Went up to Santa Monica this morning to hang up the stuff for Menagerie, the September show at Bergamot Cafe. I’m so glad that the curator there has a deal with this one guy who hangs the stuff there every month, it would’ve been a nightmare hanging all the little pieces with all the L-hooks. And I suck at math so I know something would’ve gotten screwed up. Anyway, it looks great so I hope they get a great reception there. Another plus was being able to get their roast beef avocado sandwich for lunch–it’s the best.
I can finally report on my experience with the email marketing service Mail Chimp! In a word: AWESOME. I’ve been dragging my feet about getting on the HTML marketing email bandwagon because it seemed like it’d be too much work and possibly too much expense, but Mail Chimp proved me wrong. I did some rudimentary research before getting into this–I’ve noticed that a lot of people used Constant Contact so that was the first site I looked at. Very comparable to Mail Chimp, the only difference being that Mail Chimp offered pay-as-you-go plans. Since my mailing list is about 200 people and I really only send out quarterly, the pay-as-you-go made more sense to me. I bought 300 credits for $9, whereas the cheapest monthly plan is $10/month. But I can easily upgrade whenever I want. The math was the main deciding factor, but a close second was just how darn cute and well-designed Mail Chimp’s site was! See Exhibit A:
It’s also chock-full of humor, an example of which can be seen in the title of this blog post. I love it when I log in and see the changing messages of the chimp in the upper right corner:
Seriously, they sold me with this stuff. And I’m sure I wasn’t alone. Well, it’s one thing to be cute and clever, but does it work? Yes! Their email setup interface is as easy to use as this blog and there’s a ton of helpful tips everywhere you turn. Probably the hardest/most tedious part was getting your mailing list into the address book. I was able to import addresses from my Gmail, but not from a particular group, so I had to hand-weed some addresses, but it was worth the effort.
So, after crafting my first email campaign, I sent it out last night. I’d actually scheduled for it to go out at 10pm, but it must be EST because I noticed that it went out much earlier than that. That’s something that wasn’t clear to me, but it wasn’t a big deal. The real fun is looking at the reports: you can see how many people opened the mail, how many clicked, WHO clicked, etc etc. Very helpful information! Now I see what the fuss is about with this kind of email marketing. And if people want to unsubscribe it makes it super-easy for them and me. Overall, I’m very pleased with this service.
So I’m busy working on animal paintings for my next show, Menagerie (on view all through September ’09 at Bergamot Cafe in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica). It’s been a lot of fun, with more freedom of materials and execution. Since these are such small pieces (7.5″ x 11″) they almost feel like working in a sketchbook. It kind of frees me up from feeling they’re “important” and allows for more play. I do like how they’re coming out, too. I’ll upload some photos in a bit. Still working on my August newsletter–been such a procrastinator! But I also do need some crucial info confirmation before sending out the letter.
Meanwhile, my friend/former teacher Greg Spalenka is doing a summer sweepstakes thing where you could win one of his original paintings! It’s a good deal–you should check it out! He was one of the most influential artists in my life and I’m glad we’re still able to keep in touch. The internet makes things a lot easier, of course.
My good friend Steph Calvert (of heartsandlaserbeams.com) just did a write-up about me for her OC Weekly arts/crafts blog–so cool! She’s someone I met a while back through a blog (I forget whose, now). She happened to leave a comment which I thought was funny so I wrote a comment about her comment and started calling her “The Other Steph.” Or did I start calling myself The Other Steph? Oh well, after exchanging some more comments she invited me to a short shorts party at her sister’s house and the rest is history. We ended up running into each other again when I started knitting and discovered that she was already a member of the Long Beach Stitch n Beach group when I joined. Kismet! We’ve been fast friends ever since and she’s one of the coolest people I know (and not justs because she plugs my stuff). I’m going to be super sad when she moves to Georgia in a couple of years. Oh well, we’ll always have Long Beach!
In other news, I decided to finally join one of those email marketing services. After comparing Constant Contact and Mail Chimp, I decided to go with the chimp because not only do they have slightly cheaper basic monthly rate, they also have a pay-as-you-go option, which is great for me because I really don’t send out that many marketing emails. But maybe this will encourage me to send out more! Plus, I love the look and feel of the Mail Chimp site. They are very funny people.
Time sure goes by fast when you’re not updating your blog 😛 The art show was this past Saturday, and it was a good time. Here are some pics and a link to the new work shown here.