How to Write Business Emails that Sound Friendly

In today’s technologically advancing world, email has become the official choice for communication within businesses. The lack of face-to-face communication can cause a lot of issues and misunderstandings, though. Because of this, it is important that business emails convey a clear message, elicit the desired response, and, above all, not offend in any way.

But how do you write emails that are both professional and friendly?


Identifying Good vs Bad Email Etiquette

Before we tackle how to write friendly business emails, we must first identify what a good friendly email looks like, vs. a not so friendly email. Take these emails, for example:

See the difference?

In the first example, the author seems to take a bit of a hostile, negative tone. Reading this email may leave the recipient feeling like they have been attacked, and will, therefore, immediately put them on the defensive.

In the second example, though, the author was able to communicate exactly the same information, but in a much more positive and empathetic way.

Emails that are friendly and positive are much more likely to be received well and will illicit the response that you are hoping to get.

So, now that we have established what a friendly business email looks like, let’s discuss how to write one.


The Basics

When you are writing business emails, keep in mind that the recipient(s) probably already has a lot on their plate, so they are not going to want to have to read through a bunch of fluff. Keeping your emails clear and concise will ensure that they are not only read in their entirety, but that your intended message is understood.

Effective, yet friendly, business emails, should be brief and punctilious while conveying professionalism and affability.

While emails will vary, depending on who they are being sent to and the intended message, ideally, business emails should follow this format:

A Subject Line of No More Than 6 to 10 Words

Your subject line should be direct and spam-proof. “Workshop Date Changed” will immediately alert your recipient that there is information in your email that they need to read. You want to avoid things like ‘Urgent’ or ‘Reply Needed,’ though, as these subject lines might send your email straight to spam. You want the recipient to get and read your message. Check out this handy free tool that highlights phrases or words in your email that might trigger a recipient’s spam filter.

An Appropriate Greeting/Salutation

Every business email should start with an appropriate greeting. When you are writing to another professional—even to someone you may already know—be friendly and respectful, while not overly casual or laid back. Starting the email with a simple ‘Hi,’ followed by the person’s name sets a friendly tone, but does not sound stiff or too formal. When you are addressing someone by their first name, be sure that you have the correct spelling and are not using any nick-names (unless you have previously been directed to do so). The last thing you want to do is start your email off by offending someone.

The Body

Try to keep the text of your email short and to the point. When possible, one or two paragraphs of one to two sentences each is best. Your email should have a clear introduction that states the purpose of the email and a conclusion that is forward-leaning. Ensuring that your text is spam-proof is important here as well.

Your Signature

At a minimum, your signature block should include your full name, title, the company name, and your contact information, including a phone number. This will make it easy for your recipient to identify who you are, what your position is, and how they can best contact you if needed.


The Friendly Part

So, how do you write business emails that are friendly but not too casual? Recall the tips above on appropriate greetings and tone, and then consider the real-world experience of Brittany Cooper, Project Coordinator for The Writers For Hire (TWFH).

Brittany, who has years of sales and customer relations to her credit, has mastered the knack of communicating in a professional but friendly way. She deals directly with clients at the beginning and end of each project, and she checks in with them along the way. She is often the person clients feel most comfortable talking to if problems crop up.

Brittany describes her communication style as “upbeat —always upbeat.” She confesses to using lots of exclamation points to express “lots of gratitude.” It’s her way of communicating to clients that TWFH is excited to work with them and values the relationship.

Another way to convey a friendly and upbeat tone is to add a personal touch to the beginning or end of your email. Starting out by saying “I hope you are having a great week,” or signing off with “Have a fantastic day!” immediately gives your email a positive tone.

Brittany also makes it a practice to seek feedback—usually via email—on every project, following up to see if everything went smoothly and asking if anything could be done to make the process better.

Of course, things don’t always go smoothly.

There are times when clients need to be gently reminded of hard and fast approaching deadlines. In those situations, it is important to keep a friendly and non-accusatory tone. Simply reminding them of the approaching deadline, and asking if you can assist in any way, will help ensure that the deadline is made (without making the client feel like they are being scolded or blamed).

Even in the situations where a deadline is actually missed, it is important that you avoid using any kind of language that comes off as negative and harsh. For example, instead of saying “When you missed the deadline, you caused our project to be pushed back,” use something more neutral, such as “With the missed deadline, the project was pushed back…” and then follow it up with a positive suggestion for how to rectify the situation. 

And as a rule of thumb, everything you write in an email should be read and re-read before you hit “send.” Try to read each email from the perspective of your recipient. If anything sounds like it could be possibly taken in an adverse way, then it is safe to assume that it should probably be re-written with a more positive spin.


Other Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Use traditional fonts such as Arial, Calibri, and Times New Roman; these fonts are not only classic, they are easy to read. Stick to the color black, use 10-12 pt., and keep the font and size consistent throughout the email, including in the signature block. As much as you may enjoy playing around with different fonts and colors, business emails are just not the place to get creative.
  • Never write when upset. An angry screed defeats the purpose of conveying important information or soliciting the desired response. Chances are high that your anger will come across in the words you choose, and the recipient of your email will be able to sense your agitated tone.
  • Be cautious when using language such as “but” and “unfortunately.” Adding those words to your sentence tends to negate what is said in the first place, and can also come off as being condescending. “I apologize for the delay. I will have the completed document to you by the end of the day” will be received much better than “I apologize for the delay, but it couldn’t be avoided. Unfortunately, I can’t get the document to you until the end of the day.”
  • Do a spell-check but also proofread. Spell-checkers are our friends, but they can be fickle at times. Pay close attention to each suggestion you click on and re-read the entire text after you spell-check. It’s hard to be taken seriously when you send an email full of spelling and punctuation errors.
  • Think twice before hitting ‘reply all.’ The sender may have wanted a dozen or more people to see their email to you, but all recipients do not necessarily need to see your reply. Consider carefully. Is your reply important for everyone to read? Is the content of your reply appropriate for everyone to see?
  • Don’t use humor unless you know the recipient well—make that very well. What may be funny in a social setting among business acquaintances might not come across as funny in writing. Written communication is easy to misconstrue, so it’s always best to just focus on the point and leave humor for in-person conversations.
  • Don’t overuse the word “please.” This does not mean that you shouldn’t be polite and write please when it is appropriate. You should just make sure to reserve it for places where it sounds natural. Saying “Please find the attached document and let me know if you have any questions” does not sound natural, and frankly makes for an awkward sentence. Instead, consider saying “I have attached the document. Please let me know if you have any questions.”
  • Be sensitive to cultural differences. In some cultures, it may be considered rude to address someone by their first name. In others, discussing certain topics over email may be offensive. Before sending an email, do some homework on what may and may not be appropriate for your recipient.

Finally, remember that every email leaves a trace. Don’t write anything that will reflect badly on you or others should your exchange become public.

How Email Marketing Can Improve Your Business

In today’s business world, online competition is fierce! Between Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it seems nearly impossible to keep up.

Yet, some businesses seem to be thriving in the world of social media. So, what’s their secret?

According to this interesting article from Hostgator, if you’re going to have any chance of getting and keeping your audience’s attention, you have to develop a relationship with them that goes beyond the products or services you offer. And the best way to build those relationships is by giving your clients opportunities to interact with you regularly and directly through email marketing.

In their article, Hostgator explains how email marketing is vital for building and maintaining customer relationships. They also go into the specifics of how to start email marketing campaigns and give tips for the best ways to get (and keep) your customers’ loyalty.

Our Writers’ Favorite Podcasts For Your Listening Pleasure

Break up the drive-time monotony with these entertaining alternatives to local FM

If you’ve ever spent a lot of time sitting in traffic, you know that local radio can get pretty monotonous.

How many times can you listen to “Meant to Be” before you find yourself wanting to scream, “Let it go! It is NOT meant to be!”

And talk radio? That can be even worse!

So, what do you do when you’re stuck in the car on that tedious drive to and from work? What’s the alternative to mind-numbing bubblegum pop or talk-radio arguments?

Podcasts! That’s what!

We at TWFH have some “go-to” podcasts that we highly recommend.

Here is a list of our personal favorites for your listening pleasure:

Image by Please Don’t sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

Incredible True Stories, Told Live

This inspiring podcast is brought to you by Flori Meeks.

https://themoth.org/podcast

The Moth’s mission is to promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience — and they’ve done an amazing job at accomplishing that mission!

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Hollywood's Secret and Forgotten History

Keeping to the theme of incredible stories, Stephanie Hashagen has introduced us to “You Must Remember This,” a fascinating podcast full of stories about the forgotten and/or secret histories of Hollywood’s first century.

http://www.youmustrememberthispodcast.com/about/

Image by DarkmoonArt_de from Pixabay

Re-interpreting History

If you’re a history buff, you’ll love the Podcast that Jessica Stautberg has brought to us!

http://revisionisthistory.com/

Revisionist History takes stories, people, and events from the past, and re-examines them to see how they may have been misinterpreted or misunderstood. This great podcast will make you question everything you thought you knew about history!

Photo by kat wilcox from Pexels

True Crime

Are you obsessed with true crime? If so, you’ve just found your new obsession, thanks to Kathy Rinchiuso:

https://www.truecrimeobsessed.com/

True Crime Obsessed is the go-to for all True Crime related things!

The hosts of this podcast have a brilliantly funny way of diving into the latest true crime stories, while still presenting the honest and true facts of real criminal cases.

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Light-hearted Fun

If those other podcasts seem a bit too intense for your drive home, check out Barbara Adams’ pick: Ask Me Another.

https://www.npr.org/programs/ask-me-another/?showDate=2018-03-09

This fun and energetic live Podcast from NPR combines comedy, brain teasers, trivia, and music all into one! Who said that a long commute can’t be fun (and funny!)?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Learn to Habla

As long as you have to be stuck in the car, you might as well use that time to learn a new language!

https://radiolingua.com/coffeebreakspanish/

Jennifer Rizzo’s recommendation from Radio Lingua, gives you the opportunity to learn French, Spanish, German, Italian, or Chinese while you drive!

¿Qué más podrías querer?

Image by Azmi Talib from Pixabay

While these awesome podcasts are sure to make your commute a whole lot more entertaining, they are not only reserved for long car rides. A good podcast can keep you entertained (and informed) any time and any place.

Happy listening!

Social Selling Her Way to $250,000

It’s often said, “If you’re not online, then you essentially don’t exist.” According to a recent survey by Enquiro, 85.3 percent of buyers use the Internet before making a purchasing decision, and 77.7 percent of buyers say their research starts with Google. With the ever-growing population of businesses online, more specifically on social media, it can be hard to stand out from your competition.

So is it still possible for a small business owner to find success on social media? Absolutely!

Jessica Gordon, the owner of Three Little Darlings Designs, turned her custom bow business into a company grossing over $250,000 in less than three years primarily using Facebook.

 

Bows1

 

Like many businesses, Gordon’s company was conceived out of necessity. “When I found out I was pregnant with a little girl I knew I wanted to dress her up as girly as possible, especially after having a rough and tumble little boy. After she was born, I started purchasing hair accessories for her that were terrible quality! That’s when I decided I could make them myself. After making a few and having her wear them out, I was astounded at how many compliments we were getting and how many people were asking where I purchased them. That’s when I decided to start making and selling them,” she shared.

Despite her busy schedule running a growing business, Gordon took the time to provide us with some insights about her experience and the strategies that helped lead her to such success.

Did you start with a few products or offer a large variety right away?

I started off small, but then after the first month, I realized I needed to increase the inventory and started making/selling about 100 new pieces each week. I knew I wanted to make ONE-OF-A-KIND pieces, but after a while, more and more people wanted the same items, so I then began making similar pieces to keep up with supply and demand. I pride myself on creating unique, one-of-a-kind pieces while still offering custom orders where people can make them however they’d like.

How did you decide what your marketing plan was going to be?

Honestly, I didn’t have a marketing plan at all. I knew I would have to promote the business, but relied HEAVILY on word of mouth at first.

Despite not having a marketing plan, Gordon knew from the beginning that she wanted to sell her products online rather than at festivals and craft fairs. In fact, she reported that 95 percent of her business comes from online sales.

I initially started with a Facebook business page, expanded to Etsy, closed the Etsy after I realized how costly it was to sell on there, then moved most of my sales and business exchanges to a private closed business group on Facebook.

Gordon’s Facebook page has over 28,000 likes and her Facebook group has over 5,000 members. Sales are made primarily via Facebook. To order, customers browse through photos of design options and comment on a photo with their email address. They finalize what they want to purchase by conversing with Jessica directly on the post, and they receive their invoice via PayPal.

Did/do you use online ads? If so, what range of a budget did you start with? How did you learn to do them correctly?

I didn’t do much in the form of online advertising other than paying to promote posts on the Facebook business page. In the beginning, it was hard figuring out exactly what Facebook wanted me to do in regards to advertisement. Facebook business pages are tricky. The more people who like or comment on a photo or post, the more Facebook allows that post/photo to reach your entire audience. Sometimes, I would only reach about 100 people out of my 28,000 fans, which is how Facebook gets you to pay to promote. For me, paying Facebook to promote my posts was a big waste.

Once she discovered that promoting her posts wasn’t the answer, Gordon made two major moves that had an incredible impact on her business. She participated in large group giveaways, as well as started a closed Facebook group to accompany her Facebook page.

 

ThreeDarlingsFB-cropped

 

What helped a ton was being a part of massive group giveaways on Facebook. Giveaways were my biggest tool for increasing my online presence. People would have to “like” my page to be entered in the giveaway. After they had liked the page, I strived to “reel” them in and make them want to buy items [with discounts, rewards for purchasing or entrance into another giveaway as a ‘thank you’ for purchasing]. Budget-wise, I started with $400 – $500/month, and I now budget only about $150 a month for advertising.

Gordon initially split her budget between the product costs for the giveaways and about $100 for advertising on Facebook. Giveaways are easy to implement into your own online ventures. You can find group giveaway opportunities such as the ones mentioned here and here, or you can run your contest on your own social media profiles or website. Be cautious, though, because there are several new Facebook rules and federal laws involved in running giveaways. Take the time to make sure you understand them. Texas blogger Taylor Bradford of Pink Heels, Pink Truck offers additional tips and suggestions for making sure you’re staying on the right side of the law with regards to giveaways.

Gordon addressed the recent Facebook policy change and how her move to a closed group allowed her a way of getting around the restrictions: Up until last year, Facebook would allow LARGE group giveaways through Rafflecopter. One business would promote the giveaway and get TONS of other online boutiques to “give away” items, store credits, etc… Then, when the giveaway contest opened, if people wanted to be entered, they would have to “like” every page via the Rafflecopter giveaway form in order to have their name submitted into the drawing. When the giveaway was over, Rafflecopter would randomly choose a winner for each prize. The winner would contact us and then they would get their prize. Once this method was banned from Facebook, we had to get creative and do giveaways another way. We still do big giveaways, but we have people join our Facebook groups (via a link in Rafflecopter or manually) rather than having to “like” a Facebook page to enter.

Below is an example of one of the large group giveaways Gordon participated in through Gleam. She posted about it on her Facebook page and noted that readers must follow the link in the comments to enter.

 

ThreeDarlings-Post1-cropped

 

Once someone followed the link, they were instructed that the way to enter the contest was to join Gordon’s group as well as to participate with the requests from the other businesses that were part of the giveaway. (Entry options are visible below the contest photo only when a giveaway campaign is open.)

 

ThreeDarlings-Post2

 

In addition to group giveaways, Gordon also does her own individual giveaways.

When I conduct personal giveaways, it’s much more laid back. I just mention it on my page, and promote it in my group. For example, I just ran a giveaway in my group to celebrate reaching 5,000 customers – I gave away a $50 store credit and all people had to do to enter was make a purchase that week. I placed everyone’s name into random.org, created a randomized list, and the top person was the winner. I also do giveaways where I will ask people to “invite” their friends to the group to win a certain prize. This helps generate more customers.

 

ThreeDarlings-Post3

How do you make sure that people actually see your product and giveaway posts?

This is one of the beauties of a group. Once I moved my business to a closed Facebook group, it made it so that EVERYONE sees my posts if they’re members, and I don’t have to worry about posts NOT being in people’s Facebook timelines like I would if I just had a page.

Once someone joins a group, they automatically start receiving notifications of new posts to the group. So, they never miss a post. Members can choose to stop receiving notifications, but this opt-out option is something they must do manually. On a side note, Gordon mentioned that there are additional benefits of having a group rather than just a page. I can be very selective with who I allow in my group, which helps me avoid any people trying to phish for my customers, steal my ideas, etc.

Facebook groups can be set up by anyone and for almost any reason. It’s easy to learn how to set up a group properly, but keep in mind some Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook groups. For example, a major pet peeve for many users is when someone adds them to a group without their permission. Doing so could cause you to lose a potential new customer.

So, if you don’t just automatically add people to groups without their permission, how are you able to get people to join your group?

One way Gordon incentivizes people to join her group is to post about a prize via her Facebook page, which requires joining the closed group in order to enter the contest. Because she made the Facebook group a closed group, this means that you must be a member in order to see things that are posted in the group. So, if you’re not a member, you miss out. You won’t see what the current giveaway or sale is. Here’s an example of one of her recent incentive posts:

ThreeDarlings-Post4

 

To further emphasize the sense of exclusivity offered by joining the group, Gordon uses almost every post on her Facebook page to remind her audience that joining the Facebook group will give them access to new items and exclusive sales that aren’t visible on the Facebook page.

 

ThreeDarlings-Post5-cropped

 

She admits that it takes a bit more time to do separate posts, but that it’s worth it to spend the extra time trying to get people to join the group since you know they’re more likely to see your posts once they join.

Speaking of time, how much time do you spend per day on social media promoting your company, engaging with customers, and providing customer service?

Now, I spend about 2 hours a day promoting, engaging customers, answering emails, and discussing design ideas.

She posts at least once a day on the page and multiple times per day in the group. Posts include giveaways, new product photos, and fun posts that illicit engagement, such as the light-hearted post pictured below.

 

ThreeDarlings-Post6-cropped

Do you outsource any of your business?

I do EVERYTHING myself – design, production, shipping, invoicing, advertising, etc. It’s a lot of work, but I love it. I do have an administrator who has recently started advertising for me on Instagram and helping to promote my page on Facebook. What tool do you use to create your posts? I use PicMonkey for collages, images, and designs. It’s a great online photo-editing tool. For a small fee each year, I can create virtually all of the graphics I need for my business without the hassle of Photoshop. It’s VERY user-friendly and allows me to edit photos quickly and easily.

Have you dealt with competitors being nasty online?

Oh, let me tell you: When you’re at the top, you have some haters, sadly… I’ve had to deal with my fair share of competitors, copycats, and even customers-turned-business-owners, who not only tried to steal my customers by inviting them to their new business page, but also tried to sell my hair accessories as their own. You name it; I’ve dealt with it. But I pride myself on running a topnotch business and strive to have an open line of communication with my customers – so when things like this happen, they are normally the first to message me to let me know. They have my back. Watermarks also help a ton, so people don’t steal my pictures and use them as their own!

What is something you wish everyone knew?

Developing a successful online business takes a lot of hard work and dedication. In just three years, I have seen countless other businesses begin and end because of the amount of time it actually takes. Often, people forget that there’s a person behind the computer – like a real person, mom, wife, etc. who doesn’t spend every waking minute on the computer or checking their phone to answer messages or make a sale. Having a supportive family/partner is key and setting a schedule for when you are going to work is extremely important and beneficial to the success of your business. I’m a work-at-home mom and have a six-year-old and three-year-old. My six-year-old just started kindergarten this year, and I enrolled my daughter in preschool three days a week (just for 2.5 hours) so I get some extra time during the day to do some work. I also work after my children go to sleep until all hours of the night. It’s not ideal, but it allows me to be with them during the day/evening and still bring in a substantial income for our family’s needs.

Gordon has certainly done a great job bringing in that substantial income for her family and has great advice to share. She is a prime example of the amount of success that can come along with determination, hard work, great customer service, and a willingness to learn and adapt along the way.

Brand Yourself as an Industry Expert Using AuthorRank

This fall, Google rolled out a major change to search rankings: Google Authorship, also known as Author Rank. Basically, Google wants to make it easy for users to find content by a specific writer, and use those authors as elements for ranking websites and pages. Google search will interpret which authors are relevant sources with good content, and give them better SEO.

In a nutshell, the best content creators will be rewarded with higher rankings – but only if they set up their Google profiles correctly.

Who Benefits from Google AuthorRank?

I took AuthorRank for a test drive by searching for “SEO Author Rank.” These guys popped up in my search pages #1 and #2 spots:

Google Authorship
As you can see from my screenshot, Mark Purtell and Dave Ashworth have their Google AuthorRank set up. Now, their photos, names with clickable links to their Google+ profile, and number of Google+ circles are all visible from the search page. Even better, I can click on the “More by…” link and perform my original search inside the author’s content. That means when I click “More by Mark Purtell,” I get two articles written by him that match my original search.

But how did Google decide that these two authors should have higher rankings than others?

  • They create relevant, informative content.
  • They are active on Google+ (Ashworth is active in over 300 Google+ circles!).
  • They’ve set up a Google ID, like Google+, that links to their content.

If you’re not on Google+ yet, it’s time to finally set up that profile. Don’t worry – it’s easy! Just go to Google+, register, and build your profile using the tutorial. Then you’ll be ready to set up authorship.

Setting Up Google AuthorRank

In order to reap the benefits of AuthorRank, you must first become a “verified author.” That means that Google can link your content to an online Google ID like Google+. Basically, they want you to prove that you wrote the content.

There are two methods for verifying AuthorRank, and neither one is super difficult. Before you set it up, however, go to your Google+ profile and make sure you love your profile picture. That photo will appear next to your content in search results, so a professional headshot works best.

Next, you need to link your content to your Google+ profile. There are two ways to go about this:

Method 1: Email Verification

The easiest way to set up Google Authorship is to have an email address on the same domain as your content. For example, our blog is on the domain “thewritersforhire.com,” so an email address might be [email protected] If you want to use this method for verification, just go here and sign up.

Next, make sure you use a byline on all of your content, such as “By Author.” That byline should match the name on your Google+ profile.

Method 2: Linking Your Content

If you don’t have an email address on the same domain as your content, you can link your content to your Google+ profile using these instructions from Google support:

  1. Create a link to your Google+ profile from your webpage, like this:
  <a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google</a>

Replace [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL, like this:

  <a href="https://plus.google.com/109412257237874861202?
   rel=author">Google</a>

Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter. If it’s missing, Google won’t be able to associate your content with your Google+ profile.

  1. Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated.
    1. Edit the Contributor To section.
    2. In the dialog that appears, click Add custom link, and then enter the website URL.
    3. If you want, click the drop-down list to specify who can see the link.
    4. Click Save.
  2. To see what author data Google can extract from your page, use the structured data testing tool.

Method #2 requires you to have a little website coding knowledge – or a webmaster that can help you out. But once you’re done linking your content to your Google+ profile, you won’t have to do it again unless you change your domain or email address.

What’s Next?

After you connect your Google profile to your content, your name and photo will start appearing next to your blog posts and articles in search results. But the work isn’t over quite yet – keep cranking out high-quality content for the best SEO. The nice thing about Google AuthorRank is that good authors still come out on top.

Software That Helps Small Biz Owners Use Social Media To Stay Connected With Clients

Created by Sean and Wintress Odom, Socialot is web-based software built specifically for small-business owners who are struggling to efficiently use social media to engage their customers.

Sean Odom notes, “You don’t have to be a social media marketing guru to use it. You don’t even need a marketing department. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection.”

The software is unique in the marketplace because it helps business owners use social media to stay connected with clients — even if these owners know little to nothing about social media.

The inspiration for Socialot came directly from small business owners. “We knew we could use social media to connect with customers, but it was difficult to find time to do it efficiently,” says Wintress. “We wanted a way to centralize our activities and quickly use social media for lead follow up, marketing, and branding — then move on with our daily activities.”

Socialot provides several tools that allow social media novices to leverage social media. Users can:

Keep engaged with clients through a contact/lead management system featuring a social media interface.

Monitor the Internet for mentions of their company name (such as reviews or news).

Share promotions, news releases, messages, pictures, or videos to multiple social media sites at once.

Schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn — days or months in advance.

“”

Share positive reviews across multiple social media sites.

Socialot gives business owners a quick and easy way to manage multiple social media accounts — such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube — from a single site. With one click, a small-business owner can post updates, share news, and monitor their online business reputation.

A flagship feature is Socialot’s Contact Management System (CMS) with built-in social features. Socialot’s CMS has many of the features of a standard CMS: keeping track of follow-up notes and allowing a business owner to set follow-up reminders, for example. Yet, the system also integrates social media. This feature makes it easy for owners to use social networking sites for individualized promotions or friendly touch points.

“Socialot lets you stay in touch with past, current, and potential customers in a non-salesy way,” says Wintress. “Say you haven’t heard from a past client in a while and you just want to remind him that you’re out there. Or you made contact with a prospect a few weeks ago. A call or email might seem like you’re fishing for a sale. But if you use Socialot to ‘like’ his Facebook post or comment on his Twitter feed — you’re connecting without being pushy. It’s a great way to follow up without really ‘following up.'”

Other Socialot features provide more ways to keep owners in touch with clients and prospects on a daily basis. Call for information.

Socialot.com goes live on July 17, 2012. For more information about Socialot.com, please contact Wintress Odom at [email protected]

Example of a successful blogger outreach campaign

A couple of months ago, I received an email from a writer looking to promote her client. It started something like this:

Hope you’re keeping well. I’m just getting in touch to ask if you’re open to accepting content from freelance writers at The Writers For Hire – if so, I’d love to put together a high-quality article written
specifically for the site.

I’m sharing this here, because I responded, and in turn received the blog post entitled, “Secrets for a Successful Blog Outreach Campaign.”

Her efforts to reach out to me benefited us both: We got free content, and she got a link back to her client.

For all those seeking to run a successful blogger outreach campaign, our exchange provides a good example for aspiring Internet networkers everywhere.

I’d like to thank Isabella Woods at wiki-bee.com for reaching out to me and for the great blog post.

Twitter: To Follow, or Not to Follow?

As I was writing my last blog about Twitter etiquette, a question came up: What is the etiquette on following people? Should you follow everyone who follows you, or not?

I went on a quest to find out what the best practice regarding Followers vs. Following on Twitter. The answers, it seems, are largely unclear, but there are a lot of theories out there.


The Naysayers – Don’t Follow Everyone:

Bob Bly of www.bly.com doesn’t believe in following people just because they follow you on Twitter. Instead, he talks about a ratio that every Twitter user should employ — he calls this a Followed-to-Follow ratio. According to Bly, your F:F ratio should be 10:1, meaning 10x more people are following you than you follow. Ideally, the ratio should be as high as 100:1. His thinking is that you should be concerned Continue reading “Twitter: To Follow, or Not to Follow?”