Sending mass e-mails is important if you're marketing a product or service to your list. While there are paid services that allow you to do this, there are also ways that you can send mass e-mails for free. You have two options: using a mass e-mail program or e-mail distribution software, or using your own e-mail service.
- Skill level:
Determine whether you would rather use your own e-mail service or a mass e-mail sending program.
Using your own e-mail service presents problems. When using your own e-mail provider, the recipient of your messages will see the others you've sent the message to unless you use BCC (blind carbon copy), but some e-mail providers will not deliver those. Also, unless your particular e-mail service allows it, you cannot send scheduled mass e-mails.
With a mass e-mail program, you can send the message to multiple recipients and they will not be able to determine the others you've sent the message to.
Select a mass e-mail platform. There are several free ones, including Vertical Response and Smart Serial Mail (see Resources). While you can use the free trials, you will eventually need to purchase a membership or credits to continue sending mass e-mails.
If you do use your own e-mail provider, you will create your message and input the email addresses just as you do for your everyday e-mail. This is the only way to send e-mail for free forever, but it's also the least effective and can cause problems associated with spam e-mail (see Resources). Take a look at the email broadcast software available as well. E-mail distribution software can be just as effective as a mass e-mail program.
Create an account with your chosen mass e-mail program by registering. You will need to enter your e-mail address and create a user name and password to take advantage of the services. Add your contact list information to the database within the mass e-mail platform.
Create a new campaign within the mass e-mail platform and create your message following directions provided with the platform. Typically, you can copy and paste if you've already created a pre-written message in Microsoft Word or other writing software. You may need to add pictures, borders or logos in order to make your mass e-mail more attractive. This is especially true if you're sending a newsletter or something similar. The instructions are basically the same if you're using e-mail distribution software, though these programs typically have a word processor built in.
Send a test message. Most mass e-mail sending platforms allow you to enter your own e-mail address and send a test message in order to ensure that the e-mail is the way you want it. Preview the test and make sure it's exactly what you want your contact list to receive. Then, send the email to the recipients.
Tips and warnings
- Most free e-mail marketing sites include ads that your recipients will see when they open your e-mail.
- If you want to get rid of these ads, you'll need to select a paid service such as Aweber or GetResponse.
- Be very careful to follow all spam guidelines set forth by the iCANN Spam act. Neglecting these guidelines could lead to penalties and criminal charges. Check the rules outlined in the email distribution software or mass e-mail program for specific details.
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