You can take the survey at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=16004 (a Plus Edition user name and password is required).
For years, I have sent the Plus Edition newsletter by email to everyone who subscribes to it. Unfortunately, not all of these email messages get delivered. The most common problem is that spam filters in the receiving mail servers see the lengthy email message and make an erroneous decision that the message is spam. Sometimes the mail servers simply place it in the recipient's spam folder, but many times it is completely blocked. The recipient never sees it at all.
The problem has become worse over the years as real spam increases. The mail server system administrators of most email services are constantly "tweaking" their spam filters. The Plus Edition newsletter may be blocked one week, then appear normally the following week, then get blocked again in the next week's mailing. In any week, the long email message may get through one company's spam filters but will be blocked by another company's mail servers. The following week, the results may be reversed.
I have even made the problem worse. I recently went back to an HTML formatted newsletter, and I keep writing more and more articles, resulting in longer and longer newsletters every week. The result is that more and more spam filters keep blocking the Plus Edition newsletter.
Unfortunately, I have no control over these spam filters installed in mail servers around the world. The bottom line is that I cannot guarantee delivery. However, I do know how to improve delivery to about 99.9%.
A tech support rep at AOL thought he was being helpful last year when he advised me that I should write shorter newsletters! He said that shorter email messages will usually pass through the spam filters while longer messages are more likely to be blocked. I rejected his "suggestion." However, after thinking it over many times and also fighting with an ever-increasing problem of blocked newsletters, I now believe he was right. Tech Support employees at other email services have made similar suggestions.
Last week I talked in person with the owner of one of the largest services that sends email for clients. When I told him I wanted to send HTML-formatted messages of 350 kilobytes or larger, he rolled his eyes and said, "Good luck."
Actually, a solution is already in place, and many e-newsletter writers claim satisfaction with it. Even so, I don't know if my Plus Edition subscribers will want to use it.
First of all, for years you have been able to read the current Plus Edition newsletter and the two previous editions AT ANY TIME at http://www.eogn.com/wp/
- This week's Plus Edition is available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.htm and a PDF version is also available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.pdf
- Last week's Plus Edition is available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/lastweek.htm
- The two-week old Plus Edition is available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/twoweeks.htm
These are available in your web browser at any time and are unaffected by spam filters. They work 100% of the time. Any time a Plus Edition reader has reported non-delivery, I have referred him or her to the web-based versions listed above. This always works.
Here is my proposal:
- I will continue to write the (lengthy) newsletter as normal.
- I will continue to make the newsletter available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.htm and a PDF version will also continue to be available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.pdf. The one-week-old and two-week-old editions will also continue, as normal.
- WHAT IS DIFFERENT is that I will send a BRIEF email message every week to every subscriber. This brief email message will simply state that a new Plus Edition newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.htm. You will have to click on that link to open a web browser and then enter your Plus Edition user name and password in order to read the newsletter. The brief email message will also include the Table of Contents from the latest Plus Edition newsletter so that you can quickly see if there are any articles there that interest you before clicking on the link.
The only significant change is that you will receive a short email message in place of the longer, HTML message that (some of) you have been receiving in the past.
Is this a good idea or a bad idea? Are you willing to click on an extra link and enter a user name and password in order to read the Plus Edition newsletter? Or do you prefer to take your chances with spotty delivery of the longer, formatted email newsletter?
I can do it either way. I will do whatever the majority of newsletter readers suggest.
To provide your opinion, please fill out a very brief questionnaire at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=16004. You will need to enter your user name and password before the questionnaire becomes visible to you. This is to make sure that answers only come from Plus Edition subscribers.
If you have forgotten your user name or password, fill in the THIRD box labeled, "Forgot Your Password?" The user name and password will then be sent to you in email.
Thank you for your suggestions.
- Dick Eastman