An email copywriter's must-have list of software

I love lists. I love 'em like I love my go-to guys, Ben & Jerry.

I make lists of everything. Restaurant list, book list, things-to-buy-for-our-future-baby-Frenchie list. Sometimes, my to-do list has its own to-do list. (“Weekend to-do list: create next week’s to-do list.”)

My self-diagnosis? Listitis.

 There is no cure!

There is no cure!

So how do I cope with this proclivity to organize my brain in list form?

Enter WorkFlowy. Simple interface, easy to learn, and it gives me the option to share either my list of copywriting processes with my mastermind group or my Frenchie shopping list with my boo. *wink-wink, nudge-nudge*

Another list off my WorkFlowy is the must-have list of tools that I use when creating email sequences for my clients. I named them Twin Picks, Air Bud II, and Lord Portal.

 

Prewriting Tools aka Twin Picks

(1) Lucidchart (2) Trello

 

If you pry open my copywriting brain, you'd find an intertwine of multiple flowcharts that was seemingly designed by overthinker extraordinaire, Hermione Granger. 

This is where my Twin Picks come in handy. 

Before I get into writing emails, I arrange and rearrange my ideas until they fall perfectly into place.

 Nolongerdium Confusa

Nolongerdium Confusa

First, I create the blueprint of the email sequence using Lucidchart's Email Flow Template. I simply modify the text, shape, and color. (I use my client's brand colors for extra brownie point.) Et voilà! A pretty diagram to show off when discussing the strategy behind an email campaign. 

Next, I write a basic outline of all emails using Trello cards. I use one board per email sequence, and each list on the board represents an email in the sequence. Yes, you can go the traditional BiC-and-paper route and write and erase as you please. But this is why I prefer to outline using Trello. I can write, edit, and move around the cards from one list to another with ease.

 

Writing Tools aka Air Bud II

(3) Airstory (4) Airtable

 

This is not the sequel to Air Bud. (Remember that dog movie?) This is the more functional alternative to Google Docs + Google Sheets. I write the emails using Airstory. I create an email database using Airtable. Easy peasy, life is goody. 

The best thing about Airstory that Google Docs has not figured out yet? TABS. Not table of contents. Actual. Multiple. Tabs. In a single document.

I line up ALL emails like nice little numbered puppies (see the example below). I can also rearrange them if need be.

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 11.24.43 AM.png

Unfortunately, I do still use Google Docs. Because clients. *sigh* If only I could convince them to ditch it entirely. The good news is that exporting Airstory documents to Google Drive is as easy as 1-2-3. Literally. It requires three clicks only. I counted.

Once all that clicking is done, off I go to Airtable to record important pre-send and post-send information for each email, such as:

  • Segment name

  • Send date/time

  • Engagement rates

And I don't start a database from scratch. I simply search for an email campaign template that's available on Airtable and customize it based on what type of information I want to document. 

 

Postwriting Tool aka Lord Portal

 (5) Dubsado

 

Full disclosure: I don't use Dubsado to create email campaigns. I mostly use it as a linchpin that holds together all documents and links that come out of the prewriting and writing stages — including email communications, contracts, invoices, and more.

giphy (2).gif

Once I book a project, I give my client access to a dedicated Dubsado portal like I'm handing out a key to a new cyber apartment.

"Hey, you! Here's the password to your special place in the Interwebs. Enjoy your stay!" <-- Not my actual script. But close.

Fuller disclosure: Dubsado doesn't quite satiate the design needs of my Taurean self who loves pretty things. I prefer other specific solutions like Better Proposals (for client proposals) and Typeform (for surveys and questionnaires). It even took a lot of cajolings before I abandoned Wave as my invoicing and payment software. Dubsado will do for now, but I'm looking into exploring HoneyBook next.

 

Aaand those are a few of my favorite things.

I skipped the software that I use for researching, editing, and sending emails. To name a few: Zoom, Rev, Airstory Researcher, Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, Drip. Perhaps another day, another blog post.  

Now I'm turning over the mic to you.

What's your favorite software for creating and launching an email campaign?

Or as Jenny from the other block would ask...

 What's in your launch box?

What's in your launch box?