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Just Work the Program

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Justin Belmont – Enjoy!
Work The Program

Photo Credit: Barber Chair

Many barbershops go beyond a simple haircut to treat customers to a grooming extravaganza. A haircut may come with a beer, great conversation, hairstyling tips, full shampoo and conditioning with top-notch men’s hair products, and a massage chair. A repeat customer will likely expect a repeat performance. Yet, if the barber falls short on the friendly conversation, if he forgets to offer a beer, or even if the massage chair is out of order, the customer may not return.

While any of these mistakes is forgivable, the customer has come to expect a certain type of haircut. As the owner of a new luxury barbershop, you would need to set the standard of service and stick to it.

Marketing is no different. Patience may be difficult in the midst of a marketing program, but if you lay out a plan and follow it consistently, you build customer confidence in your brand.

Work The Program

Photo Credit: Maplay out a plan and follow it consistently, you build customer confidence in your brand.

For example, if your social media campaign begins with three tweets per day and you begin to build an audience on this strategy, that audience is going to expect to find tweets three times a day. Along the same lines, if you only tweet once or twice a week, you may build an audience that prefers a sparse style. If you start to ramp up your daily tweets, this audience may un-follow you.

In either case, decide on a consistent strategy that is appropriate for your brand before execution. If your social media ship has already set sail without a consist heading, reevaluate the program. Start anew, but be faithful to the new program. In some ways, correcting course on a social media program may be easier than on other marketing platforms. Format is fairly standardized, making frequency the primary consideration. As long as you supply relevant content, there are relatively few corrections to be made. Traditional marketing campaigns, such as pitching media or running online advertising, may require more work to recover.

Work The Program

Photo Credit: Marketing

Whether the business is a barber shop or a new real estate investment firm, the rules are the same for any small venture. Consistency is key. The logo on social media pages should be the same as the logo on emails signatures and on the bandit signs posted around town. If you want to build consumer confidence that your business is legitimate, maintain branding across platforms to establish recognition. For example, the Nike “swoosh” branding is so recognizable that Nike no longer needs to supplement it with the brand name. The logo speaks for itself.

Inconsistencies are a red flag to audiences that something is amiss. Sloppy marketing may indicate that the product cuts corners as well. Audiences may think your company can’t handle the work, either because distractions have let the marketing program fall to the wayside or because the company cannot afford proper business promotion. No matter the cause, inconsistent marketing will elicit shaky confidence, which in turn will make customers disappear.

 

Justin BelmontJustin Belmont is the founder and editor-in-chief of Prose Media (prosemedia.com), a writing service that creates high-quality content for brands–from blog posts and newsletters to web copy and white papers. Prose (@prose) employs top professional journalists and copywriters with expertise in a variety of industries.

With a background in corporate communications, Belmont has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and was formerly an editor at Google.

In Sales & Marketing, Zero Dark Thirty is 30 Minutes Too Late

… or why the biggest sales problem businesses think they have isn’t the one they actually have!

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from a member of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network - Kurian M. Tharakan– Enjoy!
Zero Dark Thirty

Photo Credit: Zero Dark Thirty – IMDb

In the movie Zero Dark Thirty, the US Navy Seal team raid on Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden’s house was conducted at 00:30, or thirty minutes past midnight. If that raid were a sales and marketing operation, zero dark thirty* would be thirty minutes too late!

Before I explain what I mean, let me provide some background. In the past few months I have consulted with numerous companies who believe they have a sales problem. However, in almost every situation the primary issue was identified as a marketing problem and not a sales problem. How did I determine this? By examining close ratios, or how many leads were converted into a sale. Although average close ratios vary by industry and market, if you are in a competitive environment and closing more than 15 – 25% of your QUALIFIED leads you are on the right track!

All of these clients were closing their fair share of the leads they were generating. They just weren’t generating enough QUALIFIED leads to pursue.

Lead Generation is a Marketing Function

In each situation above the sales team were expert closers but spent most of their non-sales time waiting for the phone to ring or following up on previous leads. Now some might say that these guys should be using their “spare” time prospecting for new leads, but, by definition, prospecting (lead generation) is a marketing function. Besides, these sales teams’ skills and expertise are best used to close sales, but their company’s marketing efforts were not producing enough qualified leads for them to pursue.

Now, Here’s the Big Problem

It’s estimated that up to 70% of the buying decision is made PRIOR to anyone even talking to a sales person. Today’s customer has numerous resources available to them, usually just a few mouse clicks away. By the time that they arrive at your sales desk the majority already have a preferred direction to go and are now seeking confirming or dis-confirming evidence to support their decision. If you have not positively biased their decision PRIOR to this contact point, YOU ARE AT A SEVERE DISADVANTAGE!

This is Time Point Zero Dark Zero

A properly functioning company will have a marketing process which creates qualified leads to HAND OFF to sales. Let’s name this crucial timeline juncture as zero dark zero. This is the point of truth where marketing delivers a “primed” prospect for sales to close. Primed is the key word. These are the prospects that have a preference to choose you from all of your competitors! If a company only STARTS their selling process AFTER zero dark zero WITHOUT HAVING PRIMED THEIR PROSPECT to choose them, they are at a severe disadvantage!

You Don’t Have a Sales Problem, You Have a Lead Generation Problem!

So, these clients don’t have a sales problem, they have a lead generation problem. All of their future revenue depends on their sales abilities with UNQUALIFIED, UNPRIMED prospects. But sales abilities can only go so far with prospects whose minds have already been 70% made up to travel in other directions!

If we were to put this into the context of Zero Dark Thirty the movie, the vast majority of the plot dealt with the CIA unearthing, tracking down, and qualifying leads on Bin Laden’s exact location. The seal team’s actual on the ground time was less than 38 minutes from entry to exit, but it took over 10 years of research to pinpoint the location to attack.

The First Step to Improving Sales is to Improve Lead Generation!

So, if the primary sales problem is actually a lead generation problem (marketing), what are some things you can try? Here’s a VERY BASIC list. Although not all of them will apply to your specific business, you should be using at least six on a consistent basis, with full measurement and tracking of the results. How many are you doing?

Website

  • Pay per click (e.g. Google Adwords)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

 

Social Media

  • E-Mail marketing
  • Facebook
  • Industry specific social sites
  • Linkedin
  • Twitter
  • Etc.

 

Content Marketing

  • Blogging
  • eBooks
  • How to guides
  • Newsletters
  • Special reports
  • Video
Advertising

  • Billboards
  • Catalogs
  • Classified ads
  • Direct mail
  • Fax advertising
  • Flyers
  • Magazine
  • Radio
  • TV

 

Other

  • Joint Ventures
  • Press Releases
  • Pro bono work
  • Publicity
  • Seminars
  • Speaking
  • Sponsorships
  • Trade shows
  • Webinars
  • Workshops

*technically, in military terms zero dark thirty does not reference a specific time of day, but is slang for the very early morning.
StrategyPeak Sales & Marketing Advisors

 

 

Kurian M. TharakanAbout the Author – Kurian M. Tharakan
Kurian Mathew Tharakan is a Sales & Marketing Consultant, Speaker & Facilitator, and founder of the marketing strategy firm StrategyPeak Sales & Marketing Advisors. Prior to StrategyPeak, Mr. Tharakan was vice-president sales & marketing for an Alberta based software firm where his team achieved notable wins with several members of the US Fortune 500. Previous to his software experience, Mr. Tharakan directed the sales and marketing programs for the Alberta practice of an international professional services firm.

The Positive Secret to Outbound Marketing Success

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from Jonathan Curran– Enjoy! 

Contrary to what many internet marketers have been telling the world, outbound marketing is not dead. Inbound marketing channels have almost certainly made outbound marketing less popular but it is far from extinction.

Yes, that is true. Why do you think the television is not dead yet? Why are big companies still pouring out millions of dollars each year for advertising campaigns?

That’s the good part.

The not-so-good part that you may be well aware of is that outbound marketing campaigns are designed to cast a net (marketing message) over a huge audience in one go. The audience in this case is not highly targeted and people have shorter attention spans given the fact that the television or newspapers are not the only sources of infotainment. Not anymore.

Does that ring the bell? It should!

It is now more important than ever to blow an air of positivity into all of your outbound marketing campaigns for better results.

Why, you ask. Let’s check out!

Why Campaigns Built Around Pain Points Can Be Risky

Some marketing managers tend to focus more on pain points while drafting TV/radio advertisement scripts. An insurer, for example, has the option of portraying either a sad or a happy story in an advertisement, mailer or some other material sent out to customers.

While a tragic story revolving around life insurance policy may almost certainly convince the target audience to get one, people may also form a negative opinion about the insurer for having made them feel sad for few moments.

Such impressions, even if created subtly in target audience’s subconscious minds, can result in negative brand recall.

Make the Target Audience ‘Feel Good’

Instead of indirectly threatening people with dire consequences if they did not choose your product or service, how about making them feel good about something?

Take this diaper advertisement by Huggies, for example:

How does that make you feel? Even if such an advertisement (one that actually makes people smile or think over something beautiful, peaceful or satisfying) is first aired on TV, it is likely to land up on social media networks and get viral.

Now, you cannot hope to be able to create something that good every time but it is worth the effort to try and create campaigns that make people feel good and not threatened.

Focus on Striking a Chord with the Audience

Since customers do not interact directly with an outbound marketing campaign, it is absolutely necessary to look out for ways to strike a chord with the target audience.

Have you studied the motivation triggers that lead people to buy products you sell?

How about entertaining more and trying-to-sell less?

What if your marketing message delivers a powerful message which is not as such related to your product but makes people subconsciously relate it to your brand?

A great idea won’t pop up in the first go. It would require a series of constructive brainstorming sessions around ideas that people can easily relate to.

Needless to mention, you’d have to iterate the mass message not once but many times over before you get it right.

Make ‘Positivity’ a Part of all Outreach Programs

Newspaper/television/radio advertisements or other mass marketing messages broadcasted to hundreds and thousands of people in one go can go a long way in increasing brand recall if you consistently make ‘positivity’ a part of all outreach programs.

Everything from the imagery, text and voice to motion pictures can be selected and iterated in a manner that your marketing message gets encapsulated in positive and hard-to-ignore shell.

The Final Word

Outbound marketing is expensive. Make every penny count.

Blowing an air of positivity alone won’t necessarily motivate customers to buy your products or increase your brand recall value but it does help a great deal.

Jonathan CurranThe article came from Jonathan Curran who is Author and Director of PROMOTIVATE Speakers Agency. They represent world’s leading motivational, business, conference, marketing and adventure speakers. Sharing this knowledge he helps companies and individuals unlock how to ‘make it happen’ and the importance of finding the right work/life balance which leads to improved happiness and greater success.

 

Your New Competitive Advantage (It’s Not What You Think)

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Gabriel Mays – Enjoy!

perspectiveWhat’s your competitive advantage?  When we hear competitive advantage we often think of what we can see: brand identity, marketing strategy, etc.  But with increasingly commoditized products and services, shrinking margins, and copycat competitors we need to look deeper.

According to Wikipedia:

“Competitive advantage occurs when an organization acquires or develops an attribute or combination of attributes that allows it to outperform its competitors.”

So, how you run your business can also be a competitive advantage.  It’s an advantage your competitors can’t see and is therefore difficult to copy.  But to find these opportunities, we have to think differently.

A Matter Of Perspective

Have you ever seen someone get used to doing something inefficiently?  Maybe it’s your mechanic still using paper invoices or your uncle getting up to change the channel on the TV instead of using the remote.  For me it’s seeing my father-in-law use a 25ft. phone cord in the kitchen so he could move around and still talk on the phone.  I didn’t even know they made phone cords that long.  The next day, cordless phones had mysteriously replaced every phone in the house.  I’m not sure how they got there, but I can tell you that I bought them at Best Buy…

These are harmless examples of status quo, but this same kind of blindness happens to businesses and even entire industries.  We think we’re doing it right by following best practices and doing what everyone else is doing, but unfortunately ‘status quo’ and ‘best practice’ are often synonyms.  When we blindly follow best practices, we risk forfeiting any competitive advantage.

Thinking Differently

Let’s talk about the easiest way for small businesses to gain a competitive advantage in their industry today.  Best practices tell small businesses to be more active on their website, blog more, use social media, etc.   This advice is great (and works when done right), but the execution is often flawed because we’re just adding more things to an already overflowing to-do list.  We end up unfocused and unproductive.

How many tips on improving your business do you read every week?  How many do you actually end up using successfully?  We’re so busy looking for ways to do more that we miss opportunities to do less, and thus be more efficient.  Businesses that figure this out will develop a significant competitive advantage in their market.  Here’s how to get started.

Your Most Underutilized Employee

In our rush to embrace the latest trends, we’ve missed the quiet revolution that turned our trusty old website into a powerful source of leverage.  Your website is now your most underutilized employee.

The emergence of cloud applications like FreshBooks, Constant Contact, and Salesforce are changing the way we work by bringing enterprise power to small businesses at a fraction of the cost.  They’re simplifying accounting, invoicing, project management, CRM, and more with no software to install, maintenance, or personnel costs.

But to take full advantage of these apps we have to leverage our newest, most underutilized employee: our website.  It’s already available 24/7 and interacts with customers, so we can use our website as a business hub to integrate cloud apps directly into our workflow.

An Example

What would this look like?  Imagine a consultant uses cloud apps to manage invoicing, scheduling, CRM, etc.  Suppose she’s tired of doing repetitive data entry tasks for each new client and decides to automate by integrating these apps with the website’s intake forms.  Now when a client submits a form through her website this happens automatically:

  • A draft estimate/invoice is created (FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Xero, etc.)
  • Client details are added to the CRM (Highrise, Salesforce, Infusionsoft, Zoho, etc.)
  • A project is created in her project management app (Basecamp, Trello, Podio, Asana)
  • Attached files (images, documents, etc.) are uploaded and stored (Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive, etc.)
  • The client is added to the email newsletter (MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, etc.)
  • An intake meeting is added to the calendar
  • A text message summary is sent to the consultant (SMS/instant text notification)

This is just an example, but what would your perfect workflow look like?  What apps would you use?   If you’re not using cloud apps in your business yet, try a few out to see which work best for you.  Most have free trials and some even have free plans.  When you’re ready, you can integrate them with your website.  How you integrate the apps depends on how your website is built and which apps you’re using, but you can do it for under $100.

Your new competitive advantage is a better engine under the hood.  It’s better processes, smarter workflows, lower costs, and higher margins.  The power of cloud apps will help you do this, and your website will help you automate it all.

“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”

- Jack Welch, grew General Electric 4,000% as CEO 1981 – 2001

gabe-150x150Gabriel Mays is the Founder and CEO of Just Add Content, which makes affordable, easy to use small business websites.  Just Add Content specializes in making cloud app integration accessible to small businesses.  Previously Gabe served as a Captain in the Marine Corps for 8 years, spending 2 years between Iraq and Afghanistan operating on small, embedded advisor teams.  Visit Just Add Content to get a free email crash course on building a smarter business website!

Show Me Your Calendar and Your Checkbook, and I’ll Show You What’s Really Important in Your Life

It is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is John Rydell – Enjoy!

ID-100120377

photo credit: Panpote

My brother and I run a family of software companies, each with their own unique products. Over the past year, we’ve been lucky enough to experience a pretty big spike in growth. Suddenly, our simple time-tracking methods just weren’t enough to capture how all our resources were allocated between our different products.  After some discussion about how it might affect the culture of the company, we decided to have our team start tracking their time.

As you might expect, we learned a lot from a business perspective, and it also got me thinking about a quotation I heard about 15 years ago: “Show me your calendar and your checkbook, and I’ll show you what’s really important in your life.”  Times have changed (“show me your Outlook and Mint.com account”?), but the message is as relevant as ever. No matter what you claim to be important to you, your calendar and checkbook will tell you the truth.

2014 is upon us, and now is as good a time as any to take stock of how you’re spending your time and money.

What is most important to you?

Before you continue reading, please take a few minutes to jot down what is important in your life.

You might have a hobby that’s important, or perhaps religion. Whatever your list is, keep it handy so you can refer back to it later.

How do you actually spend your time?

Now that you have created your list, I challenge you to truly look at your calendar for the past day, week, month, and year. Where has your time actually gone?

Are you taking the time to give back to your community and your church? Do you take the time to exercise and spend time with your friends and family?

Consider the following question: “How would I spend my day if time and money didn’t matter?” That usually gives you some clues about what is most important to you.

How do you actually spend your money?

Next, let’s look at your money. Go back through your expenses for the year and be honest about where your money went. It doesn’t have to be precise, but you can quickly get a good sense about your spending.

I know it is easy to think that this exercise would be a lot simpler and more fun if you were rich. But the truth is that if you are reading this blog, it is likely that you are in the top 1% of all earners on the planet. In fact, you may even be in the top 10% of all earners in the United States. No matter what you think, you do have choices about how you spend your money.

What financial goals are important to you? You need to ensure that you have a real plan for funding all of these things in a manner that you can be proud of.

In my case, my wife and I have worked hard to get to the point where we set aside 15% for savings and 10% for charity. That isn’t easy to do and it didn’t happen overnight.  We started with smaller percentages and built up. Another thing that helps us is that we automatically put money into separate accounts for things like charity, taxes, and savings to ensure that the money is set aside.

Decide what is important to you strategically and stick with it. Don’t keep spending money on something just because it is what you’re used to doing.

So what can you do about this in 2014?

Find one area in your life where you can make a small change in your time and money. Perhaps you need to commit to spending 2 extra hours per week on your health and nutrition. Or you need to save an extra 1% of your money for retirement. Make one small change and commit to it in 2014.

2014 is around the corner. Now is the time to take a careful look at your time and money and make sure you are spending it in the right places next year. Your health, your family, your business, your charitable community, and the world will all be better if you do.

JohnJohn Rydell is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience starting and growing technology and telecom companies. John currently spends his time as president of Networx Online, a CRM-in-the-cloud business that provides online marketing solutions for network marketers. John is also president and co-founder of the sales automation tool PhoneBurner.com as well as the popular free online meeting provider MeetingBurner.com.

The Secret to Happiness for Marketers

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Scott Yates – Enjoy!

small_3262326159

photo credit: elycefeliz via photopin cc

For the worker standing by the side of a construction site holding a stop sign, marketing must seem like a pretty sweet gig. You don’t need to stand outside in the blazing sun, the rain, or the snow. You get to wear nice clothes if you want to — no orange vest because there’s no danger of a sleepy truck driver running you over.

And yet, happiness eludes us.

It’s not as if marketers are a morose group, swinging our heads low like Winnie the Pooh’s friend Eeyore. But in the day-to-day work, it’s possible that we don’t get a lot of happiness from our work. There’s always another blog that needs writing or editing. Sometimes great work we create gets no retweets, likes or Plus 1s. And the budget for marketing seems always to hang by a thread.

Here in “Personal Growth” month at Duct Tape Marketing, I’d like to share the secret that will not only make you more happy in your work, but more successful and productive as a bonus.

And the secret is NOT to compare yourself to the worker in the orange vest. Just thinking that you are not the person sucking exhaust fumes all day will not make you happy. In fact, it will probably bring you down, and soon you’ll be smelling diesel fumes at your desk.

So, what is the secret?

Well, at the heart, the secret is to reverse the order of what it takes to make you happy.

If you thought you’d be happy if you grew to, for example, 1,000 followers on Twitter, you are setting yourself up to be miserable for a while until you get there, and then you’ll be happy for a couple of minutes before you find out that your new goal is 2,000. Or 10,000. Either way, your happiness/misery index is not good.

Instead, the secret to happiness is to actively do things every day that will help build up your brain to be happy.

Some of the best scientific work on this comes from a psychology researcher named Shawn Achor, who recorded a funny and smart TED talk. If you haven’t heard it, or even if you have, it’s well worth the 12 minutes.

One of the funnier and more poignant lines is when he tells the story about how a prestigious boarding school contacted him about speaking to the student body during “Wellness Week.” They told him that they had talks planned on depression, drug use, eating disorders, etc. “And Friday night we’re trying to decide between risky sex or happiness.” Achor replied: “That’s most people’s Friday nights.”

Funny stuff, but he makes an important point when he goes on to say that what the school was organizing not a “wellness” week, but a sickness week. He’s right that by focusing on all those negatives, the school officials couldn’t help but to bring the happiness level of the whole school down.

Instead, Achor says that we need to focus on the positive, focus on the things that are good, and focus on what we are grateful for. We need that kind of focus not just once in a while, what we need is to make a habit of paying attention to the good stuff.

He has specific tips, including ones that everyone knows, but doesn’t always do, including exercise and meditation.

But he has other tips that merge beautifully into the life of someone who does marketing. For instance, he recommends that you write down three things that you are grateful for every day. Sounds like great advice, and also sounds like the heart of three great social media posts.

He also recommends that you reach out to someone in your network and say something specific and positive. Have you been to the home page of LinkedIn lately? On your home page they show you new jobs, promotions, new pictures, etc., from people in your LinkedIn circles. In just seconds you could reach out to someone and congratulate them in a way that they are sure to appreciate. As a bonus, you’ll get a little lift from paying attention to the positive aspects of the people around you.

We all know that Christmas time can be joyous, but also a bit sad, especially with the shorter days here in the Northern Hemisphere. To be happier in your work, and in your life, and become more effective with your time and energy, you’ll want to invest a bit of time and energy into ensuring that each day is a happy one. That way when people wish you a happy new year, you can tell them that it’s a lock.

And if you want to wear an orange vest just to work to make sure you don’t get run over by negative people, that’s OK with me.

yates-mugScott Yates is the CEO of a content writing service. He’s also pretty happy because he has 3,000 writers who help him get his blogging done. To see some of the work, click to see some blog writing examples.

5 Reasons Why You Need To Own a Marketing Routine

This guest post features Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Kelly Weppler

Marketing RoutineThe key to producing marketing results has a lot to do with consistency.  If you’re guilty of ‘one and done’ marketing, it’s unlikely that you’ll see any kind of success.  Routine and consistency help to build momentum for your business and that’s why I talk about the value of having a marketing routine.

Create a marketing routine that’s right for you and your business.

Many small businesses practice marketing when they ‘get around to it’, but ongoing consistent marketing is critical for actually growing a business beyond its current size.  There are five key reasons why it’s essential  that every small business have a marketing routine.

1. Momentum produces results.  The most prominent reason we pro-actively market a business is to produce some growth, and, again, without some level of routine, it’s unlikely that any business will actually produce decent results.  If your message only goes out once, you have to hope that message reaches your audience at their greatest time of need.  And, by the way, hope is a terrible strategy.

2. A marketing routine is beneficial for training.  If you as a business owner establish a marketing routine–a list of marketing activities that are executed on a regular basis and you record this system on paper for others in the organization to see, you can use it for training purposes and the opportunity to get your team to buy-in and execute on the routine as well.  When new people join the organization or when someone leaves, with the routine recorded, it’s very easy for the rest of the organization to pick up where someone else left off allowing for consistency in the system.

3. A marketing routine helps when life happens.  This is particularly true for smaller businesses with a single owner or just a few people inside the business.  Should you get sick for a week or two or have some other life event happen, with a regular routine in place, you won’t lose much momentum and it’s so much easier to pick up where you left off.  In fact, if you’ve been practicing your regular routine, you might not even notice the brief lapse in work.

 4. A regular routine helps to eliminate the peaks and valleys in cash flow.  Peaks and valleys in cash flow are typically a result of stop and start lead generation practices.  Getting your business into a regular and consistent marketing routine should help to produce a more consistent and predictable revenue stream and help to even out the cash flow.

5.  A marketing routine provides a level of metrics to monitor against.  Establishing a routine that includes activities that are executed daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly provide the first level of monitoring–whether it was completed or not.  The second level of monitoring then is to see how effective your activities are in generating leads and nurturing those leads to deliver revenue.  This then allows you to update and correct for continuous improvement.

Building a business with a marketing system created to deliver routine and consistency is what will produce long-term opportunities.  Without routine and regular execution, it’s almost impossible to build the level of momentum required to deliver growth.

Do you practice a marketing routine?

27.thumbnailKelly Weppler, WH & Associates is a Master Duct Tape Marketing Consultant located in Southern California. She works with small businesses to take the Mystery Out of Marketing. She focuses on building marketing routines–routine and consistency build momentum and business growth.

Why Your Email Marketing Needs an Editorial Calendar

Lots of marketers have given in to the need to produce lots of content. This need has become so prevalent that many have actually begun to adopt a publishing mindset.

Email editorial calendar

photo credit: sogrady via photo pin cc

With this mindset comes the need to schedule, plan and strategize about relevant content needs, formats and purposes. Otherwise you end up with content chaos and, inevitably, so do your customers and prospects.

We use a Google Calendar system in our office and have a brief editorial meeting each week with the entire staff to make sure we are both meeting our editorial obligations and producing the right kind of content.

Recently, we added email to the editorial calendar and this seemingly simple integration has made a significant impact in our content focus.

We now have a better picture of what we are putting out in all channels and have a better view of who is receiving what, why and when.

This better picture of content is a great tool whether you are the only one producing content or need to collaborate with a team and outside producers.

By using an editorial calendar approach to email we:

  • Keep much better track of who is getting what
  • Segment our lists with more precision
  • Plug gaps in important core topics
  • Uncover new ways to use existing content
  • Better monitor how much email we are sending
  • Create more opportunities to use content to build our list

Getting a handle on your total content platform is an essential aspect of your total online presence and employing simple tools such as a Google content calendar shared to the staff or more fully featured tools such as DivvyHQ or Gather Content and including every content opportunity, including your email outreach, will give your content plan the focus it needs to generate the greatest return on time invested.