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3. Don't disappear behind your autoresponder. It can be a good and valuable marketing tool, but that's all it is: a tool. People don't normally have any emotional involvement with a hammer or a clock radio - they're just tools.
Your autoresponder cannot replace you and your personal attention to your prospect. Your sales letters may be warm and fuzzy, while still pushing your product or service, and they are probably as personalized as you can make them. Terrific! But they're still "just" sales letters - very important, but no substitute for you.
A thought (I have them sometimes...): When a prospect opts-out of further autoresponder mailings, email her/him and ask if you can be of service or help find what she/he wants. It may just be person recognized and objected to electronic bulk mail and will buy with some personal attention. Don't harass them, of course.
4. Seek feedback. Don't assume that just because you've provided a place to email you that a prospect will do so. Be proactive (sorry, corporate buzzword), not passive. Ask your prospect what he/she wants, thinks or has questions about. Ask person to drop you a note (Doesn't that sound more personal than email me? It does, too!) and be certain to respond within twenty-four hours. At very least, you might learn about something that needs your attention.
5. Publish an address and phone number where you can be reached. Are you crazy, Butler? Not necessarily. I think doing so is a strong personal statement. It says I'm available to help you, I have nothing to hide and I'll be happy to talk with you. It's a potent confidence-builder. You don't have to plaster it across every page in foot-high characters, just make it easy to find. I think it highly unlikely you'll get many calls or snail mails.
You'll think of other ways to humanize your online business. By all means,use latest technology, if you wish. Just keep in mind you're asking people to part with their money and they want to know they're dealing with a real person in case there's a question or problem. And that person is you.
Kent E. Butler has worked at home since 1994. He edits the Home Based Journal, a free business ezine providing useful info on a wide range of relevant topics. It takes a whole person to wholly succeed. Are you a whole person? Join us! Read an issue and subscribe at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HomeBasedJournal