Ensure Open Communication Without Relying On E-Mail (c)2003 Ginger Geracitano
In these days of E-Mail filtering, we small business owners are hard pressed for effective ways to keep our clients and prospects informed. While an Opt-In list is still best Marketing tool you can have working for your business, there are other ways to keep your offers in front of 'the eyes that buy'. I've outlined four of my favorite methods below, but encourage creativity.
My premise is simply this; develop a relationship with your clients and/or prospects, and you will see success. I've successfully used all of tactics outlined below to do just that, develop trusting relationships.
I know that this may seem a little out of mainstream of what other Marketers are saying, but I've personally become tired of 'wondering' if my e-mails are getting through, or how many important mails are NOT being delivered to me because my ISP decided that I didn't need to see that mail. Filtering is way out of hand, and rather than sitting and complaining about it, I've decided to think outside box, and come up with viable alternatives. :o)
Online Messenger Services:
Free services, such as AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, Windows Messenger and PalTalk are easy to install and operate. I've found that I have to limit my time on each of these services, otherwise my days tend to slip away from me! Regardless, my clients know where to find me.
Services like Yahoo and ICQ allow offline messages too. This means that even if I'm not online, my clients can send me a message that I will see as soon as I do login. Even if their mail isn't working, we can still communicate!
Easy Downloads Available Here:
AIM: http://www.aim.com/ AIM Add on for easier communication: http://www.jdennis.net/
Yahoo: http://messenger.yahoo.com/ Windows and Mac versions available, includes voice and camera viewing capabilities.
Windows Messenger: http://messenger.microsoft.com/ Windows XP and MAC versions available.
PalTalk: http://www.paltalk.com/paltalk10/index.htm Windows Operating Systems only.
Chat Rooms (Voice OR Text):
I sometimes get urge to meet new people, and talk about web design or graphics, so I go to different Messenger services I use, and check out listed chat rooms. Sometimes, I use chat rooms on PalTalk for training purposes, and live events. Voice chat rooms are my favorite, because I can listen and participate without having to type! (This means I can multi-task)
The PalTalk and Yahoo messenger services above are best I've used for voice chat.
Message Boards (Forums)
I participate in many forums, and haven't found a better way to mingle with people of like minds and interest. Some of my long term web design clients have found me through my posts in various forums!