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ScottRSullivan
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Ok, strange name, yes. But it seems to be wicked cool. Allow me to explain.

Recently, I've made comments on the Café that alluded to the fact that I don't trust having my private business information (contact lists, etc.) online for privacy reasons.

However, I have found a cool site called MailChimp that is used for sending out email newsletters and other email lists, like autoresponders, etc.

At first, I was skeptical. After reviewing their privacy policy and their list of clients (Canon, Intel, Mozilla, and BusinessWeek) I figured they were not only legit, but serious about privacy. And they are 100% CAN-SPAM compliant.

They also have a free trial (up to 100 people on your list and up to 600 email "sends").

So I signed up and populated it with my own email. Now I'm a huge fan. It works flawlessly and integrates well with my website.

What I'd like to do is ask if anyone else uses them. Also, perhaps start a thread about great email marketing ideas (note: NOT spamming, but legit stuff).

Your thoughts?

Scott
jackturk
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I've tried several email marketing systems (and have looked
at MailChimp as well). I've also played around with some
of the free open source systems, including SugarCRM which
does provide an email broadcast facility, but the servers
on which you install it have to properly support the
correct IMAP functionality (which Godaddy didn't seem
to provide).

Right now I'm using 1shoppingcart to handle all my email
lists and I've been very happy with them. They have
many good points, but the primary plus for 1shoppingcart
is their support team -- I have been able to call them
many many times with lots of questions and have always
gotten a great answer. Very very helpful. And that
is definitely worth a lot in my book.

--Jack
"59 Ways To Recession Proof Your Entertainment Business -- FREE!"
http://www.GetLeadsLikeCrazy.com

"How To Make $25,000 a Year Doing Birthday Parties Part-Time"
http://www.magicmarketingcenter.com/birthdayPT
Alikzam
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I've heard that MailChip's deliverability is lower than iContacts. I don't know if its true or not though. I've been using iContact for about 6 months now and I love it. Mailchip does have a very web2.0 ajaxy type interface that has won lots of awards though Smile
Matthew W
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Isn't it easy (and free) to create a group in the address book of your email program and do a blind carbon copy to that group?

That is what I do.
-Matt
ScottRSullivan
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You can do that, yes. And if you are just starting out, might be a viable option for you. However...

Services add much more, whether it is MailChimp or any of the other services mentioned.

First of all, many ISPs limit the amount of emails you can send at any time, and may even suspend your account for breaking your agreement. This is even more true once you have been in the business for awhile and have a larger database.

Second, with the CAN-SPAM legislation, staying compliant with Spam laws is very important. For example, you must include an "Unsubscribe" link in all emails, and have a real address for your business.

Third, these services tie in with both Google Analytics and other metrics to track if the newsletters are opened, if they are deleted, if they are marked as spam, and what (if any) links are clicked through to your site.

In fact, with MailChimp (I'm assuming the other services mentioned do this too) you can do A/B testing of an email and see which headline or which offer pulls the better results. Over time this means more gigs, more money and pays for itself many times over. Testing, testing, testing is oh so important.

To me, these metrics make spending a few tax deductable dollars well worth it. I treat these services as part of my advertising and marketing budget.

Cheers.
Alikzam
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Matthew: You also run the risk of having your email address black listed for sending the same email to a large group of people.

If you use your address book to manage a newsletter list, it becomes more and more tedious as your list grows and you have to mange bounces, invalid email addresses, removals, and new members. It makes sense to have a website manage these things for you. Other main benefits including mail sequences, an automatic sign up form on your website, and analytics tracking.

ScottRSullivan mentioned the legal implications as well.
Matthew W
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Thanks for the info, I will try MailChimp. I am going to use a PO Box for the address at the bottom.
-Matt
Carducci
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Quote:
On 2009-06-17 14:23, jackturk wrote:
I've tried several email marketing systems (and have looked
at MailChimp as well). I've also played around with some
of the free open source systems, including SugarCRM which
does provide an email broadcast facility, but the servers
on which you install it have to properly support the
correct IMAP functionality (which Godaddy didn't seem
to provide).


We're talking a lot about SugarCRM in another thread so I thought I'd chime in. Instead of using your servers built-in mail settings, you can use any legetamate SMTP server. I use the services provided for free by Gmail to great success.
lou serrano
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Scott, Jack, and Leif,

All excellent posts and full of valuable information. Thanks for sharing.

I currently use a form of 1shoppingcart called 1AutomationWiz. I've used them for over two years and I have never had a problem. Besides running all my email through them I also have my shopping cart set up through them. Like Jack stated above, their customer support is excellent. You can CLICK HERE to check them out. It's definitely worth looking into.

To your success!

Lou Serrano
Bad to the Balloon
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Anyone got a site like this that is MAC friendly?? BTW Vertical response is pennies per e-mail and no sign up cost.
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
Matthew W
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Do you know if I can add legally add those that have hired me in the past or have contacted me through my website to my mailing list? I have never had a mailing list for this before, so they have not opted in.

The first email will explain what the newsletter is, why they are getting the newsletter and that they can unsubscribe at any time.
-Matt
Drew Manning
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Matt, chances are for a one time blast, you would fly under the radar, espically if there is an unsubscribe link.

The cops aren't going to come to your house and haul you away for sending out 100 (or what ever size your list is) emails one time.
I live my life for a layer of ice
Just like those poured by my bartender vice
Any taste of vermouth would be really sublime,
When you have a good martini time!

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Matthew W
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I would be sending emails out after the one explaining what it is. I guess it is fine if I let them know they are on it and that they can unsubscribe. It is people that have hired me or contacted me through my website (therefore providing an email address).
-Matt
Matthew W
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The monkey said no.
-Matt
James Munton
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Carducci,

You are about to become my new best friend! Are you saying I can use Gmail as the SMTP server to send out mass emails?!!! Do you know what the daily/hourly limit is?

But why wouldn't every spammer in the world use gmail to send out a million emails every day?

Best,
James
Carducci
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Quote:
On 2009-06-18 11:08, Matthew W wrote:
Do you know if I can add legally add those that have hired me in the past or have contacted me through my website to my mailing list?


That would qualify as an "existing business relationship" and is thus allowed under the CAN-SPAM Act.

The "monkey says no" because they require an explicit opt-in (which is always a good idea) They have to be particularly careful because they do not want to get blacklisted.
Carducci
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Quote:
On 2009-06-18 11:56, James Munton wrote:
Carducci,

You are about to become my new best friend! Are you saying I can use Gmail as the SMTP server to send out mass emails?!!! Do you know what the daily/hourly limit is?

But why wouldn't every spammer in the world use gmail to send out a million emails every day?

Best,
James


Gmail uses authenticated SMTP, so it is tied to a gmail account. I don't know what their 'secret sauce' is to prevent abuse but I'm sure there is one.

My email campaigns are fairly small (hundreds, not thousands) but I've never had a problem. I see good open rates and, click-through-rates in my reports so I know it's working.
Matthew W
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I just spoke with MailChimp and they said that past customers are fine.
-Matt
Carducci
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Quote:
On 2009-06-18 12:54, Carducci wrote:
Gmail uses authenticated SMTP, so it is tied to a gmail account. I don't know what their 'secret sauce' is to prevent abuse but I'm sure there is one.


I did a little more research, here is what Google has to say on the subject:

Quote:
Are there limits for sending mail?

Gmail has a number of sending limits in place to prevent abuse of our system, and to help fight spam. If you reach one of Gmail's limits, you'll be temporarily unable to send mail. This limit is generally removed within 24 hours.

Causes include, but are not limited to:

* Sending a message to more than 500 recipients.
You can send a single message to a maximum of 500 recipients through the web interface, or up to 100 recipients when using POP access. Their email addresses can be distributed among the To, Cc, and Bcc fields. If you communicate with the same group of people on a regular basis, you might be interested in Google Groups.

* Sending a large number of undeliverable messages.
We suggest verifying your contacts' email addresses. Make sure the email addresses you're sending mail to are valid. It's also important that everyone you are sending mail to is willing to receive it.


Everything I've read indicates a 500 message/day limit.
James Munton
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Ah. Thought so. Thanks for checking.

I often send several thousand emails in a day, so that wouldn't work for me.

James
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