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Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Crazyfruitbat, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Crazyfruitbat

    Crazyfruitbat Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, I'm looking for a decent way to make a customisable Newsletter for my site. The front end is wordpress and the forums is (obviously) xenforo - but at the moment I'm on shared hosting, so if I bounce an email to folk from the forum software it basically cuts my e-mail off for the entire day :(

    I was wondering if anyone has any systems that they have used that could help me?
    I have heard about using feedburner and wordpress as newsletter but the problem is the content I want to put into the newsletter isn't the stuff from me RSS feed - it will be customised every two weeks.

    Any ideas?
  2. AnthonyCea

    AnthonyCea Well-Known Member

  3. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    I use Mailchimp.com
    Jamie likes this.
  4. Crazyfruitbat

    Crazyfruitbat Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys, at the moment I only have about 45 members so probably free is the way to go for the time being
  5. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    Mailchimp is free up to 1000 subscribers. I discovered them recently and wouldn't go back to any other way to manage my newsletter.
  6. Sean S

    Sean S Active Member

    I will add my vote to mailchimp as well. I've been using them for two years and in my opinion they are the best out there.

    And I think for the size of your subscriber list, you should be able to use their service for free. However, in return they put a small banner ad under your newsletter linking to mailchimp. They also have a pay-as-you go plan which you can take advantage of.

    What I like about mailchimp is that you can link your campaign to google analytics and keep track of whats happening with your campaign. They also have a neat feature where you can preview your newsletter in all major email clients.
  7. Jeffin

    Jeffin Well-Known Member

    I am using mailchimp too.
  8. AnthonyCea

    AnthonyCea Well-Known Member

  9. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    I used PHPList before and it feels really primitive compared to Mailchimp.
    This is from someone who moved from free mailing software to paying software to handle 3000+ subscribers list.

    Seriously, have you looked at the level of integration Mailchimp has with other 3rd apps?
  10. AnthonyCea

    AnthonyCea Well-Known Member

    Thanks Andy, I appreciate the tip, I have not tried any of them yet, so coming from a power user like yourself this means something.
  11. chrisstinson

    chrisstinson Member

    I use MailChimp for sending to over 5000 members. I used to use a PHP script on my own server, and then SendBlaster. When using those two tools from my own server or computer I found there was less overall impact.

    First, the odd user would forget they signed up (sometimes a year or two before) and flag the email as spam. The recipient's domain would then block the IP, and depending on the # of users at that particular domain, it would redirect the newletter to other user's junk mail boxes as well. I found even with hotmail, a few spam requests would block everyone's.

    Second, some mail hosts take into account of the rate of incoming message from a domain or IP, regardless of the recipient/destination. Say I had 2000 members with hotmail addresses: if my IP sent 2000 emails to 2000 different people at Hotmail in 1 minute, Hotmail may assume I am sending spam and block me. Some larger companies can apply to have a higher rate. Rate-limiting is important! Here's a link with examples, but I'm not sure how current the info is [not my site]: http://www.emailaddressmanager.com/tips/email-address-limit.html. SendBlaster does have a rate-limiting feature, and after implementing it, results improved - but not as much as using MailChimp.

    I found MailChimp uses a range of IP addresses and is generally trusted among most mail providers. Even a few spam filter requests wouldn't derail a campaign. Although many spam filters have the option to block the sending domain (and not just the IP), I find it is slightly more work for the user - just enough to dissuade the average user from marking your domain as spam.
  12. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    I usually only pays when the cost makes real good sense financially and time-wise and I definitely think it's a smart decision for my case.
    I used to send mass email to our 13,000+ members via the VB ACP before I realize it's a really bad idea.

    It does not offer any tracking, bounce management or anything to gauge the effectiveness of my mailing. I can have several hundred bounced addresses and I don't have a way to remove them out of my list.

    I don't know who opened my email and how many times. I don't know which email clients they use to open it, from which location. I can't track any of that and more.

    Mailchimp gives me that ability and several high power functions which I gladly pay.

    That's why I rebuilt my mailing list from the ground up. I don't want to use our 13,000+ members email but instead have them subscribe voluntarily, double opt in. I want to ensure the high quality of my mailing and people want to receive my newsletter.

    Once you go Mailchimp, PHPlist feels like using VB after you moved to XF. Not correct analogy but you have an idea of how outdated one is and how modern the other app feels.
  13. Andy.N

    Andy.N Well-Known Member

    And for those have been using Mailchimp, what are you average open rate and click rate compared to your industry avg?
  14. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Mailchimp: The Forever Free Plan
    Store up to 1,000 subscribers.
    Send up to 6,000 emails a month.
  15. Crazyfruitbat

    Crazyfruitbat Well-Known Member

    just signed up for mailchimp and I have to say I'm really impressed with it.
  16. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

    You guys do know someone has done a mail add on for Xen right?
  17. chrisstinson

    chrisstinson Member


    I cull the bottom performing email addresses every few months. If I send 3 newsletters, and there are email addresses that haven't opened/clicked in the last 3, I remove it from the list. No point in paying for a larger plan, or for a higher send amount if certain people consistently disregard the emails. I've found a ~20% of all email signups are like this. I send 13 newsletters per year.

    As for a comparison to industry average - it shows I am 10% above for opening, and 20% for clicking from within the newsletter to my site.

    On one newsletter which I announced a contest, I found almost 95% of recipients opened the email, and 90% clicked through, and from Google Analytics, 80% followed through with the goal conversion.
    AnthonyCea likes this.
  18. Crazyfruitbat

    Crazyfruitbat Well-Known Member

    Using that system if you are on shared hosting is just going to give you a massive headache if you send out things in bulk
  19. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

    How so? Haven't used it, but assume it has a staggered send functionality.
  20. Crazyfruitbat

    Crazyfruitbat Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, just out of curiousity - how do you guys deal with your mailing lists with mailchimp and the like? - do you add all of your users to mailchimp or do you just ask them to join the mailing list? i have done the asking thing and it didn't really get too many signups and certainly i would like to update more people about what we are doing.

    It would be interesting to see how you guys manage this stuff

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