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Will You Be Too Late?

January 2, 2014

Have I mentioned I’m in Nashville yet? Did you know we have a lot of churches here? If you come through, you’ll see a lot of them. But there are also “bootleg churches” that you won’t see because they don’t have buildings — their congregations meet in school auditoriums, movie theaters, stores, hotel conference rooms, and restaurants.

Needless to say, competition in the church business is fierce! Because of this, the bigger churches do a lot of marketing. For example, it’s pretty common to get direct mail from a church asking you to attend (or give money).

Here’s a postcard from a church I received today…

Church postcard

Looks like a normal postcard. It gives a couple of options to attend as well as the location and a website where you can get more information. The other side (not pictured) has a map to help you find where they are.

So What’s the Problem?

Today is January 2nd. The events on this card were almost two weeks ago!

A couple of weeks ago, the information on this card had value. Today, the timeliness of the message and my opportunity to take advantage of it is gone.

Timing is everything.

Have you ever been to an album release party when the album wasn’t out yet? I have.

I’ve been to launch events for computer software that wasn’t yet available. And I’ve been part of movies where the studios behind them had to make the choice to either pull the release and keep out of court or pay big money in penalties and legal fees because they didn’t properly license the music used.

Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down

You can save money on a project by choosing a “bulk mail” option, but that will cost you time. But if you push things too far, like the church from the example above did, the cheaper option will end up costing you even more money.

And can save time by paying a little more. But charges for “expedited” service will cut into your bottom line and, if you do this too much, possibly put you out of business.

So what’s the solution?

Plan ahead.

Christmas is every year on December 25. Every year. You can’t say you didn’t see it coming and you can’t push it back. Fortunately, most projects aren’t this way, but once you’ve solidified a date for your project and set things in motion, it’s tough to change things.

Remember the above example next time you create something and/or plan a release around it. Like a bulk mail postcard, you need extra time, because something in the system is probably slower than you’re counting on.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: The “Hall of Shame” is where bad marketing is analyzed, so you don’t make the same mistakes. See other posts in this series here and, if you have a request for something (or someone) you’d like me to talk about here, contact me via Twitter.