On the Subject of Newsletters

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Morticia

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What sorts of things do you include in your newsletter? Do you track how many open it, what the click on for more info, etc? I'm trying a different format this year and wondered what others include.
 

Kesous

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I have started sending out the regular newsletter that I do for our little center here to those folks on the mailing list who give their email address. We have been sending it out in the mail for a year and a half about 3 times a year to our mailing list which is now over 700. My employer, in order to save money, wants it sent by email to those whose email addresses we have. However, out of 105 emails I sent with the newsletter as an attachment in PDF format, 64 of them bounced back to me. How do you get your newsletter to get through to more of the recipients?
What I include is anything at all that provides news of our place. Photos of all the events that we have here, a recipe from the cafe, notice that a new shop is opening up, what is new this season in each of the shops, etc. Basically anything that I think will sound interesting to the recipients and make them think of this place as a "happening place". It's all just solid promotion, but I do my best to make it look like news. I always have stuff that at least sounds as though it is new even if it is not.
--Kesous
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts...
 

Morticia

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I have started sending out the regular newsletter that I do for our little center here to those folks on the mailing list who give their email address. We have been sending it out in the mail for a year and a half about 3 times a year to our mailing list which is now over 700. My employer, in order to save money, wants it sent by email to those whose email addresses we have. However, out of 105 emails I sent with the newsletter as an attachment in PDF format, 64 of them bounced back to me. How do you get your newsletter to get through to more of the recipients?
What I include is anything at all that provides news of our place. Photos of all the events that we have here, a recipe from the cafe, notice that a new shop is opening up, what is new this season in each of the shops, etc. Basically anything that I think will sound interesting to the recipients and make them think of this place as a "happening place". It's all just solid promotion, but I do my best to make it look like news. I always have stuff that at least sounds as though it is new even if it is not.
--Kesous.
Kesous said:
I have started sending out the regular newsletter that I do for our little center here to those folks on the mailing list who give their email address. We have been sending it out in the mail for a year and a half about 3 times a year to our mailing list which is now over 700. My employer, in order to save money, wants it sent by email to those whose email addresses we have. However, out of 105 emails I sent with the newsletter as an attachment in PDF format, 64 of them bounced back to me. How do you get your newsletter to get through to more of the recipients?
What I include is anything at all that provides news of our place. Photos of all the events that we have here, a recipe from the cafe, notice that a new shop is opening up, what is new this season in each of the shops, etc. Basically anything that I think will sound interesting to the recipients and make them think of this place as a "happening place". It's all just solid promotion, but I do my best to make it look like news. I always have stuff that at least sounds as though it is new even if it is not.
--Kesous
For free? Send the email out in batches, not all 700 at once. Sending out that kind of email blast can label you a spammer on many, many, many email servers. Most email servers will allow 99 at a time.
OK, once you've tried that and you still get bounces...make sure you're not breaking cardinal rules...lots of punctuation strings. (As an example, my favorite '...' got banned from someplace the other day...'excessive punctuation.') Lots of pix, lots of links, all sorts of things may get your email bounced.
OK, so you fix it up and you have the perfect email, following all the rules, sent out to small lists at a time and you still get lots of bounces. Can you track WHY? 'Invalid email?' 'Mailbox full?' 'Server timed out?' 'Potential spam, please click here to fix?'
THEN, take those email addies that are still valid (ie- no 'invalid email addy' messgaes) and send the newsletters one at a time to verify the email addy really is valid.
Faster, but with a cost? Emailing service like Constant Contact which virtually guarantees your email goes thru. If, however, you get a run of 'this email is spam' complaints, they will shut you down.
 

Morticia

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Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts....
Innkeeper To Go said:
Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts...
Good point on the open rate. For our biz (hotel/inn/bnb), the average open rate is about 17-19%. I'm happy I regularly hit 25-30%. But, that does mean a fair amount of recipients do not care enough to even ask to be taken off the mailing list. I find that any email addy over 2-3 years old generally returns an opt out request within the first 2-3 newsletters. If they haven't been back in that amount of time, they're probably not coming back and they don't want the email clutter.
The bounce rate is about 6%. The click thru rate is about 14%. (These are industry averages based on the info returned thru the users at Constant Contact. They may not apply to all emailing services or even anyone's own personal emailing.)
When I had my 'short list' of repeat guests only, I hit 50% on the open rate.
For an email that went out today, I have an open rate of 23%, which will increase slightly over the next couple of days. But the first day is when I get the most opens, and that's typical. (There's a click rate of 35% which is WAY higher than usual as a lot of guests want to see the reno in progress. Over 50% of the people who opened the email, clicked that link to see the blog page with the reno.)
I can go months without a bounce but today I had a 1.5% bounce rate and most of them were emails I added early last year, so they have been getting the email, but maybe lost a job or changed internet providers.
 

BBBBoB

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I have started sending out the regular newsletter that I do for our little center here to those folks on the mailing list who give their email address. We have been sending it out in the mail for a year and a half about 3 times a year to our mailing list which is now over 700. My employer, in order to save money, wants it sent by email to those whose email addresses we have. However, out of 105 emails I sent with the newsletter as an attachment in PDF format, 64 of them bounced back to me. How do you get your newsletter to get through to more of the recipients?
What I include is anything at all that provides news of our place. Photos of all the events that we have here, a recipe from the cafe, notice that a new shop is opening up, what is new this season in each of the shops, etc. Basically anything that I think will sound interesting to the recipients and make them think of this place as a "happening place". It's all just solid promotion, but I do my best to make it look like news. I always have stuff that at least sounds as though it is new even if it is not.
--Kesous.
I have been using a company called Mail Chimp. It is free for the amount of e-mails that I do. It does take a little computer knowledge and it adheres to the anti-spam laws. It sends one e-mail at a time, addressed to one customer, although you only have to create one letter. Very few bounces.
BBBBoB
 

BBBBoB

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Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts....
Innkeeper To Go said:
Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts...
Good point on the open rate. For our biz (hotel/inn/bnb), the average open rate is about 17-19%. I'm happy I regularly hit 25-30%. But, that does mean a fair amount of recipients do not care enough to even ask to be taken off the mailing list. I find that any email addy over 2-3 years old generally returns an opt out request within the first 2-3 newsletters. If they haven't been back in that amount of time, they're probably not coming back and they don't want the email clutter.
The bounce rate is about 6%. The click thru rate is about 14%. (These are industry averages based on the info returned thru the users at Constant Contact. They may not apply to all emailing services or even anyone's own personal emailing.)
When I had my 'short list' of repeat guests only, I hit 50% on the open rate.
For an email that went out today, I have an open rate of 23%, which will increase slightly over the next couple of days. But the first day is when I get the most opens, and that's typical. (There's a click rate of 35% which is WAY higher than usual as a lot of guests want to see the reno in progress. Over 50% of the people who opened the email, clicked that link to see the blog page with the reno.)
I can go months without a bounce but today I had a 1.5% bounce rate and most of them were emails I added early last year, so they have been getting the email, but maybe lost a job or changed internet providers.
.
I found that if the recipient "previews" the e-mail that I send with Mail Chimp it does not get logged as an "open". I suspect that the read rate is much higher than is reported "open" rate.
BBBBoB
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts....
Innkeeper To Go said:
Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts...
Good point on the open rate. For our biz (hotel/inn/bnb), the average open rate is about 17-19%. I'm happy I regularly hit 25-30%. But, that does mean a fair amount of recipients do not care enough to even ask to be taken off the mailing list. I find that any email addy over 2-3 years old generally returns an opt out request within the first 2-3 newsletters. If they haven't been back in that amount of time, they're probably not coming back and they don't want the email clutter.
The bounce rate is about 6%. The click thru rate is about 14%. (These are industry averages based on the info returned thru the users at Constant Contact. They may not apply to all emailing services or even anyone's own personal emailing.)
When I had my 'short list' of repeat guests only, I hit 50% on the open rate.
For an email that went out today, I have an open rate of 23%, which will increase slightly over the next couple of days. But the first day is when I get the most opens, and that's typical. (There's a click rate of 35% which is WAY higher than usual as a lot of guests want to see the reno in progress. Over 50% of the people who opened the email, clicked that link to see the blog page with the reno.)
I can go months without a bounce but today I had a 1.5% bounce rate and most of them were emails I added early last year, so they have been getting the email, but maybe lost a job or changed internet providers.
.
Good work! Those are some very impressive numbers you're hitting there.
 

seashanty

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i never sent my newsletter as an attachment. my newsletter was the email. it was not real long, but had all the graphics and hyperlinks i wanted. i created them in publisher and sent them out, as monica says, in batches. my budget was tiny and this worked for me. emails with attachments often get you sent right to spam folders. if you're not sure what i mean, and want to see what i think is a good example of one, go to kim komando.com and sign up for her newsletter.
 

Morticia

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Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts....
Innkeeper To Go said:
Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts...
Good point on the open rate. For our biz (hotel/inn/bnb), the average open rate is about 17-19%. I'm happy I regularly hit 25-30%. But, that does mean a fair amount of recipients do not care enough to even ask to be taken off the mailing list. I find that any email addy over 2-3 years old generally returns an opt out request within the first 2-3 newsletters. If they haven't been back in that amount of time, they're probably not coming back and they don't want the email clutter.
The bounce rate is about 6%. The click thru rate is about 14%. (These are industry averages based on the info returned thru the users at Constant Contact. They may not apply to all emailing services or even anyone's own personal emailing.)
When I had my 'short list' of repeat guests only, I hit 50% on the open rate.
For an email that went out today, I have an open rate of 23%, which will increase slightly over the next couple of days. But the first day is when I get the most opens, and that's typical. (There's a click rate of 35% which is WAY higher than usual as a lot of guests want to see the reno in progress. Over 50% of the people who opened the email, clicked that link to see the blog page with the reno.)
I can go months without a bounce but today I had a 1.5% bounce rate and most of them were emails I added early last year, so they have been getting the email, but maybe lost a job or changed internet providers.
.
I found that if the recipient "previews" the e-mail that I send with Mail Chimp it does not get logged as an "open". I suspect that the read rate is much higher than is reported "open" rate.
BBBBoB
.
I didn't read all the way thru the stats page, I was just looking for those numbers, but I have seen that fact before about mail previewers not logging an open. I know my own email says it is blocking certain parts of the email (the embedded photos and links) to avoid having my computer identified.
Sometime, I will send it to a different email addy of mine and play around with that to see what happens.
 

Morticia

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Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts....
Innkeeper To Go said:
Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts...
Good point on the open rate. For our biz (hotel/inn/bnb), the average open rate is about 17-19%. I'm happy I regularly hit 25-30%. But, that does mean a fair amount of recipients do not care enough to even ask to be taken off the mailing list. I find that any email addy over 2-3 years old generally returns an opt out request within the first 2-3 newsletters. If they haven't been back in that amount of time, they're probably not coming back and they don't want the email clutter.
The bounce rate is about 6%. The click thru rate is about 14%. (These are industry averages based on the info returned thru the users at Constant Contact. They may not apply to all emailing services or even anyone's own personal emailing.)
When I had my 'short list' of repeat guests only, I hit 50% on the open rate.
For an email that went out today, I have an open rate of 23%, which will increase slightly over the next couple of days. But the first day is when I get the most opens, and that's typical. (There's a click rate of 35% which is WAY higher than usual as a lot of guests want to see the reno in progress. Over 50% of the people who opened the email, clicked that link to see the blog page with the reno.)
I can go months without a bounce but today I had a 1.5% bounce rate and most of them were emails I added early last year, so they have been getting the email, but maybe lost a job or changed internet providers.
.
Good work! Those are some very impressive numbers you're hitting there.
.
I'm pretty happy with it. Of course I'm always playing with the subject line to try to get more opens. But, I think, seriously, I have a band of guests who just want to keep current. My guess is that any 'extra' opens I get are because someone is actively planning a getaway.
And it is that band of guests who I picture when I write. I write to them. The guests who like us. The guests who come back just because and not because there's a special or a package or a discount.
 

Penelope

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Semi-side track alert:
When a receipient uses Outlook Express, does the view in the "preview" pane of OE count as an "open"? How can these numbers be correct if the receipient is using a program that allows them to view the email without it being downloaded onto their server, ie. mailwasher? I hope I am being clear enough with my questions.
 

Morticia

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Semi-side track alert:
When a receipient uses Outlook Express, does the view in the "preview" pane of OE count as an "open"? How can these numbers be correct if the receipient is using a program that allows them to view the email without it being downloaded onto their server, ie. mailwasher? I hope I am being clear enough with my questions..
I use OE for my mail. The mail is downloaded before I look at it. As far as I know that's the only way to look at mail using OE. You can't, that I know of, look at it 'online' as in out in cyberspace, it has to be downloaded.
I think the preview pane is only allowing you to flip thru mail really fast, but the mail is already on your computer.
I don't use the preview pane because I don't want to be 'opening' or reading spam. So, to read my email I do have to individually open each one. And that makes it very easy to delete spam right off.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts....
Innkeeper To Go said:
Kesous, email newsletters are tough because so many will get bounced. Folks just have too much crap coming into their inbox already. No matter what you do, a good percentage of them just won't be opened even if they don't bounce.
Does your little center have a blog? Perhaps some of what you're sending out as newsletters might be suitable as blog posts...
Good point on the open rate. For our biz (hotel/inn/bnb), the average open rate is about 17-19%. I'm happy I regularly hit 25-30%. But, that does mean a fair amount of recipients do not care enough to even ask to be taken off the mailing list. I find that any email addy over 2-3 years old generally returns an opt out request within the first 2-3 newsletters. If they haven't been back in that amount of time, they're probably not coming back and they don't want the email clutter.
The bounce rate is about 6%. The click thru rate is about 14%. (These are industry averages based on the info returned thru the users at Constant Contact. They may not apply to all emailing services or even anyone's own personal emailing.)
When I had my 'short list' of repeat guests only, I hit 50% on the open rate.
For an email that went out today, I have an open rate of 23%, which will increase slightly over the next couple of days. But the first day is when I get the most opens, and that's typical. (There's a click rate of 35% which is WAY higher than usual as a lot of guests want to see the reno in progress. Over 50% of the people who opened the email, clicked that link to see the blog page with the reno.)
I can go months without a bounce but today I had a 1.5% bounce rate and most of them were emails I added early last year, so they have been getting the email, but maybe lost a job or changed internet providers.
.
Good work! Those are some very impressive numbers you're hitting there.
.
I'm pretty happy with it. Of course I'm always playing with the subject line to try to get more opens. But, I think, seriously, I have a band of guests who just want to keep current. My guess is that any 'extra' opens I get are because someone is actively planning a getaway.
And it is that band of guests who I picture when I write. I write to them. The guests who like us. The guests who come back just because and not because there's a special or a package or a discount.
.
Morticia said:
And it is that band of guests who I picture when I write. I write to them. The guests who like us. The guests who come back just because and not because there's a special or a package or a discount.
I'm sure that has everything to do with your great results. There are always some fabulous guests who would just come back every week if they could. They just need to be reminded every now and then. Smart work focusing on them in your campaigns.
 

JBloggs

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Semi-side track alert:
When a receipient uses Outlook Express, does the view in the "preview" pane of OE count as an "open"? How can these numbers be correct if the receipient is using a program that allows them to view the email without it being downloaded onto their server, ie. mailwasher? I hope I am being clear enough with my questions..
Bob Sled said:
Semi-side track alert:
When a receipient uses Outlook Express, does the view in the "preview" pane of OE count as an "open"? How can these numbers be correct if the receipient is using a program that allows them to view the email without it being downloaded onto their server, ie. mailwasher? I hope I am being clear enough with my questions.
It wouldn't count as open.
 

gillumhouse

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Semi-side track alert:
When a receipient uses Outlook Express, does the view in the "preview" pane of OE count as an "open"? How can these numbers be correct if the receipient is using a program that allows them to view the email without it being downloaded onto their server, ie. mailwasher? I hope I am being clear enough with my questions..
I use OE for my mail. The mail is downloaded before I look at it. As far as I know that's the only way to look at mail using OE. You can't, that I know of, look at it 'online' as in out in cyberspace, it has to be downloaded.
I think the preview pane is only allowing you to flip thru mail really fast, but the mail is already on your computer.
I don't use the preview pane because I don't want to be 'opening' or reading spam. So, to read my email I do have to individually open each one. And that makes it very easy to delete spam right off.
.
I use OE for my e-mail but my mail goes to the servers before it goes to me (when I bring up OE). I go to verison.net for the mail on that account and go to the server of the host of my domain to check that e-mail. I delete the garbage on both BEFORE I open OE each day. When in doubt, I can click it at the server to read something and then delete or close - my choice. I treat it daily as if I am traveling and checking it at a Library computer.
 
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