It’s been cold outside.

Note: to any of you who got the Book List notification, it wasn’t supposed to go out until Jan. 22. I think I got the scheduling part right now, so I apologize for spamming your email today. Thanks for being patient with me on this.

Note 2: Okay, folks. I’m a dummy. I forgot to turn off the notifications for MailerLite. This should not happen again. You should only be getting one notification from now on. I knew I forgot something yesterday. I apologize and you all can kick me later.

Many years ago, I used Icegram Express when it was known as Email Subscribers on my site. People who signed up via Icegram would receive an email every time I wrote a post and it worked well. Then, something went wrong and it wouldn’t send to hotmail anymore. So, I did some investigating and found MailerLite solved all my needs except for one. I made the switch as I felt I could deal with that one thing.

For the next few years, MailerLite worked well. The only drawback was I had to schedule a time for the posts to go out. I don’t remember why, but I picked 9 a.m. For some reason, when the clocks changed, that time changed to 10 a.m. Sometimes, it was 8 a.m. I never did figure out how to fix that either. The frustrating part for me was if I wrote a post at 3 p.m., it was not going to send until the next day. I put up with it because I wanted my readers on hotmail to get notifications.

Well, a few months ago, MailerLite decided they were switching to a new format on February 1. I watched many step-by-step videos. It’s a confusing mess. I have tried for two months to shift from “classic” to “new,” but there was always something I didn’t do right.

If I read all the documentation correctly, I can keep the classic, but no one new can sign up. I never did figure it out, but I think I needed two lists and a new plugin for my website.

Then, I needed to get my website authenticated, except the only way to do that is switch everything from my webhost to the place I registered my website with. I think. I don’t know because I keep imploding and/or freaking out when I try to figure this out.

All I wanted was a way to have people sign up to get a notification when I write something. I have spent hours trying to sort this out. MailerLite claimed it would take a few minutes.

So, this morning, I downloaded the CSV file from MailerLite with my subscribers’ emails. In the most layman’s terms, the CSV has a list of all my subscribers. It can be exported and then imported someplace else and is used in a lot of different ways, including email lists.

Anyway, I went into my website and reactivated Icegram Express. I deleted all the email accounts in there since it hadn’t been used in almost four years and imported the current CSV from MailerLite. Then, I sent out the test email, which seems to be working fine. The best news is that the hotmail emails aren’t bouncing back to me. Yay.

I also have two important things back. First, my email list is in-house and only on my website. I use WordPress for my site, so Icegram is a WordPress plugin, but the list is only located on my website. Privacy-wise, this was always a concern for me with using MailerLite because I didn’t control what happens with my information and my subscribers emails on their end.

Second, my posts go out within an hour of posting, starting immediately. I have the settings set so emails go out in 10-minute intervals until they are all sent. I no longer have to worry about scheduling, which is a feature I don’t like anyway. MailerLite would let me send immediately, but I would have to pay $9.99 a month for it. So, yeah, no.

If everything goes well over the next four or five posts, I will delete the MailerLite plugin on my site. Then, I will manually delete all information from MailerLite and then delete my MailerLite account. I think everything is working well, but I want to make sure everything is good before I start deleting things.

Icegram also offers two pro accounts, which I haven’t investigated properly yet, but I believe they are for people who have newsletters and need analytics as well as some other fancy stuff I don’t really need. I just want folks to get an email that says, “Hey, Irene wrote something. Go read it.”

Hopefully, it all works out and I can go back to being happy about how things work and focus on writing. So thanks for putting up with a couple of emails in one day from me. I really needed to get this sorted and appreciate you all putting up with me.

I can say my next post will be about my 2024 book list. After that, I haven’t decided on my next topic. I’ve got some work for my job to catch up on as well. I need to make 5-6 phone calls today and hopefully people will say yes to me writing stories about them. I have four stories I need to write. If I recall correctly, I only need another 6-7 stories to have everything sorted for the February issue, but that’s still a lot of writing to get done. Work has to come first because I like money, food and a roof over my head.

Until next time, I hope everyone is staying warm. I’m done with the -21F weather for this year.