• "...to bring good news to the poor... proclaim release to the captives... let the oppressed go free..."
  • (Luke 4:18-19)

    Sending Newsletters by Email—A Technological Resource Review

    By Rev. Sandra Hasenauer, associate execute director

    If you’re sending your newsletters by email, there are a few things you need to be aware of: security, spam, and size. (How’s that for alliteration?)

    Security and spam: If you’re sending your newsletter to people using a regular email address and including all the recipients’ email addresses in the “to” or “cc” line, instead of the “bcc” line, everyone’s email address is accessible to everyone else on the list. And to everyone who gets the email as a forward. And to those who get it forwarded again…and again. You are potentially sharing every email address with which you’ve been entrusted with the entire world. A few years back my email address was pulled off the “to” list of a volunteer group I was involved in and used for someone’s own purposes—purposes I couldn’t agree with. I had to block that person and request to have my email address removed from the original list. Don’t put your own readers at risk! Use the “bcc” line.

    Size: If your newsletter has multiple pages or photos and graphics and you attach it as a PDF, some of your recipients’ email servers may reject it because it’s too large a file size. If you have Adobe Acrobat there is a way to compress the PDF to make it a smaller file size—check your help section. Even compressed, however, some PDFs are still too large for email.

    The solution to all of these problems is to use an email campaign service, such as Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) or MailChimp (www.mailchimp.com). Both have free subscriptions depending on the size of your distribution list and number of times you send email; paid subscriptions can be quite reasonable (based on the same criteria). There’s a small learning curve but once you’re up and running, life gets really easy, really fast! Using one of these services protects the security of your readers—no one has access to anyone else’s information. It can easily be automated so you can set up a newsletter in advance and schedule it to send when you need it to go out. It allows users to change their own email addresses rather than you having to keep up with the moving target of the cyberworld. You can also segment lists so that you have one master distribution list with segments for leadership teams, young adult women, AB GIRLS, ministry partners, and so forth.

    Do yourself and your readers a huge favor and check out the email campaign services available to see which one fits your needs. You’ll be thankful you did it!

    Po Box 851 · Valley Forge, PA · 19482-0851
    (610) 768-2288 · info@abwministries.org