Oh, sometimes everything seems to go just right, and then, seemingly illogically, everything goes wrong. Worse, sometimes it seems things are going both right and wrong at the same time.
I’ve noted earlier my problems in solving what “should” be a simple problem — finding a competent (but not too expensive) designer to build our email marketing templates to look appealing. Why should this be so difficult? There are plenty of really well-designed email templates/concepts and lots of businesses publish really good stuff, but I’m caught in a vortex.
One reader (honorably) suggested: “Why not sign up with one of the commercial services?” for the weekly constructionmarketingideas.com email. She named it — and indeed the service (mailchimp.com) offers a user-free option for many smaller mailings, and the list I’m using for this project would qualify for the service. So it is a solution, sort of.
But I have other lists, letters, needs, and all of these are on the handy and reliable self-hosted server model, with really good data and pretty strong spam protection/avoidance tools. So hiving off this list and leaving the others where they are seems like an inelegant solution, at best.
There are options, of course. I could post and offer to pay $20 to $50 an hour or more (for a possibly undefined, but certainly longer-than-I-would like) time for some expert help. Maybe okay for an hour or two, but for 30 to 40 hours? Sometimes good solutions are costly, I know, but why is it that seemingly equal problems can be solved quickly with a few clicks of the button and many competing service providers for $20 or $30?
We experience these paradoxes of course quite frequently in marketing. Sometimes the answers and business-building solutions are so simple and easy they shock us with their effectiveness and simplicity. Sometimes, we struggle, endlessly it seems, without an answer. And sometimes the answer appears quickly and seemingly out-of-the-blue, but can’t quickly be replicated. You try, try again, and still can’t repeat the good fortune (until some other surprise occurs).
Of course these elements frame the rest of our business and personal lives. Luck interfaces with science; experience shapes perceptions, and sometimes leads to repeatable inspiration, and sometimes to dead ends. The answer, I know, can be discovered in intelligent perseverance; not blindly repeating the same mistakes over and over (that would be insane, of course), but exploring, questioning, asking and searching for the answers that work right long-term. In this regard, I’m fortunate to have achieved longer-term success despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles along the way. I’ll solve this problem, and others. But it is still frustrating to be in the middle of the solution-searching stage.