Using Outlook to Distribute
are some simple instructions for using Microsoft Outlook to distribute
a database (in Access or Excel, for example) of your opt-in subscribers. The fields should include, at a minimum, each person’s
e-mail address. It also is
useful (see below) to include a field for subscribers’ names.
If you are going to distribute two versions of your newsletter (plain
text and HTML), this is the place to keep track of which subscribers want
which version. Use your
database as well to keep track of unsubscribers and changes in e-mail
addresses, and any other personal information you have collected.
Outlook, create a newsletter Contacts subfolder in which to import your
data. Then select “File,”
and then “Import and Export.” The
Import and Export Wizard will help you import your database information
(choose “Import from another program or file”).
You should import subscribers’ names and e-mail addresses.
your data are imported, you will want to create distribution lists as your
web-hosting provider most likely will limit how many names you can address
your e-mail to. This is to
prevent Spam. To create a
distribution list, double click on your newsletter Contacts subfolder so
that it is open. Right click
with your mouse and select “New Distribution List.”
Select a certain number of members from your newsletter Contacts
subfolder to go into this first distribution list.
This is where having personal names helps out.
You will have to experiment here to see how many names per
distribution list works for you. If
you put too many names in a distribution list, your web-hosting provider may
prevent the e-mail from being sent.
you have created all of your distribution lists, it is time to send your
newsletter. Make sure you have proofread it and checked all the
links. Important: use
the Bcc field, and NOT the To field, when sending your newsletter.
This is because you do not want to violate the privacy of your
subscribers by sharing their e-mail addresses with others.
E-mail addresses in the Bcc field are hidden to the recipients. If the Bcc field does not appear when you open a new
message, select “View” and then “Bcc field.”
You will select a distribution list to go in the Bcc field.
immediately upon sending your newsletter, you will begin to receive e-mails
informing you that the message was undeliverable to certain recipients.
This could be for several reasons: for example, the person’s Inbox
may have been full, or the person’s e-mail address may have changed.
Depending on the message, you may want to try resending the
newsletter to these persons. Keep
track in your database of subscribers whose e-mail addresses are no longer
there will be those subscribers who wish to unsubscribe.
Send each unsubscriber a short note informing them that you have
taken care of this. Keep track
of unsubscribers in your database.