300 Seconds

Spring Cleaning for Kids

toddler readingSince we’re spring cleaning, this is a really good time to clean the kids section. To do so, you’ll need to squat down to their level.

From this perspective, are there any hidden dangers or temptations. Are there any items or toys that are just within reach? Could anything cause bodily harm if it were reached and pulled down? Are there small items to be grabbed by tiny fists and inserted into little mouths?

And finally, this is a great time to disinfect. Store toys, little chairs, spinner displays, shelves… clean them all. It’s been a long winter.

300 Seconds: Double-Check Your Links

Yesterday we covered managing those stray subject lines in emails. Today, check the links in your electronic newsletters.

ALL of the links.

Remember to pay special attention to the permanent links in your header/footer. What if that link you’ve been using for 6 months to point to your book club page has one too many Os in it? Or maybe the link to your online store is broken? Take 300 seconds to check that you’re leading customers to the correct destination… and not to Error 404-land.

300 Seconds: Don’t forget those subject lines.

Coming up with the perfect email template can take some time, but once accomplished, is a beautiful thing. Since we do not want to reinvent the layout each time, electronic newsletter programs like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, and Campaign Monitor allow us to copy previous newsletters and adjust them with current information.

If you do this, I suggest that the first thing you do is change the date and subject line before you begin on the content. Too often, the March events calendar will accidentally be labeled February. And by the time we are ready to push send, the subject line is the last thing to enter our minds.

300 Seconds: Who are you following?

Take a few seconds today to get your Twitter feed in order. Are you following the right people? Here’s a 300 Seconds exercise to get you started:

  1. Look at your notifications to see who has followed you since you last looked at the list. Do you want to follow any of them back?
  2. Look at who others in the industry follow. Should you be following them, too?
  3. And finally, don’t be afraid to mute anyone blowing up your timeline. They can’t see that they’ve been muted, and now you no longer have to deal with them.

300 Seconds: Counter Survey

When customers buy books based on your recommendation, you know that they heard about the books from you. But when a customer walks in and asks for a specific book, the source of the recommendation is more difficult to discover.

Unless you ask them.

When helping these customers who know exactly what they want, take a few seconds to conduct a counter survey. Just ask one question: “How did you hear about this book?”

Maybe they heard about it on NPR. Perhaps a neighbor told them about it. Or they could have seen a mention in your newsletter. The point is, although this method is not scientific, it’s still a good way to measure your own efforts or identify a new source of information. Plus it’s a great way to begin a conversation with your customers.