Originally Posted by sjb32
Thanks for all the useful advice, the websites I will certainly find very useful.
I am discovering more and more problems!! Like no dedicated server and separate client machines and all just ad hoc peer to peer with XP Pro!! And no IT guy there, other than myself! How can 6 staff have over 50 email addresses!!!!- and all coming at me with different info!
I do agree with a lot you suggest. The company I have started working for is a trading company, dealing with buying surplus stock and liquidated stocks and selling it on bulk making a profit. Seems to me that it would lend itself to a monthly(or more often) newsletter, as new products come and go.
What does make it difficult on a content management level, is that they never sell the same thing twice!! The website seems to end up with very little on it. You might want a look yourself -
As there are only maybe 200 people left their email addresses to sign up to the mailing list, is it worthwhile me just organising it myself, designing some kind of newsletter and mailing it via Outlook say, and then go 3rd party as and when it gets bigger, or just out it all in the hands of someone else?
Mind you , I suppose budget comes into it and the boss man has no appreciation of the benefits that IT can bring to his business and I get the feeling he doesn't want to speculate to accumulate, which is odd as he is in the trading game.
Anyhows, I am rambling now!! sorry.
Thanks again for your advice, much appreciated.
In essence the firm you work for is a brokerage house dealing in surplus stock.
* Thoughts on the newsletter
So you could run a Newsletter, let's call it the Hot Tips Sheet as an example. The sheet can provide useful information for buyers and sellers of bulk items, along with 'Hot Tips' on featured products, items being sought and so forth.
Have a regular issue with tips - and then send out the hot tips as applicable.
I notice the sign up form is on the bottom right hand side of the page below the fold, as opposed to above the fold. Depending on the site objective, you might want to reverse this.
(Some people recommend asking for the person's name. Other's say, only ask for that information you need. My own view is ask for at least the name.
While on the topic - when people place an order or offer to sell - presumably a form is completed? Set up a tick box allowing people to opt-in by ticking the box to receive the Newsletter.
The other alternative is to create a pop over (not a pop up) java code which pop's over when the visitor lands on the page and allows the individual to sign up for the newsletter.
(We respect your privacy. Your contact information will never be sold, leased, transfered or traded.)
* Thoughts on in house or 3rd party
Only 200 email addresses.
Was this information collected during the course of a "transaction?"
(I am the thinking of the soft-opt out option under the UK Rules)
Were any of them were asked to verify their contact information?
By this I mean, when someone subscribers, the script sends out an email asking the individual to confirm his or her request by clicking on a link included in the email message.
Depending on how old, you don't know how many valid email addy's you have.
As to farming the mailing out to a 3rd party - I recommend to people make this decision up front as part of your business plan. My personal inclination is to let someone else handle the actual mailing, so that I can focus on the business end.
(As as aside, you need to go through the site links - the Forum link - generates a 404 error. )
I gather the site is part of a group of company web sites, so it looks like you are going to have your hands full and adding getting email delivered to your list is not a hassle you will want.
(Just my comment.)
I am not familiar with UK 3rd party email services.
is the solution I would suggest in your case.
I use the service myself for one of my mailing lists and find the service first class.
The service allows you to run multiple lists (meaning you could have a separate list for each site), have up to 10,000 in subscribers without paying any additional fees monthly (no limit on volume), includes the abilit to set up a web based archive or RSS feed, (perhaps not necessary in your case) etc., etc.
Some people prefer Constant Contact - a good service - but the pricing is based on mail volume - which can make it cost prohibitive.
The folks at Aweber will ask you to "verify" your list - before letting you send out any email. This is a good thing as it will weed out bad email addy's etc.
Two additional comments:
* In dealing with a brokerage house - the whole issue is one of trust. Although the site is professional, I did not get a feeling of trust.
I realize what I am about to suggest is a bit off the wall, but some people suggest - asking questions and then offering solutions based on the questions with live help. Something to consider.
* In marketing to a list it's about 'training.' What you say and do will determine how people will respond to your list.
There are two resources which come to mind for building and marketing to a mailing lists:
The Amazing List Machine
by Paul Myers.
Paul will provoke your thinking, attack your presumptions and force you to think through what it is you are doing, develop a plan of action and follow through - presuming you read and apply what he has written.
I have read and continue to apply what Paul has written. I acknowledge some of the techniques (using pop-ups) are dated, but the basic strategies are as applicable today as they were when the material was first written.
(Paul keeps promising a major update - one of these days we might actually see it.)
by Ed Thorpe.
Ed runs a front end list of about 80,000 and a slew of back end lists. Straight up guy. His forte - getting people to like you and then encouraging people to move forward with their business. (A coach)
I use and apply his material. (One of my products is included as a bonus -I acknowledge the bias.)
In your case the second resource is not as relevant and I would not recommend it until you have gotten a handle on the basics.
Two reasons I included a reference to his material. Others may read this post and want additional material.
Apart from the basic value, Ed includes updates of his results and Ed is constantly testing.
I trust these comments are of value.
P.S. I note the three links I have given in this post are "affiliate links," meaning I generate revenue if someone purchases through the link.
Some think this is wrong. Personally, I give a great deal in my posts, endeavor to be straight up in my comments and like to get a bit back, but hey ... if the reader prefers not to ... remember ... "give and ye shall receive." Cheers.