In my previous post I mentioned I was going to test a new mailing list system, and I am happy to report the tests have been completed successfully. I will now be sending out promotional e-mails whenever I have something important to share. You can sign up for these e-mails at promo.jeroensteenbeeke.nl. I’ll put up a big link somewhere on the site.
I’ve been wanting to create a mailing list like this for some time now. I used to have a Google Group for this purpose, but nobody ever signed up for it, and the URL was kind of long and non-obvious. I didn’t really give it much thought though.
That changed after I saw the effectiveness of Emily Ward’s e-mails when we did the Winter Escapes promo back in December. After that, I wanted to create my own mailing list, and I kind of figured: why not use the tools she does? So I headed over to MailChimp and created an account there. Unfortunately, MailChimp has this nasty little feature that is the result of the US CAN-SPAM act: you need to include a posting address with each e-mail you send.
Erm…. how about No?
I realize that it isn’t that hard to figure out my postal address for anyone with the right knowledge, but there’s quite a bit of difference between having your address available somewhere and announcing it with every promotional e-mail you send. The rationale MailChimp gave for requiring a postal address was that it was required by US and international laws, but it felt a bit odd, since I had never heard of such a requirement before, and had never actually seen it in mailing lists. So, naturally, I checked the relevant local laws, and it turns out that Dutch law (and the EU directives at its foundation) have no such requirements at all. There’s all sorts of other requirements (you have to give the option to unsubscribe, you can only mail people who have opted in or are already business relations), but those are perfectly reasonable.
With that in mind, I had a number of options: find a mailing list provider that is reasonably priced and does not require including a postal address, or build my own. Seeing as my day job is Software Engineer, I built my own.
So, I hope everyone finds my promotional mailings useful, and if you have any problems, please let me know (if all else fails, use the contact form on the site).