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Topic: E-Marketing

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Enewsletter - Why A 3rd Party? + File Size

Posted by Anonymous on 125 Points
I am a one-woman marketing department at a small but successful events planning/conference producing company. Our customers are very interested in receiving a newsletter which would include articles from speakers at our upcoming and past events as well as articles from other sources. I would also like to use these newsletters (I'm thinking monthly) to advertise our upcoming events in a "mark your calendar" kind of way.
Everyone has been stating a need to use a 3rd party as opposed to Outlook for a newsletter mailout. Is this still necessary if the newsletter is not (yet) going out to many people?
Also, I am assuming that standard practice for html newsletters is to have all graphics hosted on the sender's server. Is this correct? I am particularly concerned with a) filling up inboxes, and b) not passing company filters because of file size.
A loaded question, I realize... Thank you in advance for any tips.

  • Posted on Accepted
    Hi Katrina,

    What you are hearing is correct, there really isn't any good argument for sending e-newsletters/implementing an email marketing program using Outlook from your computer.

    A 3rd party ASP like www.constantcontact is definitely the way to go and they only cost $30 a month for up to 501- 2500 contacts or $15 for up to 500.

    You also store your database on their server which is nice, it makes management a lot easier, and they will provide you with campaign metrics, possibly the best reason of all.

    Images are typically stored on your computer, unless you link to images on another website or server, or unless you use the services of an ASP that does store them for you, but these companies cost significantly more per month/email.

    Your other concerns: "A", don't worry about it, you won't fill up any inboxes, and "B", it's not the size you have to worry about getting pass filters, this is a essentially a non-issue, however, you need to get pass the other spam filters and corporate server and ISP blocks and blacklists, and the short solution here is to have permission and get your subscribers to add you to their "Safe Sender" list.

    I could go on at length, if you want to talk about this in more detail, click on my name and contact me, I can answer any other questions you have and help you get going in the right direction.

    I hope that helps!

  • Posted by Inbox_Interactive on Accepted
    Tim's right. You should use a low-cost service such as ConstantContact, VerticalResponse, or MailerMailer for your newsletter, even if it's going only to 20 people.

    Here's why.

    First, if you use Outlook, you will need to use the BCC function, otherwise everyone will be able to see everyone else's email address, a MAJOR no-no. (Unless you were planning on doing a one-by-one mail-merge using a template, which I think is pretty time-consuming.) The BCC function just does not look very elegant, IMHO.

    Second, using Outlook means you probably won't have a one-click unsubscribe link in your message. While not required by CAN-SPAM, this is the more professional approach.

    Third, these services usually have a content checker so that you can score your message for "spaminess" before it goes out. Nice.

    As far as images go, these are usually hosted on your Web server, and the image source code in your HTML email should contain absolute references, not relative. For example, http://yourdomain.com/news/images/image.gif.

    If you have a Web site, then you have a place to park your images.

    Hope this helps!

    Paul
  • Posted by lee on Accepted
    Hi Katrina,

    My company also produces conferences and trade shows and one additional advantage we find to using a 3rd party ASP for newsletter mailings is that if you add sponsors (advertisers) you will likely need to provide opened/viewed/clickthrough, etc. reports. Most ASPs are able to provide these reports real-time and make reporting results back to sponsors much easier.

    For small newsletters you may not generate much revenue but it could be enough to at least offset the cost of the ASP.

    This data is also useful to you to know how many of your newsletters are actually reaching your customers and what they find interesting.

    Good luck,

    Lee
  • Posted on Member
    Katrina, I agree with all of the advice you've received so far. Do yourself a favor and follow-up with Tim Pepper's invitation for more help! ;]

    Everyone, I've been wondering why no one here ever recommends Emma, the vendor that's one of MarketingProfs' sponsors. Any ideas?

    - Shelley

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