How about a date?

Dates are one of the most crucial pieces of information that many web sites and business marketing materials tend to omit.

The Top 5 Business Marketing Materials that Should Always Include a Calendar Date

1. Publications. All reports and published pamphlets or books should include a date of publication on the title page. This is especially important for industry reports that may be compared year-to-year, or which may be referenced by Calendarresearchers. A business or industry report is useless to anyone reading it if they cannot tell how current the information is.

2. Press releases. It is of little use to issue a press release on your web site if a potential customer or client (or a reporter!) cannot tell when the news was announced. Great! You opened a new division! Oh, wait, that was how many years ago?

3. Blog posts. Many businesses do not include dates on their blog posts because they ignore their blogs and let them lapse. But if your business has committed to establishing a blog, a monthly post — with its date noted — should be sufficient for letting your potential customers or clients know what has been happening at your company.

4. Events. You might think this would go without saying, but I have run across many event web sites that neglect to mention the actual date of the upcoming event. If your event has already happened and the next date has not been scheduled yet, let folks know that information. List it as TBA, and be sure to update your web site as soon as you have confirmed the date of the next event.

5. Deadlines. Running a contest or sale? Be sure that one of the first things people can see is the deadline for entering the contest, or the last day they can take advantage of the sale. If a potential customer finds info about your sale on your website, but cannot find any information about when the sale is running through, they are likely going to assume the sale is over. Worse yet, if the sale deadline does pass but the customer arrives at your store unaware of that fact, they will be very upset to learn that they missed the sale because your web site did not state when it ended.

Bernadette Geyer provides writing, copy editing, and translation services for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and writers. She also leads online workshops on a variety of topics for small businesses and writers. Geyer likes being a small fish in a big pond, and enjoys helping others move to bigger ponds themselves.

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