After about 18 months of asking visitors to The Chain Gang web site if they would like to receive a newsletter, we finally had our first one written and the newsletter system itself organised this month. My name is Liz and I am the web developer for The Chain Gang Cycle Tours.
A large number of visitors to the web site had in the past indicated they’d like to receive a newsletter, consequently, I’ve emailed those same people asking them to reconfirm. I had to do this to comply with strict regulations that state you can’t just email newsletters to people if several months have passed between them signing up and you sending.
However, many of the completely legitimate invitation messages I sent will have ended up in spam boxes. That means there is the danger that people who wanted the newsletter will miss out as most people never look in their spam boxes. There are also a number of other infuriating teething problems associated with loading a large number of contacts into a mailing list. Most to do with site visitors who have AOL email accounts. But that’s another story.
If you’re thinking of starting your own newsletter online, I would say avoid doing a bulk load altogether. My advice to anyone is – start it straight away. Don’t wait until you have collected any sign-ups on your web site – start writing a newsletter before you even have any customers.
This way you avoid the bulk load and associated bulk delivery trauma, plus if you publish each newsletter on your web site, you are generating fresh and interesting content for your web site from day 1. That’s a win/win.
Now that the first Chain Gang Newsletter has gone out, the subsequent ones should be a breeze.Bernard is excited about being in contact with everyone so we can look forward to increased customer communication, which should make for an even happier Chain Gang Clan.
What’s more, anyone signing up on the web site now, receives a confirmation email and they are placed on the list automatically. Brilliant.