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Thors_Hammer, on the whole, we don't generally go in for email harvesting on this board. If you check the site search function (at the top of your screen) for "email spider" and like keywords, you'll find a lot of threads on how to spot, stop and trap such spiders, but not much on how to run them. The majority of members here are professional webmasters, and combatting inbox spam is a major inconvenience for many (witness Lisa having gone to the lengths of writing a script to hide email addresses - so have a number of others)
Most of us consider that there are far more effective methods available to attract traffic than spider-driven email campaigns. If you read around here a bit, you'll find a lot of informaton on all of them. Enjoy!
We have had a great success with this. And are now moving it to a national market, and opeing it up to youth, adults and especially seniors. So we are trying to get the word out to churches, art directors, teachers etc....... He is trying to utilize the most efficient means of telling mass's about this, (ie. via email) Our local database is small, about 3k.
What we intended to do, is to send out an introduction email to those on our list, and give them the chance to respond back, to obtain more information (creating an opt-in list). And if we do not hear from them, their address would then be moved to a 'dead' file, and no longer emailed to.
We have limited finances to promote this event. It has been in the past a non-profit entity, relying on donations, volunteers, and our primary financing. We are trying to explore ways to raise money that will cover operational costs of this event. It has such tremindious possibility to allow individuals who may not get the chance, to compete in a art contest that fosters imagination and self worth.
So I hope you dont think I am going to be going on a EMAIL campaign to end all email campaigns, no mass spamming from us. LOL. The opt-in lists we have checked on, are extremely expensive, and price prohibitive.
I appreceiate all the suggestions, and will be doing that search as soon as I am done with this post.
Any input from anyone is definetely wanted. I appreciate all view points, and suggestions.
(PS. I had to take Thors_Hammer, cause I put in the wrong email address for Thor, and couldnt receive my password, any suggestions? I hate being known as a hammer. LOL )
Our apologies if it seemed you were jumped on from a great height, but it seems you are well aware of how people feel about email-spammers in general. Perhaps there are two things to be learned here,
1) a little more information in posts to give a clearer picture of what you want and need,
2) a little more patience from member in finding out the whole story before pronouncing judgement, ;)
Thor, just to clear one thing up, are you wanting to spider these churches, schools etc to get new email addresses and then send them a message, or are you simply after a mass-mail program to send a message to thoses addresses you already have?
If the former, hmmm, you are perhaps still walking a fine line. Even though you intentions are honourable (arguably) you would still be sending an email to someone who did not request it, which may get you into trouble.
If the latter, there are free programs around and you should be able to find them via Google searching for "free mass mail program" or combinations thereof.
I assume you are looking at other options such as related message boards, news groups, exchange advertising, and so on.
For example, given that what you are doing seems to be a community based project, there should be people out there who would be willing to run ads for you free of charge in the nature of a "community service announcement" or some such like. (I for one may be able to help, drop me a sticky...)
Anyone else got any ideas on how Thor can promote this project? Lets turn this into a mini BrainStorming Session for him.
I homeschooled my 3 children for 4 years and know that there are many discussion groups of national importance that teachers use to post and request ideas for projects. Most all require that posts be non-commercial of course - but it sounds like this project fits that criteria.
"Thor, just to clear one thing up, are you wanting to spider these churches, schools etc to get new email addresses and then send them a message, or are you simply after a mass-mail program to send a message to thoses addresses you already have?"
- We are looking to try to cost effectively increase our email database. So far we can manage the sending portion of the emails.
"I assume you are looking at other options such as related message boards, news groups, exchange advertising, and so on. "
- Yes, I am looking into related bb, etc.... Right now, I am pretty much the only one that has the skills to promote this, and the time. I am working on this alot in my spare time at home etc.... Since our primary business is art glass, stained glass, etc.... the hours in the day are devoted primarly to that part of the business.
"I would think that a short message of just the facts including a statement that there is no fee to participate (assuming that is the case) would be accepted on many national discussion boards including teacher resources boards. "
- I have thought of this also. There used to be no fee whatsoever, but there will now be a small fee $3. We will grandfather in our state children, and absorb the cost of their fees etc... We have run this event for the past 7 years in the red, since it has been not for profit and volunteer / donation based. It has had such great success, and helped alot of kids and teachers, we just arent willing to write it off. One of the local school teachers had a grand prize winner, and she auctioned off the panel we made for her. She made just over $7,000 for her art department. Thats ALOT of money for an art department for a year. We hope in the future to be able to present multiple scholarships, among other things. So we have had to put the enrollment fee in the mix, to help cover the costs. Imagine processing 3k plus pieces of art, and judging in approx 20 days of entry deadline. Last year it was that way. and that was on an extremely small scale, as to what it is going to be.
"Hi, wayder and Thors_Hammer (Mjolnir, right?), welcome to Webmaster World. "
- Thanks for the welcome, and you are correct about Mjolnir. :)
"I homeschooled my 3 children for 4 years and know that there are many discussion groups of national importance that teachers use to post and request ideas for projects. Most all require that posts be non-commercial of course - but it sounds like this project fits that criteria. "
- Wow. We homeschool our children. Small world..... Do you remember those urls? The wife is always looking for that kind of info. And we are looking into trying to get this out to homeschool groups etc...
This contest is really for anyone that can hold a pen / pencil / brush etc.... That is why we are trying to go national with it, and open to all age groups. I really think the youth, and seniors will be the ones to benifit most from the contest.
Thanks again, all of you for your help. Again, I appollogize for not being more forthcoming with the details before hand. This is a great forum, and I think you will be seeing alot of me here, and my hammer!!!
I have heared about these types of programs, but havent started checking into them in any detail yet...
Whoaaaaaa! Im a 'junior member' now. Onward and upward....... ;)
your problem is not so much about building up an email address database, more of a general promotion thing. there are plenty of effective means of promotion that don't need email - keep the emails to those that have registered as a result of your promotion
have you tried a press release? newspapers, radio stations, tv stations - any of them could help.
how about writing to every school / church / art shop / art gallery etc with information about the competition and a small poster, and ask them if they wouldn't mind displaying the poster?
there may be some community websites that are willing to mention the competition for free - check around
sending thousands of unsolicited emails will be free, but it'll sure p*ss a lot of people off. the above ideas should be much more efficient.
Yes, all of the above for our local market. The problem is trying to get it to a 'national' market. To do the same advertising on a national level is just not feasible.
"how about writing to every school / church / art shop / art gallery etc with information about the competition and a small poster, and ask them if they wouldn't mind displaying the poster? "
Again, it comes down to marketing to a 'national' market. If we try to do this, the postage, printing, and labor involved to mass mail a letter (much less a combination of marketing aids ie psoter) would be just too costly.
"there may be some community websites that are willing to mention the competition for free - check around "
yes there are, we are discussing exchanging links with many of the local ones, but to try and develop a link exchange with lots of 'national' entities would be time consuming to say the least. And would most likely produce a very small result for the effort put fourth. I am sure it will be something we look at doing in the next couple of years, but I dont see it paying for itself in the short-term, the way we neeed any effort that we put fourth during this first year will need to produce....
We of course are looking at forums/bulletin boards/email forums etc.... that would be usefull for the marketing of this contest....
Thanks for the input crazy_fool. :)