By: Shannon Trimboli
About a week and a half ago KSBA experienced some growing pains that resulted in the temporary suspension of our news emails. Since then, I’ve been impatiently waiting for the opportunity to let everyone know what happened and how we are addressing it.
We are currently using MailChimp to send our KSBA news emails. MailChimp has a free service as long as you have less than 2,000 people on your email list and you don’t send more than 12,000 emails in a month. We’ve never come close to those limits – until now.
Our email list has been growing and we now have just over 1,000 people subscribed to receive our news emails. A few of those subscribers have indicated that they would like to receive a single email with all of the news from the week. However, the vast majority of our subscribers prefer to receive emails as soon as the news is posted to our website. The fact that our list has grown so large in a relatively short period of time is exciting and I am honored that so many people find our emails so valuable.
As many of you know, we are also in the middle of the busy season for bee schools and related events. Because there are so many events occurring right now, I was posting news articles every other day in January instead of the typical 1-3 times a week. We have always had several thousand emails to spare at the end of the month, so the idea of running out of emails never crossed my mind.
If you are doing the math, I think you can see the problem. On Jan. 25, I received an email message saying that we didn’t have enough free emails left to continue sending the news articles for the rest of the month. After consulting with the KSBA officers, we made two decisions. First, we decided to temporarily suspend our emails until our account reset on Feb. 3. Second, we decided to temporarily change the frequency that the emails are sent out.
I already have every other day posts scheduled for most of February, which sets us up for the same scenario as we encountered in January. To avoid running out of emails again, everyone signed up for the “as soon as it is posted” email option will temporarily only receive two emails a week – one on Monday and one on Friday. Those emails will contain all of the news articles from the past several days. The people signed up for the “once a week” option will receive their weekly summaries on Wednesday like they always have.
Once we go back to our typical 1-3 posts a week, I’ll resume the “as soon as it is posted” option for everyone that prefers that method. I anticipate that will happen in March or April and will make the change as soon as possible. I know many people look forward to the frequent emails and I don’t want to delay that option any longer than necessary.
KSBA is obviously growing, both in terms of our email list and the amount of information we have to share with beekeepers across the state. This means that we are out-growing our free email service options and will likely have to move to a paid service by this time next year. As we make that move, we want to be sure we choose the right service for us, not one we chose because it was convenient and we needed to do something fast. By making the decisions that we made, we are giving ourselves time to research our options so we can be better informed to make that “right” decision.
The news articles will continue to post on our website and on the KSBA Facebook page, every other day or so through at least February. It is just the email frequency that is temporarily changing. I encourage you to take a look at the website or Facebook page to see the posts that you missed since Jan. 25.