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Email Newsletters! Ideas, Technology, Mistakes & Solutions
Suggestions for sending and managing email newsletters
bouncybunny




msg:3591617
 5:24 am on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

As yet another client asks me about the best way for them to implement an email newsletter system, I find myself taking a step back and looking at the whole issue afresh. Some of my thoughts are below and I'd be interested to hear other people's ideas.

A kind of Dos and Don'ts list might even be helpful. I'll start with a couple.

DO
Use dedicated email newsletter/mailmerge software.

DONT
Just add your customer database to Outlook and press the send button.

DO
Consider the Pros and Cons of using HTML embedded in the newsletter. It may look great in some email clients, but it will come out as a complete mess in others. Also, some firewalls, security software will bounce it. Consider using plain text, it won't look as good, but it will be readable.

DONT
Use use complex formatting or attach non-standard file types.

DO
Think about if you really need to send all this information to your clients/members? Would it be more useful to just write a few lines and then link to more detailed information on your web site? Perhaps consider attaching a PDF?

DONT
Embed Flash, high resolution PDFs or JPEGs.

What do people think of those I've started with? In particular the text versus html argument?

 

Durham_e




msg:3591626
 6:03 am on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

DO:

Set up at least three test accounts. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail to test before you send. Absolutely DO if you are using HTML.

bouncybunny




msg:3592752
 10:12 am on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Good point. Those are also good tests to see if you newsletter is flagged as spam.

DO
Check to see if a large proportion of your subscribers are AOL members. There may be whitelisting procedures to think about.

Mr Bo Jangles




msg:3592756
 10:26 am on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

OK, what we've done.

We send out a quarterly newsletter to about 600 clients and related entities.

We use Campaign Monitor software to do the sending - brilliant.

We used to send it full HTML e-mail, but because we really want our e-mails to get through the corporate software spam-traps, we've decided recently to now send a plain text e-mail with just a 'catchy' summary of the Newsletter contents, and a link to the Newsletter that we put up on the web - so they click the link, and they read the newsletter in their browser.

What we also do is have a Newsletter archive page on our web site with attractive screenshots (reduced in size) of each Newsletter - you want to read that newsletter, just click the screenshot.
It is very nice.

Anyone interested in having a look - just e-mail me.

Lexur




msg:3592772
 10:51 am on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

DO:
Use mail list software wich identifies your message (for mailservers and for users) as a subscription list with a clear link to cancel subscriptions.

DO:
Check regularly your three test accounts and move, if needed, your messages from the spam box to the inbox every time you send a bulletin.

bouncybunny




msg:3593493
 10:45 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Lexur

Regarding
Check regularly your three test accounts and move, if needed, your messages from the spam box to the inbox every time you send a bulletin.

Are you suggesting that this might help identify this to Yahoo/Google etc as non-spam and perhaps affect other users? Or did I misunderstand you?

Lexur




msg:3594856
 7:30 am on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes. It helps. I noticed it with the Yahoo account.

bouncybunny




msg:3594944
 12:34 pm on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Interesting. Thanks.

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