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Email Newsletters and Electronic Mailing Lists

Good electronic mailing list management is an essential component of any nonprofit Internet effort. It is important to have electronic lists, know who is on them, be able to use and manage them effectively. Along with a clear communications strategy you will need the right data management tools. There are a lot of electronic mailing list management software tools to choose from. Some are free and some are not. Some are simple to use and some more complicated. The bottom line is there are a lot of packages and providers out there. Finding the one that is right for you means understanding EXACTLY what email list functionality you need. Figure this out and you are bound to narrow your choices considerably.

Here at Summit Collaborative there are several we use or have used. Currently we primarily use Sympa in two ways to manage our discussion lists. We use it to develop lists that we want branded with our own address, for example - We also rely on Sympa through NPO Groups, which provides electronic mailing list services to nonprofit organizations and uses Sympa. We also use Virtual Sprockets to manage our mail in our Dot Org Media publishing program and Web site, have used Convio, Yahoo Groups, Topica and Mailman.

This list was compiled with the assistance of our colleagues on the National Circuit Riders and N-TEN Listservs.

Electronic mailing list management software Bulk emailing software Email marketing software Integrated Solutions
LISTSERV from L-Soft Gammadyne mailer iBuilder Get Active
Yahoo Groups Mach5 Mailer Topica Email Publisher RMS (formerly Donor Link)
Mailman WorldCast Constant Contact Convio
Sympa Floodmail ebase Kintera
NPO Groups WorldMerge EmailNow Virtual Sprockets
ONE/Northwest Broadc@st Cooler E-mail CTSG
  E-mailROI eTapestry NetCorps
  PHPList CitizenSpeak

Electronic mailing list management software
LISTSERV from L-Soft
? Customizable Web interface for site administrators, list owners and list subscribers
? Virus Protection
? Allows list owners to determine which types of attachments should be allowed, filtered and denied.
? Content Filter
? Searchable Web Archives
? Bounce Handling
? Spam Filter
? Supports both HTML and text format

Yahoo Groups
? Gives each mailing list a web page
? Searchable archive
? Bounce handling
? Web-based subscription commands

? Gives each mailing list a web page
? Allows users to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc. over the web
? Archiving
? Integrated bounce handling
? Spam prevention
? Email-based admin commands

? Web interface for users and administration
? Archives with access control and a Search Engine
? Edition of service messages (templates) for listmaster
? Semi-automatic bounces management

NPO Groups (powered in part by Sympa)
? Adjustable size limits on messages
Filesharing and groupware services
Ability to have multiple moderators
Server-based virus-scanning
Ability to host your list address under your organization's own domain name

Note: ONE/Northwest offers this service exclusively to environmental organizations working predominantly within the region bound by Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
If your organization meets these criteria, see the functionality list for NPO Groups, which is powered by the same open-source software.

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Bulk emailing software
Gammadyne mailer
? Message personalization
? HTML messages with graphics
? List management
? Automated incoming mail processing
? No SMTP server is required (direct delivery)
? Automated recipient removal
? Duplicate elimination

Mach5 Mailer
? Good database connectivity
? Sends HTML or Plain-Text or both
? Preserves layout of text messages
? List duplicate deletion
? List filtering

? Separate address validator
? Multithreaded connections
? No ODBC connectivity

? HTML and text mail
? Unlimited field merger to personalize the mail subject/body/attachments

? WYSIWYG editing of HTML messages
? Connects directly to database
? Broadcast approximately 8,000 messages per hour
? Direct Send mode for ISP's without an outgoing mail server

? HTML Mail
? E-mail campaigns can be sent at pre-determined times
? Returned Mail Manager
? Filters ? Duplicate checking

? Campaign management tools and services
? Planning
? List procurement
? Reporting

? Message personalization
? HTML messages with graphics and text email
? List management
? Bounce management
? List filtering

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Email marketing software
? Difficult import feature
? Ad ("powered by iBuilder")
? Detailed reporting on results of a campaign]

Topica Email Publisher
? Advance Scheduling
? Automatically created text version
? Track open rates and the performance of each link in your newsletter
? Segment and target by database fields

Constant Contact
? Website forms
? Newsletter templates
? Templates create HTML, text and AOL versions
? Select your target audience
? Set the delivery date
? Tracks bounces and interest categories
? Click through tracking

? Integration with other contact media (e.g. phone calls, letters, bulk mail)
? Personalization
? Targeted messaging
? Receive and manages replied-to outbound email messages
? Automated bounce management
? Automated subscribe/unsubscribe
? Response analysis
? Automated web-donation processing (version 2.1)

? Store and manage email addresses
? Send broadcast emails in plain text or HTML
? Easy opt-in subscription and opt-out unsubscribe tools
? Nonprofits have access to Web-based account management page
? Complete delivery statistics for an email campaign
? Easy import and export of email lists
? Select your target audience
? Set the delivery date
? Tracks bounces
? Click through tracking

Cooler E-mail
? HTML e-mail marketing campaigns
? Reporting
? Training
? Design services
? List management
? ROI analysis

? Complete donor management database
? Individual and mass email capabilities
? Copy of all emails retained on donor/account history
? Emails may be individualized with account information
? Text and html options

? Online form for constituent email
? Pre-crafted messages that members can personalize
? Integrate viral marketing into your campaign
? Protect against abuse
? Receive reports on member participation

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Integrated Solutions
Get Active
? Personalization
? Targeted messaging
? Tell-A-Friend and tracking of recruitment
? Email Management receives and manages replied-to outbound email messages
? Tracking and Reporting provides up-to-date metrics such as emails received, bounced, and list growth
? Large platform, supporting online donations, Email marketing - fundraising - member stuff - surveys - event management - chat rooms

RMS (formerly Donor Link)
? Form letters
? Mailing lists
? Web reply forms
? Email logging
? Tracks interaction with contacts over time

? Simple HTML authoring tools
? Segmentation tools
? Merge fields for personalization
? Flexible message format
? Track delivery success, open rates, click-through response rates

? WYSIWYG email tool
? Images and trackable links that translate to text-only or AOL-compatible
? "Forward-to-a-Friend" email links
? Reports that show email click through rates and provide lists of who clicked on what
? Variable copy

Virtual Sprockets
? Relationship management and tracking tools
? Targeted mailing list tools
? Website content management tools
? Fundraising and advocacy tools

? Member Relationship Management Tools
? Built-in Targeting, Personalization, and Tell-A-Friend
? Tracking and Reporting on recruitment, ad campaigns, list size and growth, conversion rates, open and click-throughs, and breakdowns by geography, demography, and behavior
? Online donations and fundraising campaigns
? Full Advocacy components
? Integrates with other CTSG solutions: content management, events management, donor management

NetCorps Web Management System (WMS)
Contact Integration & Management
? Make your own input form on your site to sign up members (and have these members automatically go into the central contact database)
? Import and export records from the contact list
? Targeted messaging and tracking
? Track correspondence and participation of web site users and contacts
? Store, view and edit complete member information including: contributions, contacts, donations, voting data, issues and support data, volunteer information and more.
? Store, view and edit mailings, phonings, inventories and other campaign information, including multiple splits and source lists within each campaign.
? Campaign reports to see how people are responding to mailings, phonings and other campaigns.
? Data entry tracking and reports.
? Database profile reports to view a summary snapshot of your database.
? Simple member query for easy lookup of specific member information.
? Advanced member query to see exactly who is doing what-where.
? Send personalized emails to one or a thousand selected records.
? Download selected records to your computer.

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List of Contributors
Jon Stahl, ONE/Northwest
Tim Young,
John Whitmer, @ONE Project
Michael R. Fatica, ENTECH
David Pool,
Katrin Verclas, TechStrategy
Beth Kanter, Independent Consultant
Ozzie Sutcliffe, Call4Tech
Susan Doran, Knowledge Management Consulting
Phil Klein, Pen & Pixel
Jayne Cravens, Coyote Communications
Dan Robinson, Independent Consultant
Jacquie Skrzypiec, Infoline, Inc.
Bob Schmitt, Techrocks
Art McGee, Independent Consultant
Mitch Davis, Stanford University
Danny Choriki, Independent Consultant
Michael Gilbert, The Gilbert Center
Michael Stein, Groundspring
Jason Summerfield, Human Service Solutions
Sheldon Mains, Managment Assistance Program for Nonprofits
Steve Rusche, eTapestry
Michael Hensley, Central Oregon Community Action Agency Network

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