Monday, May 2, 2011

Thinking Outside the Inbox...

I am the first one to admit that my mailing list is like gold. It's the best way I have to stay in touch with those of you that have expressed an interest in collecting my folk art. I have carted around a clipboard sign-up sheet since my first official show back in 2003, collecting your email addresses as I go. With the advent of my website and other online avenues that have helped collectors discover my work, I have accumulated a nice list of contacts that I automatically email when I have news and art to share! I try to keep my emails to a monthly minimum of one or two at best, and other times I may even skip a month if life is just too busy. Of course, there are those occasional bounce-backs when certain email address are no longer valid, and that's just part of life. But lately, the bounce-backs have been intense! Hundreds have returned in masses, filling up my inbox to the brim!....

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And this is just a snippet of what last returned....

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It's enough to make my head spin, and lately it has!

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What is going on? Why are so many of my collectors' emails bouncing back? Upon further investigation, many of the names are from folks that continue to collect, travel to my shows, appreciate my work and on and on. Why... I ask?

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Well, the conclusion I have reached is not so pretty! Your spam filters are discriminating, and I know it's not your fault. It's the wave of the future. As various email providers compete for your business, they have become increasingly diligent at fighting "spam." And, it looks like little 'ol me sending out my occasional innocent email blast, has been labeled as a spammer! Dahduhduhduuuhhhhh! (creepy sound-effect!) The more iron-clad your spam filter is, the more likely you have not been receiving my messages. After reading various forums on this topic, I realized that my last email was filled with no-no's, like green text, red text, exclamation points, and no clear option for you to unsubscribe if you choose. EEEEK!

As technology jumps WAY ahead of me, I feel that the time has arrived to meet it head on! So, I am in the process of transferring my mailing list over to MailChimp, which claims to be a secure way for me to reach you without having to jump through hoops. The advantage here will be clear when you see my next official Newsletter. I will have the option to actually "design" an email newsletter and integrate it with various websites and social networks. At first, I was dragging my feet, but as long as the learning curve isn't too challenging for my right-sided brain, I think I will be pleased. I hope you will be too!

So, for those of you that previously joined my list, you should be all set! However, if you haven't heard from me via email in quite some time, I would suggest that you join again. It's simple to sign up, and I have a Join My Mailing List form on my website. You can also follow the owl graphic, top right of this page to get there. And Fans on Facebook can also join from my FB Artist Page. (just look for the link on the left sidebar)

My fingers are crossed that this communications upgrade goes smoothly and works well for all of us! So, be looking for my new first official Newsletter to (hopefully) appear in your inbox soon.

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Johanna

5 comments:

Dixie Sargent Redmond said...

I just switched over to mailchimp for the same reasons. :-) I lost some subscribers, but have gained some ones because people love they have the option to unsubscribe at any point. I love that myself when I'm on the other side of things. :-) Good luck!

Dixie

Johanna Parker said...

Oh, that's great news Dixie! I'm so glad to see that you are pleased with your MailChimp account. I'm hearing from other fellow artists as well that MC is a great way to go, so I'm feeling better now about my decision. I still need to give it a try!

Cheers,
~ Johanna

Anonymous said...

Hehe! Wow that made me dizzy, but I'm glad you found a solution. Looking forward to joining your mailing list and receiving your great newsletters!

Jerry

Christine Phelps said...

Just my two-cents......I use myemma.com they are a fun and socially conscious company. Great way to manage and track your marketing. Excellent list management. - built in social media. I too am a graphic designer and use them at the publishing company I work for.
Cheers - Christine

Johanna Parker said...

Thanks for your two-cents Christine ~ I will certainly check them out! It's always nice to bounce around ideas and tips that work in our industry...

Many thanks,
~ Johanna