Practice What You Preach

October 7, 2013

We’re all familiar with the cobbler’s children who go shoeless because their father is too busy working for his customers. It’s a phenomenon we all fight – not just to make time for our own work, but to adhere to the high standards we preach to others and rules we instruct them to follow.

Well, I have a confession: Yesterday I sent our monthly email and I didn’t A/B test the subject line. 

We tell our clients to A/B test every email they send, no matter what. I ignored our own rule. I was in a rush, it’s a familiar newsletter to a regular list, and I just didn’t do it. Our open rate and conversion rate slid about 5% from our average. They may not be directly related, but it would’ve been worth the 15 minute A/B test to be sure.

Phew, feels good to have gotten that off my chest. 

It served as a good reminder for me and I hope a helpful one for you to remember to practice what you preach. Even simple functions like the A/B test reinforce good habits, help you learn things you can apply to future client work, and make sure you’re doing your best work.

For more visible elements of your work, always remember your clients and prospective clients are watching. No one wants to buy a suit from a guy in a ratty tee shirt extolling the importance of looking your best or enlist a social media agency who doesn’t tweet but preaches the importance of #hashtags.

Spend the extra time and practice what you preach. It’ll make your efforts more successful and bolster others’ faith in your advice.

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