Heard back from Mail Chimp. Because they have a 3-strikes and you're out policy, my newsletter is in serious danger of being dropped. Ticks me off that a few people could do so much damage. But it is what it is and they've given me a workaround.
I have to start my list all over again.
Yep. Pretty much from scratch. I need to find the people who actually open the emails and then send them -- ONLY THEM -- an email telling them they'll be removed from my list unless they opt in. Everyone else gets scrubbed from the list (which is fine since they obviously no longer wish to get the newsletter anyway).
I have no hard feelings for those who don't want the newsletter anymore. Honest. Tastes change and I know I've signed up for information I later decide I no longer want. Or for information I can get elsewhere. Using the unsub offer at the bottom is the easiest way to get off those lists. For those who have done that, I am actually thankful. You did as I requested and left in peace. And for that, I've promised to leave you in peace. :)
So, over the next few days I'll be scrubbing the email list. If you read and like the newsletter, please opt in when you get the next one. If you do nothing, you will be, in essence, opting out and will no longer receive the newsletter.
Thank you for letting me rant and bear with me as I try to do damage control. Play safe, everyone. And play nice!