The secret to building a fan base is to entice visitors to your website to chat in a forum and/or join a newsletter. It has never been easier to create newsletters. There are dozens of free templates on the web, and a few free tools. For those who have invested in Word Suite, everything you need is in the suite. However, I do not suggest keeping a mailing list in Outlook unless you save it to a backup disk or a third party backup service.
I decided to use my publisher to make this post. Publisher is a part of the word suite. I am currently using WordSuite2007. I made this email letter in 10 minutes, and launched it through Outlook from my publisher account.
I wanted to offer the post this way to show people how easy it is to release a newsletter to your members. You do not need a any expertise as a web designer, or mailing list compiler expert. All you need is MSOutlook, or PHPlist.com. You can even run a good program through Hotmail if you want to manually insert email addresses.
Marketing isn’t about putting your name ‘out’ to the world, it is about getting people to come ‘in’ to you. This is why a mailing list is so important.
When using Outlook or Hotmail, people can join your mailing list by emailing you. I do not suggest using yahoo as I've faced a lot of spam problems with yahoo.
How to Create a Mailing List with Windows Live Hotmail
To set up a group of recipients in Windows Live Hotmail:
* Select Contacts from Windows Live Hotmail's left-hand navigation bar.
* Click on the down arrow of the New button.
* Select Group....
* Type the desired group name.
* This name acts as a nickname when addressing messages.
* The nickname must be unique in your address book (a group cannot have the same name as another group or another address book entry's nickname).
* Press Enter.
* Drag and drop existing contacts from All contacts to the new group to add them.
* You can also go to the group and select New Contact... to add a new member.
With this tool, everyone who emails your ‘mailing list’ account can be automatically added to your mailing list.
PHPlist.com is free with many good webhosts today with a click of the button. I have used this service for years, and never once faced a problem. It is simple to add names, delete names, post a template and send an email.
There is a plug in for wordpress that installs PHPlist and sets a 'sign in' box that can easily be put on your template. There is no widget at this time, but the single line of code can be added to a template without risk of ruining something important or throwing out the formatting. I have installed this tool on a 3 and 4 column template, widget ready.
However, if you are totally new to internet marketing, and cannot FTP a file into your host (very easy) then you might want to try bravenet.com. They have a mailing list feature that is free for the first 500 members. I used bravenet for the first two years. I paid $5 a month to avoid the advertising.