I am doing a seminar here in St. Louis that talks about how to use blogs and other Internet tools for self-published authors. And one of the first things that I wanted to talk about has to do with email lists. Ironic, but the underpinning of Web 2.0 is something so old that we take it for granted.
Email is at the core of just about anything else that you do on the Web: it is the primary notification mechanism for Facebook et al. when you make changes to your site. It is the way these social sites find your network of contacts, and the way that you keep your audience informed of what you are doing, too.
You can have the best Web site going, but you need to remind people about what you have on it. Ironically, that was the original reason that I started Web Informant lo’ those many years ago.
Why bother with an Georgia email list email list when you can just send out a bunch of emails from your desktop? Several reasons: First, you get a more professional means of communication that can manage all the bounces and mistaken reply-to-everyone situations. Your desktop program isn’t designed to send out a message to hundreds or thousands of recipients either, while the list servers are.
You also don’t have to reveal all your subscribers in the “To:” field, which I still see from certain PR people. (Hey, thanks for sending me your contact list! I will be sure to take note of whom you think are my colleagues.) Finally, a list server or list provider can manage unsubscribes automatically, as well as post your messages in an archive that is available online for anyone to review.
Over the years I have used many different technologies to maintain this humble email list, so I have had some experience with the technology.
If you are starting a new list, you have three basic choices: the free, the cheap, and the Buy Leads pricey. While price alone is a good way to decide, there are some other reasons that are less obvious.