Help me help people send newsletters
March 23, 2007 8:03 AM   Subscribe

What is a good program for sending a corporate newsletter to clients and sales reps?

I need a program that's easy-to-use, free or cheap and yields professional results. High expectations, I know, but here is my story.

My company currently has a program called MailThem Pro. This works fine, but the catch is you basically have to embed a html file into the e-mail. This means building a website to serve as the newsletter. This in turn means that I have to train every person who does it how to use Dreamweaver and html skills. I feel there must be an easier, faster way to do this.

The person who manages the newsletter is new to the company and doesn't know anything about websites. The employees who managed it before used Dreamweaver, but as the turnover rate in that particular position is quite high, I've had to train about three people to use Dreamweaver in the last few years. They never totally understood it and I always felt that our newsletter looked poor and unprofessional. And now I'm faced with either training this person Dreamweaver (version 4) or finding a new solution. Another catch: I'm physically leaving the company to telecommute come next week.

The newsletter is a simple templated e-mail with a bar running down the left side which contains email addresses, dates and other small items. The content area contains news updates. It has a circulation of about 300.

What's the best solution for me? I searched the archives and there are some posts, but from at least two years ago. There might be something better out there now, hopefully. Please help! Thanks!
posted by bristolcat to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This isn't exactly what you're asking for, but I know a few people who love Vertical Response, which offers both web-based layout tools and (from what I've seen) pretty nifty response tracking. I'm sure there are other similar services out there too.
posted by j-dawg at 8:13 AM on March 23, 2007

Any objection to emailing PDFs?
Build the template in the app of your choice (whatever gives you the best results) and print to PDF (unless the app you use generates PDFs natively)
posted by Thorzdad at 8:38 AM on March 23, 2007

MailChimp looks like just what you need. They have a reasonable pricing structure and won't require anyone working on the newsletter to know HTML.
posted by Grundlebug at 8:43 AM on March 23, 2007

I used Campaigner and Newsweaver in an old position. For what you're doing, Newsweaver is too robust (and expensive) but Campaigner might work. They had templates where all you really have to do is drop in the content and if you wanted, change the colors. If you knew HTML, you could do more of course, but it wasn't necessary. At the time, you had to store any images on your own servers, but I think now you can store up to 25MB on their servers. I don't know how often you're planning to send but they have subscription and pay-as-you go options. If you do pay as you go, it's only $18 per newsletter based on your list size.

On preview: I don't think I would be as likely to open a PDF, but that's just me.
posted by ml98tu at 8:45 AM on March 23, 2007

We have used Constant Contact with good success. It allows us to track how many people have received, viewed and clicked on links in the email. It allows you to save templates.
posted by clarkie666 at 9:20 AM on March 23, 2007

Mailbuild! from Campaign Monitor. Seriously, you need to check this out.
posted by punkrockrat at 9:55 AM on March 23, 2007

I am on the receiving end of quite a few mailing lists, including several verticalresponse and ConstantContact ones, and I don't understand the fascination with emailing people your webpage. It's way too busy and the point of the email gets lost. I'm not saying you should send plaintext, but there's absolutely no need to have a colored background, border graphics, or any of that extraneous crap. It just distracts from the point of the email.

A simple message, lots of whitespace, a couple relevant links and product images, and your tracking code. That's all you need.

I know this is a failing of the tools available, rather than the fault of the businesses, but still. There's gotta be some marketer somewhere that understands the benefit of simplicity.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 12:05 PM on March 23, 2007

A few months ago I started using Elite Email Marketing and I absolutely love it. I pretty much had the same needs/requirements that you are mentioning (yep, I had those tall requests, too!) and had it all.

It was very easy to use and the results were very professional. I barely believe that I had a hand in creating it, since design is definitely not my thing. :)

I used to use Constant Contact, but then switched over to Elite. Both are good, but for me I wanted to keep it as cheap as possible and EliteEmail has no monthly fees.

posted by jenniferwalker at 9:27 AM on December 5, 2007

« Older Is this bookstore existent? Or is this a scam?   |   Son Of A... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.