The Low-Tech, Conversion-Boosting Power of Checklists

by Michelle Salater on September 12, 2012


In the world of online marketing, it’s easy to get swept away by the latest trend, social media platform, or software that promises to make do everything but take the trash out and paint the walls.

While we’re in search of the latest and greatest to make our lives easier, the medical industry might just have the answer we’ve all been hunting. Studies suggest that one exceptionally low-tech instrument—the checklist—might have a dramatic an effect on our results. When checklists were introduced at hospitals in Michigan a few years ago, they prevented deaths, cut infection rates dramatically, and saved the institutions millions of dollars.

Not bad for something we can all create in a matter of minutes.

Here’s a look at how and why the checklist could drastically improve the return on investment of your marketing dollars.

  • Never miss a step. If you’re like most small-business owners, planning a marketing strategy is just one of three billion things you or your team does in a given day. Devoting your brain cells to so many different tasks can easily lead to forgetting to schedule a crucial part of a product launch or promotion—which can seriously hurt your sales. Start using checklists, and you eliminate that risk.
  •  Get everyone on the same page. This is particularly important if you employ contractors who work remotely. With a standardized checklist, anyone involved in a project can speak up when he or she notices someone’s skipped a step. Without the checklist, remote team members will simply assume you’re trying a new strategy or avoiding that step for a specific reason.
  • Keep more eyes on your marketing plan. When checklists were implemented in a surgical context, nurses were given the authority to correct doctors who skipped a step. In your business, hand out your checklists and encourage everyone involved in a marketing plan to speak up if someone forgets part of the process.
  • Eliminate guesswork. Rather than having to reinvent the wheel every time you plan a new marketing strategy, use your checklist to make sure you’ve included all the essential elements. This doesn’t mean you have to create cookie-cutter marketing plans, but it does mean you won’t leave out anything important.

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