Key Idea: Two-way communication with email subscribers is preferable to insulating yourself with a no-reply email address.
Why was I on my laptop last night at 10:17 PM on a Friday? An email glitch! Well, not exactly a problem with the email itself, but with a link in the email. Let me 'splain (or scroll down to the Takeaways to simply sum up.)
My email service is Go Daddy Email Marketing Pro, and it is generally very easy to use. But TODAY it was giving me headaches. I swear, there is always something to slow me down! This time, it was a problem sending out my weekly email to all of my subscribers. I set the email up and sent it out, easy-peasy. But when I went back to check my stats, only 24 subscribers had received it. In the words of Charlie Brown, Aaaaagh!
I am definitely not tech savvy.
It took me several tries and about 45 minutes of searching for the problem to figure out that I had checked a box labeled "Do not send to contacts who have already received it." I unchecked the box and voila! The email went out to all 1609 subscribers (my apologies to the 24 who got it twice.)
This being the first time I sent this email, I am not sure why checking that box stopped the bulk of my subscriber list from receiving the email originally. Perhaps because I cloned a previous email in order to create the current email, the program thought that I was sending out the same email again. Lesson learned.
Any-hoo...fast forward to 10:17 PM.
I had returned home from a monthly potluck with our farm-type friends and checked my phone one last time before hitting the sack. Houston, we have a problem! 57 messages were in my inbox requesting access to a free Quick & Easy Compost file that I had posted in the email.
Apparently, the file sharing settings in Google Drive were directed to only show the file to 'Anyone on KariSpencer.com who has a link.' Email subscribers were downloading from the email, not from my site.
My heart rate soared from stress and embarrassment. Quickly, I changed the file sharing settings to allow access to the file and manually gave access to all 57 people who has already attempted to download it. I included a personal note of apology, as well.
The takeaway for this experience is two-fold.
First, double-check everything before sending out an email. Duh.
Second, I recommend against sending emails to a subscriber list from a 'no reply' address. If I had done so, I would not have discovered the glitch so quickly. Fortunately, my subscribers are friendly, and I received several notes from them giving me a 'heads-up' concerning the problem. I was able to respond quickly and personally to each email, thus assuring my subscribers that I am responsive and care about their concerns.
By contrast, I subscribed to a weekly live content marketing tutorial on an expert's site and was eagerly anticipating watching the videos. However, the links never arrived in my inbox. I attempted to reply to the welcome email to request the links, but received a message stating that they don't check that email address. I never received the links, have missed the tutorials, and the expert will never know about the problem because there was no way for me to connect directly with her. Unfortunately for both of us, an opportunity was missed.
I don't want to miss those connections, and I definitely want to be made aware of problems that my subscribers experience. Thanks to using a personally email that I check regularly, I was able to discover and fix the problem before hundreds of people had attempted to download the file. Crisis averted, with gratitude to my great subscribers.