Two posts ago I told you about a service calledShoeboxed.com
and I talked about all those stacks of business cards you have sitting either on your desk or in a drawer somewhere. But what I didn’t do was connect the two!
If you happen to be one of the folks (and if you are, you are not alone by any means) who has stacks or piles or baggies or some other trendy container chock-full of business cards here’s exactly what to do with them. Put them all in a big envelope and send them toshoeboxed.com. They will scan all of those card and send you back a spreadsheet with the contact information neatly arranged to you can do something with it and consequently the person who belongs to the card. The price is very reasonable and the service is relatively fast. Besides, you haven’t done anything with them yet… right? You might as well make contact with them and see where that contact leads you.
Once you get the spreadsheet back, you can easily import the data into a mail program or a contact manager program. Some common mail programs are, Constant Contact, iContact, Aweber, Mail Chimp, AddressTwo and Infusionsoft. Please note this is not an all inclusive listing of the programs that are available. Depending on your needs and or budget, you can select the one that’s best for you. Some of the contact management programs that are out there; AddressTwo, Infusionsoft, SalesForce, ACT!, and many, many others. AddressTwo is a good solution for many folks. It’s inexpensive and relatively easy to use and the support is really good.
The reason why it’s important to put your contacts in some type of system versus Outlook or AddressBook because in a system you can segment your list. A segment might be something like, where you met them, the kind of work they do, if they’re a client, friend, resource, source or prospect. We’ll talk about specific segmentation in a later e-mail. The more variables you have, the more ways you can slice and dice your list to be more specific, more targeted in your contact (mailing and e-mailing) efforts. Remember it’s not okay to just put someone in a system and e-mail to them without their previous agreement. If you ask someone to signup for your e-mail list and they give you their information you can e-mail to them. Remember it’s important to get permission of some type before just e-mailing a person.