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How to Send E-Mail to Your List

By Virginia Lawrence

Any author or book publisher with a Web site should be communicating with the target market through occasional mailings. Those mailings can present special offers, new books, great reviews, or topical news related to one of the books. As long as we are mailing information that interests those on our list, we have a good reason to send e-mails and remind them to visit our site.

Purchase and Install Mailing Software

We should not use Outlook or the AOL e-mail software to send business e-mail to our list. Those programs are fine for sending a family announcement to five people, but when used for sending to a large group of people, the messages they send are likely to be categorized as spam.

To build a list of subscribers and mail to that list, we need a good bulk e-mail program. I recommend a program called 1-2All. It costs only $97, installs on the Web site server, and does the job professionally.

1-2All sends one e-mail at a time. Each of those e-mails can be personalized with the name of the recipient, so that the e-mails look personal and professional. The program sends regular text e-mail, and it also sends HTML e-mail, the type of e-mail that looks like a Web page. Sending e-mails looking like HTML pages is not absolutely necessary, but doing so can add panache to our professional presentation.

HTML e-mailings have the added advantage that we can get reports on the number of viewers who looked at the message. We can see what percentage of recipients read the e-mail and what percentage clicked to go to the Web site from the e-mail. That kind of information is not directly available with regular e-mails.

Build a Template

We design a simple design or template to be used in the mailings. The template usually looks like our main Web site, and displays the text in the message.

Never Buy a Mailing List

Yes, there are e-mail lists available for purchase, but you should not buy a list. Most companies selling lists have not received permission to use those names. A person who uses such lists may find himself accused of mailing illegally and having his Web site taken down by his Web host.

Build a Mailing List

1-2All gives us the tools to establish a signup page on our Web site. We make it clear to site visitors that they will benefit by signing up for our list, and we make it easy to sign up for the list.

If we have a list of customers, that’s a perfect population for our e-mail announcements. To get permission to e-mail customers, we can send a physical postcard to each, asking the customer to sign up at the Web site for occasional news by e-mail. An alternative is to send an e-mail to all past customers and ask them to click on a link to continue receiving e-mail news.

So we use our only own mailing lists, and we always include a way for people to get off the list. Also, we tell the recipients who we are, including full contact information in the e-mail.

When we have professional e-mail software, a good-looking message with an interesting offer, and a list of people who want to hear from us, occasional mailings can increase our sales substantially.

–© 2005 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. is a professional Web Developer and Online Marketing Consultant. She routinely places client sites on the first page of a Google search. Contact her at virginia@spawn.org or visit her Web site at http://www.cognitext.com.

 

 

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