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.
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