Vacation time — you’ve been waiting for this all year, and you’ll be darned if you’re going to let work get in the way of your total decompression during your well-earned time off. Well, sorry to be the bubble-burster here, but any extended negligence on your part — even for a week or two — will effectively raise the eyebrows of the customer list you’ve worked so hard on building. By all means, enjoy your vacation, but keep in mind that a complete absence on your end might mean that you’ll be returning home to a much thinner subscriber list. Of course, we don’t mean to imply that you should be spending your entire holiday on your laptop — far from it. You certainly did work hard all year, and you deserve to enjoy yourself on your own terms for a while. However, if you value the work you’ve been doing this whole time, you can afford to take a few measures to ensure that your marketing campaign is set to resume course full speed ahead when you get back to work.

Let your Customers Know you’re Open for Business

Nothing bodes worse for you than having your consumers receive nothing but virtual silence on your end while you’re on vacation. Give them the impression that the cogs are still turning despite your absence. “Don’t leave your customers hanging while you’re off parasailing. If you’re prescheduling your email newsletter, an event reminder or other marketing campaign, change your standard auto-reply email that says, ‘I’m currently out of the office’ to something more fun and creative that lets customers know the business is still operating in your absence,” offers Entrepreneur contributor Gail Goodman. “Direct queries to whoever is covering for you so your customers won’t have to wait too long to get the help they need.”

Set a Reasonable Work Schedule

We know, the terms ‘work schedule’ and ‘vacation’ are traditionally kept far apart from each other. However, a periodic, short check-in on your affairs is highly advisable, and it won’t demolish your chances of letting loose during your vacation. Ensure the people you’re travelling with that you’ll only check your email twice or three times a day, leaving your phone at the hotel room for the rest of the time.

Take the Opportunity to Expand your Connections

Vacations are great excuses to mingle with new people, which means you’ll likely find yourself in the company of new prospective contacts. Goodman writes: “Admit it: You’ll probably slip a few business cards into your beach tote, backpack or Bermuda shorts. Whether you meet new friends at a resort or on a cruise, or gather with old friends at a backyard barbecue, don’t miss an opportunity to grow your connections. Ask your fellow summer celebrants if they’d like to join your mailing list or connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.”

Be Open to the Flow of New Ideas

Sabbaticals — even short ones — tend to free up mental real estate, allowing new concepts to come to mind. Prioritize your decompression while you’re on holiday — just keep in mind that new ideas might manifest themselves while you’re sunbathing, so it’s helpful to have a pen and paper around. According to Goodman: “Sometimes creative brainstorms happen when you’re not working at all. While you’re soaking up the rays, reading by a lake or hiking up a mountain — however you kick back — take a moment to think about what’s worked and what hasn’t in this year’s marketing campaigns. Muse about what would be important to retool or try, and put those items on your post-vacation to-do list.”

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