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A Journalist’s View Of Those Slick Emailer Services

You know them as Vertical Response, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact and more. They may be a good way to send chatty newsletters to your wine club or other mailing list, but they hurt you in a lot of ways and they really don’t work for getting news to journalists.

Put The Important Items First

First of all, there tend to be a LOT of chatty items in the emails. Like most people, if you don’t get a journalist’s attention with a short, punchy headline that addresses the “why should I care?” question, then the email won’t get opened.

If you do this, and are sending to a journalist, make to put the NEWS first … if you have more than one news item, then put them in in order of decreasing importance.

But, even if you do this, often extreme hidden formatting symbols inside an email frequently can’t even be cut and pasted easily into a document. Like your readers, reporters rarely have too much time on his/her hands.

If you’d like news-types to pick things up, send them a link to a simply formatted text document.

DON’T send an attachment. Attachments are potential carriers of malware. If you don’t already have a web link, then use my free service, Other Voices (Register to post).

Avoid Page Traffic Theft

Speaking of web links … the links at the top of a Constant Comment etc. page usually labeled “Click to view this email in your browser” most often go NOT to your own web site, but to something like:

That sort of link STEALS web traffic that rightfully belongs to your site. That also hurts your search engine visibility and diverts people who might go other places on your site if you had your own web address there.

And Dead Links

Those links eventually go DEAD which means a “file not found” should someone run across the link in the my News Fetch archives or on anyone else’s site or blog. That latter is a vital reason that you should make sure that all your links are immortal, even when you do as drastic re-make or change URLs.

Don’t Spy On People

All of those services spy on people.

They all have some method (like invisible images or sneaky Javascript) that return data including whether or not the email was opened.

People do not like to be spied upon:  Facebook & Email Spying: People Will Hate You If You Secretly Mess With Them

I don’t like to be spied on.

And that’s why, my daily industry trade newsletter — News Fetch — which goes to almost 22,000 subscribers, uses my own server, and my own software without spyware.

Sure, I don’t have all the user metrics that might come from spying on folks. But I don’t like it and I’m not going to be a hypocrite and use something I personally detest. Yep, it does cost me advertisers.

But my subscribers come first.