Resolutions are as common as hangovers when a new year dawns. Unfortunately, most resolutions are soon forgotten – because they are unrealistic and unattainable. Not ours. You can do everything on this list – and it will be worth it!

Let’s start off with a few email-marketing-specific resolutions:

1. Meet your customers at the moment-of-open

“Things are happening faster every day,” writes Amy Pasquarello at 11mark. “It’s important to capitalize on the moments you have with your audience. With contextual marketing, you can. Its real-time engagement components allow you to present the right message to the right person at the right time.”

Here’s how we define contextual email marketing (which we are allowed to do because we invented it): “Email marketing content that is personalized and relevant to each of your customers based on their location, local weather, past purchases, time, devices and more at the moment of open.”

Marketers are using contextual emails in many creative ways, including deploying live polls that update in real-time, displaying customer data unique and engaging ways and automatically pulling products or content from a company’s website into messages.

Check out our posts here and here for more.

2. Get intelligent

With your content, that is. Intelligent content is a topic that is sure to be discussed often in 2018 – because it’s game a changer.

“The problem with content is that it doesn’t scale,” we wrote in June. “More or better content requires more people, more complex processes to manage the content they produce, and more costs to produce it all. Content is the bottleneck of 1:1 marketing.”

That’s the problem. And intelligent content is the solution. It’s contextual marketing on steroids: “Personalized content generated in real-time using any data you have and whatever business logic you need to create the perfect content.”

For great examples of the power of intelligent content, check out our presentation here.

3. Leverage your data

There’s an excellent chance that your organization is sitting on lots valuable customer data. The question is, are you using it? Activating data to create personalized customer experiences is easier said than done, but it’ll be a crucial part of marketing in 2018. And we’re not talking about simple first name personalization, either.

“Used strategically, data can help you get smarter with your marketing,” writes Ritika Puri at WordStream. “But don’t expect the story and action items to just ‘come together.’ Take the time to dig into the trends, explore, and figure out creative ways to add touch points to your campaigns.”

To learn more about getting started with activating data in your emails, check out our post: 7 Ways to Use Data Successfully in Your Email Marketing.

4. Automate when you can

Automating your campaigns can save you time and effort, help you drive revenue, and even – paradoxically – help you humanize your messages.

“Automation allows you to get more personal with your emails, sending fresh, valuable content to your subscribers,” we wrote in March. “Relevance is key to engaging visitors and delivering experiences that enrich their journey.”

Even the most prosaic types of automated messages, transactional triggered messages – such as those that confirm a purchase – have great engagement potential: “Research shows transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email, and can generate 6x more revenue,” says Campaign Monitor.

For more about the power of automation, check out our recent case studies here and here.

5. Scrub your lists

You’re going to have a fresh start in a couple of weeks, so you might as well begin with clean mailing lists, right? Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also be helping ensure your success throughout the new year.

An entire sub-industry has emerged to help email marketers verify addresses and clean their lists.

The folks at FormGet have compiled a list of what they consider to be the ten best services, which you can check out here.

Once you clean your list, you’ll want to make sure it says that way. Here are 15 tips for doing that from Vertical Response.

And here are few resolutions that aren’t as field-specific:

6. Organize, organize, organize!

This is an easy one – for some people. For others, getting and staying organized at work can be a tremendous challenge – but it can have a big payoff in productivity.

“You may think that you don’t have time to organize your office, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider,” writes Royale Scudari at Lifehack, in an article that offers 21 useful organization tips.

7. Get some rest

You can count on the pace being frantic in 2018. A key to being able to cope with all the demands will be getting enough sleep.

“Skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity,” writes Travis Bradberry at Forbes.

Shoot for seven or eight hours every night, abstain from caffeine and alcohol in the evening and reserve your bedroom for sleeping – which means not working in bed.

8. Try meditating

“If you think you’re too busy to meditate, chances are you should start,” writes Erin Brodwin at Business Insider. “Studies suggest that people with jam-packed schedules and intimidating to-do lists stand to benefit most from mindfulness meditation, which has can help reduce stress, improve focus, and even increase one’s ability to relate to others.”