My thanks to the 100+ folks who took time to let me know of the successes or failures of receiving the Plus Edition newsletter sent last night from the new bulk email service. Feedback from you and from people like you is the only method I have of measuring the success or failure of any new experiment. I appreciate your help.
Most people reported success although a few people reported they did not receive the new newsletter. Those not receiving last night's email newsletter were mostly AOL and Charter.net customers, although there were a handful of others. Strangely, many AOL and Charter.net customers DID receive the email message, but not everyone.
Actually, the number of people reporting non-receipt appears to be lower than normal, compared to previous weeks.
A number of people reported the opposite: they DID receive it for the first time in months or perhaps the first time ever. As one person wrote, "Newsletter received today was the first I have had for ages."'
If you did not receive the Plus Edition newsletter sent Sunday evening, you can always read it online at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.htm (user ID and password required). A PDF version is available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.pdf.
Many people commented on the new format and most reported they prefer the new HTML format. As one person wrote, "I greatly enjoyed the html formatted email, and hope that the new service will live up to your hopes and expectations!" Another wrote, "New Service is wonderful. It's properly formatted and I can read it and it's timely. The old one was plain text, half gibberish, and terrible. Please keep the new one!" Another wrote, "As a charter member of your Plus version of the newsletter, in my opinion this new version is the best yet, by far. It's concise in format, with illustrations as needed without a lot of fluff, and is a pleasure to read. I hope it will be the future of the letter." Several people reported they like the fact that the new version includes pictures.
However, not everything was perfect. For one thing, the newsletter sent last night did not have a "clickable" table of contents, but I expect to change that within two or three weeks as I modify the template being used.
Future newsletters also will contain a link pointing to the PDF version. I guess I overlooked that in yesterday's mailing.
One person asked if they could save the message in ASCII text format. With most web browsers, the answer is "yes." The exact instructions will vary from one web browser or email program to another but usually you click on FILE and then on SAVE PAGE AS and then follow the instructions. Some web browsers have a pull down menu to select saving as HTML, text, or some other format.
Of course, you can also always copy-and-paste nearly any email message into Windows Notepad or Macintosh TextEdit and save that as text. (If you are a Mac user, I'd suggest you download and install the free TextWrangler program. It's much, much better than TextEdit.)
All in all, I'm happy with the experiment and will probably continue with the new HTML version sent from the new bulk email service. If you need a good, non-spam bulk mailing service, take a look at Your Mailing List Provider at http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/. The prices are much, much lower than what I have been paying for years. However, I must say the company's Email Builder isn't the most intuitive tool I have ever used. It took me a while to figure out how to save draft copies and then retrieve them later.
I switched to building the newsletter HTML pages in my own Mac by using KompoZer and then uploading the result to Your Mailing List Provider. That seemed to work smoothly.
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