The Huffpo articles continue from our tech guy George. We are all taking bets on when he runs out of ideas for his weekly articles. Smart money says around February...
This is supplemental information for the article: "R.I.P. Email Newsletters"  on The Huffington Post.
Some quick definitions:
Newsletter: a general email that is sent out to over 100 people with various opt-in paths. The content talks generally about the organization and its partners. Direct member based emails have different trends than the ones discussed in this article.
Open Rate: users that open an email based on whether they click or download the images in the email (this is the only way email distributors can track open rates).
Click Through Rate (CTR): Percent of people that click on links in your emails.
Email Sending Services
If you don’t already have an email sending service, here are some that might work for you (many of which are free and provide great tracking services). DoSomething.org has used some of the following systems, we do not benefit from any referrals and these should serve as a way to check the price and quality of your current systems. All of these sites charge based on constituent not on a per-email sent.
- Mail Chimp  - Allows free sending for up to 500 subscribers and has competitive pricing for medium sized lists.
- Constant Contact  – This service is good for sending a lot of emails to a smaller group and has a lot of functionality.
- Democracy in Action  – Similar to Constant Contact but has a robust API that integrates well with a lot of systems and allows a lot more information to be saved with every constituent. We use these guys.
- Vertical Response  – Allows not-for-profits to send 10,000 emails per month for free. After that it charges per email sent. They have open rate tracking, email database functionality, email templates and it integrates with SalesForce.com.
- Google Groups  – Google allows free unlimited messaging for as many as 100,000 emails. It does not give open rate or CTR tracking and it is plain text only emails (no nice pictures).
- Blackbaud, NetCommunity – Orgs that use Raiser’s Edge, Kintera and Blackbaud CRM get email services through NetCommunity. The cost is part of the whole CRM fundraising service. Sorry not much choice there but the system has tracking, templates and other tools that allow smart emailing.