I have been preparing e-bulletins for over 10 years and love how the process has become progressively easier over time. When I first started to produce e-bulletins a decade ago, I would normally write the contents directly into the body of an email message in a desktop email application such as Microsoft Outlook Express or Outlook and then take my recipients from my Microsoft Access database. I would make sure that the recipients were placed inside the BCC section of the email message so I would not disclose recipients’ email addresses to each other. Clients are not very forgiving knowing that their personal email addresses have been shared with hundreds of other recipients. Since email clients allow for HTML styling, it was relatively easy to produce basic formatting. Later on I would use Adobe Dreamweaver to produce more sophisticated HTML formatting and then drop the formatted text into Outlook.
Jump forward to the present and it has become more easy to produce these same e-bulletins with software as a service options such as MailChimp. MailChimp has HTML formatted templates that you can add your content into directly. It also gives recipients the ability to opt in as a subscriber and makes it just as easy to opt out. What is also fantastic is that there is extensive analytics associated with MailChimp. As a marketer you can tell how many people in your recipient list have actually opened your email. In the past, when I sent out a broadcast e-bulletin to hundreds of people, I had little idea whether anybody had actually received it. Now I know almost instantly. Also what is really neat is that MailChimp can be integrated with Google Analytics and can be viewed in the administration panel in WordPress. This is great as you can graphically see how an email bulletin release can show up as traffic to your website. This allows you to see the effectiveness of your email campaign in driving traffic. There are other services like MailChimp but I find its service great and its interface very easy to use.