1. Fear Of Having Nothing To Say
As a small business owner, you know a lot more than you may realize. And although running out of material is number one reason cited by small business owners for not launching an E-Newsletter in first place, I have never come across anyone who knew enough about a particular industry or topic to start a business in it, who didn't also have a nearly endless supply of content to choose from.
Remember, your clients and others who have an interest in your area of specialty, don't work in it every day way you do. The things that are second nature to you, whether it's how to purchase life insurance if you're a broker; how to write a press release if you're a marketing consultant; or how to troubleshoot a light switch if you're an electrician; are all news to those of us on outside of your industry.
The people who are going to read your newsletter have questions. You on other hand, have answers, opinions, experience, and perspective. When it comes to your industry, you understand what matters and what doesn't, and how all pieces fit together. These brief, useful nuggets are things you write about.
2. Fear Of Technology
An E-Newsletter has a lot of moving parts. There are mailing lists to manage; links to set up; images to lay out; responses to track; and dozens of other small pieces to coordinate and fine tune, all in course of writing and publishing a newsletter month after month. Managing this process efficiently requires a fair amount of technology churning away in background. That's bad news.
The good news is that email marketing has finally evolved to point where there are dozens of vendors out there who, for a very small fee, will take care of most of this for you (go to Google and search on “email marketing vendors” for a look at what's out there). So while it's true that you will have to go down a learning curve before you can switch your newsletter publishing into autopilot, you no longer need technical skill to get there.
Managing logistics of a monthly newsletter can be tedious at times, no question. But if you've ever successfully assembled a gas grill, you're more than technically qualified to publish an E-Newsletter.
3. Fear Of Publishing On A Regular Basis
Although you may be sold on value of a regularly published E-Newsletter, you may still be worried that once let out of its cage, this beast won't ever leave you alone. The truth is, you're right to be concerned. If I had to point to one factor that plays most significant role in failure of company E-Newsletters, it's that people behind them stop publishing.
Like starting an exercise program, we all go great guns out of gate: telling everybody we know, celebrating every issue. But (also like exercise), by month four or five thrill is gone, and many people start to wonder how to quietly put thing out of its misery.
I'm happy to say that I've discovered two solutions to this potential problem.
First, publish monthly. Although it may seem that dropping back to a less frequent schedule will reduce burden, in practice opposite is true. The less often you publish, bigger a deal it is, and more it seems to hang over your head. A monthly schedule however, means that next issue is never more than 30 days away, and you will find yourself less concerned with achieving perfection each time.
Second, create a publishing schedule and stick to it. First Tuesday of month, third Friday, whatever. The important thing is that you bake it into your monthly work schedule. An E-Newsletter will never be today's top priority, and unless you explicitly determine when it will come out, you're more likely than not to keep pushing it to back burner.
4. Fear Of Writing
I hear it every day from small business owners I work with: "I can't put out an E-Newsletter, I'm a lousy writer." Well, you'll be happy to learn that writing an E-Newsletter - like email in general - is a lot more like talking than writing.