Forem Creators and Builders 🌱

Lee
Lee

Posted on

My nifty newsletter workflow

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to share my newsletter workflow and how it contributes to some basic growth mechanics.

How I previously created newsletters.

I signed up to Mailchimp, created an audience, copied out my API key and audience ID into Forem > config > newsletter.

I would then attempt to create a newsletter template and a weekly newsletter out of Mailchimp. It drove me nuts, I know some people love it but I find the UI soooo frustrating.

How I create newsletters today.

I still use Mailchimp as the default mechanism for newsletter sign ups during Forem onboarding. I also created a template for welcome emails using Mailchimp's automation workflow so once a member signs up via the Forem onboarding process they get a nice welcome email.

However, I now use Revue as my weekly newsletter editor, the UI and Google extension for collecting content is fantastic. I can whip up these newsletters with a combination of my community content and content from around the web in no time at all.

Revue has integrations available, 2 of which I use extensively. The first is Twitter (my newsletter is embedded directly into my Twitter profile and people can sign up directly from Twitter), and the second is Mailchimp which allows me to import any Forem onboarding sign ups into Revue before I send out the newsletter.

My process for creating newsletters is now:

Open Revue > Write newsletter from collected content > Quick Mailchimp import > Schedule newsletter.

Bonus items:

Revue allows you to create a subdomain for your newsletter, which I have done and added to my Forem navigation links, however I noticed on Forem mobile that this won't load the link because it isn't https.

I use Cloudflare for DNS, so all I needed to do to enable https on my newsletter subdomain was:

  • Ensure in the Site config you have set always redirect http to https
  • Set SSL/TSL to flexible
  • Create the CNAME and ensure it is set to proxy through CloudFlare
  • Add the https version of your newsletter subdomain in your Forem nav links.

Top comments (6)

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ildi profile image
Ildi

Loving the setup, Revue is one of my favorite newsletter platforms, can’t beat that Twitter integration!

I’ve also been thinking about experimenting with Beehiiv. I like how the templates look for their emails on mobile. The guys over at Milk Road use them.

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ellativity profile image
Ella (she/her/elle) • Edited on

Beehiiv looks great, @ildi! They offer a lot for the free tier, and the pricing scales pretty sensibly imo. Thanks for highlighting!

I remember you asking a while back about examples of communities that use newsletters well, and I've been speaking with Nivi from Soapbox Project recently about how she's grown her community from her newsletter. Is she someone you'd like to hear more from? She's not a Forem Creator, but if you'd like to hear more from people who aren't using Forem, but still with great ideas, she'd make a great candidate!

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ildi profile image
Ildi

Soapbox sounds really cool! I would love to learn more from Nivi.

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rayan profile image
Rayan Nait Mazi

Sounds nice I'll try it too. I'm not enjoying Mailchimp haha

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ellativity profile image
Ella (she/her/elle)

I was writing my little newsletter spotlight about Forest today and I remembered that @oli had started the community from a Mailchimp (and then Revue) newsletter!

I need to apologize to both Oli and @ildi for totally forgetting that, and failing to connect them in the context of Ildi's curiosity about newsletter-based communities!

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lee profile image
Lee Author

I would love to hear more about that, the more newsletter growth tips the better for me!