Posts Tagged ‘lost emails’
During December of last year, I noticed something odd. Whilst I received 6 or 7 enquiries a month for new work, throughout the whole of December not a single web based enquiry came in. I put this down to the time of the year, with the Christmas madness. After all, checking my Adwords stats showed that people were still clicking through to my web site – so I guess people were just book-marking to come back in the new year, or my services were just not what they needed. Right? WRONG!!
What had happened was that my web hosting company were having problems, and as a result they had decided to change the IP address of my SMTP (email) server on their side which meant that when somebody completed an enquiry form – the email went…. nowhere. The SMTP script did not connect with the SMTP server, and the problem was written to an error log. The prospect got a nice web page saying that we would be in contact, but of course nobody contacted them because the enquiry was never received. I have web monitoring on all of my sites, but this is not something that the monitoring would have picked up.
Now I could have put in all kinds of fancy checking, and auditing, and error logging, and error pickup and notifications – but you know what? It’s just easier, quicker and more robust to perform a step through.
So now, every Monday morning I do a run through. Starting with one of my search terms in Google, I click through one of my ads (which checks that Adwords is running and the adverts look OK), check that my web page appears when I click the advert, I then click through to the contact me form, and fill it out, to check that the email arrives.
Ok, it costs me £2 a week for the wasted ad-word click, and 2 minutes of my time every Monday. But if one of those December click-throughs might have been a sale, that very small amount and that 2 minutes could be an awfully large amount of wasted money.
So how often do you check all of your flow throughs?