Thursday, April 20, 2017

A thought to ponder...

When does the cost of a service outweigh the time and effort spent looking for, setting up, and using a less expensive one?

Here's what I'm talking about.  I use MailChimp as my email marketing provider.  I like their products, I know my way around their website, and I create pretty cool newsletters, in my humble opinion.  I'm also balancing on the precipice of needing to upgrade to a paid plan.  Yay!

Now, their pricing plan is good, but there are other email marketing providers whose pricing plans are better.  And, like many indie authors, I have to watch my pennies.  Literally.  I stack them up into little towers of shiny copper and...oh, sorry, got distracted there for a minute.  Back to what I was saying.

There are other providers out there that charge less than MailChimp.  I've looked at their plans, perused the websites, chatted with other authors who use those providers, even set up an account at one.  And while $15 or $20 a month may not be a fortune to some, the difference in cost between these service plans adds up, eating into an already meager marketing budget.

Which brings me back to my question.  At what point does the cost of paying an extra $15 a month to send my newsletter outweigh the time and effort it'll take me to learn how to create a new template, transfer my subscribers, change all of the 'sign up for my newsletter' links floating around (including in the back of my books, which I'll have to have updated), and learn how to analyze the data?

I guess the simple answer is, when I don't have the money to pay the difference.  Yeah, I get that.  But here's what it comes down to.  I like MailChimp.  I know how to use MailChimp.  I make pretty newsletters with MailChimp.  And I HATE learning how to use new products.  There!  I said it!! 

While I recognize that change is inevitable (the fact that I can no longer buy Bare Elegance body wash attests to that), I despise it.  I like what I like and I want to use what I like for the rest of my life.  I'm not a new-and-improved kind of gal.  (Do you hear me, Facebook?)  I'm the person who orders four pair of the same exact shoes so that when one pair wears out, I'll have a replacement.  Why not find a different pair of shoes, you ask?  Oh, the horror!!

So the thought of switching marketing providers in order to save some cash gives me cold sweats, especially when I'm perfectly satisfied with MailChimp.  Yeah, I know, I'm weird.  But I doubt I'm alone.  I think (hope) there are others like me out there somewhere who will gladly shell out a few extra bucks for the convenience of keeping the service they like.  What's that saying?  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it?"

I'm sure there's a tipping point, when the cost of service will be more than I can manage, but for right now I think I'll stay where I'm at and pay the difference.  I'll call it a 'cost of convenience' charge.  And hopefully, MailChimp won't get any bright ideas to change what already works because, honestly, I don't want an additional reason to leave them.

Now, back to my pennies...


  1. I totally know what you mean about email providers. I use Mailchimp and have been toying with switching to a new one. I hate to do it, but I feel like I need to. I recently discovered Mailerlite, which is a bit less than Mailchimp. However, you get what you pay for. I will let you know how I like it, but I will probably stick with Mailchimp in the long run. Mailchimp has the best automation and subscriber analytics if you ask me.

    I am glad to see I am not the only one who HATES change. Also, I have not seen a way to add files to newsletters like you can with Mailchimp. That right there is a dealbreaker.

    Good luck with your business! Feel free to talk to me about this sort of thing if you ever need someone to bounce ideas off of :)

    1. This business is all about change and choices...neither one is my strong suit. lol. Thanks for your comment and I wish you great success with your business...and your newsletter provider! ;)