Q: Hi Donna–I am starting an opt-in newsletter and I was wondering if anyone has any experience in this. What technology is best to simplify the process? I have looked at Listserv, and a few others. Are these necessary? Or is there a better/ cheaper way? I definitely want a professional looking copy. I am starting out small at about 100 recipients and hoping to grow to several thousand. I can’t wait
to hear what you have to say.
A: Hi Ellen–
Even though HTML newsletters reign supreme these days, many savvy marketers are sticking with their plain-text newsletters, as the plain-text version is not stopped as often by your recipient’s spam filters, and the format in which you send it out will more than likely be the way your recipient will view it. However, the big down side to plain text newsletters is the open-rate of the newsletter can’t be tracked (the number of people who opened and read your newsletter).
If you want to send out an HTML newsletter and you have no web design experience, I would suggest that you go with Constant Contact, www.constantcontact.com. They offer a very reliable service for a very reasonable fee and a large number of templates from which to pick so that you only have to cut and paste text into the online form to complete your HTML newsletter. The service also converts HTML newsletters to plain text, as well, and offers your subscribers the option of the type of newsletter they’d like to receive. You can also create more than one list with this service. And, for an additional fee, the Constant Contact support team will create a custom template for your newsletter.
If you have some website design experience or have access to someone who does, I highly recommend AWeber, www.aweber.com. This is the service I’m about to begin to use. This service is actually a sequential autoresponder service (sends out followup emails that you set up for particular circumstances, like after someone purchases one of your products). You can use it for newsletter distribution as well. aWeber offers alot of personalization options (both in the subject line and body of your broadcast), which helps to increase your open rate. And, when someone signs up for your newsletter, you can keep "touching" your prospect by setting up a small (3-5 day) sequential autoresponder that goes out to them after they confirm their email address.
The best resource I know about regarding this issue is Alexandria Brown’s Boost Business with Your Own Ezine. Her book is the most comprehensive one in the industry.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.