About two months ago, I changed the method of sending the Plus Edition newsletter. Instead of publishing the entire weekly edition inside a long, long email message, I am now sending a much shorter message that gives only the headlines and a link to click to read the entire newsletter on the web.
I also switched email providers. I now use Amazon SES (Simple Email Service), a cloud-based product from Amazon designed for sending many thousands of email messages quickly and at very low prices.
For the first time in seven years, I have now spent two months without receiving a single message of “I didn’t receive the Plus Edition newsletter this week.” I used to receive 10 or 20 such reports per week and I suspect many others had the same problem, but never reported it.
In other words, the changes worked.
In the new method, I send a much shorter message that simply contains the headlines of all the new stories and a link to the Plus Edition newsletter at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.htm. Unlike the old method, the reader now has to click on the link in the email message, log in with the user name and password he or she created when subscribing, and then read the newsletter in a web browser.
If possible, I would prefer to send long email messages that contain the entire Plus Edition newsletter. However, experience has shown that long email messages will never achieve 100% deliverability. In conversations with a number of other people who also send email newsletters, I have found that all of them have somewhat similar experiences to mine. The problem is spam filters: the longer the message, the greater the likelihood of "tripping" one of the spam filters and having the email message blocked.
The new method appears to work 100% of the time. Every subscriber receives the (shorter) message and every subscriber can read the entire newsletter on the web.
Last week's newsletter is always available at http://www.eogn.com/lastweek.htm and the two-week-old newsletter is always available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/twoweeks.htm.
A PDF version of the latest weekly newsletter is also always available at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.pdf.
What the Internet really needs is an email method that works 100% of the time for all non-spam email messages and yet also blocks 100% of the spam. Sadly, such a system has not yet been invented. If that does ever become available, I will switch to it. Until then, I will use the one method that does work today 100% of the time: a shorter email message that contains a link to the latest newsletter online at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.htm.
Comments about Amazon SES:
If you need to frequently send thousands of non-spam email messages, look at Amazon SES at http://aws.amazon.com/ses/. It is fast, cheap, and effective. Being cloud-based, it can use as many resources as needed, even for large mailings. If you suddenly need to send one hundred email messages or one million, the Amazon cloud can handle the job, probably at prices lower than most anyone else.
One warning: Amazon has a strict no-spam policy and enforces that policy rigorously. If you violate the no-spam policy, you lose your account for life. In addition, all email is checked by Amazon's spam filters BEFORE BEING SENT and it is a rigorous check. If you can get past Amazon's outgoing email spam filters, you probably can get past almost anyone else's incoming spam filters. They run a tight ship at Amazon!
I did find the Amazon Simple Email Service wasn't as "simple" as I thought it might be. It should be called the "Amazon Not-So-Simple Email Service." However, the Macintosh email program called Whoosh (at http://www.theescapers.com/whoosh/) removed the complexity. Using Whoosh with Amazon SES simplifies everything. If you have a Mac and need to send lots of email messages, I'd strongly recommend you use Whoosh and Amazon SES.
I haven't used it but have read that a Windows program called 10CentMail at http://10centmail.com/ reportedly is also a good choice to remove the complications. Several other Windows programs for use with Amazon SES are also available but I am not familiar with them and cannot make a recommendation.