Most organizations and businesses need to spread the message of their goods and services. A common method used is email marketing, which is an extremely cost-effective method for an organization to market product and services and to develop stronger relationships with its target audience.
All you need is an email program like outlook, email addresses, something to say, and off you go sending out email newsletters. This is how I ran a company newsletter for years. It is free, and it works.
Over time however, people start to get dissatisfied with such a method. They want their organization to look professional with professional-looking newsletters. It gets tiresome to keep reviewing the email listings; people are subscribing, unsubscribing; some need text and most want HTML. Furthermore, you start to want professional reports on who is reading your newsletters. The last point is particularly important as you are not going to find out how to improve your newsletter until you get feedback.
There are several options you can use both software and web services available. I looked at quite a number. From what I have seen the best ones tend to be the web services. These tend to cost.
There are several professional email marketing systems that have free accounts.
Mailchimp has a free service that should suit many clubs and businesses. It has a limit of 2,000 subscribers; you can send I think 2,000 emails a day and 12,000 emails a month.
It is relatively easy to use and has templates that you can modify to set up your organization with a professional-looking newsletter. Once you have done that you can easily edit this newsletter for the next edition.
In my experience, you are looking at sending a page of writing somewhere between once a month and once every six months. So about two to twelve email newsletters a year. Do much more than that and people will start to complain, do less and people will tend to forget you.
Mailchimp has three features in particular that I found very useful;
- The ability to schedule emails in local time, in advance.
- Automatic subscribe and unsubscribe (This saved me a lot of time because people can do it themselves on the web).
- Good reporting.
What is interesting is to see where your readers are located. One point I would like is to know, which I cannot get, is where people who forward the newsletters are. Are people reading it twice or forwarding it to a competitor?
Note: If you intend to do an email newsletter, remember there are laws about spam and you should check the regulations currently in force for your country and/or region. Generally your newsletter is not SPAM, if the receiver has to agree to receive them, you include a link to unsubscribe from your mailings and you list your organization's name and physical address.
I would like to know if others have had experience with these services?