Posts of Note
From time to time, a post or thread from our discussion lists is designated as one of special merit; both well written and of enduring usefulness to advertising and marketing professionals, from beginners to seasoned veterans.These are linked below, for ready reference.
On Market-L, a panel of judges reviews nominated posts and awards "The Golden Kielbasa" (in homage to certain past discussions) to noteworthy posts.
1. Closing the Deal
2. Customer Service and Support
From: Colin Donnelly <Colin.Donnelly@digital.com>
3. 800 / Tool Free Number
From: Judith Oppenheimers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Jacques Chevron <email@example.com>
5. Marketing Problems Without Solutions
From: Abbott Wool <firstname.lastname@example.org>
6. Starting a Consulting Business
From: George Matyjewicz <email@example.com>
7. Why the '98 Winter Olympics Flopped
From: Ned Barnett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
8. A Textbook Marketing Campaign
From: Kirsten Park <email@example.com>
9. E-commerce and Cybermalls
From: Jay Linden (firstname.lastname@example.org)
10. Managing Corporate Events
From: Pat Luebke <email@example.com>
11. Manufacturer's Outlets and E-commerce
From: George Matyjewicz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
3. 800 / Toll-Free Numbers
At 05:28 PM 11/14/1997 -0500, Judith Oppenheimer <email@example.com>
Not everyone's a FLOWERS or DENTIST etc. A few tips for smaller businesses:
>800 numbers generate a significantly higher response than 888 numbers -something you want on your sales line, not your pager. If you have the option, use 800 numbers for advertising and customer service, and 888 numbers for fax and internal use. The rule of thumb is, 800 for many-to-one communications, 888 for few-to-one.
>Where possible, use a vanity number for your 800 applications. Response rates can increase 25% or more.
>Vanity numbers can be "generics" (FLOWERS, MATTRESS), brand name (PRODIGY, FIDELITY), or calls to action (APPLY NOW, PICK, UPS.) Choose carefully - if your company name is unknown or difficult to spell, a brand vanity may not be your most productive choice.
>Avoid numeric/alpha combinations - 1 800 764-BOOK is unlikely to differentiate you from your competition. Exceptions are numerics which "speak the language," such as 1 800 4 A BUICK.
>With a good vanity, apply for the matching domain name, even if you're not ready to set up shop online. That's certainly one 800 FLOWERS trick most smaller marketers can afford to do. Make sure you get the variations: www.800FLOWERS.com, www.1800FLOWERS.com, www.1-800-FLOWERS.com. Etc.
>If you are offered an 888 number (or come April, 98, an 877 number!) for your sales or customer service communications, call the 800 version first and see where and how it's being used. If the 800 version is in use by a large, national or otherwise active advertiser, reject the 888 and ask for another. The cost of misdials alone can put you out of business.
>If you're a Sprint Business customer, you can make important clients feel special that you'll spend half an hour with them on long distance just chewing the fat. They don't know the call is free on Fridays. Offer one hour of no-charge consulting or tech support as a prospect incentive or client perk, if they call on Fridays only. The call costs nothing. It's a great relationship builder, and can help you upsell.
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