As marketers, we all have a choice to make – do we want to use the skills we have to get our jobs done, or do we want to continually learn and apply new skills to achieve our marketing objectives? Many of the marketers I talk two actually straddle both camps – they do want to learn and apply new skills, but find it difficult to work experimentation, learning and assimilation of new skills into their weekly schedule and still get everything else done.

This week’s tip aims to make it easier to become an Email Improver – someone who gets better at producing email without falling behind on the task at hand. Here are three ways to integrate new skill acquisition into your existing email practice:

1. Set up an email news stream: Stories on email hit the transom every day, covering industry news, consumer research, even tips and advice. Set up a news stream delivered daily to your inbox or a feed reader for a daily check-in of everything that’s happening. The easiest is to use a Google News search on email, and set it up as an email or RSS feed. A more comprehensive and curated approach is to use an RSS aggregator to compile a list of all the trade publications, marketing blogs and other email news sources you like. Either way, the objective is to have a single place you look each day for a quick rundown of the research, tips and news that serve as a springboard for a deeper dive into an aspect of your email practice you’d like to improve.

2. Circulate weekly or monthly email results: Developing an expectant audience keeps you honest. Start circulating a weekly or monthly report of all your email results both to keep your colleagues informed of how email is contributing, but more importantly to create motivation for you to improve each period. Put your ego to work for you and your brand.

3. Go to an email conference: We’re big proponents of webinars but there is something about attending an in-person conference for a couple of days to really let the learning sink in. Removing yourself from your daily responsibilities and immersing yourself in an environment where everyone is organized around learning and sharing is almost always worth the extra work waiting for you when you get back. There is perhaps no more fertile ground for inspiration than a well-programmed conference.

Come back next Monday for another email tip of the week, or see all previous tips here.