Think Tank


When technology bites you in the behind, break out the bandages.

Monday, May 13th, 2019

HUTdogs was asked to be one of the presenters during a nation-wide 1-day webinar series, which included presentations from several other digital marketing gurus from across the country. It was a big national event and we were honored to be a part of it. Our session was all about What’s New on Constant Contact Email Marketing.

We always strive for a smooth, pleasant and informative educational experience for ALL of our webinars, training courses and live presentations. Getting it right is a huge priority for us.

Our preparation time typically runs a minimum of 5-8 hours, for a one-hour presentation. Time is spent researching the topic, creating the graphics, preparing the slide deck and refining all of it to get it just right. For this event, we started planning 3 months before the live 1-hour broadcast session. There were multiple meetings and phone conferences, many emails exchanged with the organizers and a bunch of details to digest even before the slides were created.

We were prepared. We were excited. We were ready to do our thing. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… It was time to go-live.

We spent the entire webinar broadcasting live thinking things were going great on the viewers end. But the slides did not advance during the live session on the viewers end, and we didn’t know it. People could hear the broadcast, but couldn’t see any of the slides and we didn’t know it. To make matters worse, we could not see any of their live comments telling us that they couldn’t see the slides.

We were running in the dark.

We didn’t know that we were in a total dark hole until AFTER the live session. Let the guzzling of the antacid begin.

The nightmare came to light when we were getting ready to send the playback to the attendees and we could finally see the flurry of comments. It was devastating. One bit of bad news after another in the comments.

For the most part people wanted to be helpful and let us know that things were not working properly and simply said, “BTW, we can’t see any of the slides.”

Of course there’s always one. One attendee chose a less diplomatic approach, “Your presentation was on the first slide the whole time.  What a waste of time.  Please send the CORRECT webinar WITH THE SLIDES SHOWING and audio.”  

Did we mention it was a free to attend event?

We definitely felt her pain and wished things had gone as planned. But sometimes the technology gremlins decide to rear their ugly heads and start biting you in the behind.  I can guarantee that the frustration and pain that she was expressing was not even close to that felt on our end. The fiasco was heart breaking, devastating and gut wrenching to say the least.

Welcome to the bandages.

After we did a lot of crying, cussing and screaming, we had to make things right.

Meetings that were planned after the live webinar were cancelled. Production time for graphic design, social media services, and email marketing pieces for our customers had to wait a bit. Which added to the antacid intake, but we had to deliver.

We had to get up and dust ourselves off. What other option does a small business have, but to just keep going?

We spent another 3 hours re-recording and uploading a playback session.

After the re-recorded webinar was reviewed, double-checked, uploaded and double-checked again, we sent out an apology along with a link to playback, to those who had logged on during the live event.

The next day, we received yet another email about the webinar.

Dreading the idea of being scolded one more time for a technological glitch and having to re-live our nightmare, we took a breath and opened the email.

“I’m hoping you read replies to your info@ address because I really want you to receive this message. This is a big “thank you” for your UNBELIEVABLE webinar at Day of Digital!  Here’s my story – 

After signing up for your streaming event, my schedule changed, having to be in the car when it went live.  I was able to listen to it on my phone through my car speakers and was blown away by all of your great content and the way it was presented.  Staring at the road instead of being in front of a computer, I found it overwhelming.  I looked forward to getting a link to re-watch it from my desk and did that today.  

Since I knew of all the great content, I prepared an MS OneNote page to outline and bullet point all of the features and concepts I wanted to implement.  By watching, pausing, notating, repeat, I came up with a full page of new ideas on how to use it with our music store!

I’m a veteran of CC (Constant Contact), having used it for years and use it regularly.  I thought I was pretty advanced, but your 45-minute event provided me with ideas and concepts that I know will bring up my campaign program 2 or 3 levels!  Also, since joining Constant Contact, I have participated in TONS of webinars on CC, social media, and webpage use from several providers through CC.  Some have been helpful, and sadly, some were so badly presented I left early.  But in all of those webinars, I have to put yours at the very top of the list.  Tons of content, organized thoughtfully, and presented in a very professional manner.   

I’m a retired music teacher, now teaching the teachers on how to implement technology.  I always wanted to know if my teaching effectively reached my students, and now, how effective my sessions with teachers are.  I want you to know that your efforts to present THIS webinar were VERY effective with me.  THANK YOU!!! Ray, St. Louis, MO”

To that, we whole-heartily say, “Wow! Thank You Ray! You’re kind words mean the world to us.”

HUTdogs Named as Constant Contact Certified Solution Provider

Monday, May 8th, 2017

HUTdogs helps small businesses and nonprofits achieve meaningful marketing results

HUTdogs has been named a Certified SolutionProvider by Constant Contact®, Inc., part of the Endurance International Group’s (Nasdaq: EIGI) family of brands and the trusted marketing advisor to hundreds of thousands of small organizations worldwide. As a Certified Solution Provider, HUTdogs has demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the Constant Contact email marketing platform and best practices. This ensures program participants and the clients they serve will realize meaningful results from their investments in email marketing.
“In addition to being a Solution Provider, we are honored to serve on a team of Southern California Authorized Local Experts selected by Constant Contact to provide educational workshops to the business and non-profit community,” says MJ Finstrom, Chief Creative Officer at HUTdogs. “Constant Contact is a tool we use daily either for our own business or the clients we serve. We love to show people how Constant Contact can work for them. We find it is one of the most important tools a business or non-profit can utilize to promote their products and services. Every time we send out a Constant Contact for our own business, something good happens and we get results!”
“The certification program ensures customers that our Solution Providers have proven, in-depth knowledge of email marketing and Constant Contact’s offerings,” said Jonathan Kateman, vice president, indirect channels, Constant Contact. “By earning Certified Solution Provider status, HUTdogs has demonstrated their commitment to helping clients succeed by taking proactive steps to grow their marketing skill set.”’ About HUTdogs HUTdogs offers creative design & print services, social media and email marketing management and unique coaching and training programs to businesses and non-profits:
  • Promotional Collateral: brochures, annual reports, newsletters, flyers, postcards, logos, and non-profit campaign materials.
  • Social Media and Email Marketing Management: customized monthly retainer programs for businesses and non-profits.
  • Team Training & Retreats to help marketing teams unify their voice, position executives as thought leaders, reach key audiences and create a system for their social media and email marketing strategies.
  • Training for Speaker Bureaus and Brand Ambassadors. Dave & MJ, owners of HUTogs, help develop teams of presenters and offer best practices and strategies based on their real world experience presenting to live audiences and webinar attendees since 2008.
  • Workshops and Webinars to help businesses and non-profits understand how to leverage email and social media marketing
About Constant Contact®, Inc. Constant Contact, an Endurance International Group company and a leader in email marketing since1995, provides hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the world with the online marketing tools, resources, and personalized coaching they need to grow their business. About Endurance International Group Endurance International Group (NASDAQ: EIGI) helps millions of small businesses realize their dreams. The company equips small businesses worldwide with products and technology to power their online web presence, email marketing, mobile business solutions, and more. Endurance’s best in class family of brands includes Constant Contact, Bluehost, HostGator,, BigRock, SiteBuilder,, among others. Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, Endurance employs more than3,700 people across the United States, Brazil, India, Israel, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit
Constant Contact and the Constant Contact logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other Constant Contact brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. Endurance International Group and the compass logo are trademarks of The Endurance InternationalGroup, Inc. Other brand names of Endurance International Group are trademarks of The Endurance