lunch didn’t allow time for a final check. With all other web publishing being of the instant and editable sort, and this being my first go at using email like this, it was something of a surprise that I couldn’t just reach out and edit it afterwards. Hard to keep a print production mentality when you’re writing in Google Docs.

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