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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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