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Starting from scratch - mailing lists

"I have a new website and I want to setup an e-newsletter that users can sign up for. How do I get started?"

This question comes up frequently, especially from new site owners who want to offer a value-added service to their user community. There are several ways to approach this and each depend upon the type of community you have. There are always use third-party solutions available which may cost more than an open-source application, but the time saved from not having to deal with the headaches associated with managing distribution lists manually would make it worthwhile.

These are some common third party vendors:

Constant Contact - http://www.constantcontact.com/
IntelliContact - http://www.intellicontact.com/
Vertical Response's iBuilder - http://www.verticalresponse.com/
CampaignerPro - http://www.campaigner.com/campaignerpro.html
JangoMail - http://www.jangomail.com/

Or, you can go with a bulletin board format:
Yahoo! Groups - http://groups.yahoo.com
vBulletin - http://www.vbulletin.com/
VoyForum - http://www.voy.com/
YaBB (open source) - http://www.yabbforum.com/
phpBB - http://www.phpbb.com/

Or, with a mailing list manager:
L-Soft listserv - http://www.lsoft.com/listserv.stm
eXtropia - http://www.extropia.com/scripts/mailing_list.html
ecartis - http://www.ecartis.org/
Mailman - http://sourceforge.net/projects/mailman

If you send frequent broadcasts and intend to use an off-the-shelf app with your own servers, you may still want to sign up with DomainKeys (http://www.dkim.org/), and work with the various email service providers to maintain your "whitelisted" status.
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