Reprintable Article: Permission is granted for following article to forward, reprint, distribute, use for ezine, newsletter, website, offer as free bonus or part of a product for sale as long as no changes are made and byline, copyright, and resource box is included. ---------------------------------------------------------- Use a List-server to Distribute Your Newsletter
By Stephen Bucaro
If you publish an e-newsletter or e-zine, you know that administering your subscriber list is a big chore. To maintain list, you may be using an email program on your computer or a CGI program on your server. One advantage to maintaining list yourself is that you know it is not being shared by anyone else.
However, there are four good reasons why you should host your list on a list-server.
1. People can subscribe or unsubscribe from your list automatically with absolutely no work by you.
2. People often subscribe with an email alias or forwarded email account. You send your newsletter to one address, then receive a delivery failure or unsubscribe from an address not on your list. You can’t delete it from your list.
3. People subscribe to list and then forget that they subscribed. They accuse you of spamming. This can’t be avoided entirely, but if your list is hosted on a list-server, you can respond by saying “all subscribes and unsubscribes are handled automatically by list server, you have no control of it.”
4. If you plan to sell advertising in your newsletter, most advertisers and advertisement networks will require you to verify your subscriber count. If you maintain list yourself, only way you can do that is to share your list with them. You don’t want to do that.
If your list is hosted on a list-server, number of subscribers is there for all to see, provided by an independent third party.
Choosing a List-server
Many list-servers disappeared in ".com" bust. The best one, listbot, was bought by Microsoft. It is now called bCentral and costs $30.00 per month. Being a list owner, it is your responsibility to keep your list private. With well publicized ethical problems at Microsoft, I would not put my subscriber list in their hands.