Step by Step for Sending Emails to a List

Most of us send emails to our mailing lists using email campaign providers such as MailChimp or Constant Contact. But there are still some companies who use list manager software and regular email, or even small businesses who just want to plunk a bunch of email addresses in the TO field of their email client. Whichever way you decide to approach it, here’s a step-by-step rundown of best practices for sending bulk emails.

    1. Do you plan to use an email campaign provider (e.g., MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, Emma)? If yes, skip to 5.
    2. If you’re not planning to use an email campaign provider, how will you send your emails: Using an internal mailing list manager software such as ListMessenger, or using an email client such as Outlook? If list manager software, skip to 5.
    3. Have you tested your email client to see if it can successfully send HTML emails to your desired recipients? If yes, skip to 9.
    4. If you haven’t already tested your email client for sending bulk HTML emails, here are some pitfalls you should be aware of:
      • You won’t be able to track the email delivery, open rate, or clickthrough rate.
      • Can’t send a multipart email (HTML + text) so you must be sure that all recipients can view HTML.
      • Email clients (the applications that an individual uses to send and receive email, such as Outlook, Apple Mail, Google Gmail) vary widely in their ability to properly display HTML emails. If your recipients are not all on the same client, or you don’t know what they’re on, you could have big problems.
      • You won’t be compliant with CAN SPAM regulations, which require, among other things, an opt-in list and an unsubscribe option.
      • If you still want to move ahead with this approach, you must test thoroughly by sending test emails to a wide sample of recipients.
    5. If you’re using an internal list manager or an email campaign provider: Do you already have the software or service set up? If yes, skip to 7.
    6. Do you need assistance setting up your system or your account? Do you have time to set up and thoroughly learn and test the system before the desired launch date?
    7. Have you successfully sent HTML emails previously with the system you intend to use? If yes, skip to 9.
    8. We recommend that you test thoroughly by sending test emails to a wide sample of recipients.
    9. Once the system you will use has been selected, set up, and tested, you’re ready to write, design, and code your email. Be sure to follow email design best practices.

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