For the longest while I've been trying to get round to producing a regular newsletter, and now I'm finally doing it! Up to now I've been sending occasional postcards to my mailing list whenever I have a show coming up, but I want to keep in touch more regularly with an email newsletter.
My mailing list of 200 is mostly street addresses, so I designed my newsletter in Word, and sent a hard copy, including post-paid postcards for people to return to me, telling me if they wanted to subscribe to the new email newsletter. Not difficult but very time consuming, all that printing of envelopes, newsletters and postcards, stuffing and stamping of envelopes. I thought doing the email version would be a breeze compared to that. Not!
I decided to use Mail Chimp. Their features seem to be good, and very important for right now, they have a FREE option. I thought it would be an easy matter of cutting and pasting from my Word document into Mail Chimp, adding some more images and links, and voila I'd be done! Well I mis-read the MC instructions. Only after a huge amount of time spent designing, formatting and adding to what I had pasted from Word, I found out that Word doesn't play nice at all with MC, and inserts all sorts of junk code into the email which screws it up when you send it. The nice man at MC Support made the appropriate pity noises and said that the only way to fix the problem would be to scrap ALL I had done so far and start over, typing directly into MC's editor, no cut/paste. Well it's a wonder I have any hair left on my head!
I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say the whole learning curve has been way steeper than I had expected, seeing that there were many tweaks and quirks in MC I had to become familiar with, plus I don't speak HTML. They say you don't need any HTML knowledge, but it sure would help, as fonts and styles kept changing on me without my knowing what I did! Anyway I think I'm almost done now, just have to run MC's 'Inbox Inspection' to make sure that my email looks OK in the main email servers. Can't wait to see what calamities the Inspector will dig up..... not that I'd know how to fix any that arise...
I haven't done much in my studio lately, so I'll leave you with a previous painting, 'Boat Party'. How I wish I were there now!