from Mashable.com 10/09 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
7. Mail Chimp
Most reports and supposedly expert advice on the death of Email are a bit pre-mature. The good old fashioned mailing list is still a good way to maintain relationships with customers, especially when done well. MailChimp’s web-based mailing list manager offers list management, tracking and analysis, & custom HTML templates for up to 500 subscribers + 3000 emails a month for free. Paid plans kick in at larger subscriber numbers. Featuring integration with WordPress, Twitter, Salesforce & more, MailChimp is the list manager of choice for an impressive list of heavyweights including Mozilla, Intel, Canon, Fujitsu, Staples and more.
Pro Tip: MailChimp has a well-documented SW, that allows you to integrate the service with your own existing applications, tools, content management system or CRM solution. There’s a growing list of Plug-Ins – already created for a number of platforms.
6. Get Satisfaction
Great customer support is important, but Get Satisfaction aims to help by leveraging the strength of your user community & cutting down on repetitive support costs. It provides a forum where your customers can get answers to questions, solutions to problems, and submit feature & new product requests. Those answers & solutions are stored & searchable over time, cutting down on support costs and building trust with your userbase. Used by small businesses and large popular brands alike, Get Satisfaction gets rave reviews for human customer service and helping to build communities around brands & products.
Pro Tip: Embeddable widgets allow you to bring the conversation back to your own company’s site or even within your products themselves. Drop a searchable FAQ or a feedback tab or page right into your website or service to integrate the customer service experience right where your users need it.
What would this list be without our favorite micro-blogging service? From our own Mashable, there’s no shortage of creative ideas for leveraging Twitter for your business. Even if you’re not in a technically-oriented industry, you’ll want to know which influencers in your domain are on Twitter and which of your potential clients and customers are there (probably a bunch). You’ll want to wrap your head around Twitter’s HashTags, and more certainly check out the Twitter Guidebook.
Pro Tip: Try not to use Twitter as a purely broadcast medium; whether one person or several posts to your official account, make sure your company is listening & inter-acting as well as simply posting. Strive for authenticity in your company’s Tweets and try to think of it as taking part in a conversation, not just another soapbox platform.
[ Facebook, BaseCamp, Linked IN, & Google Apps continued in next Premium Content ]