Were you one of the “lucky” 14.2%?

There was a colossal screw-up with Monday’s email.

(If you’re one of the 482 people wondering, “What email?”, don’t worry, THAT’S the screw up!)

And – for once – “What did you do this time, John?” wasn’t the problem.

I played my part to perfection. I did everything within my power to make sure your inbox was blessed with the subject line “I’ll have a Brazilian please, Gran”

I had the email lined up, scheduled and planned to go out. 

But as I sat in the Accident and Emergency department with my wife (another story for another email), checking my email… I couldn’t see it.

“That’s funny… I can’t see my email in my inbox this morning”, I said compassionately to the wife… while she was in blinding agony.

(Again, another time…)

(Subscribing to your own email list is like adding “write to-do list” to your to-do list – it doesn’t mean diddly, but it puffs up your ego a bit)

No biggie. I’ll check it when we get back home.

When I got back though, I was able to quickly confirm “Holt Error” wasn’t the problem.

After three cups of tea and a Jaffa Cake to recover from the shock, I looked deeper…

For some reason, my email software sent my email to only 14.2% of our glorious little email club.

The other (arrrgghhhh – I hate doing maths on the fly) 85.8% missed out on some morning Holt action in their inbox.

(Line blatantly stolen from the classic “Carry On Bouncing” email marketing-related movie)

Turns out 66%* of the Terminator movies were right – tech was the screw up.

* I’ve not seen all of ‘em, so that’s a guess.

As I’m writing this, my “I’ll have a Brazilian please, Gran” email is still somewhere in limbo. And since I’m not sure if my software will kick into gear and send it, I’m going to hang back.

Once I know for sure it’s not going anywhere, I’ll resend it so you can fully appreciate the image of me being waxed by my eldest female relative’s appallingly weak wrists and not-so-supple fingers.

Why am I telling you about an email you probably haven’t seen?

Because of what I noticed most during this whole “what the hell has gone wrong?” episode.

How little I cared.

In the past, I’d be sweating buckets. My heart would be pounding out of my chest and I’d be catastrophising the hell out of everything – doing anything and everything I could to make the pain stop RIGHT THIS SECOND.

Little things like this would ruin my day.

And for what?

I’m the only person on the planet who knows there’s a problem.

I’m the only one stressing and worrying.

(I’m very annoyed I couldn’t find a Chesney Hawkes gif)

Those that got the email, got the email. Those that didn’t, didn’t.

So… how did I go from nervous, sweaty, panicky “OH MY GOD, I NEED TO FIX THIS NOW!!!!!!” to not giving a monkey’s?

What made the difference?


When you get into a habit of regularly emailing your people, niggles like these go away.

Actually, they don’t go anywhere – you do.

The more you email, the further back you step. And the further back you step, the more you get a sense of what REALLY matters.

When it’s your very first email, every little thing means everything.

Every unsubscribe and unopen feels like a dagger through your heart.

When it’s your 13,253rd email… not so much.

The Stoics have a practical approach for scary and new things:

Imagine you’re doing it for the 1,000th time.

It’s not the first email you’re sending, it’s number 1,000. And you know what? You’re gonna send another 1,000 more.

(Probably because you picked up “Endless Emails” and are full to bursting with things to write about)

It’s not about not giving a toss. You absolutely SHOULD give a toss. This is email marketing after all. You’ll never do anything more important with your life than this.

(No, really. I’ve seen what you get up to in the evenings. And it ain’t healthy)

It’s about realising, that the more you do something, the better perspective you have of all these tiny, little niggles.

John Holt