Let’s assume you are managing a mail distribution list with more than 50 people on it for a church or business and currently you are handling it in Outlook. Why not assume it is for a newsletter or bulletin…
Some of the problems you face are as follows: ( AKA the Top 10 Reasons to Switch to Email Marketing)
10. This is just too confusing and time consuming (see reasons 9 through 1 below)
9. Sending large emails with pictures or PDF attachments to dozens of people can slow your mail server to a crawl and take all day to send.
8. You have to manually add and remove each recipient, which is time consuming and is prone to human error (typos, accidental deletion of the wrong people).
7. You have no way for people to add themselves via a link on your website.
6. Subscribers are not verified, they have not opted-in. (Read more about the CAN-SPAM Act).
5. You have no way to see if your email was actually OPENED, or see which links were clicked on in your email.
4. Your mail distribution list likely has only the email address of each person and no idea of who firstname.lastname@example.org really is.
3. You do not have a list of which addresses are bouncing, unless you compile it yourself from the actual bounced messages.
2. If you are sending newsletters, you may be just constructing your email inside Outlook and it may be text based, with no real consistency in appearance.
And the number one issue faced by those using Outlook to manage a mailing list/newsletter: You are sending a large number of emails from your account, which may appear to recipients and mail servers to be junk mail, which could ultimately result in your mail ending up in the spam folder, or worse, certain mail servers could see traffic from you as unsolicited email and flag your IP address as suspicious, resulting in the inability to send to that domain again until it is cleared up. In some cases, you could be blacklisted and placed on a real-time block list (RBL) and that would affect all mail sent from everyone at your business or organization to many mail servers around the world. (Those types of problems can take a while to get cleared up, and some RBLs hold you hostage and make you pay a fee before removing you).
The solution to these nightmares is to make a small monthly investment and use one of the many mailing list managers that are designed for email marketing and newsletters. They address all of the issues above, and give you an easy template based interface which allows you to create well structured newsletters, and send them to your subscribers without fear of blacklisting, and without the hassles of manually editing distribution lists. You can place a signup button and form on your website, and anyone who is interested can subscribe themselves to your list!
As an added bonus, you can see how many of the emails went out, how many were opened, which links were clicked on and other analytic information that will assist you in determining what content is “interesting” to your subscriber base. You also see how many bounced, without having a dozen bounce messages in your inbox!
You are probably thinking that this must be expensive and there is no way you can afford it. Quite the contrary, you can get started for FREE by signing up for an evaluation. After the trial period, you can then subscribe for a few dollars per month. I personally opted for MadMimi (see link below) because it is the most affordable, however, any of the three are awesome!
If you would like to subscribe to our mailing lists, or see what the subscription form looks like, click here:
Try these out for free:
One last thing – Using these solutions you do not have to have a Publisher, or even Office loaded. It does not matter if you are on a Microsoft Windows machine, Apple Mac, a netbook or even a tablet or pad computer, you can create your newsletter with just about any computer with a web browser!
If you have questions or need some assistance, just let me know, I will do what I can to help!