Flashback to January 2012: part of your New Year’s resolutions was to improve your email marketing. For the first few days, you eagerly got up earlier, made yourself some coffee and got to work. Then you got up a little later or focused on a different aspect of your business, and before you knew it, email had made its way to the back burner again.

Maybe you had lofty goals to achieve high click through and open rates, increase conversions and get more sales. Or maybe you just wanted to email subscribers more often.

This year, we’ve got your back. In this 3-part series, we’ll cover what you need to do to stick to your resolutions this year. Let’s start with how to make sure you email subscribers as often as you want.

When You’re Just Getting Started…

The scene: Excited about getting started with your email marketing, you set up a sign up form on your site. You’re even more excited when you notice a lot of visitors are signing up. You make a mental note to send a new email out soon to keep these newly interested subscribers engaged. Days pass by with no emails and subscribers lose interest. You need to find a permanent solution to keep new subscribers engaged with your business.

The fix: autoresponders, or follow up messages.

These messages can be set to go out at the intervals you choose. You can sit down for a few hours and create several of these messages, then set up a schedule. Most business owners use the first message as a welcome for subscribers. The second one might go out the next day, the third a few days after that, the fourth a week after that and so on.

Most follow up sequences cover a relatively long time period; it’s not uncommon for business owners to have a couple months worth in place.

Here are a few businesses that have found success using follow up messages:

When You Blog…

The scene: It’s midnight, and you just finished a blog post. You know your subscribers want to be updated when you have a new post, but it’s late and you don’t have time to create an email for it right now. Or the next night. Or the next…

The fix: Most email service providers can also connect with your blog and send out your blog posts as emails without you doing a thing. This feature is great for busy business owners.

Some businesses will create a separate list for blog subscribers, while others let subscribers know at sign up that emails will include recent blog posts. Most email marketing services let you set up how often to send these blog emails, so if you choose once a week, that email will include all the posts you put up in the last week.

Writer’s block? Allow for guest authors to write for you, it’s a good way to network with others in your industry. You can also create round-up posts like this one of popular topics you’ve talked about before.

When You Can’t Find The Time…

The scene: Your business relies on timely announcements. Right now you need to let subscribers know about a product you’re about to launch. You quickly become flustered and frustrated when you realize how hard it is to throw these emails together last minute.

The fix: If you look at last year, you might find that lack of time or a plan was the biggest issue. Your email service provider can only go so far, so something has to be done to ensure subscribers are getting the emails they signed up for year-round.

At the start of 2013, when you’re fresh and energized about the New Year’s resolutions, sit down and plan out your content for a year. Giving yourself a schedule to stick to will make it much harder to skip deadlines than if you force yourself to sit down and create an email from scratch.

You should also keep track of where most of your time goes. You might be surprised to learn that you aren’t spending it in the areas that matter most, so keeping a diary can help you locate time-suckers.

These tools can also help:

  • Google Calendar or Drive – Google has lots of free tools like these to use, great for keeping everything organized.
  • Rescue Time – A service that tracks your online activity and helps you spot when and where you become inefficient.

Next Up: Grow Your List

Have you checked out how well your web forms are converting? Has subscriber growth been stagnant? The next post will cover what you should do to keep your list growing throughout the year. Sign up to our email list below to make sure you don’t miss it.