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Recommended Host for Announcement Lists
What are Announcement Lists?
Announcement Lists, often called newsletters, are a type of one-way electronic mailing list most typically used for marketing and email purposes. Managed by email list software, they make it simple for organizations to communicate with large groups of people quickly and inexpensively.
Originating with an authorized sender or senders, messages sent to addresses on announcement lists may convey immediate alerts, special offers, newsletters, or any other widely relevant content. Recipients will not see the names or addresses of other list members, and are discouraged from responding directly to the message. Ideally, recipients chose to be on the announcement list, and have the option to unsubscribe or alter their settings at any time.
What are Announcement Lists used for?
Companies of any size can benefit from the use of a quality, customizable announcement list management program. As a form of direct marketing, announcement lists allow businesses to speak directly to their customers, and also collect data on the responses to individual messages and larger campaigns. Additionally, the software will automatically process delivery errors. One example of customization is the integration of a database, letting senders personalize messages with recipients' names.
Several hosting companies feature mailing list services for their account holders. Content management systems like WordPress might offer plugins to assist you in list creation. You can also develop and manage announcement lists with software purchased or downloaded from one of many online companies, who will host the program themselves. In another vein, some sites will archive your lists for free, though they won't provide any hosting. Your selection should hinge on how well a particular software meets your needs, as well as your capabilities for integration and HyperText Markup Language (HTML) coding.
What are some popular Announcement List applications?
There are lots of Announcement List applications that offer a combination of features and services. For small mailing lists one option is to use a Mailing List or Announcement List feature offered by your hosting provider. Many hosting providers offer the ability to build an email list so that after you've created the list once, you can easily send an email to several recipients at once. Typically these services are fairly basic and not feature-rich. So if you're looking for a robust Announcement List management application keep reading.
If you're looking for more than what is offered by your hosting provider there are many other options available. Some options are designed to be installed on your hosting account. Others operate in the cloud, or as an integration into your website CMS (such as a WordPress plugin). There are so many options available for Announcement List management that we can't possibly talk about them all, but we will hit the high points and talk about some of the most popular options.
One popular application for management of Announcement Lists is Dada Mail. Dada Mail is designed to be installed on a web server, and can even be used with a shared server hosting account, but check with your hosting provider before using Dada Mail as some may require that you purchase a dedicated IP address for large mailing lists. The basic version of Dada Mail is free, but there are upgraded versions if you don't see the features you're looking for in the free version.
Mail Chimp is one of the most powerful and intuitive applications available for creating beautiful HTML newsletters. Mail Chimp makes it easy to craft beautiful messages that look and feel like websites, and not like newsletters. It's also easy to build your subscribers list with Mail Chimp by using their easy integration with WordPress, Salesforce, Magento, Google, Drupal, Shopify, and many other services you may already be using. Mail Chimp is a cloud-based application, so you don't even have to think about installation of the application, and is free for distribution lists with less than 2000 subscribers.
Constant Contact is one of the main competitors to Mail Chimp. Constant Contact also makes it easy to craft beautiful HTML messages, and offers deep integration with applications and services you are probably already using. In addition, Constant Contact is also cloud-based. Constant Contact only offers a free level of service on a short trial basis, but where it outshines Mail Chimp is in customer support. While Mail Chimp users are primarily supported by an online Knowledge Base, chat, and email support (chat and email available for paying customers). Constant Contact customers adds-on phone during extended business hours, and a large bevy of resources including forums, video tutorials, and even local seminars and email boot camps.
A third popular competitor to Constant Contact and Mail Chimp is AWeber. AWeber matches many of the features offered by both Constant Contact and Mail Chimp, but some have criticized AWeber as being less customization-friendly than the competition. Where AWeber stands out is in it's user statistics. All of these services will give you information about the number of subscribers who opened your emails, but AWeber provides more details than the rest. AWeber also take a page from the Constant Contact playbook and offers email and phone support during the business day.