When Scheduling Goes Bad

Having automated processes in place that allow you to pre-schedule email or social media messages are a great tool.  However, the people behind the tools always need to be aware of those sends and make judgment calls in extenuating circumstances.

As an example, Hurricane Sandy is hitting the east coast hard this morning.  Many businesses are closed as people rightly look after their welfare and the welfare of their loved ones.  Sending out an advertisement or an invitation to an event today is likely to be ignored or ill-received.  However, there are plenty of automated messages that will go out today because they were pre-scheduled or out-of-town marketers won’t be aware of local circumstances.

After working on a communication and crafting the message, scheduling is a good way to ensure it is sent at an ideal time.  However, marketers need to remember that extenuating circumstances will come up and send schedules should be modified in these cases.

It’s not always practical as emergencies can rise without warning.  But in situations where there is a looming threat (like a hurricane) then delaying sends until after the threat has passed is advisable. 

Best wishes to the East coast cities hit by Sandy and stay safe.

When Do I need Online Marketing Help?

One of the most challenging questions for trainers, consultants, and professional coaches in regards to online and email marketing is knowing when they need to hire outside help.  There’s not a hard and fast rule but there are three guidelines of when to look for help:

  1. Don’t Have Time – This is an easy issue to identify.  If you or your staff does not have time to consistently do the online marketing activities, then hire outside help that will stay on top of it.  Online marketing typically isn’t effective when done sporadically.  If pieces of your marketing campaign aren’t getting done because it’s being forgotten or postponed, get some help.
  2. Lacking Quality – This is a guideline that’s harder to define as standards for quality can be subjective.  Sometimes this can be solved by upgrading you or your staff’s skills.  This is often the case if the person responsible for your online marketing wants to do the work but struggles. Before investing time, money, and/or energy into upgrading a skill set, make sure that you or your staff member is close enough to a professional quality to make the investment worthwhile.  Often times, if a person has a poor aptitude for online marketing, trying to train them is just a frustration that still results in sub-par quality.As a general rule if you find that the quality of the content comes off as unprofessional or get feedback that others do, then the person producing the work needs to improve the product or outside help needs brought in. An online campaign that looks home grown because the quality is lacking can often do more harm than good.
  3. No Results – An online campaign should produce results in either business leads or sales.  How many leads or sales depends on the campaign but some results should exist.  If you are producing high quality communications on a regular basis but getting nothing from it than the approach is probably flawed.  This can be the most difficult problem to solve and often warrants hiring outside help.

Trainers, consultants, and professional coaches can produce quality online marketing campaigns on their own but it takes effort and dedication.  If you find that you aren’t meeting the guidelines above, then it might be worth hiring outside help and invest those efforts elsewhere.

If you decide to hire outside help here are some things to look for . . .