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Creating content for email campaigns

From: Effective HTML Email and Newsletters

Video: Creating content for email campaigns

Once you plan your email marketing efforts, the next step is to make sure you'll have enough content for your readers. Great content doesn't happen by magic. It also requires careful planning and realistic goals. The first step to creating great contents is to be realistic about what you can and cannot do. You may want to send a weekly email on newsletter, for example, but only have time to publish once a month. It's better to plan for content once a month than to fail to publish, or barely publish, once a week. The second key step is to find a way to organize content you do want to create.

Creating content for email campaigns

Once you plan your email marketing efforts, the next step is to make sure you'll have enough content for your readers. Great content doesn't happen by magic. It also requires careful planning and realistic goals. The first step to creating great contents is to be realistic about what you can and cannot do. You may want to send a weekly email on newsletter, for example, but only have time to publish once a month. It's better to plan for content once a month than to fail to publish, or barely publish, once a week. The second key step is to find a way to organize content you do want to create.

Your choices are paper or calendar or spreadsheet. If you use paper, you want to have a single sheet of paper for each email you send, and on each piece of paper you write down these story ideas and any details you need, like URLs and so forth. If you use calendars, it's pretty much the same way. For each date on the calendar that you plan to send an email, you write out the information, your story ideas, any other data. For spreadsheets, you would have columns for each of the elements that you want to track. Organizing your story ideas and managing them in a single place is called an editorial calendar.

One big question is, what to track? Story ideas you want to track, at the very, very least. You also want to track the due date and the publication date. You might or might not want to track the writer name. For example, if you're the only writer, it's really not useful to keep writing your name into a spreadsheet or a calendar over and over again. You also might want to track clicks to find out over time what content performs the best. But it's important to note that not every detail has to be tracked; you should only track what matters absolutely the most to you to get content out the door.

Once you have a way to organize and track your ideas for email content, you will need to think about where to get ideas and content for your emails. This mostly depends on your readers. What will make your emails valuable to them? Ask your readers and your customers, what do they need to know? Create lists of sites that cover your topics and then review those sites periodically to find stories that you can link to from your emails. Create Google News alerts for your topics, and organize all of your ideas into themes to find more ideas.

For example, you might want to interview people who are subject matter experts. Great content for email doesn't happen. Creating an editorial calendar and keeping it current is the best way to ensure your emails stay relevant to your readers, and relevant content is the best way to meet the needs of your readers and to meet your own goals.

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Effective HTML Email and Newsletters

55 video lessons · 22013 viewers

Tim Slavin
Author

 
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  1. 2m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 24s
  2. 13m 12s
    1. Understanding differences between HTML email and web pages
      1m 21s
    2. Seeing how HTML email displays in different email programs
      3m 27s
    3. Finding Acid tests and compatibility checklists
      2m 35s
    4. Understanding MIME types: HTML vs plain text
      4m 3s
    5. Exploring the future of HTML email
      1m 46s
  3. 15m 12s
    1. Defining spam
      2m 6s
    2. Examining legal issues with permission-based email
      1m 33s
    3. Planning email campaigns
      1m 36s
    4. Creating content for email campaigns
      2m 34s
    5. Understanding design constraints of HTML email
      1m 53s
    6. Designing effective HTML email
      2m 5s
    7. Building email address lists
      3m 25s
  4. 7m 28s
    1. Choosing tools for coding HTML email
      1m 27s
    2. Coding email versus coding web pages
      1m 14s
    3. Preventing problems with email coding
      2m 49s
    4. Understanding the ideal coding process
      1m 58s
  5. 17m 27s
    1. Planning
      1m 8s
    2. Coding HTML tables
      4m 38s
    3. Adding content
      4m 49s
    4. Adding inline CSS
      6m 52s
  6. 10m 44s
    1. Planning
      43s
    2. Coding HTML tables
      2m 41s
    3. Adding content
      3m 39s
    4. Adding inline CSS
      3m 41s
  7. 13m 13s
    1. Planning
      1m 13s
    2. Coding HTML tables
      3m 4s
    3. Adding content
      2m 37s
    4. Adding images
      1m 9s
    5. Adding inline CSS
      5m 10s
  8. 7m 32s
    1. Designing a plain text email
      4m 49s
    2. Designing a plain text email from an HTML email
      2m 43s
  9. 20m 45s
    1. Automating HTML email creation
      2m 5s
    2. Automating HTML email by category
      1m 6s
    3. Automating HTML email with WordPress
      5m 32s
    4. Automating HTML email with ExpressionEngine
      4m 27s
    5. Automating HTML email with FeedBurner from an RSS feed
      4m 27s
    6. Automating HTML email with FeedBlitz from an RSS feed
      3m 8s
  10. 6m 42s
    1. Deciding when and how to test email
      3m 18s
    2. Using testing services
      3m 24s
  11. 13m 56s
    1. Outsourcing your email campaign
      56s
    2. Sending email with MailChimp
      2m 40s
    3. Sending email with Campaign Monitor
      1m 51s
    4. Sending email with Constant Contact
      2m 20s
    5. Sending email with iContact
      2m 9s
    6. Sending email with VerticalResponse
      1m 52s
    7. Sending email with canned templates
      2m 8s
  12. 14m 34s
    1. Solving layout and spacing problems
      2m 50s
    2. Solving image problems
      3m 12s
    3. Solving Gmail display problems
      2m 19s
    4. Solving Lotus Notes display problems
      1m 55s
    5. Solving Outlook 2007/2010 display problems
      2m 40s
    6. Adding video to email
      1m 38s
  13. 1m 36s
    1. Next steps
      1m 36s

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