We’re just a few days away from Black Friday, but I’m going to depart once again from sharing the usual collection of tips and tricks for top-performing holiday emails. If you haven’t locked down your Black Friday strategies by now, anything I tell you to do now probably won’t save you.
Instead, I’d like to continue an approach I started last year and turn the focus onto you, the email marketer who labors daily in the trenches of digital communications.
Here’s what I would like you to do: Excuse yourself from fretting over the next six weeks and focus on the last 12 months in your job. What did you accomplish in 2017?
After you finish reading this post, take five minutes to write down everything you did, whether it was high-level or everyday, successful or a flop. What are you most proud of? What was really cool? How did you change your thinking about a tactic, strategy or approach? When did a hunch, or your intuition pay off? What most impressed you, your team or your boss?
In fact, don’t wait. Do it right now. I’ll wait.
Post that list
Now, look over what you wrote down. Think about how much you’ve improved over the last year. Look at everything you’ve done to become a First-Person Marketer.
Then, take your list and post it on your cubicle, on your desk, on your monitor or wall. Anywhere that it’s readily visible from where you sit. This is your reminder in this busy holiday season that you do know what you’re doing. You’ve done some great things this year. You’ve accomplished something.
It’s all too common in the daily rush and crush of email and revenue that we forget about what we’ve accomplished over the year. We aren’t just monkeys pushing buttons. We are smart First-Person Marketers.
Look at that list over the next few weeks to remind yourself that you know what you’re doing. Having a physical reminder is important. That’s why I told you write down your list, not just think about your past year or type in your phone’s Notes app.
You’ll need that list when things get hairy – when someone screams down the hall to send out another email, when somebody ignores your test results or changes your copy or subject lines without asking, when life feels like one fire drill after another. Your list will be full of successes as well as failures that taught you how to succeed.
Now, get another piece of paper. Instead of looking into the past, think about the “now” and the future. What’s one new thing you could do this holiday season that you didn’t do this year?
It might sound crazy in these busy days – who needs more to do? – but it could make a difference down the road.
Find one thing you could do differently. Maybe it’s a simple segmentation? How about a secret segment of people who will respond well to a specific kind of message? How about a headline or subject line you could test?
The key to incremental innovation and becoming a First-Person Marketer is moving forward step by step. It doesn’t have to be a giant leap. You might feel as if you’re just creeping toward your goals, but even creeping means you’re moving forward.
A final thought
As we head into what for most markets is the busiest season of the year, I’ll give you the same advice I shared last year in what turned out to be one of my most widely read blog posts: “A motivational message for email marketers (and everyone else, too).”
You’re a fantastic marketer. You know what you’re doing. Keep your head up and your teams motivated. Don’t freak out. Even though we’re doing email and not curing cancer, we can do better, and we can encourage our teams to do better.
May the force be with you.