The 'ListBot Dilemma' and List Hosting Alternatives

Written by Angela Wu

I'm disgusted.

On June 22, 2001, one ofrepparttar most popular list hosts announced that it was replacing it's excellent service with a 'new and improved' version. We have to save all our subscriber lists and archives by August 20, or they'll be lost forever - unless, of course, we upgrade to their new service.

You might already know that I'm talking about ListBot. Yes,repparttar 124371 extremely popular ListBot is to be replaced with something called 'ListBuilder'.

Now I don't begrudge them for eliminatingrepparttar 124372 'free ListBot'; they're a business, after all, and they have to try to remain profitable. What bothers me is that they don't seem to care one whit about what this means to their customers - free AND paying customers.

Let me add that they had a lot of loyal customers - people who loved their service and were willing, even happy, to pay for it. I was one of them ... until recently.

This change has a big effect on those of us who used ListBot to manage our newsletters. Our ListBot subscription links will now be defunct. In other words, years of hard work promoting our subscription links - in articles, eBooks, links, and so on - are completely *wasted*.

THAT is why I'm disgusted. It's hard to believe that ListBot would behave so callously towards their loyal, paying fans.

My trust is broken. I loved ListBot. I *don't*, however, love what they've done. So instead of upgrading to their new ListBuilder service, I went looking for another solution.

SCRIPTS ~~~~~~~~

One option is to purchase a script to manage your list. Two such examples are:

== Opt-in Lightning, == Mail Master Pro,

With scripts, there's a number of things to consider. For example, does your web host allow you to install and run scripts? Is there an extra charge for doing so? Do you know how to install a script - or know someone who can do it for you?

Onrepparttar 124373 good side, once installed, your list management is completely under your control. No more relying on another company to handle your newsletter! You typically pay a one-time purchase fee forrepparttar 124374 script (and possibly repparttar 124375 installation as well) and it's yours to use forever.

Part 2 - "How to Format Your Ezine and Where to Find Free Content"

Written by Merle

In Part 1 of this series we discussed how to start your own newsletter. Now we move on torepparttar nitty gritty: Formatting and finding content.


Text ezines versus HTML format is a highly debatable subject. At this time, most ezine publishers stick with text, and I strongly recommend you follow suit. Many people are still using email clients that cannot read HTML messages - others preferrepparttar 124370 speed, ease and security of receiving their ezines in text format. It is safer to userepparttar 124371 format that is compatible withrepparttar 124372 largest number of users.

But there are other readers who appreciaterepparttar 124373 design quality and visual appeal of an HTML newsletter. So what can you do to please both sides? You can always publish a text version and include a link to an HTML version online. This is what I do and it seems to makerepparttar 124374 majority of my subscribers happy. It does call for twicerepparttar 124375 amount of work since you'll have to make two versions of your ezine, but in my opinion it's well worthrepparttar 124376 extra effort.

So what is a text ezine? Basically, it's just an email with some special formatting applied to make sure it's readable by everyone, no matter what email client they may be using. You'll want to stick to a fixed width font like courier or Monaco, and you'll need a plain text editor like Notepad or Textpad. One drawback with Notepad is it has no built-in spell checker, so I'd advise you to download Textpad or something similar. Many free text editors can be found at

You'll need to set up a template for your ezine so its look will be consistent, issue after issue. This should include your ezine name, date, and issue number atrepparttar 124377 very top, followed by a table of contents. If you're not sure on how it should look, you can obtain some free ezine templates by sending .

Atrepparttar 124378 very end of your newsletter template you'll want to include a paragraph on how to subscribe and unsubscribe, copyright information, and advertising information. It's vital that you include unsubscribe information in each and every issue. Do not hold people "hostage" by making it next to impossible to get off your list, it won't be appreciated and is not only considered unprofessional,but it could get you into real trouble with Spamcop.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
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