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Ezine Publishing Cafe
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Ezine serviceViews: 619
Jan 25, 2005 9:51 pmEzine service#

Barbara C. Phillips
Good Afternoon,

I've been using Constant Contact for my newsletter and my prepaid time is coming to an end. So before I renew, I'm wondering about the advantages and disadvantages to alternatives.

Let me start out by saying that I like the stats I get from constant contact, and it's a breeze for me to make a it visually pleasing since Turtle set up my template (I know enough html to have it take me several minutes to set up my sig file for Ryze!). I do find more and more blocks, but am unsure at this point if it's CC that being blocked, me, or something else (no money, freebies or sex mentioned in my newsletter ;]). And I am going to be setting up alternative delivery with blogging and RSS so people have a choice.

Some options that I've noted:
EZ Ezine
Ezine Director
!Shopping Cart (also has the ability to do newsletters)
Constant Contact (I can always stay)

In all of these it seems that I can do text or html. Like with CC, can I have a template set up and use it for any of these? In CC subscribers can choose to get HTML or text, though sometimes the code shows through on the text. Is that standard in these programs?

Any other suggestions or considerations? Anyone want to share your experience?

Many, many thanks!

Barbara C. Phillips, MN, NP
www.OlderWiserWomen.com
Inspiring Women to Embrace and Enjoy the Magnificent Journey of Aging!

Private Reply to Barbara C. Phillips

Jan 26, 2005 1:15 amMy thoughts on Constant Contact re: Ezine service#

Scott Stratten
I wrote a newsletter on this topic recently:

It's an uphill battle nowadays, trying to get your emails and
newsletters out to your target market. Filters, triggers, etc..
make it that much harder to get a message to an intended, and
permission-based recipient. But did you know that you might be
listed in a spamming database, just from the place you picked to
send out your emails?

Keep reading where I show you proof...

Not wanting to get too techno-geek on you, every time you send out
a newsletter, it's has an IP address attached to it. If you use a
3rd party company to send out your ezine, you get an IP address
from them, since they are the ones actually sending it out.

You can have the most iron-clad, double permission-based
newsletter list in the world, but as soon as some meathead
decides to use the same service as you and starts spamming, that
IP address gets put into a database where email providers consult
to determine what is and is not spam. If you're IP is put in, you
could be sending emails that are being put in a black-hole. You
don't know they're being blocked, your clients/subscribers don't
know you're sending anything.

How do you find out if you're on that nasty list?

First you have to determine what your IP address is for
your newsletter. Open a recent issue in your email (I assume
you're a subscriber to your own newsletter! I've subscribed to
this one twice, because I enjoy it so much ;-)

Now, I know in Outlook you have to open the newsletter, then go
to View --> Options and you get a window open that shows message
settings, and at the bottom it shows your newsletter "header"
where all the techno-gunk is about that particular email. Mine
has a line that says: Received: from localhost.localdomain
(ezezine.com [69.10.143.72]

Since EZezine.com is the company I use to send out my newsletter,
that makes sense.

Now I run it through a IP lookup service. Come and see the
results here:
http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools/ip4r.ch?ip=69.10.143.72

As you scroll down that list, you'll see no red highlights,
meaning my fantastic provider, www.EZezine.com is not listed as a
spam-house anywhere.

Now look at a recent IP from a client of mine that uses Constant
Contact for her distribution:
http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools/ip4r.ch?ip=63.251.135.74

Yeouch! 17 places where she is considered to be a spammer. And we
wondered why she had a low "open-rate" for her newsletters.

If you can't figure out how to look at yours, drop me a line and
I'll help you.

Moral of the story: It's not good enough anymore to have a
perfect permission-based list, you now need to police your
provider. Especially if you're paying a good amount of coin for
the service. That's why I love mine www.ezezine.com not only are they
angelic when it comes to spam databases, they have the best rates
out there. And nope, I don't make a pretty penny off of plugging
them. I firmly believe in shouting from the rooftop when I find a
great thing.

Sincerely,

Scott Stratten, President
http://www.Un-Marketing.com
Bringing customers to you...
(905) 844-9421

PS - Please pass this on to anyone who sends out a newsletter.






Private Reply to Scott Stratten

Jan 26, 2005 8:40 pmre: My thoughts on Constant Contact re: Ezine service#

Barbara C. Phillips
Scott,

Great information. Thanks!

I have one more question. When changing ezine service, will my subscribers be subjected to another optin?

Barbara C. Phillips, MN, NP
www.OlderWiserWomen.com
Inspiring Women to Embrace and Enjoy the Magnificent Journey of Aging!

Private Reply to Barbara C. Phillips

Jan 26, 2005 9:26 pmre: re: My thoughts on Constant Contact re: Ezine service#

Scott Stratten

>I have one more question. When changing ezine service, will my subscribers be subjected to another optin?

That's all dependent on your new provider.

Initially we think it's a pain in the butt to do it, and you would lose some subscribers, but, the ezine service needs to make sure they stay on the white lists, and don't get labeled a spammer, so a mass import of "pre-opted in" subscribers doesn't go over too well. What stops a spammer from telling someone the list of 40,000 names they have are all "quadruple opt-in!!"

Scott

Private Reply to Scott Stratten

Jan 26, 2005 9:38 pmre: re: My thoughts on Constant Contact re: Ezine service#

lisa micklin
Hi Barbara-

That will depend on the service you choose to go with. Currently EZezine allows you to import a database, but, when the new version of the software is released in a couple of months, you will be required to re-opt-in your list.

According to CAN-SPAM legislation, both the list owner and the list host are accountable for being able to provide a time/date/IP stamp on every single subscriber. What that means is you need to be able to prove where/when/how each subscriber opted-in. The only way to obtain this info is via a web-based subscription form.

Aside from the law, it's a good idea to clean your list and find out who is really reading it by requesting a re-opt-in. What we're doing at EZezine while we head towards the transition to our new service, is recommending that new members do this now, when they transition to our company. That way they won't need to do it down the road.

The best way to do this is:
1) Figure out who your new service provider is going to be.
2) Place a subscription form from them on your website.
3) Via your current provider send a couple of announcements saying that you are switching services, and asking folks to re-opt-in, directing them to the new form.

You can use this third step as a marketing tool. Something to the effect of:

"To better serve you we are switching ezine providers. I want to be sure that you still want to receive xyz ezine, chock full of tips, hints, and whatever making your life run more efficiently....etc.... Please go to http://your-ezinesubscriptionform.com and fill out the simple form you will find there. This quick step will ensure that you will receive xyz ezine with no interruption"

This is just an example off of the top of my head.

A while back there was a discussion here about the response rate to requests like this. My theory is, if a so called subscriber isn't willing to take the 10 seconds to re-opt-in, why would you think they would take the 5-10 minutes required to read the content of your ezine? Those who don't re-opt-in are zombie addresses who don't care about your ezine anyway, and are likely deleting, or clicking the 'this is spam/junk' button anyway.

Hope this helps,
lisa
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

> Barbara C. Phillips wrote:

>I have one more question. When changing ezine service, will my subscribers be subjected to another optin?

Private Reply to lisa micklin

Jan 27, 2005 9:46 amre: re: re: My thoughts on Constant Contact re: Ezine service#

Linda Bohrnerud
Hmm, I am a member of several mailing lists that let you subscribe by email - no web based form. I personally prefer this, because it allows me to keep a record of what I sent. If I had to reply to an email, saying, "Yes, I still want to be on the list." that would be fine by me. I might not feel like signing up again through a web page. Hey, maybe I'm fighting with my browser that day.

Ciao,
Linda B

> lisa micklin wrote:
> Hi Barbara-
>
>That will depend on the service you choose to go with. Currently EZezine allows you to import a database, but, when the new version of the software is released in a couple of months, you will be required to re-opt-in your list.
>
>According to CAN-SPAM legislation, both the list owner and the list host are accountable for being able to provide a time/date/IP stamp on every single subscriber. What that means is you need to be able to prove where/when/how each subscriber opted-in. The only way to obtain this info is via a web-based subscription form.
>
>Aside from the law, it's a good idea to clean your list and find out who is really reading it by requesting a re-opt-in. What we're doing at EZezine while we head towards the transition to our new service, is recommending that new members do this now, when they transition to our company. That way they won't need to do it down the road.
>
>The best way to do this is:
>1) Figure out who your new service provider is going to be.
>2) Place a subscription form from them on your website.
>3) Via your current provider send a couple of announcements saying that you are switching services, and asking folks to re-opt-in, directing them to the new form.
>
>You can use this third step as a marketing tool. Something to the effect of:
>
>"To better serve you we are switching ezine providers. I want to be sure that you still want to receive xyz ezine, chock full of tips, hints, and whatever making your life run more efficiently....etc.... Please go to http://your-ezinesubscriptionform.com and fill out the simple form you will find there. This quick step will ensure that you will receive xyz ezine with no interruption"
>
>This is just an example off of the top of my head.
>
>A while back there was a discussion here about the response rate to requests like this. My theory is, if a so called subscriber isn't willing to take the 10 seconds to re-opt-in, why would you think they would take the 5-10 minutes required to read the content of your ezine? Those who don't re-opt-in are zombie addresses who don't care about your ezine anyway, and are likely deleting, or clicking the 'this is spam/junk' button anyway.
>
>Hope this helps,
>lisa
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>> Barbara C. Phillips wrote:
>
>>I have one more question. When changing ezine service, will my subscribers be subjected to another optin?

Private Reply to Linda Bohrnerud

Jan 27, 2005 11:51 amwhy email command subscriptions don't work#

lisa micklin
Hi Linda-

Ahhhhh the ol' email command option..... thanks for bringing this up, well worth exploring.....

Here's my experience with this and why I'm not a fan:

1) I personally wouldn't trust the security/privacy of my email address in a list that would allow me to be added simply by sending an email. Sniffers and robots can grab an email address very easily and often prey on sub/unsub addresses to harvest email addresses.
2) Email viruses are your worst enemy with email subscriptions.

Scenario:........
3) a subscriber gets a virus
4) that virus begins sending emails to every address in their book including subscribe@xyz.com.
5) every email address in that address book is now being subscribed to some ezine they didn't want to sub to.
6) same thing happens with unsub addresses.
7) if this is a double optin, granted the unknowing address won't get added, they'll just get a request for confirmation, but that too is virally started. they'll be getting requests to confirm subscriptions that they didn't ask for.
8) if you're gonna do double opt-in, the 2nd part should be web-based no matter what, to prevent folks from being added by viruses, robots and sniffers.
9) if the 2nd phase is web-based, why bother with the email command in the first place?


Often, the list owner won't even know this is happening. As an admin however, I've seen thousands of virally started opt-ins over the last several years. Thousands and thousands.

We've been offering email sub/unsub commands in V1.0 of EZezine, but will be discontinuing them when we release the new version in a few months due to the atrocity of the above situation. It only takes one infected subscriber to instigate an avalanche of phony ezine opt-ins (or opt-in attempts for double opt-in), ouch!

You said: "If I had to reply to an email, saying, "Yes, I still want to be on the list." that would be fine by me. I might not feel like signing up again through a web page."

This takes me back to my question of "how much do you value the ezines you are subscribing to?" Are you, and this is a rhetorical question, really reading the ezines that aren't worth the 10-15 seconds it takes to re-opt-in to? Are you more likely to read the ezines that have email subscription commands?

If your browser is misbehaving, is the ezine valuable enough to you to go to a web based form when it starts behaving again? When you get a busy signal, do you try the phone call again? (btw - This can likely be remedied by switching to Firefox or Mozilla browser, http://mozilla.org which has never mis-behaved for me in my years of using it.)

Hope this is helpful,
lisa
~~~~~~~~~~~~~


> Linda Bohrnerud wrote:
> Hmm, I am a member of several mailing lists that let you subscribe by email - no web based form. I personally prefer this, because it allows me to keep a record of what I sent. If I had to reply to an email, saying, "Yes, I still want to be on the list." that would be fine by me. I might not feel like signing up again through a web page. Hey, maybe I'm fighting with my browser that day.
>

Private Reply to lisa micklin

Jan 27, 2005 1:57 pmre: why email command subscriptions don't work#

Barbara C. Phillips
I thank all of you for your words of wisdom regarding ezine services and forms of subscriptions. It's very helpful as I learn more and more the ins and outs of all this.

The more I am learning about all this, the more I am thinking that using some form of syndication for a newsletter-like publication or blog would be a good compliment to a ezine.

Everyone have a fantastic day!

Barbara

Private Reply to Barbara C. Phillips

Jan 27, 2005 10:57 pmre: why email command subscriptions don't work#

Kurt Schweitzer
The thing that really ticks me off is when the "opt-out" mechanism is email only.

I own my own domains, and frequently make up a new email address when I sign up for a newsletter simply so I can track how that email address gets used. Does this newsletter live up to its promise to not sell my address? The answer is all too often "no".

Having multiple email addresses like this is usually no problem for me. All unrecognized addresses to my domains are forwarded to my main account, so I get them regardless of how they are addressed. But when I have to send an unsubscribe request via email I get into trouble, because the email address that I'm supposed to be sending from (which is the one to be dropped from their list) doesn't really exist.

The only solution is for me to go out to my domain, create a "real" email account for that address, and then send the unsubscribe request from that account. And then I have to delete the account so it doesn't sit around accumulating messages and eating into my quotas.

Bottom line: ALWAYS have a web-based opt-out form for your newsletter!

Kurt Schweitzer
http://kurtschweitzer.com

Private Reply to Kurt Schweitzer

Feb 01, 2005 9:01 pmre: why email command subscriptions don't work#

Danish Ahmed

Hi Lisa!!

You're always full of great insights!

This virus thing getting into SubscribeMe@YourCompany.com is new to me. How do you guys at EzEzine deal with it currently (besides phasing it out)?

By the way, in regards to people who don't have 10 seconds to re-subscribe... Your comment is where do they get the time to actually read the e-zine if they don't have the 10 seconds?

Well, here's a scenario (which I fall into, as well). Some people subscribe to newsletters, and they don't read them when they come in. They put them in a special folder (sometimes automatically). And, when it's time to do some research or to find something about a particular subject - presto, we do a search!

Love & God Bless,
[)anish /|hmed

"What is Love?"
This Valentine's Day e-card answers just that!
http://www.ordinarywords.com/love

DECIDE - An Urban Musical With Attitude and an After-Party Without.
Every Saturday Night in Toronto!
http://www.decideshow.com



> lisa micklin wrote:
> Hi Linda-
>
>Ahhhhh the ol' email command option..... thanks for bringing this up, well worth exploring.....
>
>Here's my experience with this and why I'm not a fan:
>
>1) I personally wouldn't trust the security/privacy of my email address in a list that would allow me to be added simply by sending an email. Sniffers and robots can grab an email address very easily and often prey on sub/unsub addresses to harvest email addresses.
>2) Email viruses are your worst enemy with email subscriptions.
>
>Scenario:........
>3) a subscriber gets a virus
>4) that virus begins sending emails to every address in their book including subscribe@xyz.com.
>5) every email address in that address book is now being subscribed to some ezine they didn't want to sub to.
>6) same thing happens with unsub addresses.
>7) if this is a double optin, granted the unknowing address won't get added, they'll just get a request for confirmation, but that too is virally started. they'll be getting requests to confirm subscriptions that they didn't ask for.
>8) if you're gonna do double opt-in, the 2nd part should be web-based no matter what, to prevent folks from being added by viruses, robots and sniffers.
>9) if the 2nd phase is web-based, why bother with the email command in the first place?
>
>
>Often, the list owner won't even know this is happening. As an admin however, I've seen thousands of virally started opt-ins over the last several years. Thousands and thousands.
>
>We've been offering email sub/unsub commands in V1.0 of EZezine, but will be discontinuing them when we release the new version in a few months due to the atrocity of the above situation. It only takes one infected subscriber to instigate an avalanche of phony ezine opt-ins (or opt-in attempts for double opt-in), ouch!
>
>You said: "If I had to reply to an email, saying, "Yes, I still want to be on the list." that would be fine by me. I might not feel like signing up again through a web page."
>
>This takes me back to my question of "how much do you value the ezines you are subscribing to?" Are you, and this is a rhetorical question, really reading the ezines that aren't worth the 10-15 seconds it takes to re-opt-in to? Are you more likely to read the ezines that have email subscription commands?
>
>If your browser is misbehaving, is the ezine valuable enough to you to go to a web based form when it starts behaving again? When you get a busy signal, do you try the phone call again? (btw - This can likely be remedied by switching to Firefox or Mozilla browser, http://mozilla.org which has never mis-behaved for me in my years of using it.)
>
>Hope this is helpful,
>lisa
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>
>> Linda Bohrnerud wrote:
>> Hmm, I am a member of several mailing lists that let you subscribe by email - no web based form. I personally prefer this, because it allows me to keep a record of what I sent. If I had to reply to an email, saying, "Yes, I still want to be on the list." that would be fine by me. I might not feel like signing up again through a web page. Hey, maybe I'm fighting with my browser that day.
>>

Private Reply to Danish Ahmed

Feb 02, 2005 2:39 pmre: re: why email command subscriptions don't work#

lisa micklin
Hi Danish, Et Al,

> Danish Ahmed wrote:

>This virus thing getting into SubscribeMe@YourCompany.com is new to me. How do you guys at EzEzine deal with it currently (besides phasing it out)?

There's really not a lot we can do other than to phase it out. When an email subscribe/unsubscribe request hits our server, we have no way of knowing whether it is a valid request or not. That is one of the reason's we're removing this feature. Rather than write a script to determine this, we simply decided to drop the feature, shut the dam if you will :-)

be well,
lisa
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Private Reply to lisa micklin

Feb 08, 2005 6:38 amre: My thoughts on Constant Contact re: Ezine service#

Des Walsh
Great share, Scott - thank you.

Another very important consideration from my point of view as an ezezine user is that you actually get prompt, clear answers, in English, from ezezine, and you do not have to have a degree in computer science to understand them.

And to add to that, Lisa is very frank when a particular feature is not currently available, so you are not left wondering whether there is some part of the help manual you missed.

Des

> Scott Stratten wrote:
> I wrote a newsletter on this topic recently:
>
>It's an uphill battle nowadays, trying to get your emails and
> newsletters out to your target market. Filters, triggers, etc..

Private Reply to Des Walsh

Mar 09, 2005 3:05 pmre: Ezine service#

Dina Giolitto, WordFeeder.com
Hi Barbara! I use Constant Contact myself, and the most annoying thing by far to me as well, is the bounces. Thankfully my subscriber list isn't so large that it's unmanageable, so what I do with the bounced emails is copy those addresses into an email from my own account, and forward a copy of the newsletter directly to them. The thing is: I've alerted people to the bounces and asked (politely of course) if they'd removed Constant Contact from their blocked list, but hey, people are busy.

Speaking of Constant Contact- I just happened to write a web article featuring tips I learned while using their software. If anyone else uses CC and would like to read it, visit my Ryze page! And thanks to everyone who posted about tinyurl. I love free advice!!!

Thanks.

Dina Giolitto
Copywriting Consultant
www.wordfeeder.com

Private Reply to Dina Giolitto, WordFeeder.com

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