Bulk Email Marketing Tips – The most cost effective Mass Mailing Solutions

Sending out email to thousands, tens or even hundreds of thousands of recipients can be a very effective way to get new business, keep existing clients thinking about you, and bringing repeat business back. Before you can even consider what your mailing should say or look like, what offer(s) you want to make to recipients, how often to send them out, or any of the other “time of mailing” issues, you need to first find the most cost-efficient way to send the email out. Then you need to know how you’re supposed to determine the effectiveness of the mailing.

In the age of spam, there are definitely right and wrong ways, as well as very efficient and also very costly ways as well.

Bulk Email – A Brief History

When the concept of sending out large amounts of email to lists of recipients first emerged in the early days of the Internet, the earliest solutions came from software that allowed you to set up and send your mailings from the comfort of your own computer. There were no limits on the size of the lists, what should or should not have been included, or any rules about what qualified as spam.

That was because spam didn’t exist as a concept until those first solutions really gained in popularity. Combine software that lets you send out tens or hundreds of thousands of email messages at one time with mailing lists provided to you where you personally had no prior contact with the recipient, let alone knew whether they had any desire to receive your mailing, and spam was born.

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Government Regulation

As the problem grew severe, the U.S. Government stepped in and in 2003 issued the CAN SPAM act. This regulation stipulates several requirements that email must follow in order to not be deemed as spam.

The problem with this of course, is one of enforcement and compliance oversight. There are just too many originators of email, and too little willingness on the part of mailers or too little knowledge of the rules.

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Industry Self Regulation

So in recent years, the major service providers including Microsoft, Google, AOL, Yahoo and others, stepped it up and began writing software to specifically look for email that would potentially be considered spam according to their own corporate view. Smaller mail server owners also got into it as well. And if any of them deem that an email coming from your mail server is spam, you can now see your mail server “black listed”. Meaning that from that point forward, either temporarily, or permanently, any email from that same source would be blocked. Regardless of whether it is spam or not.

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Why Not Manage The Service Yourself?

Why not just get your own mail servers? Or pay your current Web Hosting or Web Site Developer to let you use their servers? Or use one of the top ten Free Email Providers services?

Setup, Maintenance and Compliance Costs

Setting up your own mail servers is proably not the most cost efficient means of sending out regular mailings to large volumes of recipients any more. Between the costs of the hardware, software and IT infrastructure both in initial costs as well as ongoing, plus having to set your system up so that every mailing complies with the CAN-SPAM act as well as the ever changing rules of the major ISPs, it’s too cost-inefficient.

Outgoing Email Limits To GMail, MSN, Yahoo Mai, AOL Mail, Comcast, RoadRunner…

Every major service provider allows you to set up mailing lists, but they all now “meter” or “throttle” your alloted mailing capacity. This means that if you try to send one email to more than 10 or 15 or 25 recipients at one time, their systems will often obliterate the email after the first X recipients.

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The Answer – Compliance Based Mass Mailing Solution Providers

In order to help resolve the problem of legitimate business owners having their mailings trigger blacklisting flags, service providers have cropped up recently where their sole or primary function is to give you the ability to set up mailings, maintain mailing lists, and send out mass email, while ensuring your mailings comply with the CAN SPAM act regulations as well as the anti-spam policies of the major service providers.

Two of these that I routinely recommend to my clients are Constant Contact and Vertical Response.

I manage many of these accounts on behalf of my clients, and have trained several others in a very short time-frame how to manage it themselves.

Constant Contact, among other similar service providers, does one thing as their primary business. Mass Email Campaigns. Some of my clients have upwards of 50,000 to 60,000 subscribers. With Constant contact and Vertical Response, these top clients send out as many as one or two mailings every week, without problems.

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They Do All The Heavy Lifting For very low fees

Constant Contact does all the work – and when you send out a mailing, their system sends it out in batches. Every mailing implements every single requirement to comply with the CAN SPAM act and meets all the top providers guidelines. When those guidelines change, it’s seamless to you, and you don’t have to do anything different.

So for one small monthly fee, you can send out as many mailings as you’d like. (Although it is not wise to ever send out more than perhaps two mailings a week – one a week being ideal from both safe-best practices as well as ideal brand building)

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Effortless List and Campaign Management

You can split your list into multiple groups, and every time a mailing goes out you can not only see how many people got the email, but how many opened it, how many clicked on each link in the email itself, anyone that unsubscribes does so from within the email and the lists are updated automatically. You can see how many formerly good email addresses are now bad, and so much more…

It’s infinitely more cost effective and prudent to use such services.

Constant Contact and Vertical Response have different pricing models, but otherwise both are highly effective and offer both pre-designed mailing wizards as well as the ability to create completely custom email.

About Alan Bleiweiss

Just another guy. Who happens to have a lot of experience living, breathing and sleeping organic SEO. So that's my primary focus - high end SEO audits and consulting for sites ranging from thousands to tens of millions of pages. In my spare time I blog, rant, write eBooks, and speak at industry conferences.

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