What your marketing team forgot on Fathers Day

Fathers DayEveryone knows that greeting card companies milk holidays,  and possibly even conspire to create events they can sell more cards through. The real question though, is did you make good use of it?

Ignoring the usual boring discount promos (“10% discount for dads/men”), there are lots of great ways to take advantage of events, festivals & made up days. The more creative you are with your ideas, the more fun, and better they’ll be. The folks at Marketing-Interactive published a few neat fathers day / holiday marketing ideas here.

Yes, it’s a bit late for father days, but there’s plenty more events coming up. So here are the three steps you’ll need:

  1. Get your diary out and start penciling in the ones that could be big for you.
  2. Have a drink, have some fun and come up with some crazy ideas
  3. Stop reading this & implement?

Sometimes we need to forget about all the numbers, analytics and  metrics – and have a little fun (it’s surprisingly effective). Besides, isn’t that why we became marketeers?

How to write a good personal profile

The age old adage of first impressions is true even online, in some ways a lot more so. Whilst you can’t control what people think of you, you can at the very least make sure that they’re seeing (or judging) an accurate impression.

There’s a few ways of doing this, I like to work from my longest (and most boring personal profile) downwards. So first I create a description of myself, as if I was on the “Management” section of a company website. It includes some vital statistics and a nice Steve-Jobs-esque head shot (or whatever styling you prefer):

  1. Title
  2. Company
  3. Key focus / Passion
  4. Hobbies
  5. Past Experience
  6. Accolades & Awards (don’t get too pompous here)
  7. Current Industry Memberships (these are great, they show you’re actively involved & contributing to your profession)
  8. Education (industry qualifications are also great to showcase, plus they’re usually more relvant)

Once you’ve got your larger, more wordy, corporate profile done, everything else becomes easy. Don’t forget, that just because it’s your “corporate” profile, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have your own flavour and styling. There’s nothing worse than a soulless, vanilla personal profile that looks like it’s been created by a machine.

Your next step is to create a series (about three) of increasingly short profiles/bio’s – all of which are effectively excerpts from what you’ve just created. Your twitter bio will probably be the shortest one you’ll need, and maybe one in between. If you opening paragraph is punchy enough, that might be all you need for shorter bio’s.

Just remember to use the same “stock” profiles whenever you setup any online accounts. Keeping your profiles uniform, not only makes you look professional & organised, but ensures that if anyone’s looking you up from anywhere, they’re seeing exactly what you want them to see – not a blank profile or the default nonsense a lot of sites put in.

If you’re managing a company website, try to make all the personal profiles conform to a standard structure, layout and size – it’ll maintain some individual personality, whilst looking much better than having too many varying lengths & styles.

5 Important factors when building your email timeline

As if deciding what to send, and then drafting an email  to a client wasn’t hard enough, deciding when to send it is equally difficult. You don’t want to scare your prospective away with a barrage of emails, let them feel ignored, or send them something they’re not really interested in. So what do you send?

Fortunately, most of the homework’s already been done for you. After, signing up for any well reputed (or competitive) service, you’ll get a string of emails. Giving you some clues as to what everyone is sending, and how much is too much (or too little).

I wouldn’t recommend copying somebody’s else timing & format, but it’s great inspiration, and you can certainly learn from it. The summary below details the set of emails received from FuzeBox after signing up for their Free Trial.

  • Day 1 – Automated, Welcome Email
  • Day 1 – Automated, Welcome to the 14 day free Trial
  • Day 1 – Personal email, introduction & courtesy email
  • Day 3 – Automated, Training email, how to host meetings
  • Day 5 – Automated,Training email, how to ensure high quality audio
  • Day 8 – Automated,Promotional email, why it’s worth doing
  • Day 11 – Personal, Promotional email, benefits of the service
  • Day 14 – Automated, Reminder that the trial ends
  • Day 29 – Personal, follow-up email to check if we’re still interested

When conducting your tests, and planning your email timeline, I’d recommend  keeping track of the following factors:

  1. Type of email; how would you classify the email? Personal, obviously templated, informative, promotional, etc.
  2. Sender; who did each mail come from? Was it from a no-reply address, signed by an individual? What happens when you hit reply?
  3. Design; are all the emails following the same style/format? Are they mobile friendly? Are they easily readable in various clients?
  4. CTA; what did the email want you to do? what message is it trying to communicate?
  5. Stop date; when do the emails stop? At what point is your “lead” disregarded?