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Start a newsletter using Begin & Sendfox.

SHAWNHOSEA
Product Engineer ⚡️Technology | Design | Humans
Updated on ・3 min read

Introduction

Today, I will show you a fast and easy way to build a newsletter by using Begin and Sendfox. We're using Begin to build a dynamic web page with a custom domain and Sendfox to deliver our content.

Why build this?

There are many different ways to start a newsletter. Sendfox even gives you the ability to create a landing page on their platform.

The issue with that is that you don't have the ability to give your landing page:

  • a custom domain
  • customize its design
  • optimize its page speed

These are three important factors in raising the conversion rate of sign-ups.

Create Begin & Sendfox accounts

Create accounts on both if you haven't already. Both services are free to get started.

Hit this button to deploy a minimal stater app to begin (no credit card required!) in 15 seconds:

Deploy to Begin

Setting up your landing page and form

A custom domain raises the trust factor of your brand which will drive signups. Give your newsletter a custom domain by using this article:

Setting up an AWS Route53 domain on Begin.

Now that you've signed up and created your app let's set up your landing page to collect emails. I believe the focus of this page should be:

  • speed
  • good marketing copy
  • Mobile responsive

Here is an example of a quick and stylish landing page design that is also responsive.

Screen Shot 2021-02-03 at 5.14.51 AM

You can copy this design by using the Clone an app feature in Begin.

Screen Shot 2021-02-03 at 5.34.38 AM

Here is the repo to clone:
https://github.com/ShawnHosea/serverlessbootstrap

Create a form

Create a form in Sendfox and then paste the code into your app.

Screen Shot 2021-02-03 at 5.11.46 AM

Deploy your app

Now that your site is designed and the Sendfox form code is embedded, deploy your app to Begin's staging environment and then ship to production if everything works perfectly.

Screen Shot 2021-02-03 at 5.39.52 AM

Testing your form

You may be tempted to test out your form by emailing yourself a few times. This will only work one time per email, basically. Sendfox's support had this to say about testing.

"We have a system in place that temporarily blocks the IP if there is more than one attempt to subscribe from the same IP in a short period of time.

Please use a new email address when testing forms/automation and change the IP for testing purposes or test it from another device that has different IP if you are doing more than one test in a short period of time.

This is basically to prevent bots from spamming customers' accounts."

Conclusion

This is a great way to get started building an audience while keeping your design aesthetic consistent. This way you also get more control over how your funnel is optimized.

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