Monday, April 11, 2005

[Mailing Lists] Do you have one yet?

I've been getting a lot of requests to start a mailing list. On my test blog I've tried out the free Bravenet mailing list service and it seems ok, except for the ugly Bravenet ads of course! Any thoughts about mailing list providers or tips?


Sam said...

Great question Amy. I haven't even looked into this but I would love to have a mailing list facility. Can you describe a little about the ugly Bravenet Ads?

Are they embedded in the mail that goes out to subscribers? If so how? And what kinds of things are the ads for?

+ readers please note - Amy left a hint of a very good idea in her question. Sounds like she has a "test blog", which sounds pretty smart to me.

Amy Sherman said...

Yes, just as in Yahoo mail there is a little line of ad text at the bottom of just about every transmission. The sign up form also has a huge Bravenet logo on it. I guess it's a small price to pay for a free mailing list.

On the test blog issue I HIGHLY recommend all bloggers get one. Use it as a place to try stuff out and see how it works before messing with your own blog. It will save you a lot of grief!

Fatemeh Khatibloo-McClure said...

There is one service I actually like, and it works quite well for Blogger-based users - Blognet.

Typepad users will experience some difficulty with Blognet until they have created an interface for it.

There is another service out there - I will think of the name - but they don't distinguish between "draft" and "published" emails, so your subscribers may get an update email when there isn't really anything updated on the site.

That said, I really enjoy knowing who my subscribers are, and I think these services are pretty much "blind" to the list owner, plus they require your subscribers to sign up w/their service, which I wasn't comfortable with.

I created a "Subscribe to updates" link for my site, and every time someone new subscribes, I simply add them to my "Gastronomie Subscribers" group in Outlook Express.

That way, I can aggregate a few posts (sometimes I post twice a day, and wouldn't want my subs to get two emails that day), ask for suggestions, and generally be a more "active" list owner.

Oh, one other thing I don't like about some of the services - they actually provide a feed of your site so that subscribers don't have to go to the site to read the whole post. I didn't care for that, either. Blognet, however, does send only a link to the post in the email.

Hope this helps!

Amy Sherman said...

Bravenet is sounding better and better--I took the logo out and gave it a whirl. They maintain the mailing list for you, but you can download a back-up of the whole list (names & addresses) anytime you want. I was thinking about just doing a monthly newletter I don't think I can handle anything more!

Sam said...

here is a rgeat blgo article about this very subject with heaps more information that is worth reading.

Sam said...

And I am suffering from fingers typing in the wrong direction. I meant great blog not rgeat blgo

Elise said...

I've been using Bloglet, which works, but has the problem already mentioned - it doesn't distinguish between draft posts and published posts. So, if I'm going to do a draft, I do it on my test blog. When it's ready, I copy it to my recipe blog and publish.

C&Z uses PHPList, which is a set of PHP scripts that you host on your own server. I don't know how well it is working for Clotilde, but she's had it going for quite a while.

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