A message from my sick bed...
👉 with musings on spontaneity vs planning
Today’s email comes to you courtesy of ibuprofen, caffeine and lot of advent calendar chocolate.
Been bogged down with a nasty headache for the last day or so. I inherited a log of great things from my mum: her feistiness, loyalty, sense of justice, competitive spirit. But also migraines.
As she’s fond of saying though, “it is what it is”. But it does mean that today’s email is rather late.
As I dragged myself out of bed I did wonder whether I’d be better off writing emails days or even weeks in advance. And that’s a question I get asked quite often from people wondering whether it’s best to pre-program your emails into automations or to write more spontaneously just before sending.
There are a lot of advantages to pre-programming your emails into sequences that subscribers get in turn after they’ve signed up.
It means everyone gets your best emails even if they signed up after you wrote them. And you can sequence them for maximum impact. If your schedule is often busy with client work it can be easier to block out time to write when you have it rather than aiming to write at specific times each week.
But there’s something magical about emailing spontaneously too. You get to talk about topics that are fresh - and often about things that are more personal to you - which helps to build a relationship. And if you have time-limited stuff to talk about (like an upcoming event or product launch) then it’s much easier to link to them.
I used to do a hybrid which was pretty much best of both worlds: a long sequence of my best emails sent every Sunday, with “in the moment” emails sent during the week so as not to clash.
But at the end of the day, the best way to do it is the one that fits best for you.
I have many clients who pre-program all their emails, knowing that if they tried to write them just before sending them they’d never get any out.
These days I write just a little bit in advance. I enjoy the spontaneity. And hopefully I don’t get too many migraine-like incidents.
And the technology you use impacts this too. I’m enjoying using Substack. It works well to help people find me and it’s quick and easy to use. But it just can’t do pre-programmed email sequences.
It’s not that I don’t plan in advance at all these days - I’d say about half my emails are planned as part of bigger themes. I’ll brainstorm those themes, rough out the main topics and think about how I might illustrate them. It’s just that I’ll then write the emails one-by-one just before sending rather than all in a batch.
That allows me to shape them according to current circumstances. Or to abandon them completely and write about my woes :)
Right - I’m off back to bed - but I’ll hopefully be back firing on at least one cylinder by Sunday.