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Using email to promote usability
author of “Self Promotion Online”
There are still far too many people who don’t understand what usability is or what it can do, which is why all self promotion efforts you make, whether as an independent or part of a usability group, should be educational. And one of the most effective and inexpensive tools for educating your market is email.
An email marketing campaign – simply sending regular email messages to everyone you know and everyone who knows you – is the ideal way to market your services because it can consistently accomplish so many things at once: share your knowledge, build credibility and position yourself as an expert, while also spreading the word about your services and distinguishing you from others like you.
Email also drives traffic to your Web site in a much more reliable and controllable way than the search engines can. And best of all, email is interactive. It initiates a dialogue so that, when your recipients get a message from you, they just might be prompted to reply with a question or project.
Creating the content for your email marketing campaign, whether sent monthly or even quarterly, doesn’t have to be an overwhelming project. Once you find a template and a formula that works, all you have to do is treat your campaign like a client’s project and devote the necessary time.
Here are some ideas for content.
You also don't have to create all the content from scratch. You can simply pass along links to articles that would be of interest to your market or links to web sites they might find useful. (Hint: There's a ton of useful info on www.upassoc.org.)
Email keeps you visible, keeps your market connected to you and literally motivates people to respond. Most important, it is the back and forth of dialogue that builds relationships. If you do your email marketing right, your recipients will actually look forward to receiving your messages. They may even thank you.
Ilise Benun is the Vice President of the NYC UPA chapter and the author of “Self Promotion Online” and “Designing Websites for Every Audience.” She writes, consults and gives workshops about online and offline self-promotion.
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