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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An effective email application

Yesterday, one of our key employees suggested I look at to find a good solution for our email newsletters. My newsletter based on public domain software has produced impressive results, but its technical functionality is far lower than what I knew to be possible. We also need a much more reliable newsletter system for our planned improvement in services for associations and trade groups.I had thought of commissioning offshore programmers to design something better for me.

I dropped that potentially expensive idea with the free trial version of Constant Contact. Within a few hours, I had mastered the beginnings of a new format, visually impressive newsletter using templates provided on the website. I also had little trouble importing a small list of names from my current newsletter to run a test.

Outside of some sloppiness on my part -- spelling 'weep' as 'weap' the newsletter went out as planned, and I could immediately track results with incredible detail.

Notably, Constant Contact has a good systematized new customer follow up program. A dedicated representative contacted me by phone and email today to see if I had any questions. I did. I responded by email -- havcn't heard back from him yet, but I'm not complaining.

We'll set up the new system in time for the next full scale newsletter distribution next week. The experience has reminded me that simple things are often right under our noses and it is always wise to listen to your employees.

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