One of the big questions business owners have when they're getting ready to start building out email campaigns is "Where should I build/store my list?"
For a business, you really need a specific solution. In other words, your Outlook address book or another type of address book is not going to be a good solution when you are using email as a marketing media. There are essentially two types of software solutions. You have two choices:
A third party solution is where your entire email database is stored on someone else's mail server.
Now, this third party is going to be responsible for getting your emails delivered, handling spam complaintís, blocking emails and ultimately resolving any issues that arise.
In other words somebody else does it all for you. This may sound good on the surface but with the "done for you" aspect you also lose a lot of control and important data. For instance, you don't necessarily get to decide how you build your list. If you are using a third party server that requires double opt in, even though it is not a can spam requirement, they can require that you use the double opt in because it is their service.
In other words... 3rd party providers have the right to enact more stringent requirements than as required by law.
You also miss out on a lot of important data.
You don't necessarily know how many of your prospects are getting the emails that you are sending.
You don't necessarily have exact data.
You don't know if things are going into the spam folder and so on and so forth.
Plus you are almost never notified of issues and you don't know how long these issues are going to take to get resolved. Basically what happens is that you are sharing the same email funnel with lots of other people. So one bad apple can ruin the entire bunch and you are stuck until they fix it.
So, lets just say that you are person A and you share this "email funnel" with person B. Well if person B sends something out that ticks off Hotmail, now all of a sudden Hotmail says "You know what, no email from this funnel is going to go out and get into our prospects" boxes until issues x, y or z are cleaned up.
Now because you are sharing that email funnel, your emails don't get out to your Hotmail customers either. The bigger problem is the fact that you are not notified nor do you know how long it's going to take to fix those problems.
Another downside to these third party solutions is that many of them charge you for every single address in your database.
You might be thinking, "Well of course they are going to charge you for every address!"
But the problem is twofold.
Now the other type of software solution is the self hosted solution.
This is you and only you on a single IP address. This may be a dedicated server, a VPS, cloud hosted solution, etc.
You have full control and nobody else can hurt your deliverability. But, with that control, also comes the flipside which is that you need to be on top of all of the management, monitoring and maintenance personally or hire this out to someone to do on your behalf.
You need to remember that email marketing is fluid. So, what the ISP blocks today may change tomorrow or next week or next month and they don't necessarily share with us all their algorithms. Even though there are best practices, email list maintenance is a moving target and you have to know where that target is at any given time but ultimately the ideal solution for a business that is serious about email marketing is to have a self hosted solution and put the pieces in place to make sure it is running and managed properly because you have ultimate control.
You need to be in compliance with can spam which we cover in other areas on the site. However, that's it.
There is no third party that is going to put restrictions and rules on you. So if somebody were to say, ok I want to go ahead and get started the right way and I want to build my business with my email marketing initiatives from the ground up properly. Here is the ideal solution.
The good news is that you can do all of this for a few hundred dollars a month. And remember, you're not going to pay any more as your list size increases.
Author: Heather Seitz
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This information has been provided by http://www.EmailDelivered.com and written by Heather Seitz. To find out more about email list management, visit http://www.emaildelivered.com/email-delivered/email-list-management/. Don’t forget to sign up for the EmailDelivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources related to email marketing and email deliverability.
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