By Jim Daniels
Do you regularly contact people who have shown an interest in your products, services or opportunities?
It is a fact of business that most people need to see your offer up to seven times or more before they take action. Regular contact establishes both your reputation and your marketing expertise. It is a must for every business, especially in cyberspace.
In the real world, a "quarterly mailing" of a newsletter or postcard was probably about all you could afford. After all, mailing to a few hundred or thousand prospects can generate a significant expense, especially for small or home business owners like ourselves.
But now.... You have no excuse.
Keeping in touch with your prospects in cyberspace is virtually free. It costs nothing but time and a little expertise.
Time is one commodity I cannot provide for you. (If I could, I'd brew up a batch for myself!) What I CAN share is my expertise - after all, that's what this space is all about!
So, exactly HOW does one keep in regular contact with their prospects on the internet.
Simple: Innovative email contact.
Now I'm not talking about looking through your AOL address book and manually sending messages to everyone lucky enough to still be there. I'm talking about utilizing real software and web resources that automate and professionalize what can be a very tedious task.
What are the best methods of regular contact?
As I've mentioned many times in the past, an ezine, or electronic magazine is an excellent way to establish regular contact. I publish mine weekly, but you can choose bi-weekly or monthly. An ezine is simply an electronic newsletter that shares information about the things you are marketing.
If you'd prefer not to publish an ezine, consider a tip sheet. This is similar to an ezine but smaller. In it you can offer a weekly tip about your area of expertise.
Other forms of regular contact include web surfing guides (a regular email referral to the best sites about your business) and moderated discussion groups. A moderated email discussion group is a forum you deliver by email that allows participants to post messages while you decide which posts are published in each issue.
All of the above are acceptable and effective methods of regular business contact online. They generate interest in your business and, in turn, income. This is why they are so popular! Perhaps you have an idea for a similar weekly or monthly mailing. Hey, use your imagination - you do not have to do what others are doing.
Once you decide on a format that fits your style, all that's left is to implement it. Here's a list of best online resources to aide you with this task:
A good ascii based word processing program is a must for anyone running a list. This program offers "must" features for anyone publishing email newsletters or discussion groups. These include a spell-checker and the ability to set line width for easy message reading in all email programs.
An excellent list host that runs my BizWeb Gazette. This company offers a hybrid web interface for simplifying your list management. Competitive pricing, especially for large lists like my own, and very good technical support.
Web Business Wizard is JDD Publishing's e-commerce/opt-in email interface. Grab a free demo account there and you'll have a powerful shopping cart, an opt-in email list signup form and a web interface where you can contact all who opt-in to your lists, anytime you want. Also includes autoresponders that handle all your email follow-up automatically.
If your list is still very small, you can deliver and manage manually. (This book teaches you how.) And grab a free demo of Juggler. It's a nifty tool that will help you manage your list as it grows, including merging two lists, subtracting one from another and purging duplicates.
5. The New-List Announcement List
This address will help kick your new list off with a flurry of participants. You simply post a message telling people about your newsletter to this "NewList Announcement List" address.
Do you have a favorite resource you rely on to get your marketing message out...?
Don't keep it to yourself - come tell your peers at our cybermarketing "hot spot". The CyberMarketing InfoBoard -- Where the real internet marketing experts converge!