By Michael Miller
It's our busy season at CorpNote, and the phones are ringing with lots of people who are making the switch to e-cards for the Holiday season. The questions range from "Can I just join CorpNote for the Holidays?" (yes) to "Can you do custom artwork for us, for our greeting cards, with our logo and message?" (yes, we charge hourly rates for this) to "Can you send me a sample card?" (yes).
Holidays, holidays, holidays. I'm having so much fun talking to everyone (yes, we answer our phones) that I'm going to miss all the interaction when the holidays are over! But it doesn't have to be like that. Here are some ideas for other ways you can use E-Cards and CorpNote beyond the holiday season, and throughout the year.
First, a quick introduction to the uninitiated: CorpNote is a membership-based web service that lets you send e-cards for many business and personal occasions (as well as your own art and messages). You can also use CorpNote to send electronic event invitations with web-based RSVP, and create and manage web-based surveys, all with your own internet account to track your responses. Now, armed with this basic knowledge, let's get creative, get productive, and 'go green' for 2009...
Idea 1. Online Holiday Party Invitations - Does the economy have you tightening your budget this year? Don't cancel that holiday party! Save a little green by using online invitations and real-time tracking to invite people to this year's gathering. What will you do with all the postage money and time you save? Add some delicious healthy foods to the party menu, and keep working hard at your job, so you still have a job next year! (Sorry, I can't help feeling like a small percentage of people get lazy in December.)
Idea 2. Got gifts? Don't procrastinate writing your Thank You cards. - Send a Thank You e-card as soon as you get a gift this year. An electronic greeting card will never replace a hand-written letter on fine paper to your dear 85 year-old Aunt Libby, but it lets the majority of people know that 1. you received the gift, 2. you appreciate it, and 3. they are important enough to you to respond promptly. Go ahead and write a nice letter after the holidays are over, if you have the time!
Idea 3. How are we doing? - No, not CorpNote, I mean your company. January is a great time to send your customers an e-card thanking them for their business, letting them know that you will be striving to please them in the new year, and asking them to take a brief online survey so you can better meet their needs.
Idea 4. Give your Marketing Department the gift of Testimonials - Hopefully you will get some nice comments as a result of the survey you send out in Idea 3. (Corpnote's surveys let you include a text box for each answer, so people can add comments.) Save your survey results as an Excel file (another Corpnote feature) and present it to your Marketing Department. They will love you for it. What a great, sincere and inexpensive way to get you off to a successful new year!
Idea 5. Birthdays and Anniversaries - Start asking your employees or clients for their birth dates (year is not important, so my wife tells me). CorpNote lets you store birthdays and anniversary dates, and create cards that will be sent automatically, any day over the next year. Birthdays and anniversaries are great ways to please your peeps, and keep you in their thoughts as well.
Idea 6. Customer Care Calls - as a Customer Care Specialist, I find it helpful and appreciated when I reach out to my clients just to ask if everything is OK. E-cards are a great non-pressure way to stay in touch. (Phone calls are great, but "salesy".) A quarterly e-card might be all it takes; something like, "Just a quick note to say Hi, and make sure everything is going well with your model B-24 nuclear reactor. If you need me, just hit reply or pick up the phone."
Idea 7. The Mini-Newsletter - Are good things happening in your company? Everyone wants to work with a winner, so share your successes with your employees and clients throughout the year. Create a custom electronic mini-newsletter in CorpNote. It's fast and inexpensive. You can upload your own photo or logo to use as the picture, and you can type as much as you like below it. With CorpNote, you can make the text in your card clickable, so your e-card can hyperlink to more stories on your web site.
Idea 8. E-Coupons - Are you spending good coin on promotion? Get more bang for your marketing buck by also sending out coupons, promotions and event notices as an e-card. Just ask your highly paid and respected art team to also make you a .JPG (pronounced "jay-peg") when they are creating your promotion material, that is 400 pixels wide by 300 pixels high (they will understand this), and you can use this as the picture in the e-card you send out, effectively increasing your circulation.
Idea 9. Reward Excellence - Use E-cards internally to recognize that Employee-of-the-Month or when the sales team exceeds projected expectations. If you receive kudos or awards from professional and community organizations, let your e-contacts know. (Remember the 'Everyone wants to work with a winner' theory in Idea 7?)
Idea 10. Interact - Once you start the relationship, keep the conversation going. I don't have to explain this. Instead, let me lead by example and ask YOU for your ideas. Please take a moment and let me know your creative E-Ideas by taking my short (I promise) online survey. Great ideas will be recognized in our upcoming blogs and newsletters, so thanks in advance, and as always, I appreciate your continued interest in CorpNote!Creative Ideas for Using E-Tools and E-Marketing
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All the best,