Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another VR Glitch!

I sent out a newsletter last week and received notice that some peopled unsubscribed. Now, I *always* check the names of those who unsubscribe and I confess I've been surprised in the past by people who have opted out. Among these folks have been many good friends. Why on earth would they unsubscribe? It never made sense to me.

Imagine my shock last week when I checked out who had unsubscribed and discovered that ...(wait for it)... I had unsubscribed to my own newsletter. Yes, really.

You may remember from an earlier post that Vertical Response will *not allow* me to ever add back anyone who has unsubscribed. But this was ridiculous. I need to keep my own email in the mix so that I'm able to double check all newsletters that go out.

In a heartbeat I was on the phone with Vertical Response. (To their credit, their customer service is pretty good.) I didn't yell, didn't shout, didn't say, "What the heck is wrong with you people??" even though I wanted to. But I admit my voice went up an octave or so when I told them their system had evidently kicked me off of my own list. I then told them that they'd lost all credibility with me. What about all those friends who had unsubscribed? Suddenly I realized that maybe they hadn't.

I had two important goals: Figure out how this happened so that it wouldn't happen again; and, get myself back on my own list!

Surprise, surprise - there *is* a way to re-add people from this end, but there's a final step required that the recipient has to complete. Okay. Got it. I added myself back and then clicked the email confirmation. Whew! At least I was back in on my list.

But how did this happen?
You won't believe it.

In the past I've always asked my newsletter recipients to forward the email to friends who might be interested in my books. Why not, right? Books are always best when recommended by others. At the bottom of my emails I included a "Forward" link and I even offered a prize to one lucky person who forwarded my information.

Foolish, foolish me.

Let's say that you kindly and generously forwarded my email to a bunch of friends. Let's say one of those friends looked at it, thought "Oh, no, something more for me to deal with!!" and decided he or she didn't want to ever receive emails like this again.

If that person clicked "Unsubscribe" in the bottom of the email, he or she effectively unsubscribed you from ever receiving my newsletters again.

So, in essence, I've been shooting myself in the foot by asking folks to forward.

I have no idea how many of my unsubscribes are genuine, and how many are because of this forwarding issue.



Shel said...

Oh no, Julie!! Sounds like time to find another newsletter provider...

Julie Hyzy said...

I know, Shel. And I'd agree, except for the fact that they're so good at everything else.

Plus I don't have time to research options that might work for me. I did that once and for now, at least, I'm going to stick with them. A year from now that may change.

Dru said...

Hmm, I don't recall getting a newsletter and I know I subscribed.

Julie Hyzy said...

Hi, Dru,
I sent you an email this morning and, with any luck, I may be able to re-subscribe you. Hope so!

Marcia said...

Julie, Please post on your blog when you send out the next one so we can make sure we are still on the list.
Such a headache for you. Newsletters should not be such an ordeal. Good luck....and I agree, maybe you should look for another provider.

Julie Hyzy said...

Great idea, Marcia. I will do that!
I should probably start searching out other providers, but there aren't enough hours in the day lately!
Thanks for the suggestion!

Jamie Freveletti said...

And here I was just going to give up constant comment for vertical response! (But who knows, the forwarding thing may be the same programming throughout the companies). Good to know for my upcoming newsletter!

Julie Hyzy said...

Hey, Jamie. I actually really like VR, but this was something I never expected. I'm glad I found out before things got worse. I'll probably stick with VR for a while. Still, I've heard great things about Constant Contact. Looking forward to your newsletter, either way!