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Thread: Listbot

  1. #1
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Listbot

    Dear ListBot User:

    We are sending this letter to inform you that effective Aug. 20, 2001, we are discontinuing the bCentral ListBot service. ListBot has become a very popular free service, and we've been pleased to offer this valuable tool to both consumers and business users. As a provider of services for small and medium-sized businesses, our main goal is the continual improvement of services to meet the growing needs of business users. To achieve this goal, we have launched the new List Builder service, an enhanced e-mail marketing tool that will take the place of ListBot.

    We value our relationship with you and hope that you will choose to continue using our services by purchasing a subscription to the List Builder service. We realize that List Builder may not fit the needs of all ListBot users, so to help ease any inconvenience this may cause, we have provided below a list of options and actions that you can take to ensure that you will have an
    e-mail marketing or e-mail community service to meet your needs after Aug. 20.

    Special note: Our schedule for discontinuing the ListBot service is intended to give you 60 days to choose another service option and/or retrieve your e-mail list data. The ListBot service will be fully functional until Aug. 6, 2001. From Aug. 6 to Aug. 20, you will have access to your data but the service will be disabled.


    SUGGESTED OPTIONS

    OPTION 1--BCENTRAL LIST BUILDER. If you need a business e-mail marketing tool, we encourage you to move your ListBot announcement lists to the recently released bCentral List Builder. You can do this in a couple of easy steps, right from the ListBot control center. You can migrate your data to List Builder and use it for 30 days for free. After that, you will pay just $149 for your first year. To proceed with the migration or to find out more, visit http://www.listbot.com/.

    List Builder was designed to meet the needs of businesses, large and small. It comes with a greatly improved control center and many enhanced features, including better subscriber database management, improved HTML e-mail capabilities, and more message-targeting options. With List Builder, you will have a complete view of your customers in one centralized marketing database. From this database you can execute e-mail marketing campaigns targeted according to your customers' interests and demographic information or other factors you choose.

    In addition, in the coming year we will release some great new List Builder features, including link tracking to help you understand the return on your e-mail marketing, e-mail personalization, and even more customization options.

    FOR YOU TO DO: If you choose to move to List Builder, go to http://www.listbot.com and proceed with signup and migration. You can even try List Builder for free for your first month. After that you pay only $149 for the first year.

    OPTION 2--MSN COMMUNITIES. If your interests lie more in a free community e-mail service, we suggest you go to MSN (R) Communities at http://communities.msn.com and create your new community.

    FOR YOU TO DO: Go to the MSN Communities site, http://communities.msn.com , sign up and create your own community. From the MSN Communities control center you can send an invitation to your ListBot members to ask them to join your community.

    If you choose to use MSN communities and would like to keep your ListBot mailing list data, click on "View Members" in the ListBot control center to download your lists. Then click on "Download All" or "Download Demographics" to download your list subscribers. If you have problems with this process during peak times, please try again during off-peak hours.

    RETRIEVING YOUR DATA

    Whether you are migrating to our List Builder service or choosing another option, we realize that the e-mail lists you have developed through ListBot are extremely important to you, and we want to ensure that you can retrieve and save all your data for future use. To do this, just follow the step-by-step procedure below any time before Aug. 20, 2001.

    To download your lists, click on "View Members" in the ListBot control center. Then click on "Download All" or "Download Demographics" to download your list subscribers. If you have problems with this process during peak times, please try again during off-peak hours.

    To retrieve your archives, click on "View Archives" in the ListBot control center. From there you will be able to access your list archives and copy the messages you want to keep.

    ________________________________________

    LISTBOT SHUTDOWN SCHEDULE

    => BETWEEN JUNE 20 AND AUG. 5, 2001 -- Time to choose your e-mail alternative, List Builder or MSN Communities? If you choose List Builder, this is the time to migrate your announcement lists and set up List Builder to meet your needs.

    If you don't choose to migrate to List Builder, before Aug. 6 please remove all ListBot signup boxes from your Web site, along with any mention of your ListBot e-mail alias. After this date, if people try to subscribe or send e-mail to your lists, they will receive a notice explaining that the ListBot service has been discontinued. In addition, please inform your subscribers that as of Aug. 6, your list will no longer be functional and that any messages sent to the list will bounce.

    =>AUG. 6, 2001 -- All ListBot e-mail and subscribe functionality will be disabled. You will not be able to send messages to or receive messages from your lists. New people will not be able to subscribe to your lists via e-mail or the Web.

    =>BETWEEN AUG. 6 AND AUG. 20, 2001 -- During these two weeks, you can still download your lists and copy and paste your message archives to a local place on your computer, but all other ListBot functionality will be disabled.

    =>AUG. 20, 2001 -- The ListBot service will be turned off completely. All ListBot servers will be shut down and all data will be unavailable. Please retrieve any information you need before this date, since it will be inaccessible from this date on.
    ________________________________________

    We realize that this is a lot of information and have established a set of FAQs at http://www.listbot.com/shutdown_faq.shtml for answers to other questions you may have about ListBot. Additionally, if you have other questions or comments about ListBot, please don't hesitate to supply us with this feedback at lbclosure@bcentral.com -- we will use your suggestions to periodically update our FAQs.

    We will be sending out reminder messages to all ListBot users about this shutdown. However, we urge you to make a decision about List Builder or MSN Communities soon, to give you ample time to migrate your lists and become familiar with your new service.

    Sincerely,

    bCentral Member Services
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot litmania_com's Avatar
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    I hate Microsoft

    Following, are the features of Microsoft's List Builder with costs "$29.95 per month". Notice something? Although Microsoft make it out to be some kind of amazing service, over 95% of the features were available at Listbot for FREE.

    Thanks a lot Bill. You certainly know how to get the webmaster community on your site.

    Yet another case of Microsoft buying a free service from another company that their own programmers were useless to conceive, dupe enormous numbers of people into using it by not giving any clues that it won't be free in the long-term, and then start charging for it.

    My ezine, 1Lit.com, was a non-profit making one. I can't start paying $30 per month now (which will, no doubt knowing Microsoft's greed, go up to $40 soon). Which are the best free/low cost (under $10 month) alternatives that you guys would recommend?

    And I'll say one thing to all the greedy capitalists out there who are taking over the net: I used to place adverts for charities in my publication; I sure as hell won't be able to do that anymore thanks to YOUR charging.

    "List Builder features include tools that let you do the following:


    Automate sign-ups and data collection
    Build a customer database.
    Easily create a custom sign-up form for your Web site.
    Collect customer information.
    Collect demographic information.
    Easily import or export customer data to and from List Builder.
    Change your Web sign-up at any time.



    Send rich HTML newsletters
    Send up to 10,000 newsletters per month.
    Upgrade to send 40,000, 100,000 or 2,000,000 newsletters.
    Simple interface for sending HTML newsletters.
    Preview newsletters before sending.
    Text newsletter option available.
    Automatically sends text e-mail newsletters to customers who do not accept HTML mail.
    Unsubscribe and account management links are included at the bottom of every message.


    Manage your mailing list
    Cancellations and non-valid e-mail addresses are automatically handled.
    Customers can opt-in or opt-out at any time.
    Subscriber information is automatically maintained.
    Have e-mail forwarded to you from to customers replying to your newsletter.
    Choose auto-respond to customers replying to your newsletter.


    Track your success
    Get statistics on your e-mail newsletter responses.
    Get demographic data on your customers.
    Leverage the Web
    Avoid expensive technical consultants, servers, and network problems.
    Enjoy automatic, seamless product upgrades.
    Access List Builder from any computer with an Internet connection and compatible browser. "
    Nadeem Azam
    Litmania.com Inc.

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  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot litmania_com's Avatar
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    Could anybody please suggest a free or low-cost (under $10 per month) alternative to ListBot?

    We can't use Topica because they don't accept any ads.

    Microsoft's own premium list service charges about $250 per annum, which is a total rip-off.
    Nadeem Azam
    Litmania.com Inc.

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  4. #4
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I only ever used listbot and then burst!mail (which you need to be a member of their ad network to use) I believe however that in the Webmaster Resources days The Sitepoint Tribune was hosted by Dundee.net might wanna check that out... actually no thats not it.... it was something like dundee.net (the name) I can't remember it now.

    But if you look through the Sitepoint Tribune Archives you may see it mentioned, look at the earlier issues.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    We switched from Dundee.net to SparkList.com... it costs us several hundred dollars a month though.

    If you're running a not-for-profit ezine, then Topica.com shouldn't be a problem. The only reason you'd want to insert your own ads into the newsletter would be to profit from it.
    Matt Mickiewicz - Co-Founder
    SitePoint.com - Empowering Web Developers Since 1997
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot litmania_com's Avatar
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    "The only reason you'd want to insert your own ads into the newsletter would be to profit from it."

    Nope, we'd want to insert ads to recouperate our costs: electricity, computers, telephone costs, competition prizes, internet connection charges etc. etc. Our ezine has a LOT of work into it.

    The measily income we receive from ads doesn't even cover a tenth of our costs. So it's not profiting.
    Nadeem Azam
    Litmania.com Inc.

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  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast jmjinks's Avatar
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    Roll out your own

    If you cgi-bin access, I would go as far as to suggest not paying for a thing. I've looking at different websites that offer cgi scripts and have seen a number of them in action that allow you to run your newletter or e-zines without resorting to commercial services that cost you big bucks.



    A large number of them are under the GPL license, and some won't cost you a dime. In mnay cases, some of them will ask you to pay a few bucks (maybe as high as $50) for support. They will even help you install the script and provide updates for free.

    Can't beat that.
    Last edited by jmjinks; Jun 29, 2001 at 12:53.

  8. #8
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    that is of course always an option. Those scripts aren't very complicated, I could personally write one in about 30min

    However does your host want you to be doing these bulk mailings? Chances are the answer to that is No. But you can always ask.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast jmjinks's Avatar
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    Now that you bring it up, I've been noticing a few hosts that
    offer options like EZMLM (a mailing list manager) as part of their service.

    You may want to enquire with your current host if they offer options like that.

  10. #10
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    I know our host (www.pair.com) has a mailinglist programme available to its clients for free (well, you have to be a client, of course...), i suppose there must be other similar solutions out there. After all, it's just a mailing list, not rocket science... MS charging $30 for it is just typical. Chances are i'd rather pay $30 *not* to get their 'enhanced functionality'
    katdesign says 'meow'

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot litmania_com's Avatar
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    Well, we've managed to find various mailing list scripts.

    I just had one question for the experts out there: how big a drain on our webhosting resources would it be to use a mailing script?

    We just need to send out about 5000 newsletters a month.

    I'm asking, because until now we've been using Listbot
    Nadeem Azam
    Litmania.com Inc.

    Free promotion - check out this 1:1 banner exchange
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  12. #12
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    It really depends on the number of subscribers. If you're sending out a total of 5000 mails a month for your newsletter, the extra load should be manageable. Just try to keep tabs on the number of subscribers and try to spread the sending of your mails accross time so you spread the server load. You could check when your server is least active (at 5am in the morning, for example) and have it send out the mails then.
    Just to be on the safe side, consult your hosting company before starting your list, they'll be able to help you out and maybe even install the script for you.
    katdesign says 'meow'


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