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email newsletter FAQs

 

you keep mentioning opt-in subscribers… what’s that about?

If you already have a mailing list before you start using debbidoo’s email newsletter services, we’ll ask you to confirm that all subscribers on your list are “opt-in” before we load your list into the newsletter software.

We’re very strict about getting permission from your subscribers before you start to send your newsletters. There’s a few reasons for this, the most important of which are:

  • If your newsletters are marked as spam by people on your maling list, the IPs through which all our client newsletters are sent may be blacklisted, which means none of our other clients’ newsletters (or our own) can be delivered
  • If you’re seen as a spammer, this can damage your brand. And that’s something that we don’t want… and we’re sure you don’t, either.

We therefore ask you to confirm that your mailing list only contains email addresses of people who:

  • Have indicated that they want to receive email newsletters from you – either by completing a subscription form on your website, or by ticking a “yes I’ll subscribe to your newsletter” box on an offline form, or by explicitly saying (by phone or email, for example) that they want to receive your newsletters
  • Have bought something from you in the past two years
  • Have given you their contact details at an event (for example, an exhibition) but only if you have made it clear that you will add them to your newsletter mailing list.

We will not accept mailing lists which:

  • Have been bought or rented. Not even if the list has been sold to you as “opt-in”. People on this list may have opted to receive emails from “carefully selected third parties”, but they’ve not specifically opted to receive newsletters from you – so we won’t send your newsletters to them.
  • Contain email addresses that have been copied, harvested or scraped from other websites, or the Yellow Pages, or other sources. Just because an email address is public, this doesn’t mean its owner wants to hear your news – so please don’t ask us to send to this sort of email address.
  • Customers you haven’t contacted (or who haven’t bought anything from you) in over two years.

I don’t have a mailing list yet :(

Patience, Grasshopper… all things come to he who waits :) We’ll send you a code snippet to create a newsletter subscription form on your website (or if that’s not convenient for you, we’ll give you a link to a page with a subscription form on it, which you can share in the meantime) – share this with your customers next time you speak to them, or add it to your business card, or your email signature… your list will grow, in time :)

how does your newsletter pricing work?

We’ve kept our newsletter pricing as simple, and as low, as possible. We know you won’t necessarily want to send a newsletter every month, so we don’t charge any monthly fees. It costs us nothing to host your mailing list – so mailing list hosting wll cost you nothing either. You only pay for what you use – because we feel that’s the fairest way to price our email newsletter services.

Two examples of our email newsletter pricing applied to realistic situations:

fully managed

John has a reasonable budget but little spare time to manage his own newsletter campaigns, so he signs up for debbidoo’s fully managed email newsletters service. He doesn’t want to use a template that someone else may have used before, so he asks us to design a bespoke template for his campaigns. He pays a one-off account setup fee of £40, and a one-off template design fee of £160 – so the total startup cost of his newsletter account is £200. John sends us his existing opt-in mailing list, which he’s built over several years by getting his website visitors to fill in a newsletter subscription form. There are 5,670 subscribers on the list when we import it into the system and send John’s first campaign. His sending costs for this campaign are £100 for the management, plus 2p per recipient – a total of £213.40. By the time we send his next campaign two months later, another 25 people have subscribed, bringing his mailing list up to 5,695 subscribers. The fees for the second campaign are therefore £100 plus £113.90 – a total of £213.90.

self-serve

Jane has time to manage her own campaigns, but is working with a very tight budget – so she opts for our self-serve email newsletters package. She doesn’t mind creating her own template using the software’s template designer tool, so her one-off startup fees are just £40. Jane’s mailing list is smaller than John’s; when we upload it to the system, there are 532 subscribers. When Jane sends her first campaign, she pays a £5 sending fee, plus 2p per recipient – so the total amount she pays for her first campaign is £15.64. Jane sends a new campaign two weeks later, by which time her mailing list has grown by 5 subscribers. She decides to run a design and spam test on this campaign. Jane’s costs for the second campaign are therefore £5 sending fee, £5 for the testing, and 2p each for the 537 subscribers – a total campaign cost of £20.74.

I already have a newsletter template – can I use this with your newsletter software and avoid the cost of getting you to design a new one?

If you have an existing template, it’s unlikely that it’ll work with our newsletter software without at least a few minor changes. For example, it needs to contain specially encoded instructions, or ‘tags’, to make the unsubscribe and forward to a friend links work. There are other tags in the templates which tell the newsletter system to add new stories at the click of a button, and to add personalisation, and so on.

So the short answer is “no” – however, depending on the design of your template, it may only be a quick job for us to insert the relevant tags, so it’s unlikely to be expensive. The best thing is to send a copy of your template to info@debbidoo.com and ask us to take a look at it, and we’ll give you a quote for editing it. Alternatively, of course, you can create a brand new newsletter template using the software’s template designer tool, and it won’t cost you a penny.

can your newsletter software send text emails as well as HTML?

Yes, it can. When your HTML content is loaded into the email newsletter software, the system automatically creates a text-only version which will be seen by any of your subscribers whose inbox preferences are set to ‘text-only’.

If you want to always send text-only emails instead of HTML, that’s not a problem. Please note however that sending fees for text emails are the same as for HTML newsletters.

how many mailing lists can I have?

As many as you like. If you want different mailing lists for different types of customer, for example, or if you run a number of websites and want separate mailing lists for each one, ths is easy enough to set up. Since each mailing list has its own unique reference, you can create unique subscription forms and subscribe/unsubscribe landing pages for each list, too.

You can also segment your mailing lists by any variable, such as gender, geographic location, customer type, and so on – we can explain this in more detail when you sign up with us, and advise on the best way to manage your lists.

I need different templates for different occasions/subscribers. Is there a discount for having more than one template designed when you set up my account?

Sure, why not? :) Although, of course, you can design as many templates as you like, for free, within the newsletter broadcasting software control panel :)

Just let us know what you prefer when you place your order, and we’ll let you know the discount we’re able to offer you.

find out more

If you have a question about our email newsletter services that isn’t covered in our email newsletter FAQs, or if you’d like to order email newsletter services from debbidoo, please get in touch.

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