Which way should we go?


New Email
Hello there,

We are all real novices when it comes to email and newsletters and are umming and arring over the best way to do this. There seems to be two options open to us, both with their pros and cons:

1) Getting a third party to host and send the email. Such as Email Marketing Solutions from Constant Contact and others. These will charge each time per email meaning quite a lot of expenditure each time.

2) Doing it ourselves with certain software such as SendBlaster etc. This means no reoccurring costs but means that we would have to host and send this ourselves. I think that would mean buying space on a Outgoing mail SMTP server so that our own server wouldn’t be blocked if there were issues.

Do I have this correct and what do you think would be the best way for us to go about this problem? Obviously the cheaper the better. But we do not have a lot of time to dedicate to this. We want to do this right and not be spammers! I really appreciate your help.
Last edited by a moderator:

EQ Admin

EQ Forum Admin
Staff member
Hi Olly,

There are many pros and cons involved with this decision. Yes, using a 3rd party will cost more but you also get more service for the money. To do newsletters right and not be spammers more effort will go into keeping your lists clean and protecting the reputation of your outgoing IP address(es) than the actual creating the content and sending of the email.

Does SendBlaster automatically remove bad email addresses from your lists? If an email you send goes through a forward before bouncing is there enough tracking so you can remove them from the list? Do you want to spend time manually managing unsubscribe requests and removing failed email addresses?

Does SendBlaster let you control how fast and how many connections you open with individual ISP's? I believe the answer to both questions is no. You'll have the best success sending to large free web based email providers such as Yahoo sending only to addresses who want the email and only opening a connection at a time and letting the email "drip" into their servers over time.

Where did you get the email addresses? They need to be collected from people who really want to receive email from you or you'll have high reported spam rates and ISP's will stop accepting email from you or send it direct to junk email folders. Never buy email lists!

I checked the SendBlaster support page. They want you to use your ISP for sending the email. Most ISP's won't let you send large amounts of email from your computer unless you have a business connection with higher sending limits. How many subscribers does your email newsletter have? Will the ISP that provides your data connection let you send that many emails through their smtp servers?

You mentioned buying space with an outgoing smtp relay service. You'll need to be careful about choosing a company with a good reputation and also make sure you get a dedicated IP address. Ask them for the IP addresses that you will get so you can check them for abuse and blacklisting problems. Are you getting a dedicated IP address? If you are on a shared server someone else can spam and ruin the reputation of your outgoing IP address making your email more likely to go into junk email folders or be flat out rejected by other ISP's.

Cheaper isn't necessarily better over the long run if you want to create a high quality email newsletter campaign.
  • Focus on creating clean lists
  • Immediately remove bad email addresses from lists
  • Immediately remove email address that want to unsubscribe
  • Make it clear in your newsletter what web site they used to subscribe
  • Make it clear in your newsletter how to immediately unsubscribe
  • Unsubscribe should be easy not difficult (don't make them captcha)
  • Sign up for and monitor the feedback loops for your IP address with big ISP's (Yahoo, etc)
  • Monitor the reputation of your outgoing IP address
You already mentioned Constant Contact. Some other services to consider include Mail Chimp and iContact.

I hope this is information to help guide you and answer more questions before making a decision. If you have any more questions please let us know. Good luck, and please let us know what you decide to do and if you purchase a service let us know how it works out.
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New Email
Thanks Raymond, that has answered some questions and raised some others. There are also some points there that I do not know the answers to at the moment. I will write back as soon as I have some more details.