Have you ever sat at your desk absolutely drowning in things to do and not sure where to start? You pick up one thing and then realise there are about 10 dependent tasks that you need to do before you can start than one so you put it down and pick up something else. But if you start that, you’ll need to wait for something else to happen that’s not due for a week so you won’t be able to finish it. Before you know it, you’re tearing your hair out, totally overwhelmed. So you drop everything and go make a coffee instead…
Guess who else is feeling like this?
If you said, “Everyone who’s been exposed to our marketing collateral lately”, you’re probably right. Because this is what we’re doing to our customers. Don’t believe me…? Think about it. What’s the single biggest flaw in most elements of a marketing campaign? The answer is, asking for too much, too soon. Some people call it proposing on a first date syndrome. I’ve always referred to is as, “Going straight to the f***”. Crass but memorable and it’s not hard to see why you shouldn’t be doing it in your marketing when you strip the PC language away.
Our performance anxiety is scaring them away
Good marketing is a series of very simple steps. Each one should involve a very simple decision that’s not hard to make. And each decision should take them closer and closer to commitment – a purchase or subscription or whatever your marketing goal is. But we’re getting scared. What if they don’t take the next step? What if I never get to tell them about the really awesome thing that’s going to take them to step four? Maybe I’d better stuff it in earlier just in case? And before you know it, we’re unburdening ourselves at the very first contact and spewing up ALL THE THINGS out of fear we won’t be able to get the prospect to progress. And they’re getting overwhelmed. Oh my God, there’s so much going on here. I don’t know where to look. There’s so much information. I’m not sure what to think about. It’s all too hard, I think I’ll just go and have a coffee… And just like that, you’ve lost your sale.
Just the next step
As a marketer, you don’t need to persuade your prospect to buy your product in your banner ad. Just convince them to click through to the landing page. And you don’t need to persuade your prospect to buy your product in the landing page. Just convince them to sign up for your offer. And you don’t need to persuade your prospect to buy your product in the email subject line. Just convince them to open the email. And you don’t need to persuade them to buy your product in the email body. Just convince them to click through to the product page… Just focus on the next step. If every step is performing strongly, you will get your result. But if you panic and try to make step one do the job of ALL the steps, it’s not going to work.
The same principle applies to your own workload. Don’t try to do the whole job at once. Just break it down into simple steps in a sensible order and focus on just the next step. You’ll be amazed at how your stress levels will fall and your productivity will increase just by focusing fully on the next step.