Question about mailing lists and newsletters.

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by definitive, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    I'm setting up a mailing list and newsletter type of page for a client, and was wondering if it would be possible for them to send the email newsletters on their own without a third party service like Constant Contact. They have a Gmail account, but I don't know if that would be enough. Here's how the system would work so far:

    A person who visits the page clicks on a sign-up for our mailing list button. The person is than greeted with a form where they can enter their name, email address, and any other additional stuff that they'd like to hear about (this part will be used for specific type of newsletters in addition to general newsletters). After the form is filled out, the person hits the submit button, and a CSV file is emailed to the website's email.

    This is where I'm at at this point of my planning. The CSV file can be imported into apps such as Excel and Outlook Express. The website uses a GMail account. They are not a big company, so they're looking at ways to minimize their spending, and would prefer not to use a paid service such as Constant Contact. Would it be possible for them to send out HTML-based email newsletters from Outlook Express or maybe Thunderbird with GMail? How would they go about doing this without getting hit with the spam hammer from Google if they're sending out these newsletters to 100+ people?
  2. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Here is an article listing the limitations of bulk emailing from a gmail account:

    I would push you towards bulk email scripts and a real email account.

    also, make sure you build a system that allows users to un-subscribe or your client will be in violation of the CAN-SPAM act:

    It is not enough to build only the registration form. Your client must also be able to respond to unsubscribe notices promptly.

    Also, an email campaign is a bit useless if you will not be tracking and collecting analytics on your emails... so you will need a system to do that as well.

    If your client is planning on running multiple campaigns and will be segmenting their mailing list, spending the $15 a month for a mailing service that handles all tracking and subscription data makes a lot of sense then trying to cobble one together from parts in my opinion.
  3. definitive thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    Regarding the first issue with Gmail, what exactly does "## emails at a time" refer to? What if I use PHPList with throttling and set it to send one email every 20-30 seconds. Does that still fall under the Gmail rule of maximum ## emails at a time?
  4. john1620b macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2009
    I agree that you need to be careful when doing bulk mailings. It's far easier to comply with all the rules and limitations in place by finding an e-mail provider.

    If your client doesn't want to spend anything, try MailChimp. It has an amazingly good Free account that allows up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 e-mail sends per month. My wife and I use them for our A Trade For A Trade newsletter, and have always found the service to be excellent and easy to use.

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