Tag Archives: e-Newsletters

Check Out Our July e-Newsletter

You can visit our e-newsletter online here: http://www.mccordweb.com/e-newsletters/2009/july-09.html or you may want to consider subscribing to get our newsletter in your inbox.

Topics for this month are:

Graphic Electric Inc. Moves to the Web

Facebook Advertising Reviewed: Is It Worth the Money?

Microsoft Releases a New Search Engine Called Bing

As always you’ll get my candid comments and review as well as notes on special features or things to keep an eye on.

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CAN SPAM – Are You Breaking the Law?

I have recently had two situations that were similar in nature and wanted to talk about the two as you may benefit from the experience.

One situation the person had paid a party on eLance to scrap emails (harvested them) from websites manually in order to create a email list so they could send a notice of a new product they were selling. I was presented with the lists and asked to load them into the subscriber database control panel. I had to approve that the list was not a violation of the services terms of use and that the lists were  CAN SPAM compliant. I stopped the load and had to ask where the list had come from and found out the history.

It is very important to understand that lists of this nature – harvested emails, even done manually do not meet the criteria to pass review and do violate Federal Law. No one likes spam and although you might be able to get away with loading a list of that nature by lying your way through, are you willing to be held legally responsible for participating in that?

In another situation the person said that they could buy a list of 120,000 names from a party who they did not personally know for about $1,100 and that the list was CAN SPAM compliant and had been double opted in. This person was even told they should set up shell domains and spam, whoops send, to the list the first time and then resend to the list the second time on another domain – so the emails would not be blocked by ISPs. This is a spammer technique clear and simple – milk a domain for a few days, then drop it and move to another.

I have to say in both cases a business really flirts with disaster by doing shady deals and gray market activities in an effort to generate business even in a tough economy. My question in both these cases is: is it worth tarnishing your business reputation to send out spam? You hate spam, but you are you willing to spam others to make money for your own business?

For me, I will not participate in these types of enterprises. They are in violation of the law and I simply cannot risk get drawn into a bad situation that may spiral into legal action.

My question to you today is, are you breaking the law too? Or possibly just contemplating breaking the law. Maybe you just don’t know what they law says. Find out what the truth is when it comes to email lists and what is considered spam by reviewing the CAN SPAM act here.

What is interesting is that after these two conversations I checked with management at Topica (where my own e-newsletter list resides) about their policy on list creation and was told that they do not even allow the load of info, sales, and other generic email account names to the subscriber’s list as they know that these may be harvested emails. They focus on being totally CAN SPAM compliant and would not knowingly accept a harvest list of these natures. Vertical Response flags lists that are large (over 1,000 names on load) and asks the list owner to reconfirm in writing that the list is clean and not in violation of their terms of service or the CAN SPAM act. They will not even send the emails out until you provide answers.

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Check Out the MWS February e-Newsletter

Check out our online copy of our February 2009 e-newsletter.

In this issue we talk about:

  1. Getting Links the Easy Way with Press Releases and Feature Articles
  2. Newsletter or Blog, What Should I Do?
  3. Organic Blogging – a Case Study on Blog Posts as Search Entry Points

The first article talks about how you can get a volume of inbound links with article and press releases and deals with the staying power of those links by reviewing one clients actual statistics.

The second article talks about when you should do a blog and when you should do an e-newsletter. It may help you decide which avenue you should pursue for your own business.

The last article gives a real life example of how blogging lead to a search entry point for a customer lead and why the blog title and content is so important for organic searches.

We have great content every month. Make sure to review our e-newsletter archive for previous issues or subscribe to get the March issue in your in box.

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Are Blogs Better Than E-Newsletters?

From my perspective, blogs are better than e-newsletters. Many clients are surprised to find out that they will typically only have between a 10% to 35% open rate with e-newsletters. The reality is that it is simply getting more and more difficult to have your e-newsletter appear in someone’s in box and not their junk mail folder.

Blogs allow for the same type of contact with clients, prospects, and visitors without the person having to share their email address. In my own case my e-newsletter subscriber list is over 1,000 but typically on any given month under 100 people will actually open and read my monthly e-newsletter. In comparison nearly 20% of my website traffic will stop in visit and read my blog.

I still do a monthly e-newsletter, but now use it for a platform for special features, tips, and longer newsy articles than what I post as a typical blog post. I do try to get double duty from my e-newsletters by archiving them on my website and sometimes even breaking out the content as a white paper download in our resources section or special PC instruction.

So, do I feel that an e-newsletter is passé? No, not for some clients. particularly clients who are not blogging and an e-newsletter is the only regular contact they have with clients and prospects. From my point of view the contact is what is important, if the client does not buy into a blog then an e-newsletter monthly or quarterly is a good alternative.

For e-commerce site owners, I have a different perspective on the value of e-newsletters, I consider an e-newsletter crucial in regards to building repeat sales but only if the e-newsletter is used as a perk for regular shoppers and includes coupon codes and promotions.

Anyway you look at it, if you are in business, you should at least start to capture email addresses of clients on a daily basis if you are not already. You may want them for a regular e-newsletter in the future or to announce your new blog.

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E-Newsletters Still a Great Way to Connect

There are those in Web World who say that e-newsletters are dead. I disagree!

Yes, e-newsletters have become more difficult to serve to readers especially those behind corporate firewalls, but they are not dead. We still recommend e-newsletters as a great way to keep your client base and prospects informed, but we do recommend a few additional actions to help with distribution to the widest audience possible. Here are our tips:

1. Make sure to create a text and HTML version of each newsletter. Let your subscriber services decide which to deliver to each client by preference or auto-sensing. That’s why you pay a service to maximize deliverability.

2. Make sure to archive your e-newsletters back on your website so search engine spiders can see the new content for the freshness factor, but so your newsletter content can show up in the search results. Link your e-newsletter archive into your website navigation. Promote subscribing to your e-newsletter on the page and showcase past issues. You would be amazed at the information that prospects can glean about you and your services from previous e-newsletters. We know that some of our old e-newsletters which have been spun off into new pages in our website due to interest have become some of our hottest entries from the Web into our website. Here’s one of our top pages that speaks about how to set up email for multiple addresses: http://www.mccordweb.com/e-newsletters/instructions/setting-up-multiple-emails.php. This one page gets thousands of visitors each year wanting to know how to set up multiple email accounts and return addresses in Outlook. Put your old e-newsletter to work for you. When we find a topic that generates real interest we spin out additional articles feeding that interest. One example is our Instruction section and our Tech Notes section.

3. Make sure to create an RSS news feed for your e-newsletters. Some people will not want to share their email address with you, but may choose to subscribe to your e-newsletter the anonymous way using an RSS feed. Make sure you are using this technology for your e-newsletter. You will need to manually create the xml file each time you add an e-newsletter, but it is not complicated and you can even use a service like FeedHoster. Here is a link to our feed subscription page. If you have multiple RSS feeds make sure to make it easy for people to subscribe to all the news you offer with one click using auto subscribe buttons.

E-newsletters are not dead, you just have to massage them a bit to get them to really work for you.

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