A friend of mine is a small business owner with years of experience. Recently she wanted to reach out to her customers via email with a special promotion. She had never done this before, but she had seen competitors and other small business owners successfully create email campaigns.
After she wrote the script, she shared it with me as she knows that I’ve worked on several campaigns like this.
While she’s as smart as a whip when it comes to knowing her profession and her products, it was evident she didn’t know a single thing about designing email campaigns. Her subject line contained no compelling reason to open the email and it contained too many characters. Her content was too long and the call to action was too far down in the text. She was planning on using an email vendor who was willing to offer her advice, but she was convinced she knew what she was doing. She felt she had already devoted sufficient time to planning the campaign and resisted advice from the vendor and me because it would have meant that she needed to spend more time revising it. “I’ve already spent enough time on this!” She said.
Several years ago I sat through a presentation allegedly designed for the public by a brilliant and well known cancer researcher. His research has helped save lives by advancing our knowledge of causes and cures. Yet his presentation was the all too typical “Death By Powerpoint.” His slides were too cluttered with data, he would frequently stand in front of his slides when facing the audience. He talked right over our heads. He wasted our time and his.
Your skills in your profession do not transfer over to other professions such as marketing, public relations, and human resources. Delivering a successful presentation requires skills that must be learned and practiced.
Seek Professional Help
If your business is truly small, perhaps you need to hire a part-time consultant or marketer. Consider outsourcing your HR needs. Join Toastmasters or hire a private coach to help you improve your speaking skills.
You don’t do a major remodel on your home unless you possess the right skills, do you? Then why make important decisions outside your area of professional expertise that could negatively impact your relationships with your employees and your customers?
Test Your Knowledge
- The optimum number of characters in an email campaign subject line is____.
- The subject must give the reader a ________ ____________ to open it.
- In email marketing, “Above The Fold” means ____________________
- People don’t read their emails, they ________ them.
- In the US, what could happen if you give an employee a glowing performance review one week, then terminate her the next, even if your state is an “at will” state?
- When an employee is performing poorly, the problem falls into two broad categories. What are they, and what are the strategies for each?
- The number one reason why employees leave an organization is their __________________.
- You’re asked to give a presentation about your business. What do you need to know about the audience? How should you go about designing your presentation? (Hint: The first step is not to open Power Point or Keynote and start creating slides.) What else do you need to know?
(If you’re looking for the answers down here, you won’t find them. You need to ask a professional.)
You don’t need special skills to follow me on Twitter. I’m txglennross.