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Control Your Email Marketing Schedule or It Will Control You

It sounds self-evident to say that your email marketing has to be relevant to your audience if you’re going to achieve any meaningful engagement.

And yet, too often we see marketers who, feeling the pressure to stick to the schedule they’ve committed to, publish content that is not relevant, not interesting, and not any different from so much of what’s already out there. Clearly, that’s not going to be an effective long-term strategy.

If the thought crossing your mind right now is, “He’s giving me permission to publish whenever the spirit moves me!,” then you may want to reconsider how committed you really are to your email marketing efforts.

What I am suggesting is that though there is an art to email marketing, it’s not “Art.”

There’s no need to wait for the muse to visit before you create your content.

Instead, you should devise a plan that goes along with your schedule. Something that goes far deeper than, “It’s Tuesday, so it must be time to hit ‘Send.’”

Interests, Resources, Formats

Critical to that plan is identifying what will gain and keep your audience’s attention. (I’m assuming you’ve already identified your audience and their primary motivations.)

Then, it’s time to assess your resources. Can you publish every day? Great. Just be sure you can stick with it. If monthly is more your speed, that works, too. If you track your metrics, your audience will let you know whether you’ve hit the right frequency.

With your topics and schedule in mind, you can turn your attention to the kind of content can you produce. If the content you need to create to engage your audience requires gathering research data, interviews or other time- and labor-intensive work before writing even begins, perhaps you need to reconsider a publishing schedule if it begins to interfere with other responsibilities.

The Content Ecosystem — Big, Little, and In-Between

It can be helpful to think of every content idea as a piece of a larger whole. Is something you just said to a prospect the perfect encapsulation of an idea that would make a great slide in a presentation? Or perhaps you’ve just thought of a topic that could be a presentation itself. Either way, that one concept can lead you to a tremendous trove of content. A presentation becomes a keynote; individual slides become online articles; pull quotes and bullet points become social media posts.

Thinking in this modular way not only helps keep your content on task and relevant, but it can also ease the burden of having to create what may feel like too much content. Avoiding burnout and the fear of not having anything to write about are both critical to keeping your content quality high.

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Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on Biznology.com, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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