I have a big mess on my hands as I write this.

Some of you will be getting a postcard – hundreds actually with special news. For those of you reading this who purchased my “E’s of Selling Art System – Guidebook, Worksheets, and Flashcards” it naturally means I had your physical mailing address and so I put your name on a label and put that on the very special postcard – U.S. addresses at least.

SIDEBAR: Why snail mail, Mckenna?

I am so embarrassed to admit this, but I, (yes, me!) the one who yells from the rooftop and writes copious articles (and an e-course) telling you to build your email list – was personally lax about getting emails into my lists from those who purchased the E’s Guidebook.

Seriously, so many people were buying (at the beginning of my selling days) directly from my emails that it seemed like the vast majority were already on my list. I would go into my program and start to enter their email and they were already there! I got lazy over time and well…

As months and months went by, I was sure that most people were “probably” from my list and since I put special sections in the back of the guidebook with instructions to share and join my list, I convinced myself that it was “good enough.” I told myself that anyone who wanted to be on my list probably was.

Eventually, when I thought about investing time into discovering who was and wasn’t on my list so I could start adding the unsubscribed people, I realized that most of them would be “cold” leads. And I just kept putting off creating a list for a cold start template email introduction to my clients of the guidebook.

Can anyone relate to this silly line of thinking and seemingly incessant procrastination? What’s the old saying, “Do as I say and not as I do?” Meanwhile, I have no excuses for more recent sales and so I am going back and adding everyone from the past six months of sales in my next free moment. I swear.

Now comes the really tragic part of this story

After weeks of figuring out how to do the podcast, how to edit it, how to publish it online and how to create the RSS feed and so much more, I had to figure out how to announce my podcast for the best possible launch. That is when the whole postcard thing came into my plans.

I had put many hours into my Canva Design program creating a series of postcards (for a separate project to be announced soon) and I realized I should just send the E’s Guidebook owners a postcard!

The first one I designed had a blank space for me to “write my message”. LOL. When that shipment arrived, I got my gold pen out I started to write my message. I quickly realized that between my sloppy handwriting and arthritic issues this was not a good plan. So (a little later than I should have) I bit the bullet and ordered a whole new set of postcards with the message pre-printed. This delayed things a bit, but it was the only rational thing to do.

It meant things were a little behind timing-wise, but I was just going to have to work faster, longer, and harder to get everything in place in time. The calendar was a mess by the time I got my new set of postcards. And as you will learn when you look at the pic of the postcard, that caused me to do a small correction.

Corrections or not, yesterday I “hit send”. I gleefully handed my huge stack of postcards to my letter carrier and blew a kiss into the wind.

OMG: Today, I discovered that the “bit.ly” shortened address on the card is wrong. Not the address, just the lack of capitalization. Unfortunately, with my printed card, recipients are being sent directly to – and this is really not at all a good thing – the sign-up/landing page for (unbelievable but true!) Constant Contact! What??? Oh NO! No no no….!

Here’s the correct one: http://bit.ly/CTCT but I used lowercase “ctct” and the lowercase is used by Constant Contact! Who knew?! Darn and double darn and a few other words fell out of my mouth.

Timing a marketing campaign AFTER a massive failure

This was planned down to the hour of the day as to when the full announcements would all come together and then even more mistakes happened. My podcast was actually going to be “released” by the time these “late” issue cards landed. That meant that many who were getting the postcard who are on my list would get the announcement in the email and then they would get this postcard that was incorrect. Therefore, I wanted everyone who gets the postcard to know that it’s up and ready! Here’s the actual postcard with my (hundreds) of hand-corrected news. I added the “Darn!” and the arrows to the photo for you to see my two issues.

marketing is a verb but it needs coordination

And so, as you can see, I messed up. (I still am shocked that Constant Contact used the same short URL but in lower case!) My “Rube Goldberg Machine” is now officially hung up at some crucial junctions.

And since that is true, the next phase of my BIG news is all out of whack, too.  I have been scrambling non-stop trying to get this website up to date with all the changes that are coming. (I have so much to share!)

So should I just blurt it out?

Should I just ignore all the planning? Or should I just push everything back and get a new set of cards with the corrected info into the mail? Costly? Yes. Appropriate? I think so. It’s the right thing to do for my guidebook customers. Some of them will have NO way of knowing the ctct should be CTCT and that will make me a bit sleepless going forward. I will buy pre-paid postcards from the Post office and use a label on the front to “clarify” my mistake which I will design in Canva. I will get those out in the mail tomorrow.

However, what I realized while walking my dog this morning is that no matter how hard you plan, a hurricane can come and steal hours of your time away from your schedule. A holiday can make your shipment arrive late. The printing company (different and exciting project!) can have a loss of their internet for three days causing another unexpected delay. All of this means other delays in another phase of my even bigger “project”.

Shortcuts don’t cut it

So, while it is always tempting to cut to the chase and start listing all the news that I am going to be dripping out in the days and weeks ahead, I need to remain calm and control my anxious mind.

If there is one takeaway in all of this it is my intention to share with each of you the value of marketing using long-term planning strategies. I thought I had done that. I should have had many parts of this in place a month ago for the “launch” I had planned for this week.

I did not give myself enough of a cushion. I had a plan, but I missed one deadline, botched another and am now scrambling. Fortunately: I know you all still love me. I debated opening up this way, but I felt my credibility is not that fragile and I know you all come here to look over my shoulder to learn not just from my successes, but also my failures.

Speaking of Success! One of the cats is now out of the bag!

Per the postcard announcement – the “Find Loving Homes for Your Art” podcast is “ready”. LOL. In lieu of my messes, however, the link to where they are living will not be announced as was planned this week. I need to push my complete announcement into next week.

When you do click on the link in the email next week, you will find the first one (before I had a name even!) that was already on this site, Lessons from a Seven-Year-Old Artist and two new ones added to that. I will be adding a new podcast every week going forward. Big commitment, but it’s what I think will be best for now.

That means: Stay Tuned!

Keep an eye on your inbox. And if you are not already on my email list, now is the time. Right now. Just click and sign up.

Wow… it just occurred to me as I was adding the URL to the above link: I wonder how many times I have included that signup URL and accidentally sent people to the wrong landing page! Darn. I need a hug. LOL!