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How to Choose the Right E-Newsletter Service Provider for Your Nonprofit

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How to Choose the Right E-Newsletter Service Provider for Your Nonprofit
By Nancy E. Schwartz

Here’s a comprehensive checklist of basic features you’ll want. Use it to match your needs with the right e-newsletter service provider.

  1. Pricing
  2. Ease of use for you (importing and managing your list and composing, formatting and sending your e-news) and for your readers to subscribe and unsubscribe
  3. Formatting – Text or HTML (you might want to sent one or the other at various times) and the ability to format your e-newsletter automatically to text or HTML depending on each reader’s set-up
  4. Message preview and testing
  5. Advance scheduling (so you can specify a time for your e-news to be sent out)
  6. Web-based subscription form and subscriber management
  7. Deliverability practices – What does the provider do to ensure that the greatest number of readers actually receive your e-news? Strategies should include having active relationships with ISPs and getting on their approved senders lists (white lists) as well as carefully policing their own senders to ensure that they don’t send spam.
  8. Support services and hours
  9. Bounce reports with full details including actual email reply from any system rejecting your e-news
  10. Tracking of opens, click throughs and other usage stats
  11. Personalization (so you can direct your e-news to “Dear Nancy”)
  12. List segmentation by any of the fields in your recipient database (when you want to send your e-news to donors in Philadelphia or members who have joined in the last six months)

Nancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing and communications.

Subscribe to her free e-newsletter “Getting Attention,” at http://www.nancyschwartz.com/getting_attention.html and read her blog at http://www.gettingattention.org for more insights, ideas and great tips on attracting the attention your organization deserves.

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