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How to Send Publicity Releases by E-Mail

© 1999 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

~ Virginia Lawrence, SPAWN's Webmaster, is a technical writer, editor, and professional webmaster who publishes both in print and online.

Sending publicity releases by e-mail is wonderfully inexpensive, but we must remember that unrequested e-mail is not welcome when the e-mail looks like spam or bulk e-mail. Since people who receive spam can get extremely angry at the sender, sending spam is counterproductive.

How do we send e-mail to the media without looking like spam?

  1. We choose our media e-mail addresses with care, choosing only those editors who might actually have an interest in our story. We select out the appropriate editor at the appropriate publication. For example, we send business news to the business editor, golf news to golf publications, and features to the feature editor. An editor who can use an e-mailed publicity release will not consider the e-mailed release to be spam.
  2. We construct a personalized e-mail for every recipient. If the editor's name is on the e-mailed release, the e-mail does not look like spam, and it is less likely to cause an angry reaction in the editor.

Finding and Choosing the Addresses

You can find several Internet sites where you can spend many hours searching for the best addresses, or you can purchase an inexpensive collection of names and addresses. The US All Media E-Mail Directory is an up-to-date directory of media throughout the U.S. and Canada. You can purchase the Excel file for a low price at

The price is good, and the addresses are reasonably current. (Online addresses change much faster than offline addresses.) Since the directory comes as an Excel file, we can easily use Excel to cut the approximately 13,000 addresses down to a targeted group.

Sending the Publicity E-Mails

We want to send a personalized e-mail to every recipient, but we don't want to spend days building 1,000 personalized e-mail messages. Happily, there are e-mail mailmerge programs to build personalized e-mail messages using a database of names and e-mail addresses.

Most addresses in the US All Media E-Mail Directory come with full name, so we can use that directory with a mail-merge software program to address each individual e-mail to the appropriate recipient. After a lot of time-consuming research on mailmerge e-mail programs, I found several quite expensive programs with no try-out policy and no satisfaction guarantee.

Then I found the inexpensive Aureate Group Mail at The site offers a free download for the trial working version of Aureate Group Mail.

So download and try the free, fully functional trial version of Group Mail. Now, the free trial version includes an ad in every mailing, so the ad will keep you from using the trial version to do your publicity release mailing. But the trial version gives you the chance to really try out the software. When you test it out with lots of e-mail to yourself and friends, you'll see that the software is easy to use. Then you can purchase the full no-ad version for only $49.95.

When you try using Group Mail with files from the All Media Directory, you'll see that Group Mail works hand-in-hand with the files from that directory. Group Mail imports csv files created by Excel, so you can bring your chosen names and addresses directly into Group Mail.

The US All Media E-Mail Directory and Aureate Group Mail are excellent inexpensive tools. I use them frequently, and these tools allow the small publisher or author to mount a full-fledged e-mail publicity campaign.

~ Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. is an Information Architect who publishes both in print and online. Contact her at

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© Copyright 1997- Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.
Northridge, CA 91324