This email automation is a waste of time

I’m clearly doing the whole email thing wrong…

I thought automations were meant to SAVE you time and effort.

Not for me.

Here’s what happened.

This weekend I set up a super-simple automation for the offer I just launched.

It was a simple one-email thing to give out the links to the training, slide deck, and spreadsheet template.

All I had to do was write the email, create a new automation, and link it to ThriveCart* to make sure anyone who bought it was automatically added.

Easy peasy.

* that’s an affiliate link by the way

That way, I could relax and enjoy my weekend, knowing everyone was going to get what they ordered.

Oh no. 

Because that would be too easy…


“It’s been 40 minutes since I ordered… and I haven’t got your email yet”…

“I think you broke something. Here’s my receipt, but I haven’t got an email…”

Gotta be honest, I’m not good at dealing with stuff like this. My immediate reaction is to panic, go into full-on cat-as-troph-i-sation mode, and offer everyone refunds (and my firstborn) to atone for me being a dumbass.

I presumed I made a mistake (usually a pretty safe conclusion to leap to).

I presumed wrong. A look inside my software revealed I’d set everything up perfectly. 

(I know. I’m more surprised than you!)

Seems most of the buyers had triggered the automation, but about a third hadn’t.

I did what I always do when tech goes gaga – I turned the automation off, then back on again and prayed that somehow these two magical button pushes had righted the system.



“Hey John, just to let you know I haven’t heard anything since I bought. Checked my spam folder and nothing there either…”.

I dive back into my software and see that, despite pushing two buttons, nothing has changed.

While most buyers are triggering the automation and getting the email… some aren’t.

And I have no clue what makes “some” people different.

I give up. I email support.

The good news is I get an almost immediate response.

The bad news is that it was probably the most unhelpful response ever.

I’m going to quote it here, so you can appreciate its uselessness:

It looks like some clients are having a small delay with some automations and subscribers that have been added to groups but are not triggering.” 

(That’s my emphasis. He didn’t underline)

There’s that word again…

Awe… some

Not only do I have no way of knowing which subscribers are going to get the email or not…

There’s nothing I can do about it, so I have to spend my day checking my inbox and dashing to my email software every time I get a sale, to see if they’re a “most” or a “some” buyer.

Not only that, but I now have to write ANOTHER email I can manually send to “some” people, apologising for the tech snafu.

There aren’t many instances where doing it the old-fashioned way – checking in every few hours and manually sending out emails – would save you time and mental agony…

… but this is one.

When the stuff hits the fan and it’s outside your control, there’s not much you can do about it.

The good thing is that, while I was panicking, vividly imagining angry customers, calling for my head…

They weren’t that bothered.

“No worries at all. Thanks for being so quick to reply – appreciate it!”

… was the kind of reply I got from my “apology” emails.

No one cared.

Turns out mistakes like these are a “bonus” chance to demonstrate your values and build the bond with your buyers even more.

It gives ‘em a bit more of an insight into who you are and what you stand for and – as long as you’re not a grade-A asshole – that’s never a bad thing.

Have a great week,