Perfection Paralysis - A Case Study

I don't just write emails for authors. I also write emails for the government and entrepreneurs outside of the creative space and it's always really interesting to me how different yet the same executing these emails is for this segment vs authors.

Last week, I helped a new non-author client get their newsletter off the ground. It had taken months to get to the point where they were happy enough to let their newsletter fly out into the world. Let me tell you, this newsletter was perfect. But they weren't sure about that.

It was styled well. Had clear calls to action. Had some storytelling. And was compliant.

There was nothing stopping us from releasing it out into the wild, except for one thing.

Something I call, perfection paralysis.

Even though I'd assured this brand that their email was perfect. That there wasn't anything left that we could do to make it better, they still hesitated.

One day their backs were up against the wall and they had to press send, but still, the marketing department had never sent an email out in their existence and they were experiencing a bad case of perfection paralysis.

"What if I've missed something?"

"What if no one opens it?"

"What if everyone who reads it thinks it's awful?"

"What if the links don't work?"

Sound familiar? It's an affliction that affects a LOT of authors. And the truth is, it's likely that you haven't missed anything, someone will open it, no one thinks it's awful and the links likely work. But still, it's hard to let our emails fly out into the world. It feels kind of like we just asked our subscriber list to judge us based solely on that email.

Do you know what happened when this team finally hit send?

Their metrics were phenomenal.

81% open rate - yup, lots of people opened it.

32% click rate - again, lots of people opened it AND found it full of valuable calls to action.

We got oodles of replies - again, all with excited, positive feedback.

And all the links worked.

So the next time you're experiencing perfection paralysis, remember this email. Not sending an email because you're unsure if it's perfect is only leaving money on the table.

What if when you send it, regardless of what you may think its appeal may be, it is loved by your readers? And they click on ALLLLLL the things. And you sell books.

You can fix the things that go wrong. That's just data telling you to make some adjustments. But if you don't send anything because you're feeling vulnerable or waiting for the perfect moment, you're definitely not getting the clicks that lead to revenue.

Happy Emailing,


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I just want to close by letting you know that you are amazing, Reader. For goodness sake, you write books for a living. Your words have power. And you know how to use them. I believe in your ability to put words to your dreams. XOX Holly.

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Hi! I'm Holly from Holly Darling HQ.

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