I’m sure you’ve heard the quote before (or seen it in a Facebook status or two): “[New Year’s Day] is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”
Though technically not much changes from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1, psychologically and organizationally, it is a huge turning point for marketers and people in general.
As the quote suggests, the end of a year is in many ways the end of a chapter in both our professional and personal lives. On New Year’s Day, we all aspire to turn over a new leaf and work toward new goals, but many of us aren’t sure where to start.
If this is where you find yourself, know that you’re not alone, but also know that now is the time to set yourself up for success — and it all starts with getting organized!
Here are five marketing “cleanses” to help you start your year off on the right foot.
1. The content cleanse
Is the content on your company’s website easy to find and properly organized, like this?
Or like this?
If the answer is “No,” consider this an intervention.
The content on your website can be one of your greatest sales tools — if it’s properly set up and represents all the useful information your prospects are looking for.
When prospects visit your website, they want to find information that addresses their needs and concerns — not information about your company, such as where you’re located or how you’re the best at what you do.
You want to immediately show how your business solves your prospect’s challenges and answers their questions.
Take a good look at your homepage and ask yourself if your navigation quickly and easily gets prospects to the second page. This helps the sales and marketing teams know more about their needs.
What should you do?
Have a brainstorming session with your team and answer this question: “What are the top questions/issues someone has when they come to our website?”
Once you have a list, rank the answers in order of most to least important.
From there, ask yourself how your existing layout reflects what the buyer actually wants, and redesign it from there.
By using this process to re-evaluate your homepage, you will better meet your buyers’ needs and see a dramatic increase in dwell time on your website, which will also catalyze more leads and sales.
According to Gartner, outdated or “bad” data can cost businesses an average of $12.9 million per year. This is because, without the most up-to-date information, it becomes difficult to make the right business decisions.
Now, think for a moment about how an outdated contact list can affect your marketing. For example, if you had 100,000 marketing contacts in your database this time last year, it’s possible that about 25,000 of those people are no longer fair game. Perhaps they’ve left their companies or simply unsubscribed altogether. Whatever the reason, there’s no benefit to keeping those names and email addresses cluttering your lists, skewing your click rates, or if you’re a HubSpot user, increasing your monthly fee.
So, chuck ’em!
What should you do?
Go through your contact database and delete anyone who has:
Marked you as spam (how dare they!).
Not opened an email in over three months (less than that could be the result of a busy last quarter).
Been marked “Ineligible” (if you’re a HubSpot user).
If you’re reluctant to break ties cold turkey, consider running a friendly re-engagement campaign like those detailed here. When done right, you’re likely to win some back, but for those you don’t, it may be time to say goodbye.
Removing these inactive contacts will help you avoid emailing in vain and automatically make your performance statistics more accurate and indicative of your strategy. For a detailed, step-by-step how-to, watch our free course with IMPACT’s Director of HubSpot Training Carina Duffy, the HubSpotter’s Guide to Cleaning Up a Messy HubSpot Portal.
4. The email inbox cleanse
I don’t know about you, but my email inbox currently has 113 unread messages.
I’m sure some of you have double, maybe even triple this amount, but considering I last checked my email two days ago, I’d say that’s fairly impressive — or gross depending on your point of view.
According to the Radicati Email Statistics Report, the average number of emails a person sends and receives each day is expected to hit at least 375 in 2025. But let’s face it, most of those messages are bound to be promotions or one-off conversations, so why keep them around?
What should you do?
Rid your inbox of everything that you have read, don’t intend to read, and that does not have to be retained for future reference.
Unsubscribe from mailing lists and blogs that you do not want to hear from and use the “priority” options, available on Gmail and most major providers, to help you sort through the spam moving forward.
If you’re not sure if a conversation may be needed in the future, or you want to read it later on, use folders and tags to get them out of your general inbox. This way they’ll be organized in a way that will allow you to find them easily in the future.
You can find more tips on how to keep your inbox clutter-free here. Even more importantly, learn how to be one of those businesses your prospects actually want to see in their inbox with our free course Inbounder’s Guide to Email Marketing.
5. The social media cleanse
Regardless of what your inner pre-teen says, social media isn’t just about getting followers, fans, and favorites. Well, not professionally, at least.
In marketing, it’s about engagement and connecting with consumers and other brands in your industry.
Unfortunately, like your email contacts, the quality of your social media connections evolves with time, even if you’ve checked all these boxes.
What should you do?
Companies change, as do their audiences. With this in mind, take the time to examine your social media feeds and evaluate their relevance.
Are the brands or individuals you are connected with active? Are they sharing content? Is what they’re sharing relevant to your industry or target buyer persona? Does your buyer persona still care what they have to say?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you should consider unfollowing them.
Brands or people who are not active or are irrelevant to your industry or persona just end up being noise on your newsfeed. Clean them out to make room for connections that will offer truly valuable content and engagement opportunities for achieving your marketing goals.
Also, be sure to take our free course, Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing, with our Director of Membership and Events Stephanie Baiocchi, to get a head start on a stronger social media strategy this year.
Kick-off the year with a fresh start
All these tips we share here illustrate those we recommend to our very own clients using our award-winning framework, They Ask, You Answer. This approach to inbound has helped hundreds of businesses generate a healthy, more efficient sales pipeline and millions in revenue.
Also, check out these additional resources to help you grow your business with inbound marketing:
With the new beginning comes new goals and challenges to tackle. So, leave behind anything that may hold you back. Use these cleanses to rid your professional life of the burdens of yesteryear. Not only will you get a fresh start, but you’ll do so in a way that will make this year your business’s best yet.
How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.