There’s another option for developing an online presence that doesn’t leak any data you don’t want it to, if you’re willing to put in the effort: a personal website. Last year, a Vice reporter, Jason Koebler, made a compelling case for bringing personal websites back into style. Before Facebook, setting up your own page on sites like Xanga or LiveJournal was common, and the data controls were simple. This technology is still available to us, easier to use then ever, and gives you control over the privacy levers. Just don’t share a résumé with your phone number on it.
Web designers always bemoan online website creators like Wix and Squarespace for making it too easy to build a website and undercutting their own trade (and pricing). We’ve certainly battled with that at Harrelson Co over the years, especially given that our main client base is made of nonprofits, churches, small businesses, and generally those with very limited budgets.
However, I’ve realized over the years that the clients who complain about invoice costs and threaten to “move to Squarespace” are the types of clients I don’t enjoy working with in the first place, so it’s better to say “no” upfront and let them pursue those seemingly cheaper options (which never turn out to be cheaper).
This has become especially true with email marketing. Email is super hot right now in the online marketing world. There’s a reason every politician, church, business, NASCAR sponsor, and fast food company wants you to subscribe to their newsletter… it’s insanely profitable to have a highly engaged core group of people on an email list. Tools such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact and even SendGrid have come along to help ease the friction of setting up, desigining, and sending email newsletters to the point where it’s perceptibly “not that hard” to do it yourself.
But that’s not the whole story. Like having a poorly designed and optimized site using a “free” or “cheap” website builder, using these tools on your own or “in-house” takes not only a number of unplanned for resources, but also a level of expertise that most business owners or nonprofit directors simply aren’t aware of… and it will “cost” you much more in the long term if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Here’s a great post from the ZeroBounce team on some of the nuances of setting up and sending email newsletters… it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking “free tools = easy” … but do your homework.
The very first condition of great marketing is to make sure your message actually reaches your audience. We know that many companies struggle to land their emails in their customers’ inboxes. If you’re one of them, you will find this guide to be a lifesaver. We used our knowledge and experience to create a complete set of guidelines to help you achieve a better email deliverability and maintain a healthier sending reputation.
Well this is an eye-opening piece that has caused me to reconsider lots of presuppositions…
In other words, to solve the problem of our unwillingness to keep track of our dogs, we do not address our own unwillingness. To address the overpopulation of unwanted dogs, we do not address the overpopulation. Instead, we non sequitur: we take brand-new dogs and introduce them into our homes by first putting them through a surgery at six, four, or even three months of age. The professed solution, in the United States, is to spay or neuter all the new ones.
I always got questions from Thinking Religion listeners when I claimed to “still be” an Evangelical. Merianna explains it much better than I ever could here…
Between this statement and my partner’s parsing of the Greek meaning of the term evangelical around the dinner table, I am finally ready to say that I am evangelical or perhaps a revangelical, returning to an identity I used to wear proudly as I tried to convert my middle school friends and offer them eternal salvation.
I am no longer interested in converting people, but I am interested in continuing to accept the invitation of partnering in the wonderful, mystical, and transformative work that the Holy Spirit is doing here on earth within and among us.