Some words on emails and lost unsubscribers. I have updated to a new mailinglist system, I’m now using Mailchimp to host all our data and send out the emails, which goes out a few times a year. You can sign up here, if you dare…
During the shift to the new system I lost three years of unsubscriptions. For some of you that means, you had unsubscribed, but now you are re-subscribed. I have no way of knowing who unsubscribed because of reasons. For this I’m actually very very sorry, and I’m taking steps to make sure its not happening again.
Here is an explanation of what happened and what I’m doing better:
For more than 10 years I used Mad Mimi as my mailinglist provider. All my contacts assembled over the years were stored in their systems. When individuals unsubscribed, they were put in a suppression list, which is a database of addresses to NEVER email. (So for example if you unsub, then buy another release later, your email is not ever added again, the system remembers to never email you). We last sent out an email in November 2018 upon the Black Anorak EP release. Then, as usual, I didn’t log in to the Mad Mimi system for a few months, because I only log in whenever there is an actual email to send out.
During these few months, the registered credit card on file with Mad Mimi, my regular payment, expired. As credit cards tend to do. Mad Mimi did not notify me that the card expired. 30 days after the credit card expired, Mad Mimi just deleted all my data, again without notifying me. All subscribers, including the suppression list. When I prepared for the current Wuxia release a few weeks ago in May, I couldn’t log in, no information given from the system, and when a customer representative figured out what had happened, they could only confirm, all data was gone.
I did take yearly backups of the Mad Mimi audience, but what I didn’t think of, was that I should also take backups of the suppression list. Duh. I also have backups of most contacts from all other systems like Bandcamp and previous Ugress systems, so I was able to re-assemble most parts of the mailinglist. But I’ve lost anyone who signed up directly on ugress.com after 2016, and more painfully, I’ve lost the suppression list, so I have no way to know who have choosen to opt out. This is super embarassing.
The mailinglist is the most important tool I have for reaching everyone, particularly now when everyone is having social media fatigue. It is the most long term and stable way of communicating new content. I always make sure my emails actually gives you something; a track, a video, a live show, there is always a real reason for reaching out. So I’ve made the difficult, but I think right choice of sending out another email, which I know will also reach people who expressedly stated they do not want it. Its okay if you are mad. I totally get it. Please unsubsribe again, and know that this time, i’m using a host provider that will notify me when credit cards are exipiring, and I am now backing up the full audience PLUS the suppression list on a monthly basis.
If you are curious what my system knows and stores about you, it is: Email address, first and last name (if known), and the date signed up. I do not track link clicks. If you are on the mailinglist, it is because we either communicated directly, or you signed up at a Ugress website mailinglist, live show mailinglist or the old web commenting system, or you downloaded a track for free in exchange for your email address, or you purchased a Bandcamp download and accepted mailinglist emails during the payment process. Your data has never been lost or sold or shared with anyone else.
Thanks for understanding, if you love living dangerously please do sign up for the mailinglist, and now lets focus on using computers to make and play music.