• Project Newsletter – It’s On!

    October 7th, 2009HARTNewsletter, Plugins

    I Should Be Sending Out Newsletters

    I’ve been blogging since Mid-May 2005 and although I do offer the option to subscribe to our RSS Feed via email (via Feedburner) – not many people have been subscribing. I mean, I have just about 1,000 subscribers on the 40-50 blogs of the HART-Empire Network .. (and to you subscribers who have signed up .. THANK-YOU!) .. but I feel I should have a LOT more subscribers by this time in 2009.

    But, why would you sign up for my newsletter? I’m not sending out newsletters. Actually, on half my blogs I don’t think I am even sending out daily recaps of my RSS Feed. But, to be honest .. even if everything was working correctly and I was on the ball .. I just don’t have any clue how to send out newsletters with Feedburner!

    This isn’t one of those “Uh-Huh” moments .. as I’ve known about this problem of mine for years. I just wasn’t sure how to fix this or what I should be doing. I’ve received many recommendations by my online friends and forum buddies but there was one article that really got me convinced: Chris Garrett did a post Why I Switched to Aweber for my Blog E-Mail Subscribers back in April 2008.

    The Aweber Option

    Email Marketing $19/Month!
    About a year and 2 months ago (July 2008) I signed up with Aweber .,.. paid $193.80 in advance for a full year .. and never really did much with this. I mean, it wasn’t a total waste, as I do have a subscription option in my sidebar of PetLvr.com/blog/ but certainly not effective. I haven’t promoted it at all – and, what’s worse – I didn’t take the time of day how to use the information that I was collecting.

    At the end of July 2009 when renewal came up – I figured I had two options:
    (1) Quit or
    (2) Try again

    Well, I blame myself for not spending the time to learn Aweber and utilize it – not the fault of the service – so I renewed it for another year and decided to try it once again. You can sign up to Aweber on a monthly basis ($19/month) but this is a long-term venture, if I can get this to work for me, and I opted for the annual renewal price one again $16/month).

    Now It’s Time To Get In Your Face!

    I’m not really a fan of popups, or popunders, or terrible messages preventing you from leaving site .. but I’ve been eyeing the popup on Cindy KingCross Cultural Marketer and International Sales Strategist. Cindy uses Robert Plank’s Action Popup which is a paid plugin for both wordpress and non-wordpress sites. At this time, I have tried it on my wpMU environment (HARTmarket.com) and it doesn’t work. But this is a great plugin and works on every other site.

    What I like about this plugin is that you can set the background to different colors, adjust the popup size, time, height, width and also decide when to have the popup arrive in your blog. Another important consideration for me was, that there is no hidden “X” button. If you click anywhere anyplace the popup goes away.

    Purpose of ME Collecting Emails

    1) I want a permanent solution. Currently, with the Feedburner email option .. I have various sites that do not use Feedburner, and that excludes me from allowing my readers to view the RSS via Email. Also, if I ever get big and wanted to change Feedburner, I would have to ask everybody to OPT IN once again to any new system. I may as well start from scratch – well, practically – and do this right once and for all.

    2) I really do want to get to know my readers and let my readers know me. I wish to periodically give free stuff away to my readers and/or recommend non-free stuff that I might make a small commission or referral free. I want to do secret polls and pass along secret sites that everybody else is not able to access. And most of all, I would like to find out better the needs of my readers and what they are looking for that will help me better serve them.

    3) Viewing my site, via email. Although I hope you sign up to my RSS feeds, I personally think that most people would prefer to receive email updates with the option to eventually read an RSS feed. Generally, once a feed runs through the Feed Reader, and you view an article, it will eventually fall off the table. With Gmail, it’s easier to search your Gmail account for research on blog topics – if you are subscribing to many newsletters – because you have already weeded out the garbage from the general search engines.

    4) Heck! I want to sign up to my own newsletters to find out what I’m doing in my network 🙂 Currently, besides myself, I have other writers publishing everyday, and automated content drip feeding in the stores and although I should be reading 30-50 sites a day .. it’s time consuming. I prefer myself to read the recap of posts once a day – believe it or not! Once you start checking your email (or RSS Feed Reader or Twitter) it is quite easy to get lost in the forest and forget to walk out and do other stuff.

    So? When Do I start!

    I will be doing this for every site I have, and eventually this one too! I want to push .. and ASK MY READERS if they want to subscribe to my newsletter. I think this will be good for me, to know who is really interested in my sites and see the people subscribing .. instead of gawking over random analytic and other statistic data.

    Check out my Santa’s Gift Secrets Blog to see this script in action!

    And If You Don’t Want To Subscribe To My Newsletters?

    Well .. you don’t have to! I hope that you do not STOP coming to my sites, just because of this popup. I can assure you that if you sign up to my newsletter, there won’t be any future popops! 😀

    But seriously folks (bahroompah!) I will be setting the plugin to eventually stop after “X” visits, so if you haven’t signed up by a certain amount of visits, it won’t bother you anymore. Also, I’m on a HART-Timeline .. meaning that this won’t be an instantly Snap=My=Fingers and this is set up on all my sites … and why not?

    I just decided this course of action this afternoon!

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