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Newsletters in an Hour a Week

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We will take you through DesignHammer’s recent, two part, newsletter creation process from start to finish. First, we’ll share ideas for simple, sustainable, and scalable processes for content generation. Then, we will give a brief overview of email marketing tools currently in the marketplace. Finally, we’ll discuss our experience using MailChimp. This will include some of MailChimp’s technical features, which can aid in reaching your desired audience.

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Newsletters in an Hour a Week

  1. 1. Newsletters in an Hour a Week NCT4G Conference 2017 Tuesday, June 6th Michael Nicholson
 Jeanette Larsen @DesignHammer
  2. 2. 2 Michael Nicholson Project Manager
  3. 3. Michael’s spirit animal 3
  4. 4. Jeanette Larsen Web Designer 4
  5. 5. Jeanette’s spirit animal 5
  6. 6. DH History 6
  7. 7. Struggling with regularity 7
  8. 8. 8 • We did blog posts, sometimes • Decent quality • Variety of topics • Inconsistent execution due to a lack of a detailed plan • No real measurement of impact or frequency Struggling with regularity
  9. 9. Cobbler’s children 9
  10. 10. 10 Have you seen any of these suspects? • Technology companies with old computer systems? • Stressed out relaxation therapists? • Car mechanics with broken down cars? Cobbler’s children
  11. 11. Problems 11
  12. 12. 12 • Lack of inspiration • Lack of process • Lack of time Problems - 3 Main issues How to generate content reliably, in a timely manner?
  13. 13. Problem - Lack of inspiration 13 “I don’t know what to write about.”
  14. 14. Problem - Lack of inspiration 14 • How do we get new ideas? • What's good enough? • What is the value of repeating content that already exists?
  15. 15. Problem - Lack of process 15 I know I've got the file. It's right here in storage... somewhere.
  16. 16. Problem - Lack of process 16 "I don't know what I am supposed to be doing or who to ask.”
  17. 17. Problem - Lack of process 17
  18. 18. Problem - Lack of process • Who am I supposed to talk to? • Who are your resources for review and style guides? • Do you have a defined set of items for a type of content? • Do you have a timeline for your steps? 18
  19. 19. Problem - Lack of time 19
  20. 20. Problem - Lack of time • Lack of organizational buy-in • Lack of individual buy-in • Prioritization 20
  21. 21. Problem - Lack of time Our staff always prioritized client work ahead of our content creation efforts. 21
  22. 22. • Is this important? • Does both staff and leadership think it's important? • How do we get it done? • Why isn't it getting done already if it’s important? 22 Problem - Lack of time
  23. 23. 23 Distribute generated content
  24. 24. Distribute generated content • Who do we want to reach? • How do we best reach them? • Are their multiple user segments in that group? • What amount of time do I have to distribute content? • Do we want the reader to take an action? 24
  25. 25. Solutions 25
  26. 26. 26
  27. 27. Solutions - Content process Scheduled crowd-sourcing content creation: • Structure for regular content • Scheduled time for crowd-sourcing • Process in place for review/support with expected time frames 27
  28. 28. Solutions - Scheduled crowd-sourced content 28
  29. 29. Solutions - Structure for regular content • Do you have style and content guidelines? • Do you have a shared, efficient tool? • What's a format everyone can contribute to? • Do you have a way to keep track of your progress? 29
  30. 30. Solutions - Scheduled time for crowd-sourcing • How much time a week? • How specifically scheduled is the time? Is this specific to a certain date or amount of time? • Do you schedule as a group or as individuals? 30
  31. 31. Solutions - Process in place for review/support • How do people get their content reviewed once they've completed their portion? • How quickly should that review happen? • Is there enough time scheduled before the content needs to be finalized? 31
  32. 32. Solutions - Scheduled content aggregation 32
  33. 33. • Reading • Taking notes • “Reader’s Corner” - weekly posting 33 Scheduled content aggregation
  34. 34. 34 Scheduled content aggregation - Reading
  35. 35. Subscribe to email lists that are appropriate/compelling: • Find advocacy blogs • Sign up for email lists • RSS feeds 35 Reading - How are you getting information now that is time efficient? DesignHammer Updates List: http://eepurl.com/cEaYHj
  36. 36. What is important about what you're reading? • Who said it? • Who it applies to? • Is it time sensitive? • What is the 3 sentence version of why this matters? 36 Scheduled content aggregation - Taking notes
  37. 37. 37 Scheduled content aggregation - “Reader’s Corner”
  38. 38. 38 “Reader’s Corner” Iterations - Google doc
  39. 39. 39 “Reader’s Corner” Iterations - Google form
  40. 40. 40 “Reader’s Corner” Iterations - Google Sheets
  41. 41. 41 “Reader’s Corner” - Post
  42. 42. 42 Taking notes example - Google Chrome SSL Warning
  43. 43. 43 “Reader’s Corner” - SSL example
  44. 44. Solutions - Ideas list for more meatier posts 44
  45. 45. • Where do you track your ideas for compelling content? • How often do you want to create ‘meatier posts’ as part of your communication? • How often do you review this list? • Who has access to this list? 45 Solutions - Ideas list for more meatier posts
  46. 46. 46 Solutions - Owner of content generation
  47. 47. • Will there be one or multiple owners? • Who makes final decisions? • Should this responsibility rotate over time and at what frequency? • What is their responsibility? 47 Owner of content generation
  48. 48. What does follow up look like in your organization? • Staff meetings • Individual assignments • Project management 48 Owner of content generation - follow up • Google calendar • List of topics that people select
  49. 49. • What is the accountability of the owner? • When assignments are made, how are individuals held accountable? 49 Owner of content generation - accountability
  50. 50. 50 Owner of content generation - NOT a full time job
  51. 51. • How much time a week is reasonable for that person? • How much support do they need? • Can that support be distributed to spread out the burden? 51 Owner of content generation - NOT a full time job
  52. 52. Solutions - What else can you do with your content? • Educate • Event registration • Donations • Advocacy 52
  53. 53. Solution - Tools 53
  54. 54. Tools • Google office • Social media - tools • SMS services • Surveys 54
  55. 55. Tools - Google office 55
  56. 56. Tools - Social media 56
  57. 57. Tools - SMS 57
  58. 58. Tools - Surveys 58
  59. 59. • Please share your level of interest in the following categories • How often would you prefer to hear from DH • Other suggestions 59 Surveys - Ask your readers questions you want answers to
  60. 60. Surveys - Ask your readers questions you want answers to 60
  61. 61. Surveys - Benefits readers • Relevant information • Schedule they like • Methodology of how the like to be reached 61
  62. 62. • Expands your reach • Increases brand or company awareness • Identifies you as thought leaders 62 Surveys - Benefits organization
  63. 63. MailChimp 63
  64. 64. MailChimp - Lists and segments 64
  65. 65. MailChimp - List signup forms 65
  66. 66. MailChimp - Templates 66
  67. 67. Conclusion 67
  68. 68. Conclusion - Problems • How do we create content? - Lack of inspiration, process, and time • How do we distribute our generated content? 68
  69. 69. Conclusion - Content problem • Scheduled crowd sourced content creation • Scheduled content aggregation • Idea list • Owner of content generation 69
  70. 70. • Update list in MailChimp • Posts on our website • Promote through social media • Use Hootsuite to manage social media 70 Conclusion - Distribution problem
  71. 71. Questions? 71
  72. 72. 72 Follow us! @DesignHammer
 facebook.com/DesignHammer www.designhammer.com/blog/ Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/cEaYHj Feedback: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/dh-nctech4good

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