Managing your own email list can be tricky business when trying to do it on your own, whether directly from your own computer or when you are using the email program of a paid service.
Sending emails directly from your own computer is more likely to get you labeled as a spammer, and black listed, than if you pay an official email company. When doing it on your own, the first thing you need to watch out for is the number of email recipients you BCC in the email at once. We suggest not sending to more than 30 people at a time. Any more than that and your ISP will probably get angry with you and give you a warning about email abuse and spam. It assumes more than thirty people could not possibly be expecting an email from you all at once.
When sending emails from your own computer you don't necessarily have to follow the official no spam rules. One of the important rules is confirming everyone's email address. With a manual method you would need to send a single email to every person who signs up. For this tedious reason alone it's better to use a paid company.
Another reason to use a paid email service is to protect your IP address from black listing. If you've abused your email privilege, or been the victim of a virus that replicates itself through email, you will quickly find your IP address blocked from sending emails. If you use a paid company it's their reputation that needs to be protected, and they won't allow you to break the rules.
Blacklisting can take place at either at the IP address level or on a per email address level. If you break the rules you could wind up with your entire store's network blocked from sending email, or your own email address could be blocked.
To prevent IP blacklisting you need to hire another company. You shouldn't risk your personal email address from being blacklisted, so set up an email called "newsletter@" or "info@" to use exclusively for your email address marketing.
Getting your email address or IP removed from a blacklist is difficult; sometimes it is impossible.
If you've been blacklisted:
1. People may stop replying to your emails you know they normally would have
2. People will tell you they didn't get your emails
3. You stop getting emails
How do you test if you've been blacklisted?
* Send yourself an email to a different email account. In this case you have to use a totally different system. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Mac.com, AOL, etc.
* Go to spamhaus.org and look your information up in the Blocklist Removal tool
What do you do if you get blacklisted?
1. Update your anti-virus software. You might have been blacklisted because your computer was on a virus sending rampage.
2. Change your email passwords. This is especially important if you are using Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, or any other web based email server.
3. Appeal to whatever ISP blacklisted you. You'd have to ask your IT person to help figure this out.
4. Change your email address. If firstname.lastname@example.org is blacklisted, you'll need to switch to email@example.com
5. Change your domain name. This is drastic, but true. You will be sunk if you can't use your own domain name any more. Try registering a new domain name that is similar to jewelrystoreemail.com or emailjewelrystore.com.
6. Change your IP address. You only need to worry about this if you pay for a dedicated monthly IP address. In this case you'll have to call your ISP and ask for a new IP. This also means reconfiguring your store's computer network.
Email marketing works wonders if done correctly. Hopefully the dangers of getting black listed will not scare you away from doing it regularly.