We are the start of what is looking to be a great year for email marketing. Online sales from email are up and it is still the channel that is seeing the highest Return on Investment – a perfect reason for companies to increase email marketing efforts and budgets.
Email marketing isn’t all about the numbers. In the day-to-day work of a marketer it might even be more about the combination of results and enjoying the work. But don’t be fooled, building a great audience and email program is hard work. There is one rule I’d suggest marketers to live by, keeping that hard work doable:

The one golden rule to live by

Enjoy working on your email marketing program.

It is as simple as that. If you enjoy working on your email marketing program it will show through in all emailings you send out. How do you think a recipient is going to be enticed if you aren’t? Going to enjoy reading if you didn’t enjoy writing?

Here are 3 ways to keep the marketing juices flowing and bring enthusiasm to your email program:

1. Get Hooked and get Newsjacking

Marketing is the art of connecting with your audience. One of the ways to connect with your audience is to tap into their everyday life and understand what is keeping them busy. So this year you might want to put the Olympics on your agenda as well as Easter, Father’s Day, Valentine’s or school vacations.

What really gets blood pumping is what is called “real-time marketing” or Newsjacking – a kind of hook on to the events of today. Luckily email and social media are both as quick as you can spell “real-time”. What’s in the papers today can become the subject of your marketing.

Some email tools can connect the website RSS feed to your newsletter template, making it easy to publish over multiple channels at the same time. Because in these cases, time is of the essence, it requires a flexible marketing team and one or two quick thinkers, tough it can really give you encouraging results and a boost of energy to work on a project like this.

2. Create a goal specific campaign

All email marketers have goals to reach. Even if the goals aren’t written down (yet). Email marketers want new subscribers to sign-up, they want to increase sales or stimulate customer loyalty. Or even measure their impact through the more simple metrics in life such as increasing email opens and click throughs.

Take at least one of these goals and run with it. It is very stimulating to work towards a (new) goal especially if the results can be measured and monitored real time. So for instance; create a campaign that is specially designed to get people that haven’t opened their email in a while to interact. Think about including new and stimulating ‘from names’, stellar subject lines, pre-headers, preview pane design and all elements to re-active that interaction-lagging subscriber. You can just go ahead and make the improvements. But if you really want to know what works best, there are different ways to do A-B testing with your emails. Are you getting some creative ideas yet?

3. Go green

Creating fresh content isn’t about reinventing the wheel. Most companies have a ton of (unused) content lying around and some of that is really good too, like blog posts from a year ago that could have been written yesterday. Check out what evergreen content had some good impact before. There are lots of ways you can go crazy when you have a great foundation.

For example; customer feedback that hasn’t been used or what the top five email newsletters of last year were?
Grab that content, and revive it, make it even better than it was. This is not only very efficient use of your resources, but also very rewarding, because you will almost certainly see the effect.

The one email marketing rule to live by

There you have it. Do you love to create great emails? Maybe not every day. But by adding some juice, a sparkle of enthusiasm and some variance it certainly becomes more enjoyable! So see if you can adapt one of three ideas and don’t forget the one rule: Always enjoy working on your email program.

This post was written for the email marketing guys over at GraphicMail, but I liked it so much I just had to post it here first :)