The days are too short and our to-do lists are too long, right? Right! Here’s some help: a list of nine time-saving tips we put together specifically for you, the hugely talented but probably overworked email marketer. Take a deep breath and a sip of coffee, and read on.
1. Use a calendar
“Establishing a visual calendar of all upcoming email deployments at least one month in advance — more than one month is even better — can greatly streamline the workload,” writes Carolyn Nye at PracticalECommerce. “Take a few hours to set up the calendar for the upcoming month or months,” Nye advises. “It will save significant time later and it will help avoid a last-minute rush to get campaigns out the door.”
2. Automate everything you can
“Email marketing can be labor intensive: campaign creation, graphics, copy, scheduling, etc.” writes Peter Fusco at Main Street ROI. “All these tasks require creativity, time and meticulous review. Automation is an opportunity to amplify and squeeze more value out of all the prep work emails require.” New to automation? Check out this guide from ClickZ.
3. Merge your lists
“Most ecommerce companies have too many email lists,” advises OnlyGrowth. “Just because you have multiple contacts from one trade show, and a bunch from another, doesn’t mean they can’t all go on the same list, saving you the time and hassle of needlessly managing multiple lists.” Want some more list-management tips? Here you go.
4. Use triggered messages
If you are not using triggered messages, we have good news and bad news. The bad news: you are wasting time. The good news: you have company. As we reported earlier this year, only a third of email marketers said they had been sending reactive, triggered emails for two years or more, and 22-percent of respondents reported not sending any type of triggered emails at all. Triggered emails not only save time – they also get amazing results, including click-through rates of 56-percent and open rates of 50 percent.
5. Consider outsourcing some tasks
Email marketing can be very demanding, even when it’s your only job. And adding email marketing duties to an already-full plate, as often happens in smaller businesses, can be overwhelming. That’s why your most important time-saver may be making good use of someone else’s time. “It’s important to know how to utilize your own talents as well as the talents of your team, and sometimes, the best option is to outsource tasks that take up a lot of time and resources,” writes Parker Davis at Business2Community. Tasks to consider for outsourcing include social media responsibilities, content development, and editing photos and videos.
6. Keep things simple – and short
When it comes to subject lines, shorter has been proven to be better – especially now that most emails are read on mobile devices. “Your readers want to scan through their inbox quickly,” writes Miranda Paquet at Constant Contact. “Sometimes subject lines that use only a word or two can stand out and get the most engagement.” And the same goes for content, which performs best when it’s succinct and scannable. Don’t waste your time writing unnecessary words; instead, focus on coming up with the right ones.
7. Curate and pre-write your email newsletters
“To save time on your newsletters, don’t wait until the last minute to set them up,” writes Joshua Reyes at Justuno. “Curate your content throughout the week so you know exactly what to include in your newsletter. Have your content creators write short lines of copy to introduce their post for email, so you don’t have to search through for the most relevant information.” Need some newsletter curation tips? Here’s a handy guide from our friends at AWeber.
8. Repurpose your best stuff
Sometimes, what’s old can, with a little effort, become almost new again. That’s certainly true of content. If you are stymied for an idea, chances are that there is some in your archive that you could re-format and, in the process, create something almost brand new. “It’s worth repurposing content into as many different formats as you can,” writes Alex Rynne at LinkedIn. “Your audience is not a homogeneous group that likes to consume content in the exact same way. Those who would never read a 1,000-word blog post might watch a three-minute video, for example.”
9. Eliminate distractions
This last one applies to everyone – not just email marketers. Distractions are all around us, no matter what kind of work of we do, which means learning how to avoid them should be a priority. Here are a few things that can help: turn off your phone for set periods, check email only at specific times, and use website-blocking software to help you avoid checking news or shopping. Check out Mind Tools for more tips.