Selecting Materials for Your Marketing Automation Map

A few weeks back I wrote a post on how to develop a marketing automation map.  Now that you have your ideas mapped out, your next step is to think about the materials you want to use – emails, postcards, surveys, etc.  Thinking in terms of building a house, you currently have the blueprints, but now you need to choose what materials you’re going to use, the purpose they serve and the general look and feel that they’ll give the house as a whole.

So, just like your mind map, go and get another pad of paper and start out by making a rough sketch of what you want your first email, postcard, survey, etc. to look like.  Go down the list until you’re done. Don’t worry about getting too detailed with the sketch, just draw a box and start to determine where the main pieces will be and what the general layout should look like.  Add notes about specifics regarding color, tone, and graphics.

Keep in mind when you’re drawing your rough sketch that the call to action or purpose of the material you’re focusing on should be crystal clear to your viewers.  If you don’t have a user friendly call to action or a purpose for sending something, then there’s no reason to be using that material.  If you’re confused or unclear, your recipients will be too.

Here is an example of a Colorado Guest Ranch’s notes:

Email to be sent a week before guest’s arrival:

–          Call to action (top right): “What to Pack” button that goes to printable PDF (also include text link at bottom of email)
–          Simple header with look and feel of printed letterhead, using Zapata Ranch logo
–          General tone of:   We can’t wait to see you, here’s some general advice like drinking a lot of water at high altitude, etc. and a list of things to pack for riding, camping, fishing, etc….use a personalized signature

As you can see you don’t need to make a lot of notes, you just need to think through the purpose and function of each type of material you use.  We highly recommend taking these steps first as opposed to creating an email or postcard from scratch without any prior thought.  For example, when building a house you will spend time choosing the type of wood siding, the way it will look with the rest of the house and other materials being used as opposed to telling the builder…“yeah just use whatever”.  If you’ve got an amazing builder that might work but most time the builder will have a hard time bringing to life a vision that exists in your head.  So, take the time to make some well thought out notes and you should be good to go.

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