In previous articles we discussed automating your email marketing, branding and consistency.
Another way to make your email marketing easier and more effective is to invite participation from others in compiling your emails.
Most of us have a very limited time available and this adds to the difficulty of maintaining a consistent program. Perhaps the easiest way of keeping up a regular email schedule while maintaining the interest level of your audience is to get others to help you by providing material to be featured.
Your emails can be as simple as a single article that showcases a staff member and their particular skills and knowledge – or it can comprise several articles written by different individuals such as staff members, or even customers and vendors. There’s nothing more persuasive than a first hand account from a customer who discusses how they use your product or service. Plus you have the added bonus that the customer is usually thrilled at the opportunity to promote themselves at no cost.
The secret to making this method work is to have your email schedule planned a few months in advance. Once you’ve decided your theme for each issue, match that theme with a variety of staff, customers or vendors and approach them immediately to request their input. Give them enough time to put the article or information together – but not enough that they completely forget about it. I usually let people know a month or more in advance that I’d like them to contribute. As soon as I have their agreement, I set up a reminder schedule – an email that goes out once a week to remind them about the deadline for their submission.
In this way, I’m able to maintain focus without annoying anyone and it’s a lot less stressful than waiting until the last minute only to discover that they’ve run out of time before they’ve even begun. If you can spot that they’re having trouble with this early, you can suggest that you interview them and write the piece for them. Or that they supply you with a point form outline that you flesh out. Whichever way they choose, you end up with fresh material from a variety of sources instead of the same old thing each issue.
It’s a great PR exercise. Your customers and vendors are usually quite flattered at being asked to contribute and your staff get an opportunity to gain broader recognition of their skills. And best of all, it’s no longer all on your shoulders.