Task Bundle: Create a Newsletter with Bea Uhlenberg

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Whether in a small business or in a large company, newsletters have become an integral part of marketing today. They have even established themselves as an important channel in the marketing mix. However, in order to achieve the desired results with this channel, a number of things have to be taken into account from the outset.

We know from our own experience that you cannot open every newsletter email you receive every day. Therefore, newsletters must be designed in such a way that they make the recipient want to open the email in the first few seconds.

When creating a newsletter, there are several tasks that should be processed one after the other to get the best out of this marketing channel. This is perfect for a task bundle in awork.

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Bea Uhlenberg, the newsletter expert, has dealt with all the small and large tasks and poured them into a helpful task bundle. In this user story, she presents the task bundle herself and shows us a few cool tips and tricks.

Dear Bea, who is behind New Work Life? Could you quickly tell us who you are and what you do?

We are Jan and Bea. In October 2017, we left for Thailand with a one-way ticket and found the inspiration for our book seriesGO REMOTE! and our page New Work Life.

New Work Life is the central point of contact in Germany when it comes to location-independent work or remote work in permanent employment. On our site you will find a job exchange for remote jobs and helpful blog posts on the topic. Additionally, we launched our own podcast at the end of 2019, which presents various remote companies and shares best practices in remote work.

Bea and Jan from New Work Life
Bea and Jan living and working in Mallorca

In the meantime, a fair amount of your working lives has been spent in Mallorca. When did you realise that you liked working location-independently?

Indeed, since April 2019, Jan and I have been living in the lovely Palma de Mallorca, our new adopted home. It was love at first sight and ever since we moved here, we have had no desire to leave.

This insight has once again confirmed my belief that working from any location means quality of life. I can decide for myself where I want to live, and I am not tied to offices located in places that I actually find rather suboptimal for living.

The desire to work independently of location first really came to me in 2016. I was employed in a company and spent a lot of time in the office, and in a job I didn’t like. One day, I just bit the bullet and quit.

As a result, I looked around for alternatives and eventually became aware of the digital nomad scene on the internet. That was the beginning of a completely new life for me. Hahaha 🙂

Even if terms like New Work and the world of work 4.0 are no longer foreign to most people, could you summarise what tomorrow’s world of work is about?

The term New Work was coined by the social philosopher Frithjof Bergmann and means “work that you really, really want”. It is about doing a job that is in accordance with one’s own wishes, hopes, dreams, and talents.

In our opinion, this also includes the independent choice of work location. After all, the majority of us spend most of our lives working. Remote work can therefore be seen as a part of New Work.

To what extent does awork help you with your projects? What does a typical work week look like for you guys on the island of Mallorca?

awork makes sure that we have an organised start of the day and that we stay organised over the course of it. First thing in the morning, we both pull up our to-do lists in awork, which define what will be going on that day. I then work on these tasks one by one. Once I have completed an assignment, I set the status to “done”. Subsequently, I move on to the next task.

What I particularly like about awork is the possibility to assign a deadline to each task and the ability to track my times. So, I always have an eye on how long it took me to complete each task. This also helps me with my personal work objectives. I do not run the risk of getting lost in tasks and wasting time.

By the way, we have written an exciting blog post about awork, in which we show just how productive we are with it.

A typical working week on Mallorca doesn’t look much different than a working week somewhere else. There’s just a small but significant difference: firstly, we enjoy the luxury of working from the home office and secondly, spend our breaks in the sun by the sea. 😉

Bea enjoys simply moving the office outside into the sun
Bea enjoys simply moving the office outside into the sun

Working where others go on holiday sounds great at first. But surely there is a lot of effort behind it all. Could you give us a little insight into your awork setup? What projects might we find there and which features can you no longer do without?

I’d love to. We use awork primarily for internal work, i.e. for work that arises between Jan and me. In this context, we recently launched a project called “To-Do’s 2020”.

We are using this project for all tasks that lie ahead. Each task it contains will be assigned to either Jan or me for completion. Each to-do is also given a deadline by when it must be completed. By assigning deadlines, we have the possibility to display all upcoming tasks by completion date. This is great because this way we always know what we want to do by when.

We start our working day by first opening awork and looking at what needs to be done that day. I like to use the dashboard view for this, where I also have the option of taking quick notes in between (a feature I like to use a lot). Jan prefers to click into the project and loves to see the tasks here in the board view.

New feature in awork: customise your awork Dashboard according to your needs and decide for yourself which widgets you require on a daily basis for a quick overview.

Here are some features we can no longer do without:

  • the option to make quick notes on the dashboard
  • the board view for tasks that arise within a project
  • the board view for tasks that arise within a project the flexibility to quickly and easily reorganise tasks into lists, projects, etc.
  • the possibility to assign deadlines, responsibilities and subtasks, as well as the option to attach files
  • the automatic tracking of processing times per task.

When working in a team remotely, communication becomes all the more important. Do you have any tips for location-independent teams?

That is absolutely true. It’s a good question that we answer in more detail in our Podcast Go Remote!, by the way. Communication is the be-all and end-all for remote teams. Therefore, appropriate tools that enable virtual communication are essential. Most of the remote companies we know have one tool for video calls, one for instant messaging and one for project management (among others, but that would be going too far now). In our experience, the following solutions are very popular with remote teams.

Video calls and instant messaging:

Have you already heard of our practical Slack integration for awork?
With the Slack integration you can create tasks in awork in your Slack chat directly, leave comments or start tracking time on a task.

Project management:

  • awork (of course 😉)
  • Trello
  • Asana
  • Jira
  • Monday
  • Basecamp

When it comes to marketing, the processes of many projects are quite similar. For example, every newsletter campaign goes through the same phases. Using a task bundle, you can save not only time but also save yourself a lot of stress. What is special about the bundle?

The special thing about the task bundle is that it offers you a great template for newsletter creation. This means you don’t have to think about which tasks you have to do each time or what step comes after the other: you can comfortably upload the newsletter task bundle into your awork workspace and get going, without having to think about it.

Task Bundle: Create a Newsletter with Bea Uhlenberg
A little taste of Bea’s task bundle

Could you say anything about the structure of the task bundle? Which task should one start with?

I have grouped the individual tasks into lists. You start with the list called “Preparation”, then move on to “Content & Design” before you finally take care of the list “Review & Dispatch”. The tasks within the lists are sorted chronologically so that you can go through them from top to bottom in a relaxed manner and complete them step-by-step.

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With the help of informative and helpful newsletters you can build quite the large community. What are your tips if someone is just starting out and wants to get subscribers?

The main thing with newsletters is a well-designed sign-up form that is displayed to visitors to your site at the right time and in the right place. Think about what your visitors could use from you and what added value you can offer them.

Based on your added value, formulate a catchy Call-to-Action (CtA) that invites people to subscribe to your newsletter. As we have a job board for remote jobs on our site, we offer visitors a job alert, for example, which informs them when new remote jobs come are posted on the site. In addition, newsletter subscribers receive a sample of our GO REMOTE! book series when they subscribe to our list.

Bea offers many helpful images and tips in this task bundle
Bea offers many helpful images and tips in this task bundle

One should always choose wisely when it comes to the call-to-action. What should be taken into account and where should there absolutely be a call-to-action?

The Call-to-Action (CtA) is the core of a newsletter. With the CtA, you get readers of your newsletter to perform an action you want them to do. This can be a redirection to your blog or website(traffic!) or the request to buy a product from you.

The CtA should therefore be eye-catching and correctly placed. It can be created with bright colours or a button shape. The placement in the newsletter should follow the text, e.g., a button that invites you to read on.

In addition, you can also set corresponding links within your newsletter text which serve as CtA. One last word on the wording of CtAs: I always make sure that my CtA sounds as original as possible and that it is formulated in the imperative. Last but not least, I want to make my readers curious and motivate them to click. My CtA wording could therefore sound like “Give it to me” or “More of this!”

The Call-to-Action (CtA) is the core of a newsletter.

Bea Uhlenberg

Lastly, we would like to know what your productivity tip is when motivation is a bit low?

Admittedly, this can happen from time to time. My secret tip against loss of productivity is exercise and being outside in the fresh air. It’s best to combine the two. When I’ve been active outdoors for a while, my motivation comes back on its own and I look forward to the tasks that lie ahead.

As far as exercise is concerned, I am passionate about hiking (Mallorca is perfect for that 😉) and cycling. Although an hour of table tennis or beach ball in between also brings me to completely different thoughts and lets my productivity come back swiftly.

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