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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, September 12, 2014

If You Change It, They Might Leave

I had hoped that Curio City's big makeover would quickly bring a noticeable pickup in business -- in fact, with Christmas breathing down my neck, I was kind of counting on it. Instead this month's sales are running nearly 50% behind LY and beating the stuffing out of my YTD gain. To add more injury to injury, I just had to authorize a $95 return. I'm very likely going to have to carry a credit card balance again this month...which means that I have negative money just when I need to drop my Christmas orders.

Spam, however, is booming. The krakenenterprises.com email address that I get through GoDaddy suddenly started getting buried under 30-40 junk messages a day a couple of weeks ago. Virtually all of them are from the same sender (who puts serial numbers in the subject line). I've had this address for 10 years and don't want GoDaddy to go nuclear on it, so I'm just putting up with it until their heuristics catch up.

It pisses me off, though. Every time I hear Outlook's email chime, I check to see if I have a new order. In two days this week I had 68 spams without a single order.

You know what else pisses me off? Many of my customers never get email from Curio City, even when I'm replying to a contact that they initiated. I anybody has ever sent spam from the IP address of my shared server -- and they have -- then I am forever blackballed by some email services. Gmail moves my messages to a "commercial senders" folder that nobody ever checks. Needless to say, Curio City has never spammed anybody. Even my email newsletter is an opt-in list with just a couple of hundred members, and I don't think I've sent two newsletters all year.

Some Russian scammer can hammer my inbox 40 times a day while I can't send legitimate mail to actual customers. Small businesses face all kinds of hurdles. Some of them are so stupid you just want to throw in the towel.

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