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Take the bulk out of email! TM

Use your own data
Personal email merge
Send individual email
HTML and/or text
Handy email templates


Explore M5 Subscriber

Web-based list management made simple!

Simple subscribe tool
Opt-in confirmed
Track reads and clicks
Custom matching look
Free for up to
        5000 contacts

 

 

Elements of a comprehensive e-mail infrastructure

Setting a up a system for collecting, managing, and communicating with your contacts can be daunting, but the effort pays off by expanding your relationship with your customers and contacts in ways that benefit your customers (and you) directly. Increased efficiency, repeat buys, networking, and boosting recommendations are just a few benefits.

We have a great deal of experience helping our customers set up a strategy for managing email, and we've summarized that expertise below.

Choose a Mail Server

In general, an internet service provider is a bad choice for delivering your email. ISP mailservers are loaded down and often slow. ISPs have to deal with tons of abuse too, which means they will often throttle back the number of mail messages that you can send through their mail server to some ridiculously low number anyway. So what to do?

Use your Company Internal Mail Server. If your company maintains its own mailserver, using that server is by far the best choice. That way, customized mass mail gets routed through the same traceable path that personal mail goes through. You may have to configure your local mail server to accept SMTP authenticated connections if you are using something like Microsoft Exchange, but that's not difficult to do.

Otherwise...

Use your Web Host mail server. Every decent web host worth its salt provides email and SMTP delivery service. If you have a business hosting account, you should be able to get your web host to allow you to send reasonable amounts of email with your SMTP server. The advantage of this approach is that the originating mail server will match your web host domain "from:" address. If your web host does not provide SMTP service, find another one. We recommend DewaHost for that, but if you have another good one to recommend, let us know! We like options.

Otherwise...

Use a 3rd party email delivery service. Some companies specialize in SMTP delivery services for you and will provide that service on a per-message or metered volume basis.

If none of these work well for you, there are some web-based or service-based mass email service providers out there that may be able to meet your needs, but they are rather pricey to use.

Decide on List Management

List management has two components: sign-up or establishment, and maintenance. You need to provide an easy way to get your customers or your group members on to your list. You can do this either by email or using a web based approach.

Once you have a contact on your list, any time you email them you should always tell them what to do to manage their preferences or unsubscribe. The law requires that you provide a working unsubscribe mechanism at least. But you want to be personal, in any case.

Management via Email Since you definitely want your customers to be able to reply to the email that you send out, you should ideally provide some sort of list management via email. You can use an email processor like PopMonger to chcek the inbound email box, match up any unsubscribe requests, add the unsubscribe address to a list (or query and mark a live database), and forward other mail to a different address where you can deal with it personally.

Management via Web Your website and email efforts should work hand in hand. It is natural for your email communication to refer people to your website. So you may want to add list management capabilities to your website also. List management on a website is very difficult to implement correctly. You need to make sure that subscribers adding themselves to your contact list on the web get properly confirmed via email. You need to take steps to make sure your list management forms don't become a mailbombing tool for the occasional unscrupulous idiotic twerp that may wander by your site. We have a service that can help you with this difficult task,which we provide free for limited use, called M5 Subscriber. Feel free to check it out.

Our recommendation is that you combine both a web and an email strategy for list management.

Using a Database Source

You should maintain your customer data carefully and in a way that is appropriate to the number of contacts you have. If you just have a few thousand customers, a spreadsheet may work fine. If you have more than that, you may need a more powerful database solution. In any case, it is handy if your email application can connect directly to your database for generating personal mass mail to your customers or contacts. M5 Mailer does that pretty well.

M5 Mailer will also use a M5 Subscriber database source directly, seamlessly integrating your web-based list management with your email application, and Subscriber also lets you add your own records easily, as you acquire contacts from other sources.

In any case, do your best to make your individual emails personal and relevant to the particular needs of the recipient. You need to store and maintain enough data to make that possible, and use conditional content to tailor each individual message to each recipient.

 

 

 

 

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