Keeping marketing engagement during the summer months

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Wollaston Beach

I’ve been asked the same thematic question three times in the last two days, by a reporter, a colleague, and an online connection: how do you keep your levels of marketing engagement (email open rates, social media engagement, etc.) during the summer months when people go on vacation?

The answer here isn’t the one people want: you can’t. If we’re going to be honest with each other, you can’t. People go on vacation. They go out of the office. They stop paying attention as much. Life happens. Be okay with that. Plan ahead for it.

I know what some folks are thinking: we can’t be okay with that because our sales department demands X number of leads every month, rain or shine, summer or winter. Here’s the thing: they need to plan ahead as well. It’s not exactly a surprise when the calendar flips past Memorial Day. It’s not like no one saw it coming; anyone with half a brain can see that the number of Out of Office replies in your inbox begins to spike right after Memorial Day and every newsletter bounces a lot more until Labor Day. It is going to happen, and there isn’t a bloody thing you or the entire sales team can do about life happening outside of work.

Here’s the flip side, the silver lining: because things slow down, your opportunity to reach the people who are still (grudgingly) in the office improves. If you’ve got a prospect who’s still in the office at 2 PM on Friday, there may literally be nothing for them to do but read your email or comment on your Facebook Page. Take the time to create really outstanding content. Switch things up. Test a lot more. Do more direct outreach. Heck, throw summer barbecue recipes in your newsletter just to mix things up and provide some different content for the people who are still around. Hold focus groups. Write eBooks. Use the slow time to color outside the lines a little more. You might just discover something that will help you bust down the doors when Labor Day comes and goes.

The pace of work may slow down, but your pace of creativity and productivity doesn’t have to.

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