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Each issue of The Great eNewsletter Comparison Project newsletter will feature an unbiased review of a popular html enewsletter tool. (GuruGal does not endorse, represent or resell any of these tools.)
At the conclusion of the Project, I'll create a matrix comparing the big-ticket features and pricing of each enewsletter tool I've reviewed - as well as a white paper that includes all reviews.
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Would I select Vertical Response based on my experience using their wizard? Nope. Not enough formatting options for my level of skill. (I’ve been using these simplified – meaning you don’t need a degree in IT to use these – online html enewsletter/email building tools since they appeared on the scene in the mid-2000s.)
However, for the novice user, I would put it on my list of top contenders because it is so easy to use and there aren’t the horizontal spacing issues between text boxes (which I’ve experienced using other products such as GoDaddy and Constant Contact).
In the next issue of The Great eNewsletter Comparison Project, I’ll let you know my thoughts about Vertical Response’s email tracking features and reporting options (as I won’t know until I send this enewsletter out…!).
This quick how-to is not limited to usingVertical Response. Web-based html email tools have three basic elements for building custom enewsletters:
1.) Choosing the template style and color scheme. Templates are organized into categories (e.g., business, technology, etc.).
Once you choose a template, you can customize background colors and font sizes and colors for headings and body text.
2.) Using the online content editor. This is the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) screen that looks like a Word or other word processing document, but with limited formatting options.
3.) Previewing the enewsletter. The preview screen lets you see what the enewsletter will look like, versus what you see in the online content editor.
This important step lets you see potential issues, such as inconsistencies in spacing between text blocks and images, before sending it out.
the good stuff
Auto-generates text-only. Most email/enewsletter template tools do this because not all recipients have their mail inboxes set to html messages. Text-only is ideal for recipients using Gmail (a lot of IT folks prefer text-based email) and for reading via smartphones or tablets.
the not so good stuff
Internet Explorer 9 is not supported. If I open VR in an IE9 window, a message comes up saying that my browser isn’t supported. At the time of this review, VR supports Firefox (3.5x, 3.6x, or 4.x); Safari (4.x or 5.x); Google Chrome (current version) and IE 7 and 8.