Have a vacation coming up? (Lucky you!) If you’re like most marketers, however, you’ll likely have a hard time not checking in throughout your vacation.
But what if you could put your mind at ease, knowing that you’ve done all you could to make sure things go smoothly while you’re out of the office?
Read on for our list of things B2B marketers should get done before heading out on vacation to maximize relaxation time.
1. Plan ahead
Yes, this is common sense. But if you don’t plan ahead – i.e., set strict deadlines for the rest of the items in this list — you’re probably not going to enjoy your vacation at all.
Plan ahead by:
- Setting calendar deadlines for deliverables
- Getting ahead on projects due shortly after your vacation (i.e., preparing outlines and briefs)
- Having a meeting with your supervisor and/or team outlining how your responsibilities will be covered in your absence
The worst thing you could do before a vacation is leave the office not in vacation mode — plan ahead so you have time to wind down.
2. Check marketing automation workflows
Take the timing of your vacation into account. If you’re away from the office during a major holiday, you may want to pause some of your email campaigns and dial back the scheduled social posts. Most people don’t want to get sales-y emails or important product updates on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve.
3. Schedule content and social media posts
This one might seem obvious, but scheduling blog posts, emails, tweets, and other content will mean you won’t be stuck publishing from the beach. If you plan far enough ahead you’ll be able to write, edit, and schedule content that needs to go live during your time away from the office.
This is also a great time to make use of guest bloggers, who can help take some work off your plate in the busy time leading up to your vacation (guest bloggers can be a big help the week you get back, too).
When scheduling your social media posts, double-check your unpublished URLs to make sure they aren’t dead!
4. Have a backup
It’s always a good idea to make sure that at least one person on your team can cover your main responsibilities.
You can’t schedule everything — there’s always going to be a last-minute customer email that needs to go out or a few timely social media posts that need to get published. If you plan ahead and assign someone as your “backup” while you’re out of the office, should (heaven forbid) an emergency pop up, it can be taken care of easily and without anyone having to interrupt your time off.
5. Set your out-of-office notification
Don’t forget to set your OOO autoresponder!
And, while you’re at it, why not add a marketing touch? Share one of your favorite blog posts or a special offer to make the day of whoever emails you while you’re out.
These OOO examples from HubSpot are fun for marketers. Also, be sure to include an alternative contact, even if it’s just an inbox like firstname.lastname@example.org, to avoid a flood of emails when you get back.
6. Have an emergency contact plan
Even if you plan ahead, give your team as much notice as possible that you’ll be taking some time off, and assign a backup, you can’t plan for everything. There will inevitably be times when someone on your team needs something that only you have access to.
Have a way for your team to contact you, but they should only use this when absolutely necessary. That way, you won’t need to check email every hour “just in case”.
Our team likes to use Slack in and out of the office — it’s a great way to quickly ask someone a question without forcing them to check their inbox and fully switch into “work mode”.
7. Prepare for your return
The hardest part of taking time off is getting back into the swing of things once you’re back in the office.
As dismal as it may be to anticipate your return, it’s less annoying than getting caught off guard by your vacation brain and less depressing than feeling the “Sunday night blues” as you anxiously anticipate the surprises awaiting you in your inbox’s “Unread” folder. Plus, preparing for your return will make it easier to relax, which is the whole point of taking vacation time!
Clean your desk before you take off (because who wants to return to a messy desk?) and:
- Write a simple “to do” list of your main priorities for the week of your return.
- Book an hour or two in your calendar on your first morning back just to respond to emails and catch-up.
- Set aside some time to plan out what your content calendar will look like in the weeks after your vacation. If you’re short on ideas, try planning a team content brainstorm to get meaningful content ideas from your co-workers in other roles.
Enjoy your vacation!
A relaxed brain is a focused brain. Now go enjoy that vacation, you’ve earned it!
What did we miss? Do you have your own pre-vacation checklist to share? Let us know in the comments!