Broadcast Email Tools VS. Microsoft Outlook
Should You Be Using Microsoft Outlook for Your Broadcast Email? Quick and simple reasons not to:
- Outlook’s lack of formatting control. What looks beautiful and well-designed to you in Outlook will very likely look messy in another email client. If you are trying to do anything with a template, colors or formatting of any type, don’t expect Outlook to maintain it as it sends out the email—and don’t expect other email tools (like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc) to see it the same way.
- Outlook will not offer you templates. Yes, you can write your own code and create a template to make your emails look snazzy, but Outlook won't offer them to you included and easy to use like broadcast email tools.
- Outlook provides no metrics. You will not be able to see open rates, click through rates, conversion rates or unsubscribe rates with Outlook email. And as we often mention in our trainings, metrics are the core way to evaluate the overall success of your email and your campaign.
- Outlook has no unsubscribe option. Managing subscriptions is really difficult in Outlook. You need to remember to take people off of your list when they ask and have to keep an up to date list. It can be difficult to know who was on your list and who is not anymore, and to make sure you don't accidentally re-subscribe people who ask to be unsubscribed. Broadcast email tools will have unsubscribe options built in to make list management easy.
- Outlook does not allow you gather emails for your list. Most broadcast email tools will allow you to put subscription widgets on your website or social media pages to enable better list building.
Perhaps most importantly, using a broadcast email tool instead of Outlook will remove the danger of getting your domain blacklisted. Let's say I send out an email to 150 people from my Idealware email address about an upcoming training, and some recipients reported my email as spam. If that happens too often (as it will when you send out mass emails), my domain will become blacklisted. That means that nothing from my email address (or any others from the Idealware domain) will be allowed. The system won’t differentiate between person email or mass emails.
It takes time to get off a blacklist, and will be detrimental to an organization's ability to communicate. Using broadcast email tools lets you avoid this situation. Some tools are even “white listed,” which means their emails always go through to different providers.
Many broadcast email tools are quite affordable, at $30 a month or less. Vertical Response offers deals, including the first 10,000 emails a month free for qualified nonprofits.
One last note about security: You should feel safe using cloud-based email systems. While there have been a small number of widely-publicized instances of system lapses, overall these systems have way more security protecting their data than we do at small nonprofits. Honestly, I'd trust a large organization like Network for Good or Vertical Response to keep my data very safe. They will also back it up frequently and effectively so there is no fear about data loss.
Check out a few broadcast email tools, and take advantage of all that they have to offer.
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