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January 29, 2009


maggiemailer :)


Great article addressing a very common question!

The FTC's CAN-SPAM Act is an important thing every email marketer should be aware of. Many getting started aren't familiar with it, and you're right, a professional list management service, or hosted service, will usually help you stay compliant. Here's our summary of FTC's latest updates from May 2008: http://blog.mailermailer.com/2008/06/can-spam-updates-from-the-ftc/.

Oh, and a couple more benefits to add:
- Faster delivery (due to dedicated servers in a secure data center specially designed to deliver bulk emails)
- Reporting (companies sometimes offer this feature to show how past emails performed)




Hi Simon,

Great article. Anyone who has tried email marketing on their own knows what an advantage everything you discussed could be.

Like Maggie mentioned I think Reporting is one of the strongest advantage points to using an ESP.

For owners of small businesses there are limited resources for marketing and testing. If you have facts and figures about who opened, clicked and purchased off your email marketing efforts you have an incredible advantage. It allows you to show which type of emails or offers work with your audience as well as segment your lists and see which leads are truly hot, a question all sales people would like to know.

Thanks for starting the discussion!


Sean Nisbet

Who would you recommend hosts our emails?

We are a very small business and are currently using a large marketing company that charges the earth and allows me very little creative input to the design.

The previous owner bought a large qty of email addresses which I have now inherited.

In total I would now send out 6 000 emails every month.

Thank you Sean


Hi Sean,

I have personally used aWeber and Vertical Response and would recommend both. It's a matter of seeing which has the features you need, and which provides good customer service (both these do.)

However, I'm nervous about the list your inherited. Many email service providers won't allow you to upload a purchased list because there's a fine line between purchased lists and spam. So check whether your ESP will allow you to do that, and also (imho) find out about the nature of these email addresses and whether you can legitimately (legally and morally) email them without causing spam complaints.

Sorry, that's not the answer you want, I expect, but purchased email lists can cause problems in some circumstances.

Ivan Lutrov

A common problem is that there are still plenty of websites that offer newsletter subscription but don't allow the recipient to choose whether they want TEXT or HTML messages. The people who generate the "newsletter" then stupidly assume that everybody wants HTML messages, which of course we know is wrong.

When you use a hosted mail service, any decent software will send the messages as "multipart", which means that people who configured their email client for TEXT will see the message too. This just doesn't happen when you use Outlook, or some other personal email software.

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