Famous Last Words: CRM on the Web
Are you creating customer relationship magic ... or customer relationship misery?
Anybody who emails me with a question or comment always gets a personal answer. For example, my twice-a-month e-zine, Business Common Sense, generates a lively response from readers, which I post online and then always follow up with a personal thank-you email. The result: Over the past six years, I have an email list of 2,000-plus readers with whom I have corresponded.
I wanted to set up some kind of system whereby I could contact the folks on this private list and ask for their permission to send an occasional note about matters that may be of interest to them.
For example, at some point my new book, "Career-Changing Takeaways: Quotations, Rules, Aphorisms, Pithy Tips, Quips, Sage Advice, Secrets, Dictums and Truisms in 99 Categories of Marketing, Business and Life" —based on the e-zine—will be published. The folks on my private list might like to know about it, see a sample and perhaps order a copy.
My understanding is, if I were to send out 2,000-plus messages on my personal email account, Yahoo! would throw the whole thing back in my face as spam and never let me send any more emails.
I asked around and was told Constant Contact could provide a simple, easy-to-use solution at a very reasonable monthly cost.
Let me say that I read and write English pretty well, but am in no way technically oriented. So when I logged on to Constant Contact, the promises of ease and efficiency were dazzling. I signed on as a paying customer, and gave Constant Contact my credit card information.
I tried—I really, really tried—to get into Constant Contact's system. I found it all to be gibberish. For example, I wanted to send a simple email note from my Yahoo! account, but the only choices were a series of forms for e-newsletters—all of which looked like they were designed by Hallmark. I hated them.