First let me say that sometimes a business needs to change in order to grow. I can understand this, and that's alright. Rates need to go up, restrictions need to be put in place, and freebies kept to a minimum. If we gave everything away for free or kept everything at the same price, we'd go out of business quickly.
However, if you are running a service business, it is NOT ACCEPTABLE to change your prices without warning. Which is exactly what YMLP (also known as "Your Mailing List Provider") did this week.
On Monday we got an email that said "Effective from April 1 2007, the number of e-mails that can be sent in a free account is limited to 1,000 a month". Ummmm what? That was YESTERDAY! I was a little upset and thought, alright well looks like I have to upgrade all my lists to the $15 for 3 months like we pay on a few of the larger lists. Upset me a bit because I can't always justify paying for the smaller lists because they don't make as much. Although yesterday was when I really got mad when I realized they changed the prices as well. Now each list would cost me $10/mo, which has to be paid $30 in advance. The total cost had I upgraded it all? $90 up front. I THINK NOT.
So Anita and I are switching everything over to Aweber
where it should have been in the first place. Lesson learned on trying to cut costs. Although it just makes me so mad we were given no warning what so ever. In fact because of this mess, I've lost a hoard of subscribers on those little lists. Sure they needed to be cleaned, but this is nuts. Let me explain....
My recipe newsletter has about 700. I know the list is somewhat old, and really did need to be cleaned up a bit. Unfortunately Aweber won't even let them it be imported because it was in that bad of shape. Never mind the fact there was a few hundred clean addresses on it. But no I can't move it over, nor can I even send a notice from the original list thanks to ymlp making the change without warning (I sent out a notice to this list right before I found out about the change, blowing my limit in one sweep). One newsletter I have to start from scratch on.
Next there's the newsletter I keep from the candle newsletter. Those address were imported without problem, BUT, they all have to resubscribe. Out of 900+, about 150 have made it over so far. I was pretty surprised the list was still even that active. The kicker though is the resubscribe notice is hitting bulk folders. How do I know this? Because MY notice was sent there. LOVELY! I don't know how many active readers didn't get the notice. :( Luckily though, I haven't used my 1,000 email limit on ymlp on that list just yet. Although because I was looking at payment options and clicked a certain button, it won't even let me downgrade back to the free. Now it says I have to pay before I can send out. Ummm NO, I will NOT pay for 3 months only to say "go resubscribe here". I sent a letter to support, but I bet they are getting tons of hate mail right now. I could be awhile before I hear back from them.
This is all just an absolute mess, and we cleaning our list the hard way apparently. The plus side to all this is Aweber
has got some great tools and tracking that ymlp didn't have. So it's well worth the $20/mo to host all the lists together. There's some interesting features on Aweber, like we can now see how many are opening the email, and which links are clicked. We can also see what pages they subscribe from, which I know is going to be a huge plus. Lots of tracking options that will come in extremely useful in the long run.
Above all I just wish we would have been given more time to move things over, then we wouldn't have been in such a horrible spot this week!