Wednesday, April 16, 2008

iContact and the COHR April Vacation Rentals Newsletter

I sent out the COHR Newsletter to over 2,000 vacation rentals owners this week. The newsletter includes links to many of the posts here and on COHR. You can find it here :
http://community.icontact.com/p/wwwcohr/newsletters/advertisors-april/posts/cohr-newsletter-april-08

I recently switched from sending the newsletter out via regular email to using a professional email marketing package. The one I use is called iContact and I am very pleased with it so far. Not only does it have excellent editing tools, including lots of great HTML templates, it's amazing the level of information that it gives you. If you do any email marketing of your vacation rental business, I would encourage you to give it consideration.

For example, I used to wonder how people actually read my newsletter: with iContact, not only do I know how many email actually got delivered (and how many bounced), but I can also tell how many people opened the newsletter and how many clicked on links within the newsletter. I also give a list (by email address) of all those that opened the newsletter, together with a list of which links were most popular!

This is really powerful marketing information .... you can also create segments based upon the responses and send follow up emails to these segments.

For the record, approximately 15% of those who received the email clicked on at least one link. Overe time, I will be able to tell if this is good or bad and hopefully tune my newsletters to be more effective.

iContact offers a free 15 day trial and thereafter, you pay depending on the size of your subscriber list. It starts at $9.95 per month (with discounts if you pay for a full year), which seems reasonable enough to me.

Also, they conform to US standards for spam and will automatically manage subscribes/ unsubscribes for you. They also have tools for rating how email spam filters will assess your email newsletter, so that you have the best chance to ensure your newsletter actually reaches your readers.

If interested, you can sign up for the free trial here :
http://www.icontact.com/a.pl/224908

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