The Copying and Pasting Checklist
Copying and pasting is probably my favorite command on a computer. What’s not to love? It saves so much time when you can use a past communication, setting, or tool on a new project.
I didn’t realize my dependence on copying and pasting ran so deep until doing a demo on a web platform with the vendor. As I explored the functionality I asked, “How do I make a copy of this page?” The vendor told me that they eliminated the copy function because they found that administrators were overusing it and repetitive data and tags were creeping into sites. As a “best practice” they required admins to start pages from scratch. While my impression of the platform was not great to that point, that remark ensured I was not going to implement it.
How can a function that saves so much time be a bad habit? While I don’t agree that eliminating copying and pasting from a platform or marketing processes is appropriate, I have to admit that there is a grain of truth in what the vendor was saying. Duplicating content does require diligence to ensure that all the appropriate settings are updated to prevent outdated or inaccurate information being placed in updated communications.
Let’s use an event webpage as an example. When copying and pasting an old event, obvious changes like updating the graphics and text are rarely missed but the entire user experience should be reviewed to make sure that all the information they receive is correct.
|Graphics – Have the promotional or speaker images been updated?|
|Text – Has all the appropriate text been changed? Pay attention to minor text mentions for things like specials or length of the event.|
|Meta Tags – Has the page’s header information been refreshed so that the people searching for the event are able to find it and land on the right page?|
|Form – If you are not using an automated app, is the form saving to the right database? Do the data fields need updated?|
|Landing Page – Does the confirmation for the event’s landing page need updated with logistic info or other instructions?|
|Email Confirmation – Has the automated email been updated with logistic info or other instructions?|
|Event Surveys – If you survey attendees before the event, has the content and/or the link been updated so that they are surveyed on the appropriate topic?|
This checklist shows that something as simple as duplicating a page requires verification on many aspects of the user experience. This checklist might only be a starting point for more complex digital marketing activities. Use this example to customize your own copying and pasting processes. These checklists will ensure that you get all the benefits from copying and pasting without it becoming a bad habit.