Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons . . .

Those of you who are on our e-mail list already know some of this (and if you don’t, check your inbox).  I sent out an e-mail a couple of weeks ago before I left for StampFest Orlando and a couple of days later I got a notice from our service provider that we had been accused of spamming.  I was simply floored – seriously?

It's not true -- more than 11,000 people have subscribed to our list over the past 15 years by e-mailing us directly or filling out a card at a convention or in our store.  I treasure that list, and the friendships we have made as a result of it.  Not a single soul has ever been added who didn't ask -- and anyone who ever got tired of my mindless wanderings and asked to unsubscribe was unsubscribed promptly.

We went to a new e-mail system and a new provider a little over a year ago when the website rebuild was completed.  I suspect that's part of the problem.  Until May of last year, when I sent out an e-mail it took me three or four hours to get them all out -- our provider would not allow bulk e-mails so I had to send them in groups of 48 addresses at a time.  Now, I can send them all with one click -- but along the way, computers (or people -- or both) are now accusing me of something that I detest and have to clean out of my inbox everyday.  And it hurts.

We have been told that if this situation is not resolved, we will be blacklisted.  Even after all these years, I'm still not terribly computer-savvy, so I asked what we had to do.  This was the answer I received -- "We need you to go through and send a blanket email to all users on your list with the Subject line: "Do You Want to Still Receive These" with an opt out link in the body of the email.  Let them know in the body of the email if they do not respond or opt out with in a week or two that you will remove them from your list.  Please let us know once you have resolved the issue."

So Saturday I sent out the required e-mail, and within minutes responses started pouring in.  Several thousand of them so far, on a holiday weekend.  Again, I was simply floored – but this time it was a completely different feeling.  All I did over the weekend was watch the counter in my inbox – we had two family reunion picnics, Ryan’s birthday, fireworks, and yard that needed work.  But this morning I started going through the individual e-mails so I could confirm them in the e-mail system.

The kind words and stories that have been included by our customers have been heartwarming.  It will take me weeks to get through this process, but I’m not dreading it like I was just a few days ago.  I should have known better – there are so many of you out there (many that I will never meet) who are the reason that I enjoy my job.

You have really come through, and you have no idea how much I appreciate it.


  1. Keep me on your list. I'm sure I've responded before, but want to make sure. I really enjoy your blog. Looking forward to seeing you in Novi, Mi. again this year. Edna

  2. Keep me on your list. I enjoy receiving your emails and even have a Marco Paper file to recheck specials, recent updates or your latest convention.

    So when will you come to AZ for one of our conventions?

  3. Glad to hear things are looking better for you.

  4. Aw! You know we love you!!