Showing posts from April, 2012

Becoming A Master of Change

Which is more important: efficiency or customer service? Stop and think about it because the answer isn’t as obvious as you might think at first.

I spent a good portion of my adult life working in the industrial sector managing logistics people and processes. One of my primary functions was to manage a balance between the ‘ideal’ goals of peak operational efficiency and exceptional customer service. Too often, one had to be achieved at the expense of the other. Many times, tough trade-offs were made.

Now as a small business owner I find myself facing some of these same issues. As I strive for operational efficiency, I have to be ever mindful of the impact of my initiatives on my clients.

As I’ve been building my business, I’ve been carefully constructing a clear set of expectations with each client and colleague about such things as how we work together, our expectations of each other, and what happens when things go wrong. I’ve created a comfortable status quo – and that’s not a bad …

Up the Value of Your Redirect Pages

Many of the people connecting with you online are arriving at one of your redirect pages at some point. A redirect page is the 'thank you for signing up' page you send them to when they sign up for your newsletter, or the event registration page you send them to when they sign up for your events.

Often, these pages contain minimal, basic information. A thank you message in the case of the newsletter or confirmation of event details (location, time, date, etc) in the case of event registration. But why stop there?

For one moment, you have managed to connect with that person. You have them at your website and they have already let you know they are interested in what you are doing by signing up for your newsletter or registering for your event.

Why not think about what value you can offer them while they are there? How can you expand on that connection?

With both your target market and your marketing strategy in mind, take a fresh look at your redirect pages and consider addi…

Trying to Unsubscribe

We often talk about the importance of making it easy to unsubscribe. I thought I would share with you my recent experience demonstrating the frustration that can occur when it is not.
I decided to unsubscribe from Air Canada's onAir newsletter several issues ago. When my issue arrived, I clicked to unsubscribe and landed on a 'No Update' error page. No big deal, the internet can be glitchy, I would just do it the next issue. This went on for 4 or 5 issues at which point, I started to feel like they were sending me to the error page on purpose. I was getting a little hot under the collar.

Last week, on a bad day for me, the current issue arrived and I landed on the same error page. I then went back to the newsletter and clicked the "contact us" link which took me to a form on their website called 'Let Us Know'. It was a lengthy form and the first section was my contact information in which I had to fill out my address, email, phone number and name. When I …

Out of Ideas and Still Have a Deadline?

“Write when you’re inspired,” I always suggest. But sometimes deadlines loom, we need content, and inspiration is nowhere to be found. Here is a checklist you can use to come up with quick content when you’re out of bright ideas:
Fix a problem. You solve problems for your customers all the time. What are they interested in or anxious about? This won’t require much prep because these will be the same problems you solve every day - the stuff you know like the back of your hand. Answer a question, provide advice, or share a resource.
Express an opinion. If you're good at what you do, you will have lots of opinions. Share your opinion about someone else's article or on a hot topic under debate in your industry.
Tell a story. Telling a funny, strange or engaging anecdote is a great way to deepen relationships. The topic doesn’t have to be strongly related to your subject matter but it does need to resonate with your readers. You can share a success story, a customer service experience, o…

What You Might Not Know about Starting an eNewsletter

If you're considering starting a newsletter, there are a whole lot of little details that will be important to its success. Our clients are often surprised… and glad that they don’t have to figure it all out themselves. Here are just a few of the things you’ll need to consider.

Return address:

Regulations require a physical address to be included in commercial email. This is not something you can avoid. Most bulk emailing applications will prevent you from sending even test messages without an address.

Sign-Up Form:

Most applications will produce a snippet of html code that is your sign-up form. You need to think about where you’ll put it. I recommend you put it on a web page of its own. Remember that you will be putting links to that page in your newsletter and other places. When people arrive there, don't make them hunt for your form.

Subscribe process:

When creating the code for your sign-up form, you’ll make choices about what information to collec…