Why and how running a newsletter?

Since lots of people still don't use RSS aggregator, I've came across 2 resources:Basically, why creating a newsletter

  1. Keeping in touch with customers (give them special offers, remind them about your site, ensure loyalty, provide useful links)
  2. Developing relationships with people who have similar interests to you
  3. Providing an industry or group of people with proprietary information
  4. Just for fun!

How do you send a newsletter:

It wouldn't be very fun sending out an email message to 2,000 people every week via your desktop computer. I know there are many people out there who run huge mailing lists that say it works fine, and all that, but really, it isn't the most convenient way to do it. It takes up a lot of your time.

A nice solution is getting someone else to send it out for you. It's easy, fast and usually very cheap, often free. Usually all you do is send one email to their server, and it sends it out to all your subscribers. Very painless. Of course, there is a catch. Most of them will attach a small (or sometimes large) ad to your newsletter. There are a number of companies that offer free newsletter mailing services, including:

  1. Groups Yahoo: From what I have seen, this is one of the best free servers on the Internet.
  2. Listbot: This one has recently been improved... they now support larger messages and also allow your subscribers to sign up via email.

Concept checklist:

  1. What areas are you knowledgeable in?
  2. Can you bring something extra to an already well covered topic? (i.e. gardening)
  3. If not, do you have focused knowledge in a particular niche? (i.e. growing tobacco)
  4. Do you want to make money? If so, is your potential audience really desirable for advertisers? If not, how will you be inspired to keep working on it?
  5. Do you know of any competing newsletters? If so, how is your newsletter going to be different from existing competitors?

Why do I blog this? I've been concerned lately by the topic of 'running a newsletter'. It surely won't be for Pasta and Vinegar, it's more related to a potential start-up project with some folks about futuristic trends.