Email marketing is supposed to be fast, very fast. The touch of a button and the emails are in the inbox, right? Wrong. There is no printing, no media to be bought or long production lines, but this also transfers some of that fast and furious image to the production of email. Email marketing done right also takes time. So let’s walk you through some steps to beat a crazy deadline.
Don’t Do It
This might seem a bit harsh and almost impossible, but if there is no emergency, don’t treat it like one. The fact that a colleague is standing beside your desk or a client is on the phone doesn’t make it a true emergency. If the content is delivered after the deadline has passed, it will not be put in the email newsletter. A day late with the input or final approval? Send the email a day later. It might seem that this is not possible in your organization, but it most often is perfectly possible. This tactic will redirect the problems to where they belong and sticking to it you will see that you don’t have to insist on deadlines as much if contributors know there are consequences.
Take Some Extra Time
Try and set a wider deadline. Even if you don’t need all that time, the day will come when everything goes wrong. Coding and rendering issues, deliverability problems, key personnel get sick, and on top of everything your email tool breaks down. You don’t want to break your promises, especially if you press the ones that have to deliver to you to keep theirs. So make sure you have enough time to start with and calculate that you will be needing some extra time to handle issues every now and then.
Have a Back-Up Plan
Having a back-up plan in place is also a life saver. So what will you do if certain content isn’t delivered in time or your key personnel are not available? Writing a back-up plan isn’t that hard. Make a list of all the steps in your publishing process, who is involved and what they do (you should do that anyway to streamline your process). Then try and think of means to “work around” them if one or more steps are not available. Have two or three people in place that could perform certain tasks; have some evergreen content or offers ready that you can easily publish as a replacement; et cetera, etc.
Last Minute Content
It is a bit of a different story if your email is waiting for last minute content like statistics, figures, offers, (business) news or that kind of data. Your best shot is to get a non-dependent version in place to publish in case of lagging input. This allows you to fill, test and approve the emails in advance. The last-minute content can be put on your website or a specific landing page instead of actually in the email. Webpages can be modified later, even after sending the email.
Beating the Deadline
If you are often facing crazy email deadlines, make it a priority to get these tactics in place. It will make your life as an email marketer much easier and allows you to perform better with less stress. So give those deadlines a beating!