One of things I like about moving blog platform occasionally is that it makes you look for new solutions for old things. In particular, I needed to figure out a new way of handling people who want to subscribe to the blog via e-mail.
Ghost has an e-mail subscribe feature in their "labs" section - essentially in beta. It made sense to use that to collect e-mails from people who want to subscribe. However, that feature doesn't (yet) actually send out e-mails. So, I might as well keep on using MailChimp to actually send the e-mails.
But how to connect the two? Well, luckily, Ghost has built-in support for Zapier, an automation tool:
Zapier automations are set up with Triggers and Actions - for example: When a new post is published in Ghost (Trigger) then a new Tweet is automatically published with a link to the post (Action).
I was able to set up a two-way link, that transfers Ghost subscribers to MailChimp - but which also deletes subscribers from Ghost when they unsubscribe or get cleaned by MailChimp.
That then made me look at the layout and details of the e-mails I was sending, and I spent a while customising what I'm sending out. Hopefully, it'll make the e-mails more useful for subscribers - and also give me the opportunity to have a little more fun and creativity in the way I use it. Newsletters are clearly a big part of the future of audience engagement, and I want to continue experimenting with the form.
If you're a subscriber - I'd love to know what you think of the new format.