General, Marketing with Mansfield

Time to “Fall Forward” and Freshen Up!

Summer is over.

“Back in the day” (aka last year) this is the time of year that I would avoid Staples, Walmart, Office Depot and Target at all costs. That’s because it was back to school time and because everyone needed new items for school. A+B=insane, Black Friday-esque, crowded stores.

You can’t take notes in an old, used-up notebook. The locker might not even be the same size as last year so you couldn’t use the same old stuff. Your markers were probably dried out. You needed new binders. But you wanted to make sure you went through old school supplies first. Maybe there were a couple markers you never used. There was probably a mirror or a locker shelf you could’ve used again.

The outlet mall was just as bad if not worse. You needed new clothes for back to school. New dress code or you might have grown or old clothes were just plain worn out. If you needed new clothes, then you probably needed new shoes for all the same reasons. It would have been silly, however, to have gotten rid of everything and just gotten all new clothes and shoes. It would’ve been a good idea to try everything on so you could’ve decided what to keep and what to toss.

Freshen up

What can we learn from this back in the day, back to school frenzy?

Clearing out, cleaning up and freshening up your resources are exactly what you should be doing with your marketing materials!

By marketing materials, I mean your online materials, digital tools and social media marketing platforms.While you’re at it, you might as well take a gander at your print materials, too.

As far as brochures and other print materials go, you want to make sure the information contained is up to date and accurate.

Make a to do list!

Have you changed your logo?

Did the area code change?

Are the people listed still employed?

Have you added people?

What about your services?

Sometimes when I am working on a customer’s email newsletter, I will send a draft to the client and I receive an email in return that reads “We haven’t done mastectomy since 1998. Can you take that off the list of services?” Of course I can, but guess what, I got the list of services from the website so you should probably update it there, too.

Update online resources

It is easier to go “back to school” on your online materials and digital tools, but it still takes time and energy to keep these updated. Here is a tip. When you are putting together your website, Facebook page, instagram, LinkedIn or other online portal, don’t use a photo of your entire staff. Rather, use photos of individual people. It is a nice touch to have pictures and bios on a website, but there are many O&P websites with photos that include people who no longer work there. It is tough enough to get photos of individuals, try taking a new whole staff photo every time you add or subtract staff!

Do all the links still work on your website?

Do the contact us forms work?

Test all the actionable content on every page.

Check every link.

If you have a “click here to email us” button, then make sure users can actually send an email by using that button AND make sure the person who is supposed to receive it is still receiving it.

The end of the year is fast approaching. Why wait until the holidays to go “back to school” on your marketing materials? Do it now.

Need help? elizabeth@cecpo.com

COVID-19, General, Marketing with Mansfield

Dinner and a Roll

My mantra has always been “marketing is marketing.” To me that means that there are so many clever, fun, interesting, educational and unique ways people use to market their businesses that you can always find inspiration in someone else’s marketing efforts.

What about now? Yes, even now.

Case in point. Toilet paper. Dinner and a Roll.

My son, Jennings, called on Saturday to check in. He is an amazing cook and he’s been outdoing himself on pretty much a daily basis but he wanted a break from being creative and he wanted to make sure to support a local business. He and Emily ordered dinner to go from Mombo. Win. Win. Win. They didn’t have to cook. They supported a local business. They got a free roll of toilet paper with their dinner. And…if you pay $10.00 with your order then they will donate a free meal to those in need – so Win. Win. Win.  Win!

toilet
photo credit: Mombo Restaurant, Portsmouth, NH

What else?

Face masks.

They aren’t going away any time soon. (I was surprised I hadn’t seen or received anything so far but maybe that’s because PPE has been so hard to find.) But, I saw my first “Your Name Here” on a face mask ad yesterday.

Hand sanitizer.

pelHand sanitizer as promotional items have been a thing for a long time now. Most of the ones we’ve been using we got as promo items. PEL, OPGA, FAOP are just some of the pre COVID-19 hand sanitizer promo users.

What else?

There’s always the best-thing-since-sliced-bread marketing juggernaut.

The. Email. Newsletter.

If you never had one before. Why not?

If you don’t have one now. WHY NOT? You needed one before COVID-19 and you definitely need one now.

Keep in touch. Without touching.

Quite simply it’s the best way to market.

Call me 844-347-0738 or email me  – elizabeth@cecpo.com

 

General, Orthotic Prosthetic Continuing Education

Partnering with Physical Therapists – Getting More Attention

The O&P Almanac’s December 2019 cover story is titled, Team Building, O&P Partners with PT in a More Collaborative Approach to Patient Care.

The article emphasizes the importance of a team approach to patient care in regards to limb loss. Christine Umbrell, contributing writer and editorial/production associate for O&P Almanac, speaks with four prosthetists and explores their relationships with the therapy community. Each practitioner explains how their collaborative efforts with physical therapists improve outcomes and the overall patient experience.

Betta Ferrendelli wrote an article for the The O&P Edge earlier this year, Partnering with Therapists: Improving Patient Access and Outcomes Through Collaboration. She wrote, ” When it comes to optimal patient care, the best recipe for patient success involves physical and occupational therapists and O&P providers working hand in hand.”

Clinical Education Concepts‘ Clinical Director Marc Werner, CPO, talked about providing continuing education to physical therapists in Deborah Conn’s July 2019 article in O&P Almanac’s Member Spotlight, The Human-and Animal-Connection.

“It makes sense that orthotists and prosthetists educate the therapy community about patients with limb and functional loss,” Werner said when asked about the article. Long Island O&P has provided over 1200 continuing education credits to over 900 therapists. 260 courses at 45 different therapy facilities since 2010! Collaborating with physical therapy is imperative to continually improving patient outcomes.”

Clinical Education Concepts provides course material to orthotists and prosthetists that can be presented to physical and occupational therapists. Contact CEC

General, Marketing with Mansfield

Now’s the Time to “GPS” Your Marketing for a Successful Year

Happy almost-end-of-the-year! What will your marketing resolutions be for 2020? The end of the year is always a good time to reflect on the results of your marketing plan and to consider what changes you might want to make for the upcoming year. They key word is “plan.” Think of it like GPS directions for your marketing. When you need to get somewhere, GPS knows where you are but you have to tell it where you want to go and then it gives you options on how to get there.

Know your final destination

I am willing to bet that when it comes to a marketing plan a lot of people don’t start with the final destination, where they want to be by December, in mind. Instead they start heading off “down the road” – destination to be determined.

Awhile back I spent a weekend at Frequent Traveler University. It’s a convention for people who not only like to travel but they also like learning about how miles and points can enhance their travel experience. It was perfect timing because all my travel and loyalty calculators reset to zero at the end of the year (jut the calculators, not the accumulated points or miles.) This is important because in order for me to achieve my travel-related goals for 2020 and beyond, I need to know by the end of the year how to structure my 2020 travel plan.

For example, if my goal is to acquire a Southwest Airlines Companion pass in 2020 so that I can bring a companion along for free in 2020, then I need to determine what strategy I will use to acquire the required number of Rapid Rewards points in order to receive the pass. The final destination would be 125,000 QUALIFYING points.

Know your starting point

I know what I am starting with in January 2020. That would be zero points. Remember those point calculators reset on December 31st. You might think that there is only one route to get there – not true. The final destination would be 125,000 QUALIFYING points OR 100 QUALIFYING one-way flights . In reality, there are a plethora of routes that will get me to my final destination. Route 1 is flying. Route 2 is a mixture of flying and shopping. Route 3 includes getting a Southwest credit card (with sign up bonuses) and those are just 3 routes. Some might take me all year to get there. Some might take me a matter of months. Some might be cost prohibitive and some will be relatively inexpensive.

Important NOTE – not all Rapid Rewards points are qualifying points and not all flights are qualifying flights.

The two things I know for sure are – where I am right now and where I want to end up. What I also know is that I would really like that pass sooner rather than later and I don’t want to waste money or time getting it.

Know your route options

Back to O&P marketing…if you know that you have 270 newsletter subscribers as of today but that you want 2,499 subscribers by the end of 2020 which route are you going to take? Just like getting the Companion Pass, there are a lot of different routes with different time frames and different costs. I have clear goals. Get the points to get the pass so that my companion can fly for free so that I can save a lot of money. I know most of my travel schedule for 2020 right now so I can actually calculate how much money I will be able to save depending on when I acquire the pass. That is very helpful in determining my route.

In our newsletter subscriber example, we have a clear goal of acquiring 2,229 new subscribers. We want to make sure that all of our new subscribers are people who are relevant to the success of our business and not just “route detours” for the sake of pumping up our numbers.

What’s your marketing GPS route for 2020?

General, Marketing with Mansfield

What Email Newsletter Marketers Know That You Don’t!

I have a collection of “oops” emails that I keep in a folder in my inbox. I would like to share some with you. “Oops – Corrected Date/Time Inside: Best Practices for Content Marketing Webinars” is one. I received it from Chief Marketer, a content marketing company in Connecticut. “We forgot something…” from Magazines.com, a company that believe it or not, sells magazines. “Oops! There’s been a slight mistake” from Thrifty Car Rental. “Oops!” from IKEA. “Oops! 5-Star Cupcakes We Couldn’t Wait to Share” from Betty Crocker. There a lot more, most with some type of “oops” or “apologies” in the subject line.

Mistake? Or No Mistake?

I do not know what you think, but I think that IKEA, Thrifty Car Rental and Betty Crocker have pretty sophisticated marketing departments and consultants. Of course, the people who work there are just that, people, and we all know that humans make mistakes. What if I told you that not all of those “oops” emails were mistakes – would you be surprised?

According to MediaPost, email recipients click on these emails because they are either curious or genuinely interested in figuring out whether the sender’s mistake is going to have an effect on them.

I think it is pretty obvious that a “Best New Cupcake Recipes” email might not appeal to everyone but that an “Oops! 5-Star Cupcakes We Couldn’t Wait to Share” might garner a higher open rate. Either you opened it the first time and are curious what you might have missed the first time, or you saw it, ignored it and are now curious about the mistake Betty made.

I hope you do not think that I am encouraging you to send out digital correspondence with mistakes on purpose. I am not. I hope you do not think that I am advising you to send out these emails if you made a stupid mistake that everyone can clearly see was a mistake. Take the date for example. One of my pet peeves about email newsletter programs is that even though they love to have a date section, one which often stands alone, the section does not update automatically. It seems to me that should be an easy programming fix. Even Microsoft Word knows how to fill in the current date once you start typing. Anyway, my point is that sending out an email newsletter with a November date in the middle of March is clearly a mistake. Especially if everything else in the email is timely. If that happens, you do not waste an “oops.” You just move on. Address it if you want to in the next issue but do not waste people’s time sending them an email over a spelling error.

Reason for sending?

What does constitute a reason for sending an “oops” email? Something that has the potential to have a negative impact on the recipient:

  • Broken link – this is a big deal.
  • Day or date of an event mistake – definitely send one.
  • Venue mistake – of course.
  • Incorrect directions – absolutely.
  • Sent the email to the wrong list – HURRY!

So you made a legitimate, oops-worthy mistake. Do not fret. The silver lining is that your apology email will probably outperform your original email. Just do not be that little boy that cried “Oops!”

Reference:

McDonald L. MediaPost. 2011. Available at www.mediapost.com/publications/article/141444/fake-oops-emails-stop-it-already.html