Sales and Marketing Pro

New Sample Plans in Marketing Plan Pro

Users of Marketing Plan Pro Powered by Duct Tape Marketing will be happy to learn that nine new sample plans are now available in the software.

To access the new plans, open your Sample Plan Browser, and click Refresh List.


In addition to the sample plans that you previously had access to, you’ll now find marketing plans for:

  • Business Employee Trainer
  • Toilet Rebate Promotion
  • Jewelry Artisan
  • Real Estate
  • Hotel and Motel
  • Restaurant
  • Software Company
  • Catering and Ballroom Rental
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Personal Insurance Agent

Remember, you can view any sample plan as a PDF, or open it up in the software to edit and make it your own.

Click here to learn more about Marketing Plan Pro Powered by Duct Tape Marketing.

See an example

Sometimes, all you need to get started is a simple example. If you’re working in a business or marketing plan, we give you a quick and easy feature that shows you how another business plan writer handled the same topic you’re trying to address.

To see an example for the current topic, click the Examples tab in the Instructions and Examples window:


Click Next Example to see more.

Click Paste Into Topic to paste the current example into your topic as a starting point for your own text.

Selling subscriptions

Are you a magazine or newspaper publisher? A SaaS (software as a service) provider? A nonprofit asking people to pledge periodic donations?

Then you might want to consider forecasting your sales (or part of your sales) with a subscription, or churn-rate, model. This kind of sales forecast allows you to make projections that take into account ongoing revenue, new customers, and cancellations.

Both Business Plan Pro and Marketing Plan Pro have a special add-in sales forecast for handling subscription sales. To access this feature:

First, download it from our website

  1. Make sure you have a working Internet connection open
  2. Open your business or marketing plan in your Palo Alto software program
  3. On the Tools menu, click Add-ins
  4. (Note: your serial number should automatically load in the web page. If it doesn’t, you can find it by clicking About in the Help menu)
  5. Scroll down the list until you find Sales Forecast-Subscription (Churn Rate) Model
  6. Click Download Component
  7. If prompted to Find a program or Save the file, click Save. Then browse to a location where you want to save it, such as your Desktop.

Then, import it into your plan

  1. Return to your plan software
  2. On the File menu, click Import
  3. Choose Import an Add-In, and click Next
  4. Browse to the location where you saved the downloaded file
  5. Highlight the downloaded file name and click Open, then click Next
  6. Click Finish

The new subscription model sales forecast will open for you to see and work with. Instructions above the spreadsheet get you started. You can also click Search on the Help menu, and search for “subscription” to find more information.

Finally, link it to your tables
The Subscription forecast currently exists in your plan as a stand-alone table. It doesn’t replace your regular Sales Forecast table, and doesn’t feed into your plan’s financial data. To make your subscription forecast part of your financial plan, you can build a link in the main Sales Forecast table to the “Total Sales” row of the Subscription Model sales forecast.

Click here for detailed instructions on linking your Subscription Model to your main Sales Forecast.

Get help: Any row, any time

Our software offers two ways to get data into your tables – table Wizards, which walk you through the data entry and questions about expected sales, costs, expenses, and so on, and table Spreadsheets, where you can enter the data directly in a format similar to Microsoft Excel.

While the wizards are designed for users who aren’t used to doing their own financial projections, the spreadsheets still offer a great deal of help in understanding what kind of data belongs where.

Row Help
In addition to the general Instructions above each table, spreadsheets contain definitions for every row, which depend on your Table Settings. To see Row-by-row help in your Spreadsheet, simply click on a cell in the row you wish to learn more about, and read the definition which displays along the bottom of your program window.

Can’t See Row-by-Row Help?
If you do not see the Row definition window below your spreadsheet, make sure there is a checkmark next to Row by Row Help on the View menu.

The top line of your Row-by Row help lists the row number and label, to make sure you are reading the right definition. In the example below, all three row names have been filled in; note how the new row labels appear as part of the row definitions (“University Students“).

Row by Row Help

Marketing Plan Pro Tip: Changing colors

Custom Charts
You can easily customize the look of your marketing charts by changing the colors. Here’s how:

To change the colors in all your charts:

  • On the Tools menu, point to Options and click Charts.
  • Click on the Colors tab.
  • Click the pull-down arrow and scroll through the list to see different palette options.
  • Highlight the new color palette name and click OK.

To change the colors in a single chart:

  • On the Chart formatting toolbar, click Custom Format.
    • Use the Palette button to change the entire chart.
    • OR, right-click on the data series (line, bar, or area) you would like to change and select one of the options that appears.
  • For more detailed changes to background, gridline, or chart box colors, click the custom format Properties button, and change the settings on the General and Y Axis tabs.

Marketing Plan Pro tip: Extra tables

In addition to the standard Duct Tape Marketing System Tasks, Marketing Plan Pro contains additional planning tools for specific situations. To see these tools:

  1. Click the Plan Setup button on the toolbar
  2. Click Next
  3. In Step 2: Customize your document, select Standard plan
  4. Click Next
  5. Close the Plan Setup
  6. On the View menu, click Tables

The table list now includes a number of additional marketing planning tables, including Channel Analysis, Customer Lifetime Value, Market Demographics, ROI Calculator, and more. Click the name of any table to open and use it.

Example: Customer Lifetime Value

This table allows you to compare the costs of acquiring a new customer to the overall Customer Lifetime Value (revenue from that customer).

In most businesses, you hope to sell your products or services to a customer not just once, but several times over the course of several years. Adding up these sales over the entire customer lifetime and then subtracting what it costs to acquire the customer gives you the total customer lifetime value. The final rows calculate an adjusted value to take into account the present-day value of future income. 

The example below shows a plan for selling high-end services to other businesses.

Customer Lifetime Value

Your row definitions will walk you through the specifics of this table, but here are a few notes:

Customer Lifetime refers to the number of years from initial purchase to final purchase. While some major brands or stores are lucky enough to have a customer lifetime of over 30 years, most of us are looking at significantly less, from 1/2 to 5 years.

Costs of Marketing to a Potential Customer means just that – potential customers, not actual customers. If you spend $5,000 on marketing aimed at 1,000 potential customers, this figure would be $5, even if only 1 person out of 1,000 responded.

This table is not part of the standard Marketing Plan Pro Outline. You can use it behind the scenes, or insert it into your Outline to include it in printed output.

Marketing Plan Pro tip: Track Your Progress

Whether you’re getting started quickly with a 30-minute plan, or exploring your marketing efforts in-depth with the full Standard outline, Marketing Plan Pro powered by Duct Tape Marketing lets you easily note your progress. The built-in Tasks bar shows you how far you have come and how many Tasks you have left to complete.

Each task in the Tasks list includes a progress status button, next to the Previous Task and Next Task buttons at the bottom of the screen.

By default, each task is listed as “Not Started.” As you work on each table and topic, the status becomes “In Progress.” You can track your progress through the Tasks list by marking items as “Complete” when you are finished with them. Task icons in the Tasks list will reflect each item’s status – a pencil shows the task is in progress, while a checkmark indicates the task is complete.

Marking tasks as “Complete” will also change the progress report bar at the bottom of the Tasks list:

Marketing Plan Pro Task List

Marketing Plan Pro tip: For seasonal promotions, use two years of details

2nd YearIf you’re just starting out with the Duct Tape Marketing System, chances are you will focus most closely on the next 12 months, during which you make marketing integral to all your small business activities.

However, if your business is seasonal, and your marketing promotions include seasonal events, you may want to use the option for planning your second year of sales and expenses in monthly detail, as well.

To check or change your settings:

  1. Click the Plan Setup button on the toolbar
  2. Click Next until you reach the “2nd year of monthly data” question
  3. Click the radio button to select “Yes, include a 2nd year of monthly data in my financials
  4. Click Next
  5. Close the Plan Setup

Your Sales Forecast and Marketing Expense Budget table spreadsheets will now include a tab to toggle between 1st Year Planned and 2nd Year Planned forecasts. If you are using the table wizards to fill in your numbers, the wizard will automatically prompt you to fill in the second year of monthly data as you go through it.

Marketing Plan Pro Tip: Customize your plan

Did you know you can customize your plan Outline in just about any way imaginable?

Right-click on any topic in the Outline, and you’ll see options for renaming, deleting, and moving topics. You can also insert new, custom topics, totally defined by you, or insert charts or tables in new locations.

In addition, when you’re printing, you can choose to print only selected items from the plan. The Table of Contents will automatically adjust on the fly to list only the items you’ve selected.

Business and Marketing Plan Pro: Add detail with new rows

Need more detail in a Sales Forecast? Want to track a number of different Milestones? No problem. Most tables with data-entry areas allow you to insert new rows, which you can name and format.

  1. Click on a data-entry row in the table
  2. On the Edit menu, click Insert row
  3. Label your new row, and then fill in your projections

Customer Service