I've never met a radio station employee who didn't have too much to do and not enough time to do it. So it's very important that we allocate our time effectively. With that in mind, here's a good rule to follow:
If your staff has a limited time amount of time to spend time writing, they should spend time writing web content, not emails.
Quite, simply, you get more mileage out of website content. If we are using a Content Marketing strategy to pull all of our digital tools together into one coherent plan, then our aim is to drive people back to our website because once they are there, we can get them to complete a goal (such as stream our station, enter a contest, etc.). We have three channels for driving people to the content on our website: social media, search engines, and our airwaves.
But if our content lives in emails, we can't use those three channels to drive people to it. Emails are far less likely to be shared over social media than blogposts; search engines like Google don't index emails, only webpages; and we can't direct people to a specific email on the air with a link the way we can direct them to a webpage.
Even if our email service provider creates archived versions of our emails that live on the web, these don't help; the archives are housed on our email service's site, not ours, so we can't use them to encourage listeners to complete any goals. We want to send people to a site that we have control over.
In short, if we put our content on the web, we can get a lot more life out of it.
Automate the Emails
If we don’t have a lot of extra time to write emails, we can use an RSS-to-Email feature to automate our email campaigns. Most email service providers now offer this feature. Essentially, it pulls all of our latest blogposts (everything published since our last email went out), inserts them into an email template, and sends it out. How we set it up will depend on which email service we use, but after the one-time setup, it will save our team a lot of work.
Here are some tips:
1. Set the email campaigns to pull blog excerpts — not full articles — along with a ‘Read More' button.
If we set up the RSS-to-Email campaign to include the complete text of each blogpost, we’ll encounter some difficulties: First, if we write a lot of blogposts, our emails will be incredibly long. But more importantly, if we include the full posts in the email, we don't get any insight into which content interest people. Somebody who opens the email and reads every word will be counted in our statistics exactly the same as somebody who opens the email but skips reading it. However, if they click on a ‘Read More' button, we will know because we are tracking clicks. This way, we can see which content performs best.
2. If we have something major we want to push (like a big promotion or station event), we should set it to publish on our website just before the email goes out.
Let's say we send out our weekly email every Wednesday at 10:00 am. If we want information about our station's holiday concert to appear as the first item in your email, we’ll publish a blogpost about it Wednesday at 9:30 am. The RSS-to-Email campaigns insert content in reverse chronological order, so the most recent content appears at the top. We want to consider our email schedule when we plan out your online content in our weekly web meeting.
3. Let listeners decide how often they want to receive an email from you.
Today, consumers expect to be able to control their experience. If we don't give them options, they may simply unsubscribe. So we want to give listeners the option of receiving our automated emails on a daily or weekly basis. Simply add a checkbox on the signup form, and set up two different RSS-to-email campaigns — one daily and one weekly — based on what people selected when they signed up.
4. We may want to allow users to decide which content they want to receive.
If we’re feeling bold, we can allow our listeners to also choose what type of content they want to receive. For example, we can create a list of checkboxes that allows them to opt in to receive concert information, morning show recaps, contest details, etc. This will require us to set up multiple RSS-to-Email campaigns and categorize our website content, but with proper planning we can provide our listeners with a customized experience.
To get the biggest bang for your time, automate your email campaigns and focus on writing content for your website. If you would like help doing this, feel free to reach out to me.
For more details on how you can save your staff time by automating email campaigns, watch our webinar recording:
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