True Confessions: I Fell Into the Rush-It-Out Marketing Trap

Rush-it-out-marketingMea culpa.

Last week was a big one as I released our all-new, fully-searchable database of 4,800+ nonprofit taglines.

We had worked on the tagline database for months and months, shaping it from a long list into a high-value, easy- and quick-to-search resource for nonprofit message development. I was so excited to launch it and the fully-updated 2011 Nonprofit Tagline Report.

Blinded by that excitement, I didn’t go through my usual process of brainstorming the release strategy with the Getting team. Instead, I rushed out the release email to Getting Attention e-news subscribers and those who had registered for the database.  Mea culpa.

Here are the five critical lessons I learned by falling into the rush-it-out marketing trap:

1) Ask audiences to execute a single, clear action, nothing more

  • I asked email readers to do two things: 1) To use the direct link to resources I provided for their own use (since they had already subscribed or registered) and 2) to pass on a second link I provided to colleagues.
  • They were confused, so didn’t act at all.

2) Format a special announcement in a distinct way, to herald that it’s not your regular outreach

  • I reached out via the regular e-news format and folks thought they were getting just another issue.
  • The re-do will be all text, with no graphic header — a format that I typically use for major launches and will be recognized at a glance as “something different.”

3) Review analytics within an hour or two: they can provide almost-instant feedback and direct your next steps

  • I discovered the problem — that e-news subscribers were clicking the link meant for their colleagues, which required them to provide their name and email — when I checked our analytics a couple of hours after sending the announcement.
  • It was clear that folks were confused by the two links they were given, and were clicking the one that required them to subscribe again (a barrier to getting right to the database and report).

4) Roll out a clear, brief re-launch announcement shortly thereafterFocus on the information, not the error.

5) Every major launch must be discussed team wide, and tested by a few objective individuals

Share your marketing lesson learned by December 18, and a get a free copy of the 2011 Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom Guide!

P.S. Learn how to strengthen your nonprofit’s messaging with the all-new Nonprofit Tagline Database and 2011 Tagline Report.

Nancy Schwartz on December 13, 2010 in Strategy | 4 comments
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  • Nancy –

    You mention having neglected your team in getting out the 2011 Tagline report. No need to have any regrets – you set high standards for all of us in the nonprofit, marketing world. THANK YOU FOR ALL THE WORK YOU PUT INTO YOUR BLOG AND HELPING NONPROFITS SUCCEED. The Tagline report is outstanding. You and those who helped create this report should be congratulated and highly praised!

    Peace and Blessings
    Edward Gibeau
    President, Board of Directors
    Oaks Indian Mission

  • Nancy Schwartz

    Thanks much, Ed. So pleased you’re finding the tagline resources helpful.

  • Nancy, you’ve spotlighted a problem everyone has when the product developer is also the marketer. As marketers, one of our contributions is being far enough outside the product/program forest to be able to see the trees and work effectively. When we market our own product/program, we need to bring in folks outside the forest to help us — instead of assuming we can do it alone because that’s our expertise. Sigh, how often we make this mistake!! But to the more important point: you’ve provided a great resource to the nonprofit field, and we’re all grateful.

  • J.Michael Palka

    As teenagers (for me that was 4 decades ago) we know everything. A lesson hard learned as a teenager came from my father who I worked for. He always said any project is 90% planning and 10% implementation. Yeah Dad!

    I learned as many of us have. Whenever I would short cut the planning it ended up with me having to put more hours into the project than was necessary. That cut into my party time. As a teenager that’s important. You remember, don’t you?

    So as an adult and entrepreneur for 40 years I wish I knew as much today as I thought I did as a teenager.

    Take the time to plan and enjoy the extra time from having to do it over, or worse.

    Stay Frosty!

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