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Using Outlook to Distribute Newsletters

Learn about setting up an affiliate program in Super Charge Your eBook ProfitsHere are some simple instructions for using Microsoft Outlook to distribute newsletters:

  • Create a database (in Access or Excel, for example) of your opt-in subscribers.  The fields should include, at a minimum, each person’s e-mail address.  It also is useful (see below) to include a field for subscribers’ names.  If you are going to distribute two versions of your newsletter (plain text and HTML), this is the place to keep track of which subscribers want which version.  Use your database as well to keep track of unsubscribers and changes in e-mail addresses, and any other personal information you have collected.


  • In Outlook, create a newsletter Contacts subfolder in which to import your data.  Then select “File,” and then “Import and Export.”  The Import and Export Wizard will help you import your database information (choose “Import from another program or file”).  You should import subscribers’ names and e-mail addresses.


  • Once your data are imported, you will want to create distribution lists as your web-hosting provider most likely will limit how many names you can address your e-mail to.  This is to prevent Spam.  To create a distribution list, double click on your newsletter Contacts subfolder so that it is open.  Right click with your mouse and select “New Distribution List.”  Select a certain number of members from your newsletter Contacts subfolder to go into this first distribution list.  This is where having personal names helps out.  You will have to experiment here to see how many names per distribution list works for you.  If you put too many names in a distribution list, your web-hosting provider may prevent the e-mail from being sent.


  • After you have created all of your distribution lists, it is time to send your newsletter.  Make sure you have proofread it and checked all the links.  Important: use the Bcc field, and NOT the To field, when sending your newsletter.  This is because you do not want to violate the privacy of your subscribers by sharing their e-mail addresses with others.  E-mail addresses in the Bcc field are hidden to the recipients.  If the Bcc field does not appear when you open a new message, select “View” and then “Bcc field.”  You will select a distribution list to go in the Bcc field.


  • Almost immediately upon sending your newsletter, you will begin to receive e-mails informing you that the message was undeliverable to certain recipients.  This could be for several reasons: for example, the person’s Inbox may have been full, or the person’s e-mail address may have changed.  Depending on the message, you may want to try resending the newsletter to these persons.  Keep track in your database of subscribers whose e-mail addresses are no longer operable.


  • Finally, there will be those subscribers who wish to unsubscribe.  Send each unsubscriber a short note informing them that you have taken care of this.  Keep track of unsubscribers in your database.



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