Wednesday 26 June 2024: Newsletter imminent

Wroclaw Old Town Square (© Diane Wordsworth)

Last few pics from Poland. Again, only for illustrative purposes.

I started Tuesday by finishing Monday’s jobs, the first one being yesterday’s blog. Once that was done, I forced myself to start today’s blog so I didn’t carry on being a few jobs behind all week. We all know what happens then: they snowball into a LOT of jobs carried over to the next week. I was a bit earlier to my desk, but this needs to improve throughout the week if I’m increasing my hours next week.

Then I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole.

On Monday, I noticed that my newsletter provider couldn’t verify my domain due to the domain host’s recent changes. I tried to follow their guidance, but it was all gobbledegook and I couldn’t make head or tail of it. My concentration was blown and I gave up trying in the end.

Yesterday, I thought I’d best address the problem, (a) because my newsletter is long overdue, and (b) because it needed fixing. But the Brevo advice and the Dreamhost advice made my head hurt.

So off I went in search of alternatives, and I even considered going back to Substack. (It’s all right – I read 2 articles and knocked that idea on the head.)

I liked the look of MailPoet, for obvious reasons. But it didn’t have good reviews and it seemed it didn’t do everything I want it to in the free version. If I find one I like that works and that’s easy to use, I have no problem paying an annual subscription. But I need it to be a good fit first.

In the end I came up with EmailOctopus. I found out later that it’s based in the United Kingdom, which pleased me, but again, I have no problem going abroad for services that actually work. The free version allows up to 2,500 subscribers and something like 10,000 emails per month. There are a few other things a premium membership would bring me, but for now, it suits my purposes.

Well, I spent what was left of the afternoon learning how to use it, setting up templates, discovering a few quirks, building the automated welcome system, making sure there’s an unsubscribe button, and generally testing it. I created my standalone subscription form, migrated my existing mailing list across (because, well, it’s my property), and fine-tuned the regular newsletter template.

Existing subscribers don’t need to resubscribe as you were all migrated over from Brevo. But in the next few days I will be sending out a newsletter from EmailOctopus, (a) to make sure it works, and (b) because it’s long overdue. I’ll announce when it’s gone out, but do check spam folders.

In the meantime, if you’re not already a subscriber and you’d like to be, the form is here (said she hopefully). I have yet to find out how to embed it in my sidebar.

Today, I really do need to get back onto my scheduled work. Otherwise, I’ll be working at the weekend with these 11-hour days I should be doing!

At least I managed to schedule this post on time today!

4 thoughts on “Wednesday 26 June 2024: Newsletter imminent

  1. That’s so funny — I was just talking about Mailpoet in yesterday’s comments.

    EmailOctopus sounds good – let me know how you like them.

    I was lucky when I had to do all the domain dohickeys with MailerLite — my host helped me with it, because MailerLite’s instructions were pretty useless. The customer service is one of the reasons I like A2 so much, even though they’re a little on the pricey side for me.

    1. So far, EmailOctopus is so much easier than Brevo, but it does the same things I want it to do, I think. It has done something unexpected already, but it’s too late to fix that now.

      I’m not totally happy with DreamHost, so I probably will look at changing that in the near future.

      1. Yeah, I’ve heard hit and miss things about DreamHost. Friends who only need their sites to do one thing are content; friends who have multiple facets to their work do not.

        I’ve been much happier on A2 than on any of the other hosts I tried (loathed 1&1, Homestead, and Green Geeks, and I won’t touch anything connected to GoDaddy). There are definitely bouts of frustration with A2, but they allow me a lot of leeway with domains/subdomains, different email addresses, etc. And they have gone up in price, but they often have special deals. Their customer service/tech support is really good, which is something I often need.

        1. I’ve been thinking about changing for a while. I think they get gradually more expensive but we have to do more work as a result. Maybe one day I’ll just do it in a fit of pique!

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