opinion

Using Push Technology

Joe D

List Management and Your Proprietary Newsletter

Over the years there has been unending discussion and debate as to whether email is dead and the function and capabilities of mail lists and newsletters in the post CAN Spam era. Numerous industry attorneys have published guidelines for continued mailing and newsletter management, but as in so many things in business and life, it’s mostly just common sense. Here are some ideas generally encouraging the use of Push Technology to get your word out.

One requirement that likely provokes a ‘duh moment’ as you read this is to simply provide an obvious opt-in newsletter email collection field on your site, and an equally obvious opt-out on the newsletter. There are a multitude of services which allow you to easily manage subscribing and unsubscribing.

For already existing customers you would like to have receive your newsletter, send out an initial one-time option to subscribe – with an appropriate invitation - to a wide audience, and then respect the decisions of the recipients. Provide multiple alternatives, including email, RSS feed, and reading online only.

Don't subscribe someone who did not request your newsletter, and don't send messages to people unless they want to receive them from you. Otherwise, you will be viewed as a spammer and your messages will annoy the recipients rather than please them.

Store an archived copy of each newsletter. In each issue, include a link to the archives. This will allow others to link to your newsletters, and new subscribers the opportunity to review your historical text depending on your topic area and coverage.

If you are a member of multiple forums (Yeah, I know, Ha, Ha!) don't daisy bomb them all with the same message. If your thoughts are relevant to more than one of your forums, create a brief custom version of your thread in advance, specific to the environment of each forum. You know that each forum has its own core group different from every other and it is this group you must convince that your message is relevant, and then you can include a link to the full message which is posted elsewhere. Generally, the guideline is just community respect.

I think brevity is the keyword in emails and newsletters, and as Alec Helmy would confirm the Lord knows I’m not the one to write about that. Keep your newsletters short, succinct and vital. If possible, keep them to one page and your chances that they will be read increase geometrically. Always avoid sending messages with attachments. Post any necessary files on your site and include links instead.

If you include your name and contact information in each communication, people will know who sent it and whom to contact with feedback and suggestions. The more information you give them the more credible you become, as you help build a positive reputation for yourself and your company or organization. Building credibility and that positive reputation should always be foremost in your endeavors, and good luck pushing your important message!

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