Benefits of Last-Minute Marketing

While I share tips to help you promote your work, I am simultaneously promoting my own products and services.

I’ve found that last-minute marketing (the day of or the day prior to a deadline) is worth every ounce of effort. When I don’t bother with the extra push, my enrollment is smaller, my sales are lower, and fewer people benefit from what I have to offer.

David Hiltner, Large Silo Jar. Clay.
David Hiltner, Large Silo Jar. Clay, 13 x 7 x 7 inches. ©The Artist

I’ve learned:

  • Most people sign up or purchase at the last minute, but they’ve usually seen my offer multiple times by that point. This means . . .
  • My last-minute email reminders create more action (i.e. more sales) than all of my other efforts combined.
  • People will unsubscribe from my list because of those last-minute reminders. I grew to be okay with that as soon as I understood they aren’t my ideal customers.
  • Others will be grateful for the eleventh-hour reminders. They are worth reaching out to one last time. They are my ideal customers and will benefit from what I have to offer.

Last-minute marketing doesn’t mean waiting until the day before to first tell people about a sale, product, or event. In order for last-minute marketing to work its magic, you have to have put all of the right pieces into place.

Before any last-minute marketing, you should have completed at least half of the following promotional efforts:

  • Mailed postcards
  • Emailed an original message with all of the product or event info to your list
  • Sent personal emails to those who can help you spread the word
  • Posted the event on your website, blog, Google+, and Facebook
  • Written and sent at least one press release
  • Tweeted about it multiple times
  • Mentioned it in your newsletter

Some people are afraid that more promotions will result in “bothering people.” As I said above, people will unsubscribe. Keep in mind that they’re not your ideal customer.

Remember these last-minute marketing lessons whenever you think that one last message might be too much. Your final missive might pay off, but only if you’ve laid the groundwork over time.

Has last-minute marketing paid off for you?

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19 thoughts on “Benefits of Last-Minute Marketing”

  1. I don’t think of my last-minute email, reminding people about art workshops or shows, as “last minute marketing”. I call the email, my “procrastinator’s email”, reminding those people who wait to the last minute to make a decision that it is time to make their decision. After years of sending out my “procrastinator’s email”, I know who will respond to this last email, because they always do. And if I didn’t send it out, they would not remember to respond. So I am helping them out. And it is beneficial that I do.

  2. Thanks for the refresher !
    People will unsubscribe from my list because of those last-minute reminders. I grew to be okay with that as soon as I understood they aren’t my ideal customers.
    Last time that happened, I cringed. You’re right, they’re not my ideal clients.

  3. In between two “Open Studios” weekends, I sent a second (different) invitation to my entire e-mail list:
    (1) letting them know that Weekend One was a success – I was delighted to see old and new friends – and that a number of paintings found new homes
    (2) showing a “Just Back from the Framers” image of one of several new paintings that would be on display for Weekend Two
    The effect? My friendly reminder kept non-locals up to date on my work and progress, and several repeat and new visitors from the local market came by – and more paintings found new homes!

  4. My local art group is offering a workshop with Alyson on Oct 1 & 2 on Long Island, NY, and I have been doing all the above-mentioned hints to get the word out to various groups I belong to, colleagues and associates who work in other media, and even college professors I’ve barely met, asking each to pass it on! It takes only a few moments to get a reminder email out and I know some people do appreciate it- they outweigh those who will unsubscribe. So, its worth the effort!
    go to for info about that workshop

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Thanks, CA ! I appreciate all the work you’re doing and look forward to meeting you.

  5. In addition to my art and all that goes with it, I’m the chair for my island community’s budget committee, and as the chair it’s my responsibility to get meetings set, organised, advertised, with all the necessary information available to the committee. A lot of work to not have a quorum present at the meeting! The best tool I have is not only a day before reminder of a meeting but a last minute reminder as well. While email is great as I can “hit” everyone needed in one fell swoop, I make a true effort to call everyone the day of the meeting. Just because I’ve had an “Ayuh” email back, it doesn’t mean it will necessarily happen. As we all know, life, even here on an island off the coast of Maine, is so busy, and it’s wicked easy to forget meetings,deadlines,etc.
    So I make those calls and it really pays off. I really think a personal connection, especially on a smaller group such as mine, when attendance is crucial, is well worth the time and effort on my part. I think reminding people at the last minute makes everything more personal,human and friendly. And who doesn’t like friendly?

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Martha: They’re so lucky to have you? It’s too bad that we have to go to such lengths to get people to live up to their responsibilities.
      Good work!

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  8. I’ve done this before (I’m with Suzanne – I feel like a total “procrastinator”), and have had customers show up at the event to thank me for the email (as they were purchasing). I can’t say that I do it *in addition* to the other things you mentioned, but sometimes even doing just this can pay off. I am always painfully aware of the possibility that I’m annoying anyone on my list, and need to get more comfortable with sending updates, I guess.

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