Update: As of 2019 this tactic no longer works, it was broken as Infusionsoft updated the way their links redirected – when I (and others) asked them to restore this functionality they indicated that they a) didn’t know it was working that way, and b) had never intended this to be a feature. I still have my fingers crossed that maybe they’ll enable this ability again, but I’m not holding my breath. *sad trombone*
This is the story of how a broken link was able to fight against all odds, and scrape it’s way into becoming a learning lesson, a training video, and ultimately a blog post.
If you send a lot of emails, this story might sound familiar. It starts off embarrassing for me, and then hopefully ends up putting a new ninja trick on your tool belt (Jump to the video if you can’t wait).
You see, I’ve been a little busy lately. The usual work stuff, yes, but also some travel (three national parks in 14 days), and then most recently Sara and I moved. We’re still in San Diego, but we moved from an apartment to a house.
The truth, as you’ve probably noticed, is that between all this commotion I haven’t focused on my blog as much as I usually like to. Yeah, that’s an excuse, but as I’m sure many of you can attest, creating unique content is exhausting.
And sometimes, like when you’re hiking in Death Valley without wifi, it’s just plain impossible.
So, between unpacking boxes and mounting TVs late on Sunday night, I found a few minutes to edit and format a blog post that my good friend Paul Sokol had written for me. I created the tracking links with all my google UTM parameters, and I scheduled up an email for Monday morning, and various social posts for the week (this is what I use to create my links).
Then, Monday morning rolls around, and I head off to a Chiropractic appointment, and sure enough, by the time I check into my inbox at 10:00 am I have a dozen people kindly informing me that my email that went out is littered with broken links. (By the way, thanks to everyone who helped point it out, I appreciate you for taking the time!)
So now I’ve got a predicament. I’ve sent an email to all my blog subscribers and I’m driving them/you to a broken link – a 404 page. That’s a real #facepalm moment. And I certainly didn’t do Paul, or his charity, and favors by making it hard for people to get to his link (sorry Paul).
(Silver lining: At least my 404 page is a lead capture. Proof.)
So, I’ve got a few options.
Option A: I can send a follow-up “oops” email with the right link. You know, they say “oops” style emails have dramatically higher open rates because people wanna see what you messed up…
Option B: Or, I can bust open my bag of ninja tricks and go fix the broken link. Did you know that you can change the URL a link is pointing to, even if it’s already in their inbox?
Being the marketing nerd that I am, I chose option B. I fixed the link. I recorded a video of me doing it. I created a “learning moment”. And now I’ve turned the whole dang thing into a blog post.
Almost like I planned it.
[The video was removed because this tactic was broken by a 2019 Infusionsoft update.]