In my last newsletter I talked about creating a marketing follow up plan and I made a brief mention of using “starter snippets” to help quickly create follow up messages. I’ve had a couple of people ask me about how I use these snippets, so I thought I would share some ideas here.
Snippet files are something that I started using when I was a software developer. Basically, they are just pieces of text that you find yourself typing repeatedly. The idea is to have these readily accessible so you can grab them (i.e. cut & paste) quickly and not have to constantly re-invent the wheel.
One of the challenges with using marketing automation to scale your personalized messages is making sure the “personalized” message fits within the context of the relationship. For example, have you ever received a message from a company asking you to become a customer when you have already been a customer for years? These type of personalized marketing messages can actually work against you.
I view snippets as being different from automated or canned messages in that they serve as starting point, rather than a complete message. I can edit a message more quickly than I can create one from scratch. With the majority of the message already complete, it takes very little time to add a personal touch.
Here are some examples of the types of messages in my snippet file:
- Email introductions
- Reply to a request to connect on LinkedIn
- Cold call scripts
- Requesting an introduction
- Networking follow up message
- Birthday, anniversary, etc.
Since they are just blurbs of text, you can store snippets anywhere. Some of my customers keep them in a text file on their computer desktop. Google Docs can be a good place to keep them if you want to keep a master set of snippets and share them with your co-workers. If you are a Microsoft Outlook user, you will find the Quick Parts feature handy for managing snippets. GMail user will want to check out the canned responses feature in the Labs.
I’m a big fan of marketing automation tools, but sometimes the best tools for building relationships via marketing are a calendar reminder and a good snippet file.