Spring detox (further proof that I’m so basic?)

I love tulips: I love their beautiful simplicity, the fact that they herald the arrival of Spring, the variety of colors they come in, the fact that the financial health of an entire country rose and fell on their backs. (Do they have backs? They certainly bend over rather quickly once put in a vase. Anyway, you can read all about the tulip empire in Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire.) 

tulipsImagine my dismay when I brought home the first bunch of this Spring and my teen opined, “You’re so basic.”

Which of course prompted me to run to Urban Dictionary to figure out whether that was a good or bad quality. If you don’t visit the Urban Dictionary site, proceed with caution. Some of what you find there cannot be unseen.

This time I got off easy. Well, sort of: “only interested in things mainstream, popular, and trending; used to describe someone devoid of defining characteristics that might make a person interesting, extraordinary, or just simply worth devoting time or attention to.” Ouch.

So this week, I decided to embrace my basic-ness and hop on the detox bandwagon. Detoxes and cleanses are sooo hot these days.

Only I’m doing it very briefly and with a twist (not the citrus kind). Sorry, if you’re looking for green juice or smoothie recipes, you’ve come to the wrong place.

I’m talking about detoxing your email inbox. And I’m giving you a peek into the business side of things.

From an entrepreneur’s perspective, an engaged, well-cultivated, well-curated email list is the holy grail: social media platforms come and go—who could have imagined that even the mighty Facebook would falter—and anyone who ties their fortune to their social media followers needs to be aware that if a platform goes away, their contacts do, too.

Completely as an aside, did you know that if you are looking to follow the conventional publishing route, one of the first questions an agent or publisher might ask you is, “How many people are on your email list?” The correct answer is, “More than 10,000.” Unless you’re some sort of celebrity, anything less will get you dismissed with a “Come back and see me when you’re over 10K.”

Used properly, an email list can be a valuable business asset. Used improperly, it’s less than worthless. As an entrepreneur, it’s tricky to find that perfect balance between nurturing your tribe and selling to them.

What’s it like on the receiving end? How many emails do you get a day? And how many of them do you just delete without even opening?

Yeah, me too.

email marketing

Few things makes me crazier than someone who abuses my email inbox, and to me, “abuse” is multiple emails weekly—or even daily. I realize that this is fairly subjective: some people aren’t bothered by it because they can simply delete without opening, or use Unroll.me or some other email management system.

There are two ways to immediately get me to unsubscribe from a list:

  1. Multiple emails daily when someone is launching a product or program. I get that we humans need to see a call to action between 8–10 times before we act on it, but I intensely dislike the frantic urgency of these multiple messages, and I feel as though sometimes it’s just poor planning. As one of my friends likes to say, poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
  2. The disingenuous “Oops, I made a mistake in my last email” email. I get it, mistakes happen. We all have those “oh-no seconds” (like nanoseconds, only shorter) when we realize that we forgot to attach something or include a link. But when someone’s normal tactic is to do this for every launch and the second email contains more copy than the first in addition to the “forgotten” bit of info, I find it insulting to my intelligence.

I really hope that you find my weekly emails valuable enough to open on a somewhat regular basis. I try to provide valuable content for you on your health journey and keep marketing tasteful and to a minimum.

Based on my email analytics, my “open rate” is double the average, which makes me hopeful that you appreciate (or at least are amused by) my ramblings.

And yet, my list has a lot of people on it from a time when my business was much more focused on cooking and secondary food nutrition, and I suspect that in some cases, my weekly musings may be going straight into the trash.

(WHAT? I can track whether you open my emails? Yes, welcome to the somewhat creepy world of email list managing platforms.)

It feels counter-intuitive to intentionally remove people from my list after trying so hard to build it—and it also feels cleansing. I don’t want to be putting bad energy out into people’s inboxes!

So for several reasons—changes in the laws about email lists, concerns about the safety of information submitted online, and an effort to reduce costs associated with using MailChimp—I am “detoxing” my email list over the next two months.

This week, I have what I hope is a simple call to action:

  • If you want to get or stay subscribed to my emails, please visit http://eepurl.com/dsFLl5 and fill in the information there. This will allow me to send you certain content and not other based on who you are. As a thank you, you will receive an invitation to download my new e-book, SOUL Food.
  • If you prefer to unsubscribe, please feel free to do so by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email or by replying to this email and sending me one word: unsubscribe. Of course, if you’d like, you can let me know why you are unsubscribing and/or what you’d like more or less of in my emails. I’ll be sorry to see you go—and I completely understand!

A couple notes:

  • If you choose not to take any action, I will be migrating you to my new list as of July 1, 2018: you will likely not notice any changes, but you will be on the “general” list that gets all emails (and really, don’t you want to reduce the amount of email you have to sift through?)
  • If you’ve already gotten an email saying that I’ve noticed you don’t open my missives and you are curious as to why (because you really do read my emails), it’s highly likely that you are subscribed to my list with more than one address. Check the “to” field and see whether this is possibly the case.

Sorry if you expected to find the definitive guide to end all detox guides here. If you want my view on detoxes, let’s just say that in my opinion, eating mostly plant-based, whole, SOLE foods 80% of the time over time will do much more for you than a 5-day program that leaves you hungry enough to eat your family pet. And if you’re determined to do a detox, don’t do it with anyone who has selling you a supplement or any other product as part of their agenda.