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[epub] Newsletter service or install my own software?
Hi, folks,

I've been sending my "eTips from the Storytelling Coach" ezine directly from my computer for the last 4 years. My subscriber list is now 6000+. Recent changes at Earthlink have left me unable to send through their SMTP server as before. So I'm looking to change my entire delivery method.

I have my own web server (running Linux), so I can readily install a program to send my newsletter directly from my server, if I choose to go that route.

I re-read the November, 2004 discussion about how to send out newsletters. I have a few concerns and questions not addressed in that exchange. Can anyone help me with this decision?

1. Reasons I want to change:
* It's getting harder and harder to just get emails sent, due principally to the changing anti-spam measures - most recently, the institution of new SMTP flow-rate controls.
* I will have to change eventually if my list tops about 10,000. At that point it will take about 12-14 hours to send to my list from my office computer via DSL. I don't want to give up the use of my computer longer than overnight.
* My current method depends on semi-automatic processing of new, changed, and invalid addresses. This creates delays in responses to subscribers and takes time that I could be spending more profitably, I believe, on marketing.
* My current system is single opt-in (and includes capturing IP numbers). I want to move to double opt-in (and would still like to capture IP numbers).
* The whole world of getting emails delivered is changing rapidly and getting increasingly complex. I'd love it if I didn't have to become and remain an expert in this.

2. Reasons for installing a program like Lyris or Subscribe Me! on my server:
* Long-term, less expensive.
* Should be easier to continue individual customization. (My current method has allowed me a great deal of customization, since each email is generated separately by FileMaker Pro.)
* Will allow me access on my own terms to the database. Maximum control.

3. Reasons for switching to a paid service:
* Someone else will take on the problems of ensuring deliverability (I hope?)
* Less time investment from me.
* I can probably get all the customization I want if I find the right service or am willing to pay enough.

So, given the above, what would you folks suggest? Do you see problems with my assumptions? Do you have favorite providers or programs you recommend to use or to avoid?


Doug Lipman

Doug Lipman, P.O. Box 521165, Tulsa, OK 74152
Phone: (918) 712-7336. Fax: (206) 202-7719. Toll-free: (888) 446-4738
Story Dynamics�: workshops, performances, coaching

Web page:
Free monthly email newsletter, "eTips from the Storytelling Coach."
"A wonderful, chock full of provocative ideas, storytelling newsletter. I like it a lot!" - Loretta Greene (Tempe, AZ)

Upcoming workshops:
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