Is there such a thing as small business marketing paranoia? 

Because if there is, I’ve got it. 

It’s a Tuesday. I have an email scheduled to go out to my customers and prospects. 

I always send my emails on Tuesdays. Because, well, split testing revealed that I get the highest open rates when I send emails on Tuesday. Before 10:00 am. 

The problem is…it’s 5:00 am and I’m wide awake. I’m wide awake worrying about the content in my email. You see, recently, I’ve tapped into something awesome. The last 4 emails I’ve sent my list have gotten 40% + open rates. 

And I’m getting responses. Legitimate, thank-you-for-sending-that-email responses. It’s awesome! It’s the whole reason I even started a business. To create something worthwhile – even if it is just an email to my database.  

Awesome! But stressful. 

Because now I’m second guessing that scheduled email. 

For starters, I’m panicking about the subject line: 

Is copy the red-headed step-child?

Is it too offensive? I actually am a red-headed step-child and it doesn’t bother me in the least. But it might bug someone. There’s undoubtedly a brunette somewhere, whose biological parents are still married, who would find it completely inappropriate.  

So do I use the catchy subject line and get more open rates? Or do I play it safe, offend no one, but risk my message being lost in a sea of unopened emails?

As for the content itself. Well…I took a chance. Stood on my soapbox and crafted a message about the importance of copywriting. 

Soapboxes are important, right?

It’s soapboxes that establish people as experts. Or is this one of those chicken before the egg scenarios? Does getting on a soapbox establish someone as an expert? Or does being an expert give you the right to stand on a soapbox. Am I “allowed” to get on my soapbox this early in the business building process?

I don’t know, but the sun is coming up and I still can’t decide whether my email is self-serving or whether it’s a message small business owners actually need to hear. 

2 hours later…

So I sent the email. With a lame subject line. 

And now here I am, writing a blog post because I think I made the wrong decision. My open rate sits at a very sad 23%. I guess the subject line “Why does copy get neglected?” didn’t inspire a whole lot of people.

But since there’s nothing I can do about it now, I will write. I will sit down at my computer and overthink every word I am now composing. 

Before you judge…before you decide I’m crazy, let’s talk about the difference between where I am (in the startup phase of growing a business) and where you are (which is probably sitting on a beach, creating $2,000 courses on your laptop, and telling your rags to riches story). 

You likely have a list  with tens of thousands of contacts. When your contacts opt-out, you probably don’t even notice. 

My list is small. And when someone opts-out, yeah, I notice. And I wonder what I did to send them running. 

As a profitable business owner, you have time to respond to the posts you see on social media. 

If I get around to writing a few of my own social media posts each week, I think I’m doing awesome. 

When you post your most random thoughts online, hundreds of people think you’re brilliant. 

With everything I post, there is risk.  

This piece for example. I’m gonna take a few deep breaths and then add it to my blog. If I’m lucky, someone will write a “great info, thanks for writing this” message and move on. And if I’m really, really lucky, I won’t get trolled and no one will challenge my possibly erroneous observations. 

Which is not to say you can’t disagree with me. That’s fine. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. But, because I need to be seen as an expert…I’d rather you didn’t add to my imposter syndrome by calling me out. 

Wait a minute?! I take that back. Maybe you need to post your opinion. I mean, the articles that get the most comments are the ones that create controversy. Right? 

Okay, fine. Be as contrary as you choose. 

Scratch that. This post is far too personal to share with the world. And I’m not Gary Vaynerchuk. I don’t spin gold with everything I say…or write. So I’m not going to post this. What if no one comments? Then I’ve just put myself out there and I look like an idiot. 

The safe decision is not to post. Safe feels good today. 

The next day…

I need content. I guess I’ll post it. 

Yep! You’ve got to be crazy to play this game.

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