E-mail marketing is one of the most affordable and effective ways to reach prospective customers out there. AND There are so many options out there for E-mail newsletter software that are affordable and "easy to use." So it seems like a no-brainer for small businesses to sign up and start their own e-mail newsletter.

For small business owners, DIY is a great option - sort of. They may not be able to invest financially in marketing efforts, but they are energetic and are willing to try anything they can do on their own.

However, many people fail to take into consideration the time and skill that it takes to create a well-designed newsletter with effective content. Too often newsletters go out with errors, not enough content and poor design. I have a collection of failed attempts at newsletters that I keep for examples. Not the kind of example you want to be!

The other issue with do-it-yourself newsletters is that they often get sent out inconsistently or don't get sent out at all. There is a laundry list of reasons, or excuses, for this... 
  • It is hard to come up with content
  • I don't have time
  • My list isn't big enough yet

Sometimes businesses start off strong, but give up quickly when they don't get the results they had hoped for. This cycle creates the two primary objections business owners give when considering further investment in e-mail marketing.

#1 - I can do it myself!
This message is so ingrained in some business owners, that even though they know they are not making the most of their e-mail marketing, they insist that it isn't necessary to get help. I don't mean to offend anyone, but this response reminds me of my 3-year-old when he wants to tie his own shoes. I watch him fumble with the laces, and I try to lend a hand, but he insists, "Mom, I can do it!" Eventually, with a LOT of practice and patience over months or years, he will be able to do it himself. And perhaps the investment in time and training makes sense for you. But good businesses also know when it is better to delegate something so that it can get done more efficiently and effectively.

#2 - It doesn't work for me
Though the statistics are out there for the effectiveness of e-mail marketing, often those who have tried it and failed to get the results they desired simply write it off all together. They are convinced that the platform was ineffective, and don't consider the implementation

For businesses starting out and building their list, I recommend an automated e-mail campaign rather than a regular e-newsletter. If you have the ability to send e-mails consistently with valuable content, then go for it! If done right, it is still a great way to build and maintain relationships with your prospects and clients. But if you are struggling with some of the issues I described, consider a new strategy to use e-mail marketing in a way that will be most effective for your business.