Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Shortest 60 Days Ever

I worked on the listings all Monday, stopped for lunch, and went back to work on the listings. When they were done I started on the newsletter which I send each week to my faithfuls, AKA Bracelet Buddies. I’ve been increasingly frustrated that the pictures don’t show up on some, and everyone’s looks different, no matter how carefully I put it together. Several people recommended constantcontact.com, and network solutions recommended them, and I kept hearing about them on the radio. They’re supposed to have a 60 day free trial.

From what I could determine, though, I would only be able to have 4 graphics in each, and I send pictures of all the new stuff, and 4 wouldn’t be enough. Not wanting to waste a single second of this free trial, I emailed and asked about that. They had a rep call me and we worked out a solution; I can self-host as many pictures as I want.

So today, I uploaded my photos to photobucket and then went on constantcontact.com to start my free trial. First problem was putting in the email addresses. I have them as a list, with commas. They needed enter after each of the (161) names. Took a while, but I did it.

Then I struggled with their format, and making my banner stretch. Got rid of stuff I didn’t want, tweaked some more stuff, and slowly and gradually started putting the newsletter together. It was not fast and easy, but I suspect in time it could be.

About an hour in, it logs me off. So I logged in again and got an error message saying my free trial had expired and I wouldn’t be able to send any more email messages. ANY MORE???? Hello! I haven’t even sent one yet!

So I called. Apparently it’s free for 100 names. So all I had to do was ditch 61 contacts. Which seemed like a very bad idea, from a marketing standpoint. By then I was in too deep to quit. So I signed up for the basic package. I managed to finish my newsletter, fluff it up and send it out. And, though it took forever, I keep telling myself next time it will be faster and easier.

That’s when someone asked me if I’d tried mail chimp. Apparently with that you can have 500 subscribers and send out 3000 emails a month free. Forever.


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