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why my emails are fugly

I have a confession:

My emails are fugly.

(aka fat and ugly)

Yes, I consider all plain-text emails as ugly.

But fugly?

That’s something reserved to this list. (If'n you wanna see just how "hideous" these emails are... proceed to sign up here at your own risk, cully.)

Maybe you caught the change. Maybe not.

Here’s the story:

I use Aweber. And while Aweber has a lot of features (and lack thereof) that I like, it’s far from the best email software. Now, every other email software I’ve used—Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Drip, Springbot, HubSpot, Active Campaign, and the list goes on—also has its pros and cons. But I like the simplicity of Aweber. And nothing—and I mean nothing—grinds my gears worse than switching email softwares.

Moving on…

While I use Aweber to send out my emails, I type everything out in a Google Docs first. That way, if I cancel my Aweber account and switch to other software, I can still access all my content. Not to mention, it makes repurposing content much easier.

Here’s the problem:

When I copy and paste from Google Docs into Aweber, I ruin the formatting. I’ve tried the “clear formatting” trick in Google Docs to no avail. Turns out, there’s no easy way to transfer text from Google Docs to Aweber without breaking the formatting.

For the first few emails, I meticulously added line and paragraph breaks where they happened in Google Docs, so they looked similar. I had a prettier font. And by all accounts, the emails “looked” better.

But you know what?

I’m lazy.

Maybe you can relate. (And if you try to virtue signal that you’re not lazy… I’m calling your bluff. Laziness is a blessing, not a curse. Maybe I’ll explain why that is in another email. Onward.)

Adding the line breaks where I had ‘em in Google Docs was boring, time-consuming, and unimportant.

Which brings me to the point:

Even though my emails are fugly, probably some of the fugliest you read from a formatting standpoint, you still read them. (If I can trust the accuracy of the open rate metrics in Aweber, which I probably can’t. But that’s a story for another day…)

It wasn’t worth my time “prettying up” the formatting.

It’s the classic case of being busy instead of being productive.

And it’s a valuable lesson for anyone who wastes too much time on an email’s design — whether you’re fully designing a beautiful HTML template or just worrying about formatting your plain-text emails in a coherent way.

Nobody buys from you because you have perfect formatting or design.

And I’ll take it a step further…

Design elements (whether formatting or HTML templates) won’t convince anyone on the fence to hop off and try your product or service.

This is what qualifies it as “busy work” instead of “productive work.”

Why make yourself busier than you have to be?

Unless you’re trying to avoid your family like a mask, there’s no point. (And if’n that’s your reason, you have bigger problems, bucko.)

I see freelancers, business owners, and even my clients make this mistake:

They sacrifice productivity at the expense of business.


Being busy “feels” good.

You get to virtue signal to other “hustlers” about how much blood, sweat, and tears you pour into your work. These hustlers then praise you, retweet your tweet, and tell you to keep grinding.

This is the epitome of stupid.

And to make matters worse:

9 times outta 10 when you pretend to be “busy,” you’re doing it because you’re scared of being productive.

Thoughts like…

“What if this email doesn’t make sales?”

“What if someone unsubscribes from my list?”

“What if people think I’m a big, fat moron?”

…fill your head.

So, instead of doing the work you need to do—work that can make a positive impact in your business—because someone *might* criticize you, you do “busy” work that’s so mundane, unremarkable, and average that nobody can criticize you because what you’re “doing” means nothing in the grand scheme of growing your business.

Why work 8 hour days when you can focus and get all your work done in 4 hours then spend the rest of your day doing whatever else you want?

And that’s the long story about why my emails are fugly.

Making the formatting prettier serves no purpose at the end of the day. And in fact, it could actually deter me from sending emails because it takes twice as long to format in a pretty way than in my fugly, scum-of-the-earth way.

And so it is with your business and your emails.

Reminds me of a platitude I’m quite fond of:

Perfect is the enemy of good, so it is.

And another, less popular one:

Perfectionism is procrastination in disguise.

And yes, busy work is also procrastination in disguise.

Thanks for tuning in today.

Wanna tune in every day (and let me sneak into your inbox)? Sign up for yourself here at your own risk... you've been warned.

And and and ... if I'm feeling nice when you sign up ... I just might even add a couple of bonuses, which, may, *cough*, be a certain book, *cough*, plus a weird and "hidden" money-making opportunity for you no matter which god you serve (h/t Avengers).

If you have a proven offer and want to double (mayhap even triple) your email revenue — without spending *any* time on writing or sending emails — book a call and let’s chat.

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