Ensure Contacts Never Lost Track of You
>>> B2B Email Marketing

BY  Karen Gedney |
October 19, 2005

How much business do you lose every time you
move your office, take a new job, or change your
email address? There's probably no way of knowing,

but here's a recent situation I encountered that illustrates the cost of outdated contact information.

A client asked me to write speeches for an upcoming event. As speechwriting isn't my area of expertise, I decided to refer him to a professional speechwriter I'd been in contact with 10 years earlier (which felt like yesterday, by the way).

When I pulled up her name in my Outlook database, I saw an AOL e-mail address. It was unlikely to be current, as most business people now use other e-mail accounts. Still, I was in a hurry, so I shot off an e-mail to her. Of course, I never received a response, nor did it bounce back. Luckily, when I called the next day, her phone number was still current.

I realized afterwards I could have used a search engine to find her most recent contact information. That's a lot of work for what was supposed to be an on-the-fly referral.

It made me wonder how many people have lost track of me during my many moves over the years.

That's why I was intrigued to learn about LetterMark e-mail. The company offers branded e-mail templates that are instantly updatable. The beauty of it is even old LetterMark-branded e-mail messages your recipients have are changed as well. So when a prospect you contact in 2005 retrieves your message from an e-mail folder in 2010, he'll have your most current contact information. Your e-mail stationery can also have a Web site template that links to your actual site.

The idea is to brand outgoing e-mail with a technology like LetterMark's to always be prepared for the next move.

That's what EdgeSource, a hi-tech staffing company in North Carolina did. It'd been using LetterMark for three months prior to a complete identity change that included name, logo, Web site, and office location.

At midnight the day before the change was scheduled to take place, the EdgeSource templates were updated at LetterMark's data center with the company's new name and identity, HireNetworks. At that point, all 12,000 e-mail messages it had sent in the prior three months were updated with the new brand identity through the dynamic republishing feature.

According to Craig Stone, HireNetworks CEO, the republishing feature is vital to his firm's success. "A job candidate may keep a recruiter's card around for years. It isn't until they are looking for a job again that they will call the recruiter. At that point, the information needs to be completely up to date and accurate, or the call may go to a competitive recruiter."

Republishing isn't just about sales. Law firms are finding that since so much legal correspondence now occurs via e-mail, e-mail templates with comprehensive contact information is imperative. In fact, it's required under most rules of the bar.

Russell Lawson, marketing director of the Virginia law firm Sands Anderson Marks & Miller, says because many legal cases are so lengthy, it's critical to be able to constantly update archived correspondence with new contact information as new lawyers, paralegals, and other administrative personnel are assigned to a case.

He added that because the firm's LetterMark templates also include graphics and links to the firm's Web site, hits to the site have increased as recipients click on links to lawyers' biographies and driving directions to the firm's locations.

Consider creating an e-mail paper trail so your prospects can locate you years in the future, and link your e-mail to your Web site to keep everyone updated on your capabilities right now.

Karen Gedney is an award-winning creative director and copywriter. She is challenged almost daily to come up with innovative new e-mail approaches for her clients. She has a particular knack for conference promotions, having produced rocketing registration numbers for The American Stock Exchange, BusinessWeek, The Economist, FORTUNE, Gartner, and Trilogy Software. Karen's Web site is karengedney.com. She lives in tree-lined Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and two very active young boys.