Emma site is so slow that it's unusable

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Social Media Mentions

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Posted 4 years ago

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Benton Cummings, Senior Manager, Customer Support

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Hi Jackie,

I'm so sorry to hear that you've had a frustrating experience with our application! We haven't been seeing or hearing about such extreme slowness in the application lately, so I'd love to figure out where your Emma account and my Emma account are differing.

Let's dig into your use of the account to see if there's anything we can address that might make using Emma a better experience for you. Please let me know if there is a specific sub-account you've been working in when you're seeing the issue, and what sort of processes you are using. I'd also love to dig into the image library in the accounts you've been working in to see if we can identify any large images in there that might be slowing things down a bit. There's some info on that at the end of this thread.

Do you mind also heading to this Emma Community conversation and letting me know here your answers to those questions? 

I know we can get this sorted out!
(Edited)
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Benton Cummings, Senior Manager, Customer Support

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Hi again Jackie,

I wanted to check back in here to see if you still needed help with this. Please let me know. Thanks!
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DefiNet Contact

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I agree with her. Your site is super slow and effects our productivity. It takes forever to navigate through clients accounts, switching from tab to tab, generating responses, adding email addresses....pretty much everything is slow. Are you guys running that thing on Windows 7?
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Benton Cummings, Senior Manager, Customer Support

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Thanks for chiming in here with your experience. Do you notice if any sub-accounts are quicker than others when navigating? Is there a particular process that seems to take more time than other processes in Emma? 

If you haven't already tried this, we'd definitely recommend clearing cache and cookies on your web browser to eliminate the possibility of the issue being browser related.
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Play Rec Sports

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extremely slow. today "appears" to be the worst I've experienced.
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi Play Rec Sports -- Thanks for letting us know that you’re running into slowness in your Emma account today. This is definitely not the experience that we are hoping to provide. In regards to the slowness you’re seeing today, I can assure you that our systems team is already hard at work to pinpoint the cause and resolve it as quickly as possible. You can read more about that on our status page, where we'll be posting updates as we have them!
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bitter root vintage

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Hi there, I definitely have to agree with what others here are reporting, and like DefiNet, I'm finding that the site slowness is absolutely affecting our productivity, and I've actually abandoned the last two campaigns that I've started out of sheer frustration!

Today, I was able to send a campaign using a template that was already roughly 90% designed, and it took me over two hours to complete it. For example, if I wished to simply delete two or three words, I would have to wait upwards of 15 minutes before I could move on to a different section. It's been extremely frustrating and rather disappointing.

We recently began using Emma after using Mailchimp for two years, and the site slowness has been such a problem that I'm now paying for both Emma and Mailchimp, as I've had to send our last several campaigns through the latter.

Is this something that you are working on? I really do like Emma, and hope that the problem can be resolved soon!

Thanks,

Carole
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Cale Mooth, Product Owner

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Hi Carole. In short, yes, we're starting to look really hard at app performance. The slowness has been unacceptable and we're looking to change that. Your productivity shouldn't be affected by something so fundamental, and I apologize for that. Our Product Team's goal is to allow you to focus on your content with zero friction from the tool itself. 

In particular, we've been changing how we handle images in the Image Library in the Editor to cut down on slowness in that area. You won't see a visual change there, but hopefully the overall speed of the Editor will be improved. 

If you have a moment, I'm going to email you direct and ask a couple questions so we can get a better handle on your specific situation. 

Thank you for reaching out, and once again, I'm sorry for the troubles.
Cale
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Elon University Religious Life

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I agree.  We've only been on Emma for about two weeks.  Half the time it works okay.  A little slow but usable.  Half the time it is impossibly slow, and we even get internal server errors.  Today, I had a terrible time putting together a campaign.  When I finally sent it, it doesn't appear to have worked.  It says it was delivered to 100% of recipients but no one in our office received it, and it claims only 3 people opened it.  This is a highly motivated list, so I seriously doubt that's true.  On the list of sent campaigns, the date is listed as "unrecorded."  What's going on?  I can honestly report that today at least Emma is broken and non-functioning, and if this doesn't get fixed, we'll have no choice but to go elsewhere.
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi Elon -- First, thanks so much for chiming in here. The slowness you've experienced the last few days is definitely not the experience we want for you, and our systems team is already hard at work to rectify that slowness moving forward. The slowness in the application can make for a difficult time building a mailing, and we know that's not ideal. 

I can speak to the other issues you mentioned, which are likely unrelated to the application slowness. First, the "unrecorded" timestamp is reflected there in the last sent column when the system cannot, for some reason, capture the exact time your mailing was sent. This is a known bug that our developers are working to resolve. You will notice, though, that your mailing is still listed as sent in the Response tab and the time of send is recorded there. So, that's simply a data point that we sometimes can't capture due to an interruption. I will have a developer manually update that timestamp in your account.

I noticed that you sent your mailing twice yesterday, I assume based on concerns from your response data that your first attempt didn't make it through. Both attempts show all 126 delivered but only 3 or 4 opens. Based on your almost entirely internal list, I think this could be a whitelisting issue. Sometimes, when sending from an internal domain address to other addresses with the same domain (@elon.edu), that server gets confused because it's the sender and receiver. Throwing Emma's sending IP addresses in the mix only makes it more confusing. This often results in the messages making it to the server but not to the inbox, which is why they show as "delivered" on our end. Can you send these instructions to your IT folks to whitelist Emma's sending IP addresses? I think you'll find internal delivery much improved next time you send to this list! Let's start there, and I'll keep digging in on this specific mailing to see if there are any other factors that could be in play here. 
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Elon University Religious Life

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Yes, I think it is a whitelisting issue.  Unfortunately, Elon's IT administrators refuse to whitelist Emma's servers.  They did a search of Emma's domain and found it associated with 200+ companies/organizations, some of which are currently blacklisted, so they don't feel it is safe to whitelist Emma. 

I think that means Emma will not work for us.  We're waiting on IT to figure out if there's anything they can do, or if there's another similar service that they're willing to let us use. 

You should be aware, though, that at least our IT administrators have chosen not to trust Emma based on existing blacklist issues.  That's not good and likely means a lost customer here, since now Emma is basically useless for us.
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Art Quanstrom, Deliverability and Compliance Lead

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Hi Elon University,

We certainly respect your IT team’s efforts to protect Elon’s students, faculty, and technology infrastructure safe from bad senders. Emma takes great care to ensure that our IPs are safe and in good standing by working with reputable blacklist operators, ISP abuse teams, and others in the industry to take proper action when we identify misuse of our product. I’d be happy to speak more directly with your IT team on the issue of Emma customers’ inclusion on blacklists, and I think we can also work together to solve the whitelisting problem overall.

To that end, I’ll reach out to you directly to get things started.

Art

(Edited)
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Elon University Religious Life

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Thanks Art.  I'm trying to get Elon IT to connect with you guys.  I've also tried to reassure our folks that Emma works very hard to prevent SPAM.  I'm not sure why they're refusing to whitelist Emma, but I hope we can work something out.
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Elon University Religious Life

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One more update.  Sent a campaign today to one of our larger lists that appeared to go through (45% open rate just 4 hours later).  So far we only know of issues with one campaign to a much smaller list last Wednesday (~3% open rate).  That particular list is very highly motivated and unlikely that only 3 or 4 people opened it.  I know several people who did not get it, and a few who did, so it's very strange to know what exactly is happening.  Most of our lists appear to be working. 
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Key West Literary Seminar

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Agree with all of the people above. Emma has always been a little slow, but today is outrageous and unusable. When typing plain text I am seeing a 5-10 second lag before it appears onscreen. Oddly, the image uploader seems fine, but switching from one tab to the next, or opening a mailing, really any basic function I try, is excruciatingly slow. I'm 4 hours deep into a mailing that could have been done in 30-45 minutes.

p.s. all other websites are loading fine and I have strong download/upload speeds of 14.3/13.2. I'm running firefox 40.0.3 on a less-than-1-year-old imac w 10.10.4.
(Edited)
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Dean

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His letter makes it seem like the amount of clicks it takes to do something is the issue. From my perspective, it seems like a server issue that results in slow page loads. 
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi Dean -- I can understand the confusion here. David's message is detailing that we acknowledge the problem is due to both server speed and app design, and we’re going to fix both. Thanks!
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David Wright, VP of Product Management

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Hi Carole,

I just posted a reply to our announcement with some more specifics about the steps we're taking to improve the experience in the editor here. We have a team that is digging into what's causing the editor issues described in this conversation. With that team in place, we plan to release improvements daily as we have them ready, and will be focused on the overall editing experience until it's right.

Thanks,
David
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Pitzer's Fine Arts

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Agree with comments above: from bitter root vintage = "rather discouraged by the superficiality of those responses".  All I am seeing is EMMA trying to put the blame for the issue on the users - - i.e.: your customers! rather than stepping up and acknowledging you have a problem.  And from the number of comments you have received, it is pretty clear EMMA has a problem.  So in plain simple terms, what is going on, and when will it be fixed?  Or do we all need to go back to Constant Contact or ? ? 
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi Pitzer's Fine Arts -- I hope you had a chance to check out David and Kyle's updates in this conversation. We're posting regular updates there on our progress to resolve these issues, and we're doing our best to share in detail what steps we're taking to make that happen. You can follow that conversation to have those updates delivered right to your inbox.
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Cathleen Windham

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I'm with these other users. I noted on Tuesday that it took 8 minutes to do 4 simple functions like "save" or simply switch to a different tab. "Send Test" only works after I've pressed the button many, many times. And as someone else commented, I'll add text but the delay to what appears on-screen is unreasonable. 45 seconds or more just to look at another tab or area???  Wait times are reminiscent of the old AOL days.

As Kay commented, a 1 hour (or less) task should not take 1/2 a day or more. 

In the end we got two newsletters out yesterday but it wasn't without a bit of weeping and gnashing of the teeth. Note too that my boss doesn't tolerate excuses/facts/issues like this in my performance. I have deadlines and I'll make sure I meet them, even if I have to leave Emma and go back to Mailchimp. Their platform responds immediately, no waiting. 
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David Wright, VP of Product Management

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Hi Cathleen,

Thanks for the feedback. Obviously 8 minutes to complete 4 simple functions is beyond unacceptable and painful.

Starting on Monday morning, the servers that power the main Emma application began experiencing high load. The increased load resulted in slow navigation and difficulty completing the tasks you rely on through the application. We have not been able to determine what has caused the increased load but have provisioned a temporary server to share the load and will have a new permanent server in production in the next three weeks.

I completely understand the importance of having a product you can rely on to help you do your job effectively.

We've been working toward addressing key pain points in the product experience, some of which are simply how quickly Emma responds and some are unnecessary friction in the user experience. We're accelerating this work to keep weeks like this week out of the equation.

Thanks for your patience. To use your words, we're out to provide a platform that responds immediately and we'll be sharing details of the actions we're taking soon.

Best,
David
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Western Energy Institute

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We're also experiencing such slowness that creating an email is impossible. The past week has been worse than ever. Very disappointing.
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David Wright, VP of Product Management

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Official Response
Hi everyone,

Thanks again for sharing your feedback on what it's been like to work in Emma this week. We just posted a more detailed update regarding Emma’s performance on Monday. You can find that here. We’ll post replies to that announcement as we're making progress toward the Emma you expect and the one we're proud of — one that's fast, responsive and helps you do your job quickly and effectively. 

Best,
David 
I just want to chime in and say Emma has been excruciatingly slow to work on today. Like many of the users above, there's a 5-10 second lag on EVERYTHING - from typing in a text box to saving, clicking over to another tab, etc. 

I love the types of emails that I can create in Emma, so I really hope these performance issues are addressed quickly. There's no excuse for such poor performance for an email service. 
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi there -- Thanks for letting us know how this slowness is impacting your work. Just in case you missed it, we've gone into more detail here on our current plans for resolving this issue and improving the application experience. We'll be posting updates there as we have them, so please click to follow that conversation!
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Prufrock Communications, LLC

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Guys, I sure hope you are working on this, because the service right now is deplorable. I'm not a complainer by nature, but this has honestly cost me hours of time this week — not just Monday — and it does not appear to be getting better. This is going to seriously hurt your client base if you don't get this buttoned up. I'm sure it's a lot more complicated to manage than most of us realize, but then so are automobiles and we expect those to run when we turn the key. You're a great brand with a good message. Get this on track as soon as possible. Thanks.
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi Prufrock Communications -- Thanks for adding your voice here. I want to make sure you have a chance to read David's reply from this morning that expounds on our current plans to resolve the issues discussed here. Please follow along there for updates!
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Prufrock Communications, LLC

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One more comment. I've noticed that after every action, the email draft is automatically saving. While this may be a really great feature, I'm not sure it's necessary with that level of frequency. I don't know if this accounts for the lag I'm experiencing, but thought I would share in case anyone else is noticing that. Have a good Labor Day. I hope things are on the mend.
One more vote for incredible slowness--seconds pass between when I put my cursor in a sentence and it finally appears; a few more seconds for a simple space to be added. Yes, Emma has always been slow but this has me ready to throw something at the screen...
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David Wright, VP of Product Management

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Hi Biographers International Organization,

Thanks for the feedback. We configured and installed an additional server on Friday afternoon. Spinning up the additional server resulted in a drop in CPU usage, which is promising. It's unfortunate that performance of editing text in the editor has not improved, even today. We're going to be looking into the text editing issues first thing tomorrow. I'll post updates as we have them in the comments on our announcement from Friday.  

Thanks again for reporting this, and for your patience.

Thanks,
David
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David Wright, VP of Product Management

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Official Response
Hello everyone,

I wanted to reply to this conversation in an effort to summarize the action we've taken/are taking to improve the performance of Emma. We're posting updates as to what's going on and how we're working to improve it in this conversation

On Friday, September 4th around 3:40pm CDT, we installed and configured a new server which helped drop CPU usage.

Yesterday, around 6:40 pm CDT we released:
  • Additional caching to help speed up page load time in the editor
  • Not loading an account’s My Template thumbnails until a user clicks “Show templates”
  • Reducing the number of database calls on login and across the app
  • Additional metrics to further measure, monitor and prioritize work to improve performance
We are currently working on a few more things to help with performance, specifically when working in the editor, namely:
  • Optimizing uploaded images while working in the editor
  • Refactoring the send test slide-in panel (as we think it may be contributing to overall editing performance)
  • Adding metrics around mailing proofing to help measure and prioritize work
Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have specific questions or concerns. We'll do our best to keep you posted as we prepare our next release.

Thanks,
David
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Serendipity Media

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Hello,
I contacted support earlier this week due to slowness--and in some accounts its a minor issue, but in some of my sub-accounts it's unusable. Would it be helpful to know what sub-accounts are manageable and what sub-accounts are unusable? 
Cheers,
Angela
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi Angela -- I've moved your question to a new conversation so we can dig in accordingly!

Please reference the new conversation here: Some subaccounts are slower than others.
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David Wright, VP of Product Management

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Official Response

Good morning,

I posted a new reply to our announcement yesterday evening regarding our mission to make Emma better and faster. In an effort to keep all of the key information visible, I wanted to summarize the action we’ve taken since our servers started experiencing high load on Monday, August 31st:


Monday, September 14th

We released some changes aimed to improve the overall performance of Emma at 4:55pm CDT, including:

  • Optimizing the responsiveness of typing in the editor
  • Fixing javascript errors to clean up our performance tracking metrics
  • Improving the experience around uploading animated GIFs


We released the following at 10:35am CDT:

  • Lazy-loading template gallery preview images to improve the initial page load of the template gallery
  • Reducing the number of connections to Redis to improve overall page load time across Emma
  • Resizing images on upload if they’re greater than 1280px wide to improve the performance of working with larger images in the editor


Thursday, September 10th

At around 11:40pm CDT we released a few things including more caching of files used in the editor and throughout the app, and additional metrics to measure and monitor the proofing process.


Wednesday, September 9th

We released the following improvements around 6:40pm CDT:

  • Additional caching to help speed up page load time in the editor
  • Not loading an account’s My Template thumbnails until a user clicks “Show templates”
  • Reducing the number of database calls on login and across the app
  • Additional metrics to further measure, monitor and prioritize work to improve performance


Friday, September 4th

We installed and configured a new server which helped drop CPU usage at around 3:40pm CDT


Thanks everyone for the continued patience as we work toward delivering the product experience you expect. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have specific questions or concerns.


Thanks,

David

(Edited)
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Elon University Religious Life

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Overall there have been improvements, but still too slow, and at the moment, not usable. I'm having trouble getting audience list pages to load -- meaning I cannot do any list management.
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi Elon -- Have you noticed any improvements in speed when navigating around your Audience tab in the last few days?
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi there -- I first want to thank all of you for reporting your experiences here over the last few weeks. I also want to make sure you've seen our latest update on app performance improvements. We'll be posting regular updates in the form of Release Notes just like that one so you can stay up to date on the work we're doing to make your Emma experience smooth and stable. 

To receive updates to your inbox, you can click to follow the Product Conversations and Release Notes categories. Thanks!
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University of New Mexico-Los Alamos

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I'm late in coming into this thread but my experience with EMMA's speed is horrible. I avoid using the service because the response of the site is agonizinlgy slow. It's simply faster to send out a personal email. I try to send a test to my team and can't eve get the test window to load. Something needs to improve very soon or I'm gone. I expected more from EMMA.
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University of New Mexico-Los Alamos

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I've cleared cache and deleted cookies per Chrome's instructions once again. The real problem page is when I select a particular mailing and want to see the response...all I get is is the spinning icon and text that says "Just a moment... we're getting that ready for you now." That page does not load. All our machine are on the same network. I have not tried from my home machine yet. All in all, page to page load time is much slower that what I experience from other sites.
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Benton Cummings, Senior Manager, Customer Support

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Thanks for giving that a try. What you're describing there seems to indicate there's something else at play - possibly network related. Are you able to inquire with your IT team to find out if you might have web proxy/filter systems in place to protect staff machines? Those may be underperforming or blocking certain parts of the pages in Emma. Please let me know if you're able to find that information out.

Thanks!
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University of New Mexico-Los Alamos

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IT says we are experiencing some sort of DNS issue of and on. They are still trying to resolve...could very well be the issue.
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AJ Zuniga

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@Benton:  The company which employs me uses your platform for its customers.  The platform is excruciatingly slow.  It took me almost an hour to assist a customer; that hour a direct result of the page load times.  Even the customers I communicate experience the same lag.  When can we expect this to be corrected? 
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Benton Cummings, Senior Manager, Customer Support

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Hi AJ,

I'm really sorry to hear you've been experiencing some lag- I'm super appreciative of the feedback.


As you've likely read on this thread, we were getting some pretty widespread feedback of general system slowness all around not too long ago. We listened closely to the feedback coming in, and identified a lot of areas where we can improve, and we set about attacking those issues head on. You'll see some of the items that we've addressed in early September posted here by David, and we have this thread where we've gone into more detail on the ways that we're addressing our system performance as a direct response to our customers' and our own experience with the platform. That work has virtually eliminated the complaints we'd been getting, and we're continuing in those efforts as we speak- we definitely want to have a product that simply works for you and all of our customers.


I'm going to reach out directly to your employer to see if we can get a bit more context around the issues that you might be experiencing there, and some of the issues that your customers may be reporting. We'd love to isolate the specific things that you're seeing on your end so we can pinpoint what's causing the experience you're having, and what sort of solutions are possible. I'll be looking forward to connecting and improving your experience!