Audience is a marketing tool aimed at building an audience, making it easy to keep in touch with your audience and share updates with them.
Shout out to my friend Josh Manders, who started Audience before asking me if I would be interested in taking it over. Josh is building really awesome hosting platform primcloud.
What is Audience
It doesn't have to be hard to update your audience and it shouldn't be expensive. First lets talk about the cost, many email marketing tools make it really easy to get you in and using their platform. They have free plans to get your started but then the prices climb and your charged by the subscribers, by the number of emails sent. Some even keep unsubscribed users on your list and charge you for them. I plan on making Audience's prices simple and easy to follow, with no hidden charges. Yes there will be a fee for Audience, what it is I haven't settled on it yet, I'm still working out the business model and what makes sense. I will be sharing my thoughts on that here in the future.
The other side is that that many email marketing tools end up making sending emails to be as difficult as they can. I think it should be a more like writing this blog post. I create the post and schedule it so the question is why can't sending newsletters be the same?
Bring your own Email Provider
For most of us indie hacker / maker types we are already using an email provider for our transaction emails, so with Audience you will be able to connect it to your email provider of choice. I'm starting with Mailgun since that's what I use most. But I plan on adding SendGrid and AWS SES.
Eventually I plan on building out an ESP around Audience so you don't have to have your own email provider.
Confirmation / Welcome Emails
Audience will handle the confirmation and double opt in for you and this led me onto something I'm interested in exploring, getting audience to call a web hook when someone confirms or verifies their email.
This would let me use Audience from all my own projects to do the confirmation of a new signup. I would have them on my audience for updates and newsletters and also get the confirmation of the email. I wouldn't have to wire up that code for every project going forward.
What about an ebook or a course. You shouldn't have to click a confirm link to get an ebook or to get onto a course, instead it would be "Download the Ebook" or "Get started" but these both perform the same function as the confirmation. The subscriber would be verified and the course or ebook downloaded.
So in audience you will be able to do that. Change the confirmation email to a welcome email and have a call to action.
The call to action would then trigger the Verified the email and then download the ebook for the subscriber.
Segmenting your Audience is a really important part of email marketing and really key if I want to use it for my own projects. So I can know which users are currently on trial accounts or have become active users or cancelled, etc.
In Audience segments are called Lists. Each list has it's own AudienceId which is what gets used to put the subscriber on the list.
I'm not sure if I should leave that as "List" or change it to "Segment" ?
Forms and Signups
I plan on having a few different options for the signup forms and popups. I'd love to have a good looking pop up on this blog to ask you for your email so I can let you know when I have future posts.
Or sign up to download my ebook on creating pop ups that get people to sign up to download my ebook... (Ok I'll stop now! :) )
This will be along side a subscribe API.
Automated Email Sequences
This is something I'm thinking about but not 100% sold on yet. It's not a V1 feature though but the idea is that when someone is added to a "List" they would be able to get a sequence of emails.
So it could be part of a product on boarding but increasingly I'm thinking about this in terms of an email based course. It's an idea I've had for a while and might be something I look into exploring once I have Audience in V1
Contentr is a Content marketing platform I've built. I'm working on some updates to it at the moment. One thing I'm working on is to make Contentr and Audience work together. Contentr has all my blog posts in it and all the content I have shared. So could I use that data to build a newsletter to send to my subscribers.
Again as always, thank you for reading. I'll be sharing more of my thinking and features on Audience in the next while. As I build in new features and work to tune the current features. If you want to get on the wait list for Audience you can check it out here