Lesson Learned: Don't make this classic newsletter blunder

Major boo-boo on this second of three emails in a welcome sequence designed to clean and transition my old email list. Any guesses?

I typo'd the link. Twice.

The email was useless. Fluff on the wind. Whatever traffic it was driving didn't wind up on my website.

I could have sworn I tried every link in the test email but apparently not.

Lesson Learned: Test every link, every time.

Also the subject line sucked. It was too long. Didn't stand out. Got dot-dot-dotted in email browsers. It might've worked without the parentheticals. A lesson I've been learning for more than a decade:

When in doubt, leave (parentheses) out!

Have you made mistakes like this in your emails?

Tell us about it in the comments.


Followup from last week (and another comic)


Did you get my last email? If not, no biggie. Catch up or here’s a quick recap:

Once upon a time I was a renowned cocktail bartender in Richmond...

Then I quit.

You’re getting this email because a long time ago the bar manager at RogueRVA cocktail bar absconded with his own email list and it got mixed in with his Quillpower friends and clients list.

That was me. I wrote the Rogue Revue until the place closed. Sorry for my clumsiness.

Not ringing a bell? Sorry again. Didn’t mean to yank you from your email stupor.

Listen, I know your inbox is inundated so don’t feel bad if your first instinct is to run away. I’d never hold you against your will. Scroll on down and unsubscribe.

Go ahead. I won’t look.

Still there?

Brilliant. I knew you were one of the smart ones.

Oh yes, speaking of SMART—I promised last time to share my secret to keeping any New Year’s resolution. Well it turned out longer than I expected so I put it in a post.

In the meantime I’ll tell you a related story about my friend Erik.

Some time ago Erik’s company CoffeeBooster earned its millionth dollar. He celebrated by chartering a jet to the Bahamas and surrounding himself with strippers and blow, riding jetskis and dolphins and—

Of course none of that’s true...he took his family out to dinner, drank some wine, and got back in the saddle.

A million in sales isn’t that much after all. But this two-comma milestone did mean it was time to take CoffeeBooster to the next level.

To Erik that meant less time at the helm and more work-life balance. He was due to travel more, due to start his family with a brilliant and fascinating woman. Due to move on to his next entrepreneurial project. He needed an operations manager.

So he decided he needed to write 2 blog articles per week for 6 months so he could get ahead enough on his content marketing to focus on his COO search for the second half of the year.

When it comes to goals, Erik is a total SMARTASS. (didn’t read my post yet? I’ll wait…) So he told me his parameters and set his stakes at $1000, which he Venmo’d me in escrow.

And then he got writing.

Now every Sunday he announces his topics and progress, and sometimes sends me a draft for critique. Six weeks in, he’s six posts ahead and going strong. Regularity has sharpened his voice, and consistency has chopped his completion time in half.

Because there’s no excuse. He has to write every week. (Or else lose a grand and worse—bear my silent judgement in his heart)

Moral of the story?

SMARTASS goals work.

How are your resolutions doing? Still got any?

Quillfully yours,


PS  – I’m feeling loved, so I’m going to send you a present in the next email. Look for it next week!

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