Marketers are stressed, and email marketing initiatives are one of the contributing factors. According to research conducted by Workfront, a project management software company, 80% of marketers are overloaded, understaffed, and stressed. A separate research study conducted by Paychex discovered that marketing professionals report being stressed for 3.84 days each week. That’s 80% of a 40-hour work week, and it’s more time than people in any other profession reported, including military, public safety, medical, and more.
Email marketing can take a lot of time, and much of that time is spent in four areas: targeting, writing and creative, review and approval, and tracking. There are so many opportunities for bottlenecks and delays throughout the process that marketers end up working long hours to meet deadlines. As a result, they’re stressed and errors are made.
To combat the challenges of email marketing, it’s important to use your time as productively as possible. No one wants to live at the office, so it’s up to you to develop habits that save you time and frustration. To that end, here are 10 productivity hacks that you can use to make email marketing more efficient and reduce the stress it can cause.
1. Practice Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing exercises have been proven to help people relax, and they’re easy to do at the office. There are a wide variety of breathing exercises you can use, so try some and choose the one that works best for you. WebMD offers a variety of breathing tips to help you get started.
2. Take Breaks
Believe it or not, researchers have found that workers are more productive and less stressed when they take breaks throughout the day. Schedule a few breaks each day and make sure you take them. If you can, go outside and take a short walk. Being outside in the sun can actually decrease your cortisol levels, which go up when you’re stressed.
3. Reduce Interruptions
A study by Microsoft found that workers lose a minimum of one hour every day to interruptions, and all of that lost time leads to stress. Turn off your phone. Close your door (if you have one). Block out time on your calendar. Turn off your email notifications. Once all of the potential distractions have been mitigated to the extent possible, you can focus. Choose one task to focus on at a time and work on it to completion before turning to anything else.
4. Develop Written Processes
How much time do you and your coworkers waste each day because you don’t have written procedures to follow? Think about your email marketing review and approval process. Is there a written process in place that explains responsibilities, how people will be held accountable for meeting deadlines, what tools will be used, and so on? If not, create one. It will save you time on every email campaign, which will lower your stress level.
5. Use To Do Lists
It’s hard to veer off course when you have a written To Do list to follow. Create a new To Do list each day, so you know exactly what you need to accomplish. Unless something else comes up that’s an emergency, stick to your list. Be sure to include deadlines for each task.
Different tasks have different importance levels, so prioritize your To Do list each day. If you’re not sure how to prioritize effectively, use Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix.
Create a matrix with four squares. Each square is a quadrant. In the upper left quadrant, list everything that is urgent and important. In the upper right quadrant, list everything that is not urgent but is important. In the lower left quadrant, list everything that is urgent but not important, and in the lower right quadrant, list everything that is not urgent and not important. Once you’ve put each task on your list into its appropriate quadrant, you’ll know what you need to work on first – everything that is urgent and important.
7. Identify Your Most Productive Times of Day
Everyone has specific chunks of time during the day (or night) when they’re most productive. Take some time to assess when you’re most productive during the day, and make sure those hours are free for you to get the tasks on your To Do list done!
8. Use Time Management Techniques
Many people aren’t good at managing their time. If you fall into that category, try using a time management technique like the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks your work into short time intervals.
Choose a task to work on and set a timer for 25 minutes. Work without any distractions until the timer goes off (that’s called a Pomodoro), and then take a five minute break. Repeat three more times. After every four Pomodoros, increase your break time (15-30 minutes depending on how long it takes you to feel recharged). You should repeat the entire process a few times each day. Try it and see if the technique works for you.
9. Tackle the Hardest Tasks First
By avoiding the hardest tasks on your To Do list, you might be causing yourself to procrastinate on everything and creating more stress for yourself. Instead, tackle the hardest (or worst) tasks first. Once those are done, you’ll be amazed by how much your stress level drops and how much more productive you are.
10. Use Tools
There are a wide variety of tools available to boost productivity, including tools to improve your productivity and reduce your stress related to email marketing. ProofJump is one of those tools.
With ProofJump, you’ll save time and frustration throughout the email review and approval process. It gives you one central place for all stakeholders to provide feedback and approvals, so no one gets stressed trying to collect edits, find the most recent version, and parse through dynamic content iterations. Instead, everything is available to the team, fewer errors are made, and your results should improve.
Your Next Steps to Reduce Email Marketing Stress
Try the 10 tips listed above to see if your productivity goes up and your stress goes down. Also, give ProofJump a try and see how much more efficient your email review and approval process can be. Just follow the links to start your free 21-day trial or schedule a free demo.