1) I would set up a MailChimp account, for free. It’s the industry leader, it’s the best performer (in my experience) and it’s the most pleasant to use from a UX/UI standpoint (which matters a lot to me). It’s also entirely free from the get-go, up until a couple thousand subscribers. It’s a “no-duh” piece of software. This let you easily segment your lists depending on sign-up locations, or sign up types. If you have email resources to push subscribers – like Bidsketch does with their proposal templates – you can easily segment the users that sign up there, apart from the users that sign up straight from your blog.
This relatively new email provider is steadily building a reputation for itself as a decent, value-for-money tool. Why? Because, for the low price you pay, you get a surprisingly generous amount of features, including landing pages, marketing automation and advanced segmentation. What’s more – MailerLite make the tool super accessible with an easy-to-use interface, and by offering a decently-featured free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers.
We’ll warn you right now that as you’re evaluating different email platforms, you’ll likely be tempted to focus a lot of your attention on which platform has the prettiest email templates. This is understandable. But unless you have an e-commerce company and are selling a physical product online, the truth is that the visual aesthetics of your emails are not the most important factor.