February 2, 2016 | Email Marketing
E-Newsletters can be a great do-it-yourself marketing tactic. They are appealing because they are low cost, have minimal barrier to entry, and have proven potential for great return.
But, should you be writing, creating and sending your e-newsletter yourself, or should you outsource it to a pro?
Here are 5 reasons you may want to consider as you weigh whether it’s better to DIY or delegate this work.
1. You are not a strong writer
Many people write as part of their job. You may write emails, proposals, instructions, etc. But if you don’t like writing, or you are not very good at it, you need to find a strong writer to help with your e-newsletter. A professional can help you write succinctly and develop a tone that is appropriate for your brand—friendly, witty, scholarly, compassionate, etc. They’ll also help you avoid embarrassing typos and grammar errors.
If you dislike writing, or don’t feel confident in your writing skills, I predict that you will put off doing your e-newsletter writing and your e-newsletters will not go out as frequently as they should.
2. You can’t create high-quality graphics
E-newsletters, just like web sites and social media, are relying more on graphics to tell stories.
Face it, people are always in a rush, and graphics help make your point more clearly and quickly. You need to be integrating photography, illustrations, charts or other graphics into your e-newsletters.
If you don’t have the skills, software and/or imagery to develop these graphics, your newsletters are just not going to be as powerful as they could be. Many people recognize the problem and try to solve it by pulling from the glut of low-cost photography that’s out there. But these images tend to be low-quality and not truly connected to your own brand identity.
Professional designers have resources to help you develop high-quality graphics: from access to greater photo libraries; to creating info-graphics, to adjusting a chart to match your own brand. These are the details that really make your e-newsletter shine.
3. You need to focus on other, higher priority work
Most businesses owners who are tackling the question of whether to do their e-newsletter themselves or turn it over to someone else, are solopreneurs or owners of micro and small businesses. If this is you, you probably are responsible for a wide variety of tasks to keep your business going. But it’s time to ask yourself: Is sending your e-newsletters an assignment that should be removed from your to-do list so that you use your time working on tasks that only you can do?
As we work with clients who are moving off of services like MailChimp or Constant Contact, which are very focused on the DIY user, they talk about how common it was to spend 2, 5 or even 8 hours to get their e-newsletter looking good. By the time they fixed the colors, wrote the text, checked the links, uploaded their latest contacts, it was a huge amount of time.
If you are spending too many hours working inefficiently on your newsletter, recoup that investment in billable, profitable work by shedding your e-newsletter from your to-do list.
4. Your e-newsletter will get sent more frequently if you delegate the work
Having worked with many clients on their newsletters, they never seem to send their e-newsletter as frequently as they had planned. Business owners usually don’t get around to sending their e-newsletters because of the first three reasons listed above.
Let’s say your goal is to send out a monthly newsletter. (Monthly, rather than quarterly, weekly or any other interval, is the most frequently cited plan we hear from our clients). In reality, at the end of the year you only sent 4-6 e-newsletters. That is a dismal rate of only sending one-third to one-half of the number you planned.
Obviously, an e-newsletter is only going to produce a return if you actually send it. And, the success of your e-newsletter is likely to compound as you get in front of your targets more frequently. When you reduce your send rate by as much 66% (which is easy to do when you don’t delegate) you’ll never see the full potential.
By choosing a professional firm to be responsible for your e-newsletter, you can guarantee that it will be sent out regularly, as planned.
5. You lack a strategy that drives your e-newsletter
E-newsletters are effective because they keep you and your organization top of mind. For many consultants and entrepreneurs that may be enough of a reason to send out a regular e-newsletter. You get a platform to share your knowledge or share samples of your work. As you send it out, you find you get replies and inquiries about your work.
But your e-newsletter can be so much more.
It can be a core part of increasing the number of leads you generate. It can be integral to a content-marketing strategy that includes blogging, social media, article-writing and PR. Email marketing can make or break promotional campaigns.
Outsourcing your e-newsletter may link you to a marketing professional who can help you build your list, target your list and become more strategic with your e-mail marketing. For example, we often begin with an inquiry about an e-newsletter but roll it into a combination of an e-newsletter and blog strategy.
What’s holding you back from hiring a professional to create, send and manage your e-newsletter?