Most businesses need to communicate with their customer constantly about their goods and services. A commonly used method used is email  marketing, which is an extremely cost-effective method for an organization to market product and services and to develop stronger relationships with its target audience. All you need is an email program like outlook, email addresses, something to say, and off you go sending out email newsletters. This is how I ran a company email campaign for years. It is free, and it works but it has some major obstacles

Outlook’s Simple and Quick Method

  • Lack of professional-looking design and feel
  • Troublesome to manage/review/update mailing list – need to subscribe/unsubscribe users
  • Cannot get feedback to improve campaign’s content and delivery
  • Cannot customize email campaign
  • Cannot track whether receiver has read it
  • Difficulty in sending email (ISP or mail service provider may blacklist/block you from sending massive email that could be seen as a spamming activities)
  • Mail successfully sent out, may be blocked at the receiver mail server’s anti-spam filters.
  • Mail successfully sent out, may be blocked at the receiver mail client software like Outlook or third-party anti-spam software.

But, is there a better way?

There are several options you can use both software and web services available. I looked at quite a number. From what I have seen the best ones tend to be the web services. These tend to cost.There are several professional email marketing systems that have free accounts.

Mailchimp has a free service that should suit many clubs and businesses. It has a limit of 2,000 subscribers; you can send I think 2,000 emails a day and 12,000 emails a month.

It is relatively easy to use and has templates that you can modify to set up your organization with a professional-looking  newsletter.  Once you have done that you can easily edit this newsletter for the next edition.In my experience, you are looking at sending a page of writing somewhere between once a month and once every six months. So about two to twelve email newsletters a year.  Do much more than that and people will start to complain, do less and people will tend to forget you.

Mailchimp’s Key Features 

  • Can  schedule emails in local time,  in advance.
  • Automatic management of email mailing list – User can subscribe and unsubscribe by themselves
  • Good reporting
  • Can customize contents for different subscriber segments
  • Social Network Integration like Facebook and Tweeter
  • Can monitor email campaign via iphone/ipad/android devices
  • Can automatically link to “Blog RSS to Email” (Single Entry to Multiple Delivery)
  • Delivery Doctor – test your campaign with many common spam filters and consumer ISP, giving you detailed insight into understanding the flow of the delivery. It will allow you to change variables easily to test for mail delivery. (Available on paid plans only)
One last note, remember the differences in “email marketing campaign” and “spamming” is very thin and boundaries are getting blurred as the years goes by. These days, spammers love to disguise their spam like legitimate email, thus making marketing campaign very difficult. Fortunately, Mailchimp is able to address to all these challenging issues and provide easy solutions to email marketers.