1st Email Sent to our Tribe HUGE Success!

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, Aug. 11, 2021

The Dire Wolf Project recently shifted away from a sole presence on social media and the response has been amazing!

The first phase of the shift away from social media was to rebuild the less than stellar direwolfproject.com site. We revamped and updated pages, combined several websites into one, and completely redesigned the site to enhance user experience and bring our family of American Alsatian dog owners and enthusiasts to a better space to call home.

Daily Website Traffic

Over the last month that the new website has been live, we have seen an exciting response from those who have ventured over our way. 9,800 views to the site in the last month with a total of 28,000 site-wide page views is a great first start to the revised website. We are encouraged by the excitement it has generated. In the last month, we have seen a huge leap in puppy adoption questionnaires and have been able to process them in more timely manner due to the revamp of how they are processed. We hope this new system will be of greater value to our beloved potential American Alsatian dog owners. The reason we began and continue to sustain this breed is because of the consistent positive response from our owners and those interested in our work.

The second phase of the shift away from social media was to establish an email server list platform and then shift as many of our social media followers as possible to this new platform. In the first week of informing everyone of the shift, we were able to sign up 389 individuals out of the 17,000+ likes on our Dire Wolf Project Facebook page.

Email Subscriber Stats

The issue we face is that Facebook makes it nearly impossible to reach all or even most of the people who like our Facebook page. If they do not interact regularly with the page, Facebook's algorithms decrease an individual's visibility to the page, thereby decreasing page engagement over time. In order to maintain engagement, it becomes necessary to pay for post boosting to re-establish a connection with those who like the page. As a result, it has proven to be very difficult to reach those who like our Facebook page and one of the main reasons we decided to shift to an email-based system, instead. We have much more work to do to gather our members and shift them to a more sustainable platform, but we are hopeful that we can do this more and more over time, as we initially did when we began increasing our Facebook base.

The third phase of the shift away from social media was to send out regular emails where subscribers can gain valuable information, participate in Dire Wolf Project events (such as prizes, contests, and interactive games), and enjoy the new space where we can communicate with one another.

Initial Email Open Rate Above Average

Through MailChimp, we will now be able to track exact user engagement, instead of relying on broad overviews of user engagement from Facebook's insight pages. Our first email was a great success surpassing the average performance of other email lists similar in size to our own. We are extremely grateful for all who have traveled with us to our new happy hunting grounds where we have much more space to grow together.

The fourth phase of the shift away from social media will be to add a log in system to our website where we can house our own social media groups utilizing RSS feed capabilities, much like Facebook groups operates now. The design phase is scheduled to begin Fall 2021. After the design has been completed, we will begin building the platform and moving our Facebook group content to our own website, eliminating the harsh oversight and maddening rules of Facebook technocrats. We hope to have this phase completed by spring 2022, but only time will tell, as this is a large undertaking and means a massive shift for many people who love us.

We hope that everything will go smoothly, but like so many new things, we may find some issues as we move forward from here. We are encouraged at the initial response to the shift to email subscription as it will allow us to always be able to reach 100% of those who want to remain engaged with the Dire Wolf Project. Thank you all for your support and willingness to travel the hills, valleys, mountains, and prairies with us as we move the entire Dire Wolf Project encampment to greener pastures and wide open spaces where we can continue to bring you the excellence you have come to know from us.

If you have not yet made the transition to our email list, I encourage you to join us. We do hope to make it worth your while. Simply being able to enjoy regular communication from us instead of spotty communication when Facebook chooses to share our content with you will be a great asset to staying informed and up-to-date on what is happening here at Dire Wolf Project headquarters. Emails are scheduled for the 7th and 21st of each month. See you there!


Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Alsatian Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Alsatian dogs.