Building newsletters shouldn’t mean learning HTML.
Not long ago we wanted to build a curated list of good reads. When we set to work, it involved a manual process of rounding up the content we wanted to share, lots of copying and pasting between spreadsheets, and then editing in our email service.
We spent most of our time formatting the content in an editor to make sure the email looked the right way we wanted. We uploaded images and tinkered with the HTML/CSS to make sure the end result looked good on all mobile and tablet applications. By the end, we knew this wasn’t something we wanted to do every week.
As developers, we are always looking for the optimal way to do our jobs; constantly learning and optimizing our techniques so that we can ship code faster, and with a higher quality than before. Naturally, we wanted to improve the process of building our newsletter.
We started searching and found a couple services that we thought might work for our needs. None were just right. Some were too focused on building an online newspaper rather than a neat, responsive email. Others attempted to automate curation with algorithms rather than enable real human curators to collect the content.
We investigated services like Zapier and IFTTT. Using Zapier we created a task that could feed links from Twitter and our newsreader into a spreadsheet. Descriptions or opinions had to be manually added, and we still had to copy and paste the curated links into our email editor. Any images we wanted in our newsletter required us to download them, crop them, then upload to the email. We knew there should be an easier way.
Thus, Goodbits was born. It allows you to queue the content for your email newsletter, while never requiring any copying or pasting. The best part? You never have to touch the newsletter editor.
Goodbits today has a simple Chrome extension that allows you to queue content as you read it. You can also select an image scraped from the page as a thumbnail and we handle all the cropping, uploading, and hosting of those images for your newsletter.
We have started with a default template that suits most businesses, and soon we will be offering the ability to inject the curated content into your custom or pre-existing templates. We integrate with MailChimp so that you can take advantage of existing templates and lists.
After opening up our beta a month ago, we’ve had some great feedback. Here’s a couple of early comments:
Elias Jones: “One newsletter in and I’m really digging Goodbits. Integration with MailChimp is seamless and beautiful.”
Lauren Proctor: “I love what you guys are doing and think Goodbits is one of the best/most useful startup I’ve signed up for in months. The concept is great and your execution is both simple and beautiful.”
Eric Anderson: “I’m actually quite surprised nobody else has built something to solve this problem already.”
Wouldn’t you rather focus on curating the best of the web instead of tinkering, sometimes fruitlessly, with email editors? Come join others and leave the editor behind.