Specialists in Internet Web Sites Since 1995
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?
- 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.
- 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 http://www.imediafax.com.
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
http://software.aureate.com/. 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
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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