Today’s blog post is written by Erin Madden Ramirez, Senior Data Specialist, Patron Technology.
Before coming to work for PatronManager, I was the systems administrator for a performing arts organization where we sent out a lot of email and direct mail, especially during the height of our season. As I was the one responsible for pulling lists for said emails and mailings, and I was the primary contact with our mail house, I took it upon myself to keep the company’s communications calendar.
Keeping a calendar encompassing all communications for your organization, including those from marketing, development, and the box office, ensures you’re not inundating your patrons with too much (or redundant) information. It allows you to plan out each email communication or direct mail campaign in detail, thereby cutting down on, if not eliminating, mistakes.
Note: There are lots of free tools available to help you plan your email and direct mail campaigns. Search for “free project management software” and test-drive a few. I like having a calendar to get a visual sense of my workload.
I always planned my campaigns in reverse (so to speak). After determining the date the email or direct mail piece needed to arrive in inboxes or homes, I then worked backward to set deadlines for the various due dates required for the project. You may be surprised to hear that I planned on needing two weeks of prep time before the send date of an email. For a direct mail piece, I planned on needing four or more weeks of prep time before a piece arrived in homes. Why so much time? Read the Article