Manage your email list

This is the fourth in a series of five posts about promoting your website locally.

Lots of organisations have email lists and in the community sector they’re often kept in a spreadsheet or distribution list.

This is not sustainable.  As your list grows in size, your Internet Service Provider will think you’re spamming because you’re sending a few hundred emails at once.   Also if you are going to send a lot of emails, recipients should be able to unsubscribe.

So, you need to manage your list!  The big advantage is once you have a list, you can grow your followers.  As people sign up to your site, you alert them to new material as you put it on the site, remind them about events and offer products or services.  This blog has an email service and if you look below, you will see a sign-up form that links directly to an email service.  I don’t need to think about it, as the service does everything for me.  Sign up to see how it works.  You receive a weekly summary of this blog and an email sequence about community development.

You can do this through an email subscription service, where you can manage more than one list, whilst confident you are fulfilling the requirements of the law and etiquette.

Some Email Services

If your organisation has a limited budget there is a good deal with MailChimp.  They allow you can have up to 2000 subscribers free of charge and you can send a maximum of 12 000 emails per month.  However, you can’t sequence your emails with the free offer and once you go over the limits it is marginally more expensive than other similar services.  So, go for this if you expect to stay small and just want to send newsletters and occasional emails.

AWeber charge from the start but they’re a little cheaper than MailChimp and include email sequences from the lowest prices.  This is probably the best service for medium to large lists, particularly if you expect to expand your activities.

Both services provide loads of guidelines about how to get the best out of them.  They generally simplify your lists and so they are worth exploring.

There are other email list services and you might want to check them out before you make a final decision.

Do you use an email service in the voluntary or community sector?  What offers do you make to your subscribers?

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About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

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In-Person Marketing: Referral Marketing - Community Web Consultancy - August 9, 2016 Reply

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