[thelist] In my experience with newsletters

WolfPup WolfPup at abpeco-a.com
Wed Dec 18 16:19:02 CST 2002

Dave wrote :



I have a really dumb question, but I've never put out
a newsletter before and have obligated myself to my
users to do so (for better or for worse).

The first question that comes up is how to do it. I
can use Jmail or ASPEmail from the site's user dbase,
but these methods seem pretty cumbersome, coding every
line break, etc - especially because some of the
information is in other languages which are very hard
to work with using these methods. There seems to be
plenty of software on offer to handle these things
(any suggestions? Should allow defining charset and
content transfer encoding). In short, what's the best
way to do it?

The second question is that a friend of mine told me
he tried to send out a newsletter and was <gulp>
immediatley cut off by his ISP for spamming</gulp>.
Everyone sends these, so I assume there's more to the
story than what he told me OR that he did something
wrong. I would think I could do this with no problem,
provided I include a link for a user who wants to opt
out. Can anyone explain the ins and outs of this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.




In my experience the best solution is to use your own
email server, let it run from your own system directly
to the mail servers that should receive it. The guy getting
busted for spamming had to be doing it through his ISPs
mail server, or he sent messages to people who did not
want them. Be sure those who want the newsletter get it
by creating a list of email addresses for only those users.
You can add or remove as needed.
A news letter is just that, a NEWS letter. make it simple
and neat, personable or strictly business depending on
the crowd it's going to, and be sure you send one only
when you have news to report. The usual blah blah blah
newsletters that give no usable information, advertise a
product for sell like a commercial, or repeat old news
constantly to the point of boring the reader are not worth
your time or the receivers' .
It can simple as text, or include html, links and graphics,
etc,... but make sure it fits the need. Too much excess
will create long send times and too little information means
people interested will be asking questions or missing the
point entirely.
Always be sure that the subject tells the reciever what the
letter is for, and who sent it to him. A name in the subject
line likely will give the reader a chance to id the mail before
confusing it with (and deleting it with) the tons of spam that
may infest his box daily.
For the newsletter I used to send a few years back,
The Title was the subject, so DMAA Newsletter
was all that was needed for the receiver to realize
who it was from and what it was for.
 It was plain text, and all reference to any addresses
was a simple link to a page on the server. If the subject
of a paragraph needed deeper details and discussion,
it was linked to a forum, a page with a form, or to a
page that had more information on the subject for the
readers to access.
Make it a good read, entertainment value is important.
If it drones on technical issues and never quite gets the
reader interested, it will soon be ignored all together.
If it's comedic or satyrically inclined, be sure not to
use offensive language or prejudicial overtures. These
do more to alienate a reader than anything else.
Common sense is always important, and if you have none
then a newsletter is not your forte and never will be. :)


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