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Automated E-mail Systems

Ellen Finkelstein

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My Web site lets people sign up for an occasional mailing, but it works by sending me an e-mail with the person's name and e-mail address. I need a way to automate the process but my Web host restricts me to their CGI script. Do you have a software solution that both collects e-mail addresses and then lets you send out e-mail to people on your list? I'd like to get all this at a reasonable cost.

Postmaster General manages the list automatically for you. $29.95/month. http://www.postmastergeneral.com.

If you use ACT! as a contact manager, Web Response Grabber by eGrabber grabs it and puts it in for you. $299.

http://www.authorsden.com has a great newsletter option. This is definitely a possibility and you can e-mail them your existing list. However, you don't have as much control over your list as I would like.

Sounds like you need a mailing list program, like a list server. Major Domo makes a good one, but there are many. Most ISPs have this software for your use. That covers the sending out part. As far as the collecting part goes, I've used Claris eMailer and Outlook Express' scripting capability to make this work effectively and easily. I've found it's easy to script these apps to make them do whatever you want.

Ellen's comment: I'm only having problems with the collecting part and I couldn't figure out how to create a script/macro in Outlook Express. Outlook seems to require you to write the code in VBA.

I do a weekly e-zine, and have been using http://www.mail-list.com for nearly two years. Their customer service is TOP NOTCH (and I'm extremely picky) and their rates are the best available that I could find (I did a good amount of research). I can add people manually, or they can add themselves. It's a real time saver, and I haven't yet seen a technology glitch. The fee is $100 for a one-time set up charge and $100 per year.

An automated e-mail management software program called Mailloop is available as a download. http://www.marketingtips.com/mailloop

Ellen's comment: This costs $495 and up and their Web site reads like every spam you've ever received on getting rich quick. I must admit it turned me off and the price was too high anyway.

I haven't used it, but I read about a product/service called SparkBOT that lets you generate automated email responses when people sign up. $20-$40/mo

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