Simple Advice: Answer Your Email!

As my company designs, develops and manages websites for small businesses, I am often asked  for advice and tips.  One of the simplest pieces of advice and also the most important is to answer email promptly.  If you have a contact form on your site or even just an email link, people are looking for immediate responses.  I tell people if at all possible answer within a day. I know, many of you are saying to yourselves, DUH!  But the truth is many small businesses take days to respond and many times never even reply.  To me this is like a guy coming into your store, putting a purchase on the counter and you just flat out ignore the customers existence. You wouldn’t do that in your brick and mortar store, so don’t do it online. The same principals should apply.

If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends.
If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.


If you can’t answer promptly, then remove the form and the email link from your site. Let people know that they should call.  I think it defeats much of what people are looking for going to your website, but still preferable to ignoring them. Another alternative is to have an autoresponder telling them you will be calling back and tell them to call if they require immediate attention.

Bottom Line: Responding to customer’s email is typically the first experience people have with your company. Make it a positive one and you may begin a relationship which will hopefully be long and profitable.

Time, Precious Time

“Oh, time is on my side, yes it is
Time is on my side, yes it is”

~The Rolling Stones

If only this was true. Time is the one thing none of us seem to have enough of these days.  This is especially true when we speak of managing our websites. I recommend to my clients they make a change to their websites at the very least once a month.  And that is not really enough. But it is a start, and helps their websites to succeed and flourish. Your search engine rankings won’t improve if your website is stale and static. And why would anyone return if it is always the same content?

People want to save money, which is admirable. So what do we do? We build Content Management Systems so non-technical folks can make changes, add content, etc. But what happens? People get so busy they forget about their website.

So what is the answer? Here are three things you can do.

  1. Hire a solid company to manage your website – Contract for “X” amount of hours.  This will help. We (RooSites) for instance don’t charge for hosting, only for hours. We figure out how many hours are needed and charge half our normally rate.  This works as our clients keep their sites better to date.
  2. Automation – If done correctly you can automate some of your social networking tasks and grow your following. Again we throw that in with every management plan.
  3. Remember why your are successful – You are successful because you are an expert in your field and dedicate most of your work day to your main pursuit. So don’t regret the realization that you don’t have enough time to do “everything”. Rather, do something about it so that your web marketing is successful. Take the first step and  contact us today.