Be prepared. You will receive a number of emails requesting information on your company, your products, your locations, and so on, from people who have seen your email address on letterhead, ads, business cards, and sig files. Don’t wait for the first inquiry before you begin to develop your company materials. Here are some tips. Following them will make you more prepared to respond.
Include a Brochure and Personal Note
Have an electronic brochure or corporate information available that you can easily access and send via email. Try to send a personal note in your email along with any material requested. Rather than a pdf file, think about sending an interactive brochure (iBrochure) instead; you’ll make much more of a statement. There are a number of free tools available to help you convert a pdf into an interactive brochure. Issuu.com is one such tool. For others, see my social bookmarks which are accessible from Follow me Online on my Web site, http://www.SusanSweeney.com.
Provide Customer Service
Treat your customers right and they will treat you right. Your best referrals come from satisfied customers. If your new customer is taking a cruise, for example, provide a list of details on such things as what the boarding procedure is, what to wear, and what they cannot bring on board.
Gather a Library of Responses
Different people will ask a number of the same questions, and over time you should develop a library of responses to these frequently asked questions. When responding to an email, ask yourself if you are likely to get the question again. If your answer is “yes,” then consider developing a document called “Frequently Asked Questions,” or “FAQs,” and save it. In the future, when you get a question that you have answered before, simply cut and paste your response from your FAQs file into your email message. Always make sure to appropriately edit and personalize your responses.
Graphic Headers and HTML
For a long time, text emails were the main form of Internet communication. However, the surge in popularity of html emails has raised the bar in Internet marketing and communication with its informative imagery, branding opportunity, and easily accessible links. Html email, or even using html and graphics in your email messages, is definitely something that should be taken into consideration by any business. If you are considering using html emails, you want to make sure it is done right. Otherwise people will not be able to read your message or it may appear as if you are trying to send them an attachment; as we have said, people tend not to download attachments from people they don’t know or are not expecting.
Replying to email inquiries as promptly as possible is very important. The fact of the matter is that people are pressed for time. If someone has decided that on Tuesday night they are going to do their research and finalize their decision on which massage therapist they are going to use, they want their questions answered as soon as possible. If they have to wait 15 or 24 hours for a response from you, you may already have lost their business.
Using Signature Files to Increase Web Site Traffic
A signature file is your electronic business card. Signature files are commonly referred to as sig files and take the form of a short memo that is attached to the end of all your email messages. Businesses and organizations can use signature files in a number of clever ways, from just giving out phone numbers and addresses, to offering more substantial information such as the promotion of your e-club, or to inform people about new specials on your Web site. Signature files can also be used to show off an award or honor your company has received.