There are precious few days left in 2017.
How can you make the most of every one of them? Here are six tips to help you maximize your year-end potential and gather momentum to help you jumpstart 2018:
1. Get motivated (or not!).
The prospect of needing to make the absolute most of the next few weeks can be daunting, because there is so much at stake. We also face more distractions than usual, which makes it even harder to tackle the important stuff.
When you aren’t feeling motivated to do what you know you absolutely have to do, just accept it, advises psychologist Oliver Burkeman.
“Who says you need to wait until you ‘feel like’ doing something in order to start doing it?” he asks. “The problem isn’t that you don’t feel motivated; it’s that you imagine you need to feel motivated. You can note the procrastinatory feelings and work anyway.”
Too Zen? Here are more tips to help you get the important stuff done.
2. Get personal.
Because it’s such a powerful driver of engagement, personalization is a key subject. An amazing 86 percent of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions, and 80 percent of consumers like retailers’ emails to contain recommended products based on previous purchases.
Personalization has moved far beyond simply including the customer name in the subject line or message. Now, we can personalize every aspect of email content to build trust, create brand advocates and supercharge engagement.
3. Focus on driving action.
Content creators thrive on coming up with an original idea or a new way of approaching a familiar topic. After all, we want to inform and entertain our readers—but are those the right priorities?
The Content Marketing Institute says content’s purpose is to “attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” If we can do that, and the process inform and entertain readers, so much the better, but getting recipients to act should always should be the goal.
4. Ramp up the engagement factor of your transactional emails.
Transactional emails don’t get the respect they deserve. Maybe that’s because things like receipts, back-order notifications, registration requests and the like simply aren’t glamorous.
The engagement potential of such emails is tremendous, however, and shouldn’t be ignored.
“Due to the mission-critical content inside these emails, transactional emails are the most highly engaged emails that businesses send,” reports Campaign Monitor. “In fact, research shows transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email, and can generate 6x more revenue.”
5. Focus on color for maximum impact.
We all have a favorite color (for most people it’s blue), so when it comes to using color in our emails, we tend to default to the ones we like rather than considering the effect that specific colors might have on subscribers. That means we are missing a big opportunity.
“When used effectively, color theory can be one of the most powerful tools an email marketer can work with,” Olivia Della Bueno writes on the AWeber blog. “After all, the right color choice can help convey the value of your emails. Color can instantly set the mood, evoke emotion and spark a psychological reaction that gets people to take action.”
6. Make the most of your time.
The time-related pressures on most of us are relentless and unforgiving this time of year, both on and off the job. The days are getting shorter (in terms of daylight)—and they seem shorter as the end of the year and all of its associated deadlines come ever closer.
Clearly, it pays to know how to make every minute count. That can start by minimizing workplace distractions (yes, you are allowed to turn off your phone) and outsourcing routine and administrative tasks.
Email marketers can focus on making strategic use of automation. Content creators can endeavor to keep their writing as simple and short as possible and, when appropriate, repurposing content in fresh new ways.
A version of this post first appeared on the Movable Ink blog.