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Thread: submission box

  1. #1
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    Hello all,

    I am hoping you can help me.

    My client wants me to set up a subscription box so people can add their email to his email list for future marketing information. What is the best method of doing this? Do webmasters use certain scripts to collect the emails or just a form that emails the sign ups to the owner?? Are subscription boxes usually associated with databases that store the emails? Unfortunately I don't work with databases as of yet, soon though. So any other methods would be greatly appreciated.

    I want to do this correctly the first time around, and have always found this forum to be very helpful.

    Thanks.
    Webfut

  2. #2
    Freelance Web Designer KeithMcL's Avatar
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    There are a lot of different ways to do this. Firstly, you could go with a service like http://www.topica.com, http://www.egroups.com to store your list. They are remotely hosted mailing lists services.

    I am currently using Topica and think that they are great. Everything is really easy to setup and maintain. I did use eGroups previously and their service is also very good.

    In regards to storing the email addresses in a database, you would need to use a programming langauge like PHP, ASP or ColdFusion to enter the info into a database. You could use a database like MySQL, Access, MS SQL, etc ( http://directory.google.com/Top/Comp...are/Databases/ )

    You could also use CGI scripts to store the email addresses in a flat file format.

    Have a look at http://www.hotscripts.com/PHP/Script...List_Managers/ and http://www.hotscripts.com/Perl/Scrip...List_Managers/ for scripts available to download.

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    Keith,

    I do appreciated your time to reply to my message. You gave me exactly what I was looking for. Since I do not know database stuff yet I will go with your suggestion to use a cgi script to collect the email addresses in a flat file.

    Thank you very much!!

    webfut

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    Is there any reason you need access to the list of subscribers other than to send out the emails/announcements?

    If not, there's no need to delve into data bases. Services like topica (http://topica.com) maintain the lists for you - one of my big reasons for using the service.

    As for the subscribe box, these services also provide the subscribe box form in a cut-and-paste html script, adaptable to your home page. Makes everything really easy and requires no new code writing or data base maintance.

    The only negative I know of, strictly from a marketing perspective, is that most hosted newsletter services require two actions from prospective subscribers - first they have to enter their name nn the subscribe box, then they have to respond later to a confirmation email. Helps prevent abuse from idiots using someone elses address? Yes, but for legitimate subscribers this (in my book) makes it twice as likely that they won't complete the transactions required to subscribe.

    You could avoid that by writing and hosting your own database and email service, but in my book simpler (and easier) is better - I use Topica.com (http://topica.com) and am very happy with them.
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    Depending on how much time you have to spare (chuckling)... you don't even need a script to gain access to the email address.

    You could use the "mailto:" command in conjunction with the FORM element and simply have the subscriber send you the information directly to your email box.

    This would be possible by creating your HTML scripting to look like this:

    <form method="post" action="mailto:name@yourdomain.com">
    Enter Email: <input type="text" name="email" size="20">
    <input type="submit" name="Submit" value="Subscribe">
    </form>
    From: Rozey
    Marketing-Seek
    http://www.marketing-seek.com

  6. #6
    Freelance Web Designer KeithMcL's Avatar
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    The only bad thing about using the mailto: option in the form is that it will cause the default mail program to open.

    Maybe some people use their default mail program to send/receive mail, but some don't and causing it to open can be annoying, but heck that's only IMO.

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    Thanks all, you have been so helpful

    webfut

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    Originally posted by KeithMcL
    The only bad thing about using the mailto: option in the form is that it will cause the default mail program to open.

    Maybe some people use their default mail program to send/receive mail, but some don't and causing it to open can be annoying, but heck that's only IMO.
    Thanks Keith:

    I was going to add this to my post, but decided not to. I used the mailto: command for over 2 years when I first built my lists, giving me access to over 30,000+ opt-in subscribers.

    As you can see, the default mail program opening up, didn't affect these 30,000 -- so in essence, I never really considered it to be a drawback.

    All in all -- for a quick solution to a mailing list setup problem, I see no reason not to consider the mailto: command. ;-)

    Rozey
    From: Rozey
    Marketing-Seek
    http://www.marketing-seek.com

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by webfut
    Thanks all, you have been so helpful

    webfut
    You are welcome....

    I'm interested to find out what you decided to do. Have you implemented a mailing list program yet? If so, what did you decide to use?

    Thanks much...

    Rozey
    From: Rozey
    Marketing-Seek
    http://www.marketing-seek.com

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot Wilmot's Avatar
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    I hope I am not hijacking this post, but the answer to my question may also help others.

    Just say you choose to have all email addresses stored in a text file or database. How do you then go about sending the newsletter to every one of those addresses automatically?
    Brad Culbert
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  11. #11
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    Ohhh this is a very good question. I would like to know myself.
    My client did not want to go with a service, and so I was going to use the mailto: command in the form. From here he was going to set up a autoresponder for subscriptions through this form. At that point he would collect the email address via automatically inputting the email address his autoresponder sent out into his outlook express identity??

    I like the idea of collecting addresses in a text folder.

    webfut


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