As my birthday month rolls around again this year I'm starting to
rethink the state of email delivery . . . now there's a sick thing to be
thinking about when your birthday is coming up hahaha. I better get a
For large multinational ezines I still think plain email is best, but
there are a number of companies growing in popularity that deliver three
different versions of your newsletter.
HTML is email that looks like a web page. It has it's pros and
cons. One of the pros is that it looks nicer and more professional. One
of the cons is that it either can't be seen by people with older email
programs and some people just don't want (or they are not allowed to
receive it by company policy) because it's too big and cumbersome.
Another thing about HTML is that it's generally much harder to produce
and takes more technical skill on the part of the publisher. To
counteract that con HTML email is very trackable. You can even tell
almost exactly how many people opened it and when.
PLAIN TEXT email can be read by anyone which is good, it's cheap
and easy to produce and distribute, but it doesn't give you the
formatting capabilities that make for a really nice publication.
AOL is a different animal altogether and the older versions,
which most people are still using, require you to jump through a bunch
of hoops if you want the links in your publication to be clickable. (In
all but the latest versions of AOL if you put a link in your ezine, the
AOL member who is not usually a savvy Internet user, must copy and paste
the link into their browser and click "go" which cuts down your overall
To get around this AOL link problem you would have to put two links in
your plain text email. One regular one for people reading the plain text
version and another one so that the AOL people will be able to simply
click instead of cut and paste as described above.
Here's an example:
Let's say I wanted to put in a link to my "Wake 'em Up Video
Professional Speaking System"
In the plain text version of my email I would put
http://www.antion.com/speakervideo.htm This link, however, would not
be clickable in AOL. So right below the link I would have to put this in
my plain text email:
<A HREF=" http://www.antion.com/speakervideo.htm ">AOL Users Click
Which would then show up to AOL folks as
AOL Users Click Here
Doing this really junks up the look of your plain text email because the
entire raw HTML code . . .<A HREF= and the rest of it shows up in
the plain text email.
Now there are programs that will either reformat your HTML email into
plain text or AOL format automatically or allow you to make several
different versions that go out at the same time.
Many also give you HTML templates with fill in the blank areas to make
your HTML email creation a snap.
Here are some of the ones I'm experimenting with now:
http://www.constantcontact.com (decent pricing but no double opt in)
http://www.emailfactory.com (decent pricing and has some viral
marketing tools. No phone support.)
http://www.imakenews.com (very expensive)
but lacks, double opt in and welcome letter capabilities. Template
Interface is pretty easy. No phone support.
I suggest you try some of these out and please send me your comments.
I'll report what you find and I find in a future issue. Send comments
topics for this section:
Plain Text Email
Getting subscribers fast
Getting content fast
How to make money with your zine
How to gain clout with your zine
How to maximize the signups on your website
Back to July 2002 Index page