HOWZ YER URL?
One organization that understands the Internet is Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., that has an amazing Web site. Not only will you find publications, special reports, white papers and opinion pieces, but click on "staff" and you get a complete list of everybody involved and a slew of e-mail addresses. Do you have something to say to former Attorney General Ed Meese? Log on to Heritage Foundation and send him an e-mail. Click on "contact us," and you not only get the physical address, phone and fax numbers, but also directions to the organization's offices. "We want to be bothered," says Heritage's development director, Carsten Walter, the cover subject of this publication's new sibling, FundRaising Success. Walter likes the idea of a dialog with his contributors. Make them feel needed and wanted, he says, and they give more. The foundation recently moved a $25 donor into the $500,000 category. (Hint: This was not accomplished by playing hard-to-get.)
What else are companies (that should know better) doing? I tried to log onto AOL from my hotel room in London, and was told that access was restricted and to call an 800 number in the United States. Several Web sites I have used in the past have upgraded, and I can no longer place an order with my simple browser. Two of them: The Wall Street Journal-Reuters Factiva Archive and Thomas Pink, the upscale (and now uppity) London shirtmaker. Is it smart to allow your techies to decide who may and may not access your services and cost you revenue? I don't think so!
An old rule of thumb: A happy customer will tell three people. An unhappy customer will tell 11 people. That rule is dead. I invite you to see how many people have created hate Web sites. Log onto Google and type in "sucks.com." You will find yourself looking at 10 out of approximately 13,000 entries. Today, an unhappy customer can tell millions.