Newsletters are important in any business: they are easy way to remind your readers about major updates, important news, new games or pretty much anything and get them to visit your site. Sometimes your customers might simply forgot you, and getting them back to your site can be done using newsletter. Naturally you can give discounts, special articles or services for your newsletter subsribers.
I strongly recommend to avoid sending newsletters from your own computer or from the same IP where you websites are located
The reason is simple: it might happen that people who you mass email might think you are spamming them and report you as a spammer. In the worst case it might mean that your IP gets blacklisted by major services, and after this the “regular” email you send might automatically end up your recipients spam box! Of course you can get yourself whitelisted again, but dealing with companies like AOL or others might take some time before you are cleared. That’s why it’s better to leave the hassle for companies who have already done this: if you mass email people using external service, then you don’t risk having your “regular” emails blocked.
The other problem is that your hosting provider might not allow mass email sending: it might happen that they close or delete your account for violating the terms of service. It also does no good to send emails from your own computer, as it might get in the blocked lists.
Here’s some newsletter services which you might find useful
- YMLP – Free “light” version available, recommended by many people – including myself
- eZineDirector – Haven’t personally used, but heard other people recommending this.
- Aweber – The newsletter service I currently use.
Each one of them can help you to get those newsletters sent.
Question regarding newsletter signups
Should I force newsletter signups?
That’s my personal opinion. Some companies think that forcing the email before download is good, but I personally don’t think that’s a good way to do business. People might put fake emails or simply not finish the registration. Or – if they would need to confirm their email they simply might block the collected email address.
Consider from your point-of-view: would you like to get forced to signup for a newsletter before you download the game? Or what if you would be forced to signup for gameproducer.net newsletter before you could read the texts? I doubt you’d like that.
On the other hand: would you like to receive email from a source that you find useful? Reminding people to sign-up for the newsletter (like having a field in the download page where they can optionally put their email address). I suppose if you think the site or game is really that good, you’d sign up. (Tip: Yes… GameProducer.net has a newsletter where I send people announcements about new sales stats and stuff like that)
In case you still want to host newsletters by yourself, check out PHPlist for example. I’m not recommending it, but if you know the dangers then check it out.