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  1. #1
    Senior Member krystof's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    6 times
    I feel a bit overwhelmed, while hoping to start a serious ezine of 5,000 to 25,000 opt-in subscribers. (Also called an email newsletter, or e-magazine.) I would appreciate opinions of those with experience. Or, if less experienced, please join me in research.

    1. Desired features.

    --Auto removal of emails after multiple bounces.
    --Auto duplicate removal, including recognition of previous removal for list uploads. I.e., if someone unsubcribed last year, you do not want accidentally to re-subscribe him.
    --Auto subscribe, auto unsubscribe, automated address change.
    --Can subscribe either by using a CGI form, or sending an email.
    --'Double opt-in' subscription process.

    2. Is it feasible to 'rent' so-called '50,000 opt-in emails' for one-time use? Evidently, no. Every reputable article speaks against this. Also, it does not seem reasonable to expect anyone to deliver to you a genuine 'opt-in' email list, based on your 'promise' to use it only once. 'Maybe' there is a reputable service that, for a fee, will themselves send one email from you to their list. However, be wary. If they do something shady, you get blamed. Moreover, a safe alternative exists. This is simply to purchase primary ad space at the top of reputable ezines.

    3. 'Paid subscription' ezines? According to articles read--it is generally best for an ezine to be 'free.' However, it is often suggested to offer your free subscribers a 'paid upgrade'. And yet, it is never made clear just how...? I have found no affordable software nor ezine hosting that sets up Paypal rebilling... and that 'unsubscribes' those who do not pay...? The closest thing is to own a Vbulletin forum, which evidently can set up Paypal rebilling, and of course, can send special emails to 'premium members.' Unless anyone has a better idea, I would use Vbulletin for a paid subscription ezine.

    4. Is it better to use PHPList ezine software--or outsourced ezine hosting? (To learn all the rules of reputable ezine hosting: I recommend starting at the website.)

    If I self-host my ezine, I will use PHPList because that seems to have every option, and installs free with Fantastico. This does not seem difficult. However, easy or not, self-hosting would be one extra headache, and perhaps have unexpected complications.

    My main concern against self-hosting: most ezine publishers do not seem to do this! I tend to assume they have good reasons.

    My main concern against outsourced ezine hosting: 'perhaps' these can be either disreputable or restrictive? According to articles I have read, 'list uploads' are the problem. People are not supposed to upload 'spam' lists, but inevitably, some will try. Even if a host closes such accounts promptly, the damage may be done. And yet, I want 'list upload' potential. a. Free ezine hosts, such as Topica and YahooGroups, although probably not good long-term options, are possibly good short-term options for building a list. b. You may at some time merge with another ezine.

    Evidently, only flatly refuses all 'list uploads.' Some other reputable ezine hosts will accept uploads, but every subscriber may need to re-do the opt-in. I have subscribed to several ezines for years, which are reputable and successful. Checking out their ezine hosts: 'list uploads' are allowed.

    My current opinion: 'the proof of the pudding is in the blacklist check.' I.e., I believe it is possible to find an ezine host who allows list uploads--and who also proves by performance that for them, this does not result in blacklisting.

    5. Blacklist checks. First, you need to know the IP or 'hostname' used to send emails. This may (or may not) be different from the website hostname. It may be necessary to subscribe to an ezine, then 'view header' for the sending hostname. Or, you can simply ask. (Note that the 'blacklist check' below sends you to This is because, if you go directly to, you may be limited in the number of checks performed.)

    DNS lookup:
    Blacklist check:

    6. Low-cost ezine hosts, 'maybe' reputable...? I am currently in the process of doing blacklist checks on the following. Working alone, this may take time. If interested, please help. Be sure to test the IP for 'paid' services. Some may have 'free' services which may use a different IP. (Prices give one example only. All services can host larger ezines for larger fees.)
    . . . 20,000 max., $20/month
    . . . Possibly good for beginners to network with ezines hosted by their free service.
    . . . 100,000 max., $18/month
    . . . 60,000 max., $15/month
    . . . 20,000 max., $20/month
    . . . 20,000 max., $30/month

    7. Free ezine hosts. This 'free' option places advertising at the top of every email you send. Not feasible for a serious ezine. However, you can possibly build an initial list by networking and advertising at such places. - - - -

    8. Expensive or restrictive ezine hosts. (Prices give one example only. All services can host larger ezines for larger fees.)
    . . . 10,000 max., $20/month
    . . . 20,000 max., $20/month (No list uploads.)
    . . . 10,000 max., $10/month (Lacks auto features.)
    . . . 20,000 max., $55/month
    . . . 5,000 max., $40/month
    . . . 5,000 max., $50/month


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