After creating your email newsletter, you face challenge of delivery. With a printed newsletter, there’s usually only one method of widespread distribution: post office.
Fortunately, though, publishers of email newsletters have several choices. Let’s now work our way through this small jungle, and try to remember that although these choices force us to do extra research, they also give us many more options than we have with printed newsletters.
The first choice is between manual and automated mail management. The manual approach is how many, if not most, email newsletters get started. And, it’s a good system as long as mailing list remains small, say something less than 100 or 200 names (depending on how efficient you are at managing your email program). You can do this with an email program like Outlook Express or Eudora.
But, if your list is growing, you’ll soon grow impatient with amount of time it takes to manually add and remove subscribers, as well as to send newsletter. For example, you might need to divide your list into parts, and send out a series of mailings rather than just one, to keep size down.
That’s when it’s time to check out automated approach, using mailing list managers. These programs and services come in several forms. By way -- and you’ll need to know this when you go looking for an automated service -- difference between an announcement list and a discussion list.
An announcement list is essentially one way, which takes in most regular newsletters, or ezines. You are only person allowed to send a message to people who have subscribed. You’re also probably only person who knows email addresses of subscribers.
However, if you want to make it interactive, with recipients allowed to post contributions, as well as receive them, then you need a discussion list. For most of us, though, an announcement list is best starting point for a newsletter.
Now, if you have chosen to automate, you need to decide whether you want to do it yourself, or have someone else do it for you. If you plan to do it yourself, then you need a dedicated mailing list program. A couple of well-known providers are Dada Mail and MailLoop. To find other mailing programs, enter phrase “mailing software” (with or without quotation marks) in a search engine.