Most on-line businesses prefer e-mail for written communication, but, according to the recruitment agency Stopgap, there are instances where business owners like to remain traditional: they prefer complaints from customers and CVs from job applicants by snail mail.
Send your important e-mails to yourself first to check that your formatting remains intact.
The Mystery Shopping Club
(Operated by ed-u.com's sister site)
Webmasters, (or in fact anyone!) do you need some extra money to supplement your income? Would you like to pick your own hours? - Casual work is available to you now...
The following is an article taken from Choices Magazine after a visit to the Mystery Shopping Club.
"Wanted: Shopaholic nosey parker with excellent observational skills, a good ear and flexible attitude to part-time work. Anyone can apply. Work available in all areas. Must be prepared to eat free meals, enjoy shopping discounts and visit pubs - and be paid for it."
Believe it or not, the above job advertisement is not as far fetched as it sounds. If you love shopping, you'll be pleased to hear that it's possible to shop for a living. In fact, it's a multi-million pound industry for market research companies who employ "mystery shoppers" to shop up and down the country - all in the name of customer service and research.
There are a number of mystery shopping companies who organise whole armies of professional shoppers on behalf of retailers, pubs, restaurants, banks and other service industries. Their mission? To mingle in, look inconspicuous and file a report on anything from customer service to cleanliness in the restrooms.
If you visit one or two pubs in a night, you'll get your food and drink paid for, travel expenses and you'll be paid anything from £6.00 to £8.00 up for each visit.
But there is one problem with mystery shopping: truly dedicated shoppers never switch off from their work. You'll find yourself compulsively evaluating service and checking ceilings for cobwebs even when you're not on duty. It eventually becomes a part of your life.
To find out more about casual employment opportunities in the "Secret Shopper" industry, please visit ed-u.com's sister site:
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We will research your business inside out - on-line and off-line! You will be amazed at the important keyphrases that you have missed.Take the worst scenario: If only one person per year visits your web-site as a result of one keyword or keyphrase - and you have thousands of similar terms in place - that alone represents thousands of visitors per year. Now imagine how many visitors you would get from the hundreds of keywords or keyphrases that attracted hundreds of click-throughs. Most sites can expect thousands of clickthroughs from just the one keyword or keyphrase!
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Increase Traffic to your Web-site - Traffic Tips and Secrets...
There are 10% more e-mail users than Web users and almost 3 billion e-mail messages are already being sent daily. Commercial spending on e-mail marketing is expected to double in the next year - hitting the $2.0 billion mark. With nearly 100 million people using the internet, e-mail is an important and efficient addition to your marketing tool-box.
Unlike regular mail or telemarketing, you can communicate your message in a matter of seconds - and for a tiny fraction of the price. Match this with an average click-through rate of 3% and response turnaround of less than 48 hours and it is not difficult to see the power e-mail commands as a business medium.
Monty Python and the meaning of spam
E-mail is an excellent, cost effective medium for marketing your web-site, product or service, but you should NEVER be tempted to send bulk, unsolicited e-mail, also known as "spam", to promote your business.
The word "SPAM", an acronym for spiced ham, was used so often in a famous Monty Python sketch that its repetition soon became meaningless. Many attribute the new use of the word to this sketch.
When two American lawyers sent the first unsolicited advert to over 6000 internet newsgroups back in 1994, they unwittingly opened the floodgates for spam to become one of the primary banes of the web.
Are you flame resistant?
Disadvantages of e-mail spamming:
angry complaints from recipients (called e-mail flames)
anti-spammers can overload your server with millions of requests
your internet service provider can deny you access
your site can be taken down
possibility of prosecution in some territories
Your company can also receive some very negative publicity. For example, if your company is listed as a spammer on an anti-spamming web-site, that site could come up as a search result for any of your customers trying to find you.
A Namby-Pamby Spammy Bill.
The congresswoman who represents Silicon Valley introduces a bill to control smut spam sent to kids. Critics -- and there are many -- say it either does too much or too little
...More from Wired News
Targeted opt-in e-mail marketing
The good news is that many legitimate e-mail marketing routes not only exist, but are thriving.
For instance, you could find newsletters that are relevant to your industry and considering advertising in them. Newsletters that have been requested by visitors, usually generate higher responses than web-site advertising. These subscribers have in effect pre-qualified themselves as leads and are therefore more open to be sold to. You can find targeted resources for newsletter advertising below.
But I want to buy a list of e-mail addresses
I'm very hesitant on this, as even though you may buy a "clean" opt-in list, many people who you send the newsletters to may not perceive it as opt-in. They may not remember signing up with the company who sold you the list.
The substantial downside to this is that you could possibly be unfairly reported as a spammer. Your site might be listed on an anti-spam website and would therefore come up in searches for your site or your name on search engines. Your domain might be added to anti-email-spam systems that hundreds of thousands (maybe millions even?) of people around the world subscribe to. Any further e-mails from you to these people (which might include existing customers and business contacts) would be automatically blocked.
If you have a newsletter, maybe find a company that is extremely targeted to your market that might consider swapping newsletter ads with you. I believe that this is a safer route.
Submit articles to e-zines, newsletters and e-mail groups
There are many thousands of e-zines and newsletters published regularly. They always need good content.
Find publications that are related to your business using directories and search engines and subscribe to them.
Take note of the type of articles they publish.
Submit a relevant informative article and append your web-site and e-mail address.
Never tell the whole story in your article, but attempt to generate curiosity. Create an unanswered question that will draw your audience to your site.
Answer questions in e-mail groups.
Give readers a reason to visit your site, avoiding obvious advertising blurb. If you keep your article free of hype, the editor will be more likely to use it.
Keep a list of editors that publish the article and send them more articles on a regular basis.
Resubmit your article after a month to editors that did not publish it - they may reconsider.
Always include your web site address and company details at the end of the article. Don't forget that many readers of e-mail have restricted or no access to a web browser, so you could also include an autoresponder e-mail address that will send inquirers full details immediately.
An autoresponder is a handy tool that sends an automated message when someone clicks on an e-mail hyperlink.
You can set up some autoresponders to not only send an immediate welcome e-mail to new subscribers to your newsletter or e-zine, but to also send subsequent mail-outs. An effective use for an autoresponder is an automated reply for inquiries to your advertising or articles in e-zines, classifieds and discussion forums. Ask your web space provider if autoresponders are provided with your account or try the following services:
A known problem with autoresponders is excessive recursion or "looping". This happens when you send an autoresponse to an e-mail address which is also set up to send an autoresponse. The messages just get sent back and forth until they are stopped.
Most mail servers are set up to intercept this behaviour and will terminate the loop at the 50th iteration. You might want to check this is the case with your webhost before going down this route.
Viral marketing is another expression of word of mouth or recommendation marketing. Using the internet, this method of marketing becomes proportionately more achievable. Click here to find out how.
How big are your attachments?
Do you really need to send information in an attachment and does it need to be that big? Try copying-and-pasting the information into the body of the e-mail itself. If you send a large, slow to download attachment, you risk annoying the recipient and many people simply will not open an attachment for the following reasons:
1. They may think that it contains a computer virus
2. They don't know how to open it
3. They don't have the correct software to view it
4. They receive the e-mail on their cell-phone and don't have a computer
Before you press the send button, remember that...
Misspelt words can ruin all your efforts
Abrupt e-mails do not attract sales
Read your important e-mails out loud to spot grammatical errors
Employers, business schools honing in on workers' e-mail writing skills?
Chain letters and silly jokes aren't the problem: It is the incomplete sentences, misspellings and rambling thoughts flying through cyberspace in the name of doing business
...More from the Los Angeles Daily News
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