email

Everyone Hates Your Email Marketing. Everyone

 

Everyone has this problem, clearing out the crap from our email.  Some of which we did subscribe to and now regret, or the stuff we don’t remember subscribing to.  James talks about how hard some companies make it to unsubscribe and then add insult to injury by bothering you more when you finally do find the unsubscribe option.

Bottom line, make sure you always have something to say to your clients when you send out an email.  Don’t bombard them with lots of emails, and if they want to unsubscribe let them do it easily by making it easy to find the button and let them go.

Good article.

Source: Everyone Hates Your Email Marketing. Everyone. | James Ellis | Pulse | LinkedIn

Sharing a published MailChimp Newsletter

Sometimes you may want to get more readers to a newsletter by publishing a past one to your Facebook page, website etc.  Here is a fairly easy way to accomplish this with MailChimp.

For those of you that use Mailchimp for your newsletters, you can easily share that newsletter here on Facebook by doing the following:

  • Go to your list of campaigns that have been sent.
  • Click on the campaign.
  • There are tabs at the top, click on details
  • in the next window click on Campaign Archive. This gives you a preview of the full campaign (If you personalize it, it will say Dear First Name)
  • Click on Share and you can share it directly to FB, Twitter and you can get a shortened URL to paste into those places too.

Easy Peasy!

Email marketing: How to massively improve your results!

Email marketing is extremely effective. So why do almost all small businesses get such uninspiring results from it? That’s what this post is all about! Email marketing: Free and easy? The cost of marketing has changed massively over the years. For small business owners, the cost of sending a marketing letter [direct mail] to just […]

Source: Email marketing: How to massively improve your results!

Saving and exporting contacts from Gmail

contactsI had a client recently ask me to help export contacts that she had on one gmail account and add them to another gmail account.  She was having problems with the formatting and I said that I would do it for her and then send her the instructions for future.  So while I write out instructions for one person, why not help a few?

Exporting Contacts

At the top left of Gmail you have your Google logo and below that the Word Gmail.

Using the little drop down triangle go to your contacts.  If you have your contacts organized into folders and only want to export one of the folders, click on that folder.

moreOnce you are in the contacts section (and in the folder you want to copy, but that isn’t definitely needed) you will want to click on the more tab.  Click on Export…

This will open a new window that will ask you if there is a particular group of contacts you want to export (so if you forget in the first step, you can do it here).

export gmail contactsIf you are exporting your contacts to go to another Gmail account, then you may as well choose the Google CSV format.  However, if you are doing it just to save them or import them into another program, then choose Outlook CSV.  Basically it is just a special Excel sheet that you are creating.

Click Export and it will save it to your downloads folder (or wherever you have set to download files to).

Importing

groupThis is very similar to the last step.  If you want to create a new Group.  Be sure to be in the Contacts section of Gmail and highlight all the contacts you have.  This allows the Group icon to show up on the top menu.  Click on that icon and the drop down will show any groups you already  have as well as new groupthe create new button.

Give your group a name and click OK.  Make sure you are in that group before you do the next step. This way the new contacts are automatically put into the new group you have just created.

Now you are ready to import that group you saved earlier.  Go to the more section again, and this time choose Import.

You will need to browse to wherever you saved the CSV file and then click import.  It will import all of the contacts you had, and if you already  had a few of them in your contact list, it will list them and ask if you want to merge them.

importingYou now have your contacts moved from one Gmail account to another.  Hope this helped!

Lipstick is BAD

I got an email today telling me not to wear lipstick because all the major manufacturers put lead in their products and that I could tell by taking a gold ring and rubbing it along some lipstick (smeared on my hand) and if it turned black, it had lead in it.  Wow!  What manufacturers get away with nowadays.

But it’s crap.

A quick google of “lead in lipstick” brought up the usual websites about urban myths.  This particular crock has been around since 2003!

Whenever you get an email advising you to put your pin number in backwards, when forced at knife or gunpoint to your ATM machine, or to put lipstick on your arm and rub your jewellery on it, do a search first to find out if it is true or not.  Most of the time you’ll find out it isn’t.

Take a gander at Snopes.com or Urban Legends Online, and stop all that alarmist email in it’s tracks.  You’ll make a lot of people very happy.

Email Etiquette

Millions of emails are sent every day, and sometimes it feels like we are getting all of them!  If you want to annoy your friends less, here are a few ways to make sending emails to your friends a less stressful event for both them and yourself!

 

  1. File sizes.  If you are sending images to people of your dog, cat or your latest artwork, don’t forget that some people are still on dial up and it takes a long time to download each attachment they receive.  Photos or other files shouldn’t be any larger than 500kb if you can help it, and if you reduce an image to 72dpi (dots per inch) and 6 x 8″ in size, it will often be under 100KB.  Most camera programs will allow you to resize your images.  If they are only for your friends to look at and not print, then 72dpi is fine to look at on your screen. And if you are in the position that one email seems to be blocking the rest from coming through, you can go to www.mail2web.com and type in your email address and password and see all of your emails that are still on your ISP’s server and look at and delete the offending email.  Nothing worse than spending half an hour downloading something only to find out it was a silly movie that you didn’t want anyway!
  2. Sending to groups of people.  Do you get emails from your friends that include 300 email addresses that you have to scroll through to get to the point of the message?  Isn’t it annoying?  It can also be dangerous if you or your friends get a virus, it can spread to all those people as well, not to mention that your email address is now broadcast to all and sundry.  It is always best when sending an email to lots of people to put your own email address in the To: section, and all of the other emails in the BCC (Blind carbon copy) section.  You can get to the BCC by clicking on the CC in your emails if you use Outlook Express.  In a lot of mail programs you can also organize your friends and families into groups so you can click on a group and it sends to all in the group at once.  But still send them as a blind carbon copy.
  3. Dire warnings!  I have to say that the Neiman Marcus store never billed any woman $500 for a cookie recipe, the police won’t come if you put your pin number in backwards (you’ll just get shot for your trouble) and Bill Gates is definitely not going to give any of us money by sending on a message.  If you get an email about some virus warning or other, the best thing to do is to google the main idea of it.  For example put in pin number + reverse and you will get up pages with the helpful names like urbanlegends.about.com and snopes.com.  These two websites have information that debunk all of these emails that seem to last for years!  It’s an easy way to see if the email warning is for real and save thousands of emails being sent out as a result of you blindly sending it to all of your friends. Plus, some of those sites are pretty funny reading!
  4. Finally, the jokes, and those emails that are the equivalent of the chain letter.  You know, the one that if you don’t send it on to six more people you will have bad luck/you won’t get good luck/you may die etc.  They are just annoying.  If you get one just delete it.  I’m pretty sure your friends will thank you for not sending it on to them, I know I will!

Attaching the attachments

Do you ever do this? You write a long email to someone explaining something and then say that you are going to attach something and totally forget to do it? Yep, me all the time. I’m sure I have hundreds of emails that say “oops” in the title.

Today I was emailing someone via Gmail and said I’m attaching a spreadsheet to show you my figures and clicked on send, and instead of me just sending it and getting a message from someone later saying “Where was the attachment?” instead, I got a message saying “your message mentioned that you were sending an attachment, but you haven’t, do you still want to send the message?” I was amazed!

I didn’t know whether to be thrilled that things are so smart that they are reminding me of things I should do, or that they have put phrases into their coding to search for things that you may write in your emails. I know when I use Gmail that the sponsored ads at the right of the mail always sort of correspond to the subject (sometimes with hilarious result) but I didn’t really think about how much they are reading. What they say is true, nothing on the internet is truly private, so we need to always keep that in mind.

Good thing my email wasn’t something more sinister, the message may have said “we think you are a lunatic, we are calling the police now, are you sure you want to send that message?”

Checking out from Technology

Escaping Technology

Escaping Technology

I always gently remind my clients that they need to blog regularly in order to create a following and to keep things interesting and fresh. So here I am, months after my last post, not following my own good advice.

Does the excuse being really busy count for anything? I truly understand the expression about the “cobbler’s children go without shoes”. After a day staring at a computer screen keeping my clients happy, it is a hard job to stay on for even longer to update my own website and blog on a consistent basis.

The title of my post today is about being overwhelmed by technology. I did a sculpture a few years ago called “Escaping technology” (shown above) which is pretty ironic, considering that is how I make my living. But sometimes I resent the lack of time I have to myself. So there are two sides to the coin. Loving it, and hating it.

Loving Technology

In April I went to Scotland and England for a ten day visit. It was a very schedule intensive trip meaning that I didn’t really have time for any delays of any kind. I flew to Glasgow and spent four leisurely days with my husband’s family, flew down to Heathrow and started a marathon of driving and visiting. The great thing about technology was that I was able to buy a very inexpensive “throw away phone” in Scotland and use it very cheaply for the ten days I was meant to be there. Point 1 to technology. Before I left, I bought and installed a Europe and UK map for my GPS which made driving from one end of the country to the other a lot less frazzled and allowed me to concentrate on my driving rather than worrying about where I was going. Point 2 to technology.

As you know, Mother Nature made herself heard and the unpronounceable volcano erupted on the Thursday before I was meant to go home. I figured it would be over by the time I was to come home on the Sunday, but it messed up the air traffic until the Wednesday that i was finally allowed to leave. Luckily with my cell phone that I bought at the beginning of my trip, the airline was able to contact me with my alternative flights, and I took my iPodTouch with me on the trip with all my contacts and diary and was able to use the free wifi in the bed and breakfast to connect with any clients or friends at home that wondered why I wasn’t back at work! Point 3 to technology.

A client that I visited at the beginning of my trip gave me a little gadget called a Power Monkey (he sells them in his shop at design-led.co.uk). I haven’t seen them at all in Canada, but I love this little gadget and it was a lifesaver. When I had the rental car, I could plug in my GPS or ipod and charge them, but when I took back the car on the Saturday before my original departure I had no way to charge my iPod or GPS at all. This little gadget plugged into the wall and powered up either your cell, iPod, GPS directly or you could just charge the PM itself and then charge your gadget later. The charge in the housing lasts a year without draining, and will recharge up to four hours in whatever you plug it into. And it comes with seven or so adapters, like usb, phone and iPod, and three different plugs for different countries. When I got home it works just as well in North America! Definite Point 4 for technology.

I suppose I could have gotten along without those gadgets, but it would have been a lot more stressful and complicated.

Hating Technology

On the other hand, it is annoying when you buy some gadget or another and it is so complicated to get it to work that it wastes hours of your time.
I have used a hand held device of one sort or another for about fifteen years. I first bought a bulky little machine by Casio called the Cassiopeia. It used a mobile pc operating system and it held my contacts, diary and even Word and Excel Documents. I used it up until about two years ago when it was still working, but Casio didn’t offer updates or support for it any longer and it just couldn’t work with the newer operating systems. I traded a dining room table with my brother for his HP handheld, but I found I wasn’t using it as much and it just didn’t hold it’s charge. So when I bought my husband a iPod Touch for his birthday as a way for him to avoid the hundreds of cds he burns to listen to audiobooks in his truck (he’s a long distance trucker) and the time he spent while home doing this and loading music on to his usb’s, he loved it. Then I had to justify having one too. It had a way to sync your diary and your contacts too, so I was sold. Both of us are pretty good with technology, but it took us about three hours one night to get the thing to recognise the software on my computer it was supposed to use. We tried the next morning and inexplicably it worked. Against technology for time wasting – 1 point.

Yesterday was QuitFacebookDay. It was really in protest to Facebook’s privacy policies, but it struck me as a good idea to help people get their real lives back. I have a facebook account. I rarely sign in, I won’t download any apps or participate in virtual farming, because i just don’t have the time. And sad as it may be, I don’t have many friends on it and once they are on there, we don’t say anything to each other. I have long distance friends, and we email each other or Skype and that’s a more real way for me to keep in touch with them. I have a relative that is on it constantly. And I have heard of many people that have ruined their marriages over revisiting the childhood sweethearts or just the time they spend on it. While I’m not addicted to Facebook at all, if you want to remove your profile from Facebook, here is a link on the ten reasons why you may want to, and here is a link on how to do it effectively. I used to log in to a couple of forums and got quite caught up in them but found I was wasting far too much time being offended by people who ignored my post or formed cliques (where they didn’t even know each other!) so one day I deleted all the posts I had made to one online blog connected to one and stopped posting and deleted all the links to the forums so I would have to actively look for them. I now feel so free of that time waster. Facebook is like that for a lot of people. Against technology – point 2

A fellow called James Sturm, who is a cartoonist and Graphic Novelist has stopped using any form of email or technology for four months. He says he was getting so addicted to it and it was a compulsion to keep checking it constantly. I joke to people sometimes that the noise my computer makes when an email comes in is like Pavlov’s Dog. I don’t salivate, but it takes everything to keep me from rushing to my computer to check out what the email is. So another addictive point against technology. Point 3.

I really have to go and do some work now, but my final for now reason against technology has to be the planned obsolescence of it. Basically, this is that corporations now build your fridges, stoves, computer gadgets to either have a limited physical life or a technological life so it can’t be fixed or is out of date in no time. Here is an article about this particularly. A great little short film on this is The Story of Stuff. It’s about how much the things we buy really cost. I think that the fridge and stove my parents had lasted my whole childhood (well the fridge had an untimely demise due to us kids trying to defrost it faster and poking a hole in it and releasing the freon) but now you are lucky if you get an appliance to last ten years! And I was thinking of usb’s recently. I bought my first usb in 2002 for $80 and it was a 32mb. It seemed a huge size then. Now I see in the local electronics store that they have 32gb for sale for less than that. And I bet that they could have had those size usb’s available all along, but have eked them out slowly so we buy the ever bigger and fancier one. Point 4.

I think I’ve had even points today, but I could think of many more for and against. We can’t go back, but we can think about trying not to covet the next new thing (think iPad) and try to remember where our old stuff is going to go.

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