I recently went to the “Becoming Van Gogh” exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Toward the end, I came across this quote from the artist: “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
It made me think about how, each new year, we’re compelled to list out resolutions for the coming 12 months with the ultimate goal of living a happier and more fulfilled life. It’s wonderful in theory, but oftentimes we set about making life-changing resolutions and quickly fall behind on achieving these grandiose plans.
We’re already one month into 2013. How many of us are starting to lose track of our resolutions? Or, like some of my friends, did we decide not to set any since they just start to seem silly over the years?
Taking a cue from Van Gogh, I suggest we take a break from only focusing on lofty, visionary resolutions and set our sights on smaller, tangible goals. Ultimately, when added together, these will have a larger impact and make us great.
Carrying this over to the world of marketing automation where most of us are entering the new year with very aggressive business goals and heady plans to fulfill them, let’s not forget about the smaller things that will make a big impact. Taking email nurture programs as an example, here are some of the items making my list of resolutions:
- Error-free emails. Spelling errors and typos can happen from time to time and it’s just plain embarrassing. Usually it’s the result of not spending enough time proofing or getting an extra person to review. In the long run, this extra step can prevent you from looking silly or less credible in the eyes of a client or prospect.
- Thoughtful salutations and greetings. We all have our typical ways we start and end emails; to the point where we don’t even think about it at times and just go with the standard “Hi” or no greeting at all. Customizing these parts of emails can give the message extra oomph, come off as more sincere, and, most likely, help you get recognized in the flurry of emails our clients and prospects receive each day.
- Making use of header space. Typically this space is just filled with: “If you have trouble viewing this email, read the online version.” This message is critical to include but the header has bonus space to add another precise, quick message. I like to think of it as a sub-subject line. Don’t miss the opportunity to reinforce our messages!
- Create good URLs. Even when we’re hyperlinking a URL, a person who clicks through will ultimately look at the address bar to see what page she’s on. If we use a good URL, it’s a great branding opportunity! We can reinforce a product or asset name and have the root domain (which is typically our brand) not be associated with a bunch of letters and symbols that look messy and unorganized.
Every little piece adds to the greater good. Hopefully this short list sparks ideas for you to focus on this new year. So go forth, and be great!
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