Umm... About Last Week's Newsletter; Or How to Get Attention in a Bad Way
By Ken Magill
Last week, many of you got a dozen or more copies of this newsletter.
Some of you got nothing.
The reason: My system went haywire and began acting like I hit “send” 20 times or more.
Dozens of readers alerted me instantly to the problem in my inbox and on my Twitter feed.
My wife said her computer, which audio alerts her when a new email comes in, went: “Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!”
And to make matters worse, the same system that was blasting my readers repeatedly was kicking me out repeatedly, preventing me from stopping the email equivalent of a runaway train.
For a few minutes on Tuesday, my vocabulary consisted entirely of: F*ck! F*ck! F*ck! F*ck! F*ck! F*ck! F*ck! F*ck! F*ck! F*****CK!!!!”
I kept logging into the send part of my publishing package. It kept booting me out and sending more messages to subscribers and I kept saying: “F*ck!”
When I finally got it shut down, there were still 160 lucky souls in queue who didn’t get any of the messages.
Here is an explanation of the glitch sent by tech support and what they did to fix it. I don’t fully understand it, but maybe some of my more technical readers will.
“The issue with the duplicate emails, occurred due to an error in the restartSender functionality. The script is meant to shutdown the sender, and restart it. Due to a server issue the script is failing to find the already running sender, after failing to find the already running version, it just starts up another copy of the sender which causes the duplicate sends. Disabling the restartSender script resolves the duplicate emails. We’re moving the sender to another server to help mitigate any issues with duplicates occurring again.”
In any case, some good did come out of last week’s snafu. I found out I have the coolest readers on the planet. With three exceptions in dozens of messages, everyone was highly supportive and understanding.
I did have one reply with “REMOVE!!!” in the subject line and two demands I stop spamming them, as if I was sending the same newsletter over and over and over again on purpose.
Of course, I removed Miss REMOVE!!! immediately. Altogether, I got around 15 unsubscribes last week.
Frankly, if you’re reading this newsletter and don’t know that sometimes things happen that are not in the sender’s control, I don’t need you as a reader and my vendor readers certainly don’t need the pain in the ass you’d be as a client. So good riddance.
But the vast majority of the communications were of the “shit-happens” and “did-you-put-your-scotch-glass-on-the-send-button?” variety.
I also got one “oh, the irony” message.
It was highly ironic that the multiple-send snafu would happen so quickly on the heels of having written this. I compared email marketing to farting and then promptly crapped all over my subscribers’ inboxes.
One colleague said: “If you weren’t an email marketer before, you are one now.”
Whenever I send a Magill Report email out, I sit glued to my screen, repeatedly checking my inbox and Twitter feed to make sure nothing crazy is happening.
I shudder to think of what would have happened last week had I hit “send” and walked away, neglecting to shut my email fire hose down.
I have said repeatedly that email marketing is populated with some of the nicest, most professional executives around.
I had that belief confirmed in spades last week. Thank you. Hopefully this week, I am telling you this just once.