We all have that awkward time between campaigns.

Whether you’re between product launches, school years, legislative sessions, or seasonal services, there’s a lull period, where there’s not much communication happening.

It’s hard to know what to say during those times.

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Sometimes you’re restricted in what you can say. Other times it’s just hard to pick something when you don’t have a focus or a theme to build upon.

In this blog, we’re going to talk about how to build momentum during the off-season and what you should be saying during that time so that your next launch, session, semester, or service kicks off with a bang.

There’s a lot of metaphors I could use here, like the pulling back of an arrow before it launches, or the winding up of a toy race car before you let it launch. There is a period of no movement before there is a period of rapid movement. The key is to learn how to best leverage that time so that rapid movement is possible – learning how to pull back the bow or wind up the car, so to speak.

In these off-seasons, it’s really easy to think, “Maybe we should chill on communicating with our audience. Give them a break.” While that seems to make sense, the reality is that relationships of any kind take nurturing.

Imagine if you started dating someone, then didn’t talk to them until the proposal. Are they saying yes? (I really hope not).

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We can’t just go incommunicado with our audience and expect them to eagerly pick up what we’re putting down the next time we reach out. We want to get them accustomed to hearing from us.

So how do we do that?

High-value, content-based, nurturing communications.

Let me unpack that.

Promotional emails, or emails asking someone to do something, should not be the only kind of email you send to your audience. If it is, you are missing a vital part of building the relationship with your prospect.

You should also be including content-based emails that are valuable to your prospect. Things that make them WANT to open their email.

Otherwise you end up like the Dick’s Sporting Good emails that are always in my inbox – I only open them when I want a coupon to buy something at Dick’s. Otherwise they go in the trash.

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You want to be like the emails from Margo Aaron – I open every one because I want to read what’s inside. It’s doesn’t matter if she’s promoting something or not. I’m entertained and educated by reading her emails, which makes me, as the consumer, want to read her emails. (And, yes, I did ultimately become a customer through that process).

Doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, there is content that can be valuable to your audience.

  • If you’re a school, talk about the activities you host on campus, the programs they can participate in, what they can expect when school starts. Get them EXCITED about the school year. Don’t just send them the email saying they owe you tuition.
  • If you’re an ecommerce business that sells goat milk soap, send people recipes! Send them gift ideas! Talk about the skincare miracle that is goat milk soap. And be entertaining about it (Beekman uses a live goat cam – PERFECT).
  • If you’re a service business that ramps up during certain seasons, share informational content on the off-season. What do people need to know about their HVAC? About landscaping or lawn care? What tips could you offer them or problems could you solve until they’re ready to book their next service appointment with you?
  • If you’re a lobbying group or involved in legislature at all, how can you educate and inform your audience about the issues you’re talking about? Don’t just wait til January to activate people. Make them aware of what’s happening and get them ready to take action when it’s go time.

Those are just a few ideas. You’ll want to flesh out several more, based on how long the lull is and how frequently you communicate with your audience.

You can find ideas in a couple ways:

  • Talk to your sales team – what are common questions people have? What are things they’re confused about?
  • Talk to your support team – what are people interested in? What problems can you solve in an email or article?
  • Dig into the data – which pages of your site do they visit most? Which emails are they opening? Can you narrow in on hot topics they’re most interested in?
  • Pay attention online – your audience isn’t quiet about the things that matter to them. What are they saying? What are they passionate about? How can you play off of that in a piece of content?
  • Think about peripheral contentHubSpot is a great example of this. Even though they sell a marketing and sales software, they don’t limit their communication to technology only. They talk about sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, and all kinds of peripheral topics that matter to the people using their software. Think about what matters to your audience and create content around that, even if it’s not specific to your core offering.

So there you have it:  Why we need to leverage the periods in between our busy seasons to educate and nurture our audience, how we do that (nurturing, content-based emails), and how we figure out what the heck we can write about.

Got questions? Leave ‘em in the comments. We’re here for you!