I have been asked a few times how I do my e-newsletters. Many people send a newsletter as a PDF attachment or as plain text and use Outlook or other email software. Unfortunately when they do that, many of the recipients don’t receive the e-mail because they get caught up in the spam filters.
There is a much better way. The first step is to get away from using Outlook and its equivalents and start using software that is designed for the purpose of creating e-newsletters (or ezines if you prefer). Most of these services are web based and provide a broad service that give you all kinds of capabilities.
I use one called iContact. It is pretty easy to use, inexpensive and works well for me. Here are some of the benefits of using an e-newsletter service:
- You can create more attractive HTML type newsletters
- They provide you with a way to manage subscribers and for the recipients to manage their own subscription. In the US it is a legal requirement that you enable people to unsubscribe from your newsletter if that is their choice. iContact does a great job of making sure you don’t fall foul of the law. They provide a link for people to unsubscribe and to remain unsubscribed
- They provide you with a sign-up form that you can embed in your blog or on your website (mine is at the bottom of this post)
- You can track statistics of readership. I know it sounds big brother like but with an e-newsletter service you can better understand your readership which helps you do a better job of providing information your readers want to see. With iContact and all of it’s competitors you can track, how many people opened it, how many clicked on which links, how many unsubscribed and so on.
- iContact also lets you send out surveys so you can directly ask readers about topics of interest.
- There are a bunch of other features which you can read for yourself at their site.
The different e-newsletters have different pricing models. Some charge by the number of e-mails you send out and other charge by the number of subscribers that you have. iContact base their fees on the number of subscribers. The first 500 cost $9.95 a month and it goes up from there. You can send as many newsletters as you want but of course you don’t want to bug your readers so you will want to limit what you send.
If there is more interest in how to create an e-newsletter specifically, let me know and I’ll write more or perhaps even create a screen shot movie showing how to do it.
By the way, iContact have an affiliate program as do many other e-newsletter services. If you decide you do want to use iContact, I would appreciate you using my affiliate link. It doesn’t cost you any extra but does provide a little “kicker” to me.
Here is my newsletter sign-up form: