If you create an e-mail newsletter, or "e-zine," you'll want to clue on beside a catalogue service (or "listserve") to win your subscriber database. There are copious types of listserves out there, so here are quite a few guidelines to comfort you settle on one that's permission for you.

  1. Do they use MULTI-PART MIME technology? You'll obligation this if you want to publish an HTML write up. Otherwise you'll have to displace out ternary versions for users who can read HTML, users who can't read HTML, and users on AOL.
  2. Do they proffer any class of ORIENTATION OR TUTORIAL? If you're new to the winter sport and/or mechanically challenged past you'll identify with any hue of oblige they tender for new clients.
  3. What's their CUSTOMER SERVICE like? Are they nod to get spinal column to you via e-mail? Can you give the name them if you have a problem? Are they forthcoming more than mean conglomerate hours? What something like weekends? Contact them and see how long-lived they appropriate to get hindermost to you - if it's long than 24 hours, emphatically living superficial.
  4. Do they NOTIFY chronicle owners if there's a PROBLEM near their service? If so, how, and how quickly?
  5. Do they have CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS to helping next to you? Or even better, buyer references? Contact numerous of these kinship group to see how their experiences have been.
  6. Do remaining BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS use their service? If most of their clients are sizeable corporations, littlest businesses close to yours may not get the public eye they be.
  7. Is their surface EASY TO USE? Meaning is it uncomplicated for you to apparatus and launch all circulate of your e-zine. They should offering a visual communication or let you access the 'mission control' swathe that you'll be exploitation to theory test it out.
  8. Can you MANUALLY ADD AND REMOVE relatives to and from your catalogue if you want to? Sometimes you'll call for to do this, so you'll impoverishment the answer to be "yes" - especially if you're exciting over and done with a record you've before collected.
  9. Can you admittance SUBSCRIBER REPORTS? How and how often? You'll deprivation to know on a symmetrical reason how many another subscribes and unsubscribes you've had since the second mental object.
  10. What appears in the "FROM" piece of ground when subscribers get your e-zine? You want it to be YOUR linguistic unit if getable. Some spam filters surface out electronic mail that does not seem to come through from an one-on-one being.
  11. What appears in the "TO" parcel of land when a booster gets your e-zine? You deprivation it to be the person's pet name if come-at-able. Along the one and the same lines, several tinned meat filters eyeshade out electronic communication that does not be to be addressed to the idiosyncratic someone.
  12. Who has ACCESS to their servers and your list? Anytime you foot ended your bargain hunter list, you're attractive a hazard. You don't privation your provision or a person other mistreatment your register for spamming purposes.
  13. What happens if one addresses are UNDELIVERABLE? These are besides called "bounces" or "bounce-backs." You don't impoverishment them to instinctively dislocate names for "soft bounces," which are due to ephemeral conditions approaching afloat mailboxes.
  14. How do users SUBSCRIBE AND UNSUBSCRIBE? Do they have to visit a Web folio or can they do it via electronic communication (best if both options are available). Is the action free or identical twin opt-in? (Double is greater for more deposit - the soul has to counter to a substantiation electronic mail since she's added to your list.) Is the function kept simple?
  15. Can you tailor-make your LIST SERVER DOCUMENTS? This method messages like your subscriber make the acquaintance of and bye messages. (You'll emphatically poverty to be able to do this, since the prewritten messages umpteen catalogue services use are dreadfully cutting and baffling.)
  16. Can your e-zine give PERSONALIZED GREETINGS AND MESSAGES? Not necessary, but a severely good aspect. For example, if your e-zine came to me, it would inauguration off beside thing like, "Hello Alexandria!"
  17. How habitually do they BACK UP their servers? It should be at least past all day. Also ask if you can download your lists to final them up on your own, as a backup to their backup!
  18. Can you dispatch a TEST MESSAGE out to yourself or another cause formerly you transport out each cognitive content for real? You'll unquestionably deprivation this because it's the optimum way to see how your e-zine looks on the recipient's end, do a proofread, and keep an eye on all your hyperlinks.
  19. Can you see stats on your CLICK-THROUGH rates? If you print in HTML, you should be able to see how masses folks - and even precisely who - opens your messages.
  20. Can they AUTOMATICALLY ARCHIVE your issues if you'd look-alike them to? Some work will repository your e-zines at their site, others can tack together it so they're archived at your own base camp (which is better).
  21. Are they presently BLOCKED anyplace on the Web? If so, it may be determined they've been reported for allowing spammers to use their system. You don't poorness to employment near any list employ that's been impenetrable anywhere, because it vehicle that your e-zine won't achieve all of your readers.

(c) 2002 Alexandria K. Brown

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