Saturday, December 31, 2005

Make it Great - Best Blog List

The Make it Great blog has a list of the best blogs in various categories and we got noticed in the marketing category. Thanks Phil.

Friday, December 30, 2005

DIY Word of Mouth Marketing

Our friend David Lorenzo is talking about something that fits nicely with what we said a day or two ago. Word of Mouth Marketing has short cuts, but if you want sustainable word of mouth, you have to commit to is as a philosophy within your organization. His post is called Do It Yourself Word of Mouth (I am sure what he meant to say was that you should hire Buzzoodle to help your create a word of mouth campaign. )

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Brand Builder Blog

The brand builder blog has an excellent set of ideas for making the new year more buzzworthy. The entire post is right in line with our philosophy of how little, remarkable actions build up over time.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Buzz Story

Here is a post on PR vs. Advertising by Tom Hespos. It is interesting to me because of what Tom says about wine, Ernest & Julio Gallo and his college newspaper. I also think he would be an interesting person to talk to. By posting here, Google, my online errand boy, will send him an email letting him know I said something about him. He will visit this site, read this comment, and maybe post a comment saying thanks for mentioning him. Read his post and you will see why that will happen. It is important to understand the tools that can create buzz for you.

Bzz Agent

I like Bzz Agent. For those of you not familiar with them, they have people that willingly promote products via word of mouth, and those people report back to them when they do it. While we are definitely in the same marketplace, Buzz and Word of Mouth Marketing, I do not feel we compete because our approach is so different. We focus on making your current advocates buzz more, and developing a long term approach to building a strong advocacy base. I see Bzz Agent as more of an advertisement, and us as more of a long term marketing strategy. They both have their place and there is no reason not to use both approaches, if the budget and time allows for it. The reason I bring it up in this blog is that people confuse us so often. They think that because we do Word of Mouth Marketing, we must have 1,000's of people on street corners this instant waiting for us to tell them what to talk about. Our approach is to transform an organization into one that understands buzz and word of mouth, that has a true strategy to grow it and has tracking to make it measurable. We are not a quick fix, but we have a great long term ROI.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Cancun Mexico

I look at my stats more than I should. Somehow, even if checks are not coming in every day, I still feel like I am accomplishing something if readership is high. To the many people that read regularly, I would like to say thanks. Next, there is someone in Cancun Mexico that reads almost every day. I lived in Mexico when I was younger and enjoyed it a lot. To that person I just want to say gracias and please shoot me an email. I would love to hear about how Buzz Marketing is being used in Mexico. Ingles o Espanol, no me importa.

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing for Restaurants

As promised, I am going to be trying to do some generic Buzzoodle Strategies that you can use in specific industries. Today a couple of ideas to get restaurant staff to talk about the restaurant and invite more people in. 1st: Almost every employee has family, many in the area. When you hire someone, get a list of family members name, address and birthday and send every family member on their birthday a free meal. A steady flow of employee's families visiting will help you retain employees as they feel better about the job, and will create more buzz from the visitors. They are more likely to talk about your restaurant if they know someone who works there. 2nd: Devise a way to have coupons people can give out when they talk about the restaurant. Not the traditional coupons, but something that is just for your buzz. (Maybe each employee gets a check book and can write a check for up to $5 off, redeamable in food, at the restaurant.) Employees sign them as they meet people and pass them out and the one that gets the most in each week, wins the pot, which might be cash or whatever you think your employees may like best. These are just two ideas that could help take a local restaurant to another level. In both cases, it goes beyond what the industry norm is currently. If you give either of these a try, I would love to hear about it. If you have other buzz ideas for restaurants, please post them in the comments area.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Buzz Marketing from Boston

Stephen Labuda from Boston has a post that pulls together some nice content on Word of Mouth. His blog was just different enough to make me surf it a bit longer than I normally would. Just from the technical prospective I am not sure if it is a blog or article archives.

How did I find this site? It generated traffic to my site, and anyone that cares about what people are staying about them is going to keep a close eye on referral links. If you take the time to link to someone, make sure that you click the link and visit their site from it as well.

Better yet, email them. Posting about someone is a good excuse to reach out and say hi.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Buzz Readiness

One of the things I have noticed lately is the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. If you create some buzz and get noticed, you have to be prepared for things you did not plan for. We have had some unexpected situations crop up in the last nine months, and we have done the best we can to learn from them. The biggest one is how Buzzoodle itself has evolved. We built it as a small business and maybe a medium sized business tool that would help people on a limited budget. However, because it takes some effort to set up and use effectively, not many of these time crunched small business owners take advantage of it. On the other hand, some of the biggest companies in the world have called us and asked us about our services. The first couple of times this happened, we dropped the ball. We'd not even considered what it would take to help a company implement our philosophy across 10's of thousands of employees. It took us months to adjust to this different model for our business. Now we have a clear understanding of how our services could best be utilized in these kinds of organizations. If your goal is to create big buzz, you also have to be ready to deliver big. And maybe not in the way you thought.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Deep Breath: Look at the Small Things

It is easy to get caught up in the creation of new buzz, but in the last week two people have pointed out our short comings, and they are obvious stuff that just gets overlooked. One is how we answer the phone: Our office manager is on vacation and we are just all answering it any old way. One person thought they got the wrong number. Two is our eMagazine sign up form: Someone pointed out we are not asking how people heard of us. (Trust me, I look at plenty of data every day, but it is a good point.) The point of this blog post is that it is good to take a deep breath and look at your every day processes, before you worry about the next big Buzz Marketing coup you can pull. Ask yourself: How can I make every day activities buzzworthy in our oganization?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Buzzoodle in Brazil

If you speak Portuguese, here is a translation of buzzoodle: Marc & Sheep. It is a Portuguese translation of our article on creating traffic for your blog, found here.

Are you a Practicing Member of your Organization?

Word of Mouth Marketing and Buzz Marketing are often talked about with terminology borrowed from religion. Corporate Evangelists and Advocates to just name two. So as I was driving to work this morning, I asked myself, "Do you participate in the organization?" I started mulling over how people participate and I thought of how people could be categorized as participating in their religion.
  • I have to go because I always have.
  • I go because it is the right thing to do.
  • I go because I don't know what else to do.
  • I go because there are free donuts

Now Consider these:

  • I go because I am a valued member of the community and people there are counting on me.
  • I go because I am so excited about the vision and where the organization is going.
  • I would not think of missing because it is part of who I am.
  • I look forward to going as a highlight of my week.

It is easier to understand this in a religious setting. Your job as a leader is to inspire people to be on the second list, and those people will create word of mouth and buzz for you.

Now, as a business leader, ask yourself where your employees and clients fall on this list.

Create raving fans who are engaged with the organization and buzz will grow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Price and Putting it Down

Went shopping today. Major Store and sooo many things didn't have prices. Do they think I will be in a wild frenzy and not care? I actually put 4 things back on the shelf because I could not figure out the price and did not want to load up on things that I would not want at the register. I guess we will call that down selling.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Microwave Buzz

Have you ever gone to someone's house and the kitchen is spotless? You think, "Wow." Then something happens and you have to open the microwave and the facade is over. There you see tiny bits of left overs from the past year sprayed all over. If your customers are wowed on the sales end, and then find your product or service less stellar than the initial glance, then you are killing buzz and people are just staying with you grudgingly because they said yes, or have not had a chance to move yet.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Buzz Industries

I am on the road a lot today, but just a snapshot of what I am planning. We get calls from all kinds of prospects, from churches to some of the largest companies in the world. Each type and size of organization has some different issues for creating buzz. There are common denominators, but I will try to go into some more specifics on how they vary. Thanks for reading and stop back.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Buzzoodle Translation

Thanks to Kristofer for summarizing some Buzzoodle in Swedish. He has a nice looking blog and he is just one of the international people we have talked to about the international language of Buzz.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Buzz & Marketing

Buzz is not only a marketing function.

  • Product development probably plays one of the biggest roles in buzz. Create a remarkable product and you will have all the buzz you can handle.
  • Manufacturing plays a role in buzz. Poor quality will result in negative buzz, and solid, quality products do get praise.
  • Customer service plays a critical role in buzz because it directly relates to bad buzz, good buzz or just what I would expect.
  • Human resources is paramount to buzz. Happy employees do a better job, and if Buzz creating is made part of the corporate culture, HR will be training employees in how to talk about the company and encouraging everyone to create buzz.
  • Executive Teams should know all the great stories, connect with the customers and create buzz in many extraordinary ways.
  • Shareholders should be talking about all the great stories they hear coming out of the company that they own stock in.

Ultimately, every person in an organization should be taught the importance of buzz and know stories they can use when opportunities arise. Buzz is the job of the entire organization, not of the Buzz Marketers.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Squidoo and You

If you have not checked out Squidoo yet, you may want to. There is definitely an advantage to being an early adopter. Here are my Lenses, and they are driving some serious traffic our way: Obviously, my biggest focus is on the Buzzoodle lense, and it is paying off with a lot of good blog traffic. Although still in Beta, it is working pretty well with only minor issues.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

WOMMA Basic Training

WOMMA - The Word of Mouth Marketing Association is having a WOM basic training in Florida this January. You can get all the details here if you are interested. I would love to attend, but will not be able to. If you are not visiting their site regularly, it is a great resource for those interested in word of mouth.

UK Buzzoodle Interview

SmallBizPod - a small business blog with podcasts from the UK, interviewed me here. Alex Bellinger is doing a great job of using Podcasts to meet more people and create a buzz for himself. I start about 16 minutes into it, but he has some interesting stuff before that, including comments on sending audio messages that I have to give a try. By the way, I have listened to myself for years and I sound nothing like that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Imagine the Possibilities

One thing that can really fuel buzz creation is getting people to imagine the possibilities. Over at the Liquid Learning Blog we mention Zopa. Why did we mention it? It is not a great leap of the imagination to think about how this model could do to banking what the internet is doing to newspapers. Part of your buzz strategy should be to have your product or service get their imagination working. Maybe you give them some more limited example of a use for your product and let them come up with the idea of having people use it in a novel way. Once people get imaginative with your product or service, they are sold on it. You just become a facilitator for their own creativity.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Selling to Big Companies

Jill Konrath has written a very easy to read book on making sales to big clients, called Selling to Big Companies. I am only about 1/3 of the way through it, but so far it is excellent because it has practical information I can use right away and if it was not the holiday season I would have had time to finished it in a day. I like easy and useful. The book already fits nicely with my mantra of not SELLING but instead helping other people succeed and solve their problems. Her book addresses the fact that corporate executives have become immune to the standard sales routine. Jill also does a good job of Buzz. She publishes an eNewsletter that I have been reading and when I sent her an email wishing her luck on her upcoming book release, she quickly sent me a advance signed copy of the book to review. Thanks Jill.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Testimonials - Creating Buzz for Others

Duct Tape Marketing has an excellent post on using testimonials to your advantage to meet or network with people. This is right in line with one of the things Buzzoodle suggested in a recent challenge.

Word of Mouth Marketing Agencies

Today I visited the website of a new Word of Mouth Marketing Agency. I am not going to link to it, because even though the website was well done, I have to question what most of these Buzz Marketing and Word of Mouth Marketing agencies are doing. To me, most of them seem to focus on internet marketing, blogging and a little bit of research. If this is all your word of mouth marketing agency is doing, hire a good internet marketing agency instead. Otherwise, you are probably just paying for the buzz phrase.

What should a good word of mouth agency provide?

  • Strong Market Research
  • A plan to develop advocates (ethically)
  • Tools specifically designed to measure many forms of word of mouth (not just blogs and internet)
  • Experience developing talking points and WOM Units
  • Knowledge of a diverse set of channels to get the messages out
  • Tools to identify current advocates
  • Training for your staff to become stronger advocates

These are the kinds of things Buzzoodle has available to clients that are interested in creating more buzz and word of mouth, especially if they plan to use their employee base as advocates.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Interview Questions - Hire Advocates

When interviewing a potential new hire, you should be sure to include questions that will clearly display if the person will easily become an advocate of your organization. Typically, you might ask "Why do you want to work for us?" and "What did you like best/least about your last job?" These questions are fine, but look for more questions that will help you identify great advocates. Here are some ideas: 1) Tell me two great stories of things that happened in your last job. 2) How often do you talk to your family and friends about your current/last job? What % is positive and negative? Give me some examples of what you say. 3) What products and services do you like to talk about? How many people are you likely to tell if you really like something? 4) Do you have a website? Blog? What are the addresses? 5) How many social groups do you belong to online and off? (Keep in mind it may be inappropriate to ask specifics about these groups.) 6) What do you think the best qualities of our organization are? 7) What have you heard about our organization, good or bad? 8) What is a company you admire and why? This is just a list of ideas. You may find some more appropriate for your business. However, if you make advocacy one of the criteria for new hires, it gives you another metric to judge applicants and it could be the single most important ROI factor if you get a super advocate.

With My Buzzoodle Eye

Why does every place suddenly suck? - Warning - I am usually very positive, but this is going to be a long rant on a mall trip. Holidays are fast approaching and I have started shopping in lots of places I rarely enter though out the other eleven months. The difference this year is that I have grown from an IT person doing marketing to a person immersed in the Buzzoodle Philosophy of Marketing. We were at the mall yesterday and it was shocking and upsetting for me. We mostly went to get a picture of our new baby and our daughter with Santa, but there was no chance of me spending $35 dollars for a picture of my kids on the lap of a 17 year old with a few cotton balls on his face. It was like the company did not even try. They must feel that people don't have any other choice, so it does not matter. (We skipped it.) Next, I was in a store like a Build - A - Bear. It was a cheap knock off of the real thing, and the woman working in the store sat behind the counter reading a book. ??? Isn't it two weeks before Christmas? She did look up and say hi, and smiled. They had an employ party area in the back. If I owned this business, I would have free cookies and punch in that party area all day every day in December. I would have 2-3 employees standing in front of the store telling kids go go join the party and get cookies. The kids are the sales staff, you just need to get more kids in there. The store also completely missed the point. I have been to Build-A-Bear and it is about the experience. This other place just had unstuffed toys you could stuff. ??? My daughter asked for one and I told her I would rather drive her 45 minutes to a real Build-a-bear so she could have the experience. Then we are walking through the mall, and I am dressed nicely on a Saturday because our older daughter just performed in a piano recital, and I see a woman working a register at a kiosk. She has a huge tattoo on her arm and it is exposed from the shoulder to the elbow. You cannot miss it. (I could care less about the tattoo itself, and it is up to each owner to set policies in place on this kind of thing.) I looked at her tattoo and then looked up at her. She noticed me notice, and glared! I was not passing judgment. I just looked at her huge tattoo for a second. So there I was walking through the mall with my family having someone glare angrily at me and try to stare me down. Time spend in mall: 1.5 hours Money spent in mall $2 on carousel We are ordering our gifts online today. In the world of business and commerce, blame can only be placed at the owner's level. You have to train people, inspire people, set standards and not assume that getting the store set up is what will make it successful.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenges Summary

This is the summary of the two weeks of Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenges: Buzz Marketing Challenge #1 Email Challenge to get your advocates to understand you better. Buzz Marketing Challenge #2 Comments on Blogs and Message Boards. Buzz Marketing Challenge #3 Contact a media professional to create buzz. Buzz Marketing Challenge #4 Meet someone new. Buzz Marketing Challenge #5 Old emails are a Buzz Gold Mine. Buzz Marketing Challenge #6 Don't just be nice, be remarkable. Buzz Marketing Challenge #7 You were going to eat anyway. Buzz Marketing Challenge #8 Social Networks are buzztastic. Buzz Marketing Challenge #9 What do you mean I miss buzz opportunities every day! Buzz Marketing Challenge #10 Now for a real challenge. Become a world wide expert.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge # 10

We are posting a short Buzz Challenge each workday last week and this. Under 15 minutes and if you do all of them, and get all your colleagues and employees doing them as well, you will find an uptick in Buzz about your organization. Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge # 10 15 Minutes. How do you create buzz in 15 minutes? Since this is our last Buzz Marketing challenge, this one is under 15 minutes, but per day several times a week. Decide what you are good at and become a world wide expert. It is not as difficult as you think.
  • You can develop a free blog on Blogger and post several times per week.
  • Create a Squidoo Lens
  • Write articles and post them to online article directories.
  • Submit articles to magazines and newspapers.
It does not have to be job related. Even if your organization is full of experts on Poodles and video games, you are going to meet a lot more people than if you would have kept your expertise quiet. And any communication you have is a potential buzz opportunity. Happy Buzzing.

Squidoo Lense

You can check out my Squidoo Lens for Buzzoodle here. Shhhh..... it is a secret. :)

Buzz Impact - Roger Balser

Who is Roger? Roger sells things that lots of people sell. He is a financial advisor for high wealth individuals. I mention him here because of what was written about him by Keith Ferrazzi and because of the meeting I had with him. Roger had been cold calling for years and then read Keith's book, "Never Eat Alone." He then drove to Chicago (6 hours) to see Keith speak. Then he came back and emailed me. Asked me to get together. He drove an hour, bought me a coffee, and really focused on how he could help me. He seemed so intent on being of service to me that I got uncomfortable about how one sided things were and started thinking about how I could help him too. He has totally shifted from cold calls to building relationships and helping other people succeed, and it seems to be already paying him back, as we are all buzzing about him. I regularly get asked by people who sell accounting, financial services and insurance how they can use the Buzzoodle to create a buzz about them. Be remarkable, like Roger is doing.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge # 9

We are posting a short Buzz Challenge each workday last week and this. Under 15 minutes and if you do all of them, and get all your colleagues and employees doing them as well, you will find an uptick in Buzz about your organization. Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge # 9 Buzz Opportunity Awareness - look for a chance to create more buzz. In our daily life it is easy to not put ourselves out there and talk to new people. Today we challenge you to look for Buzz Opportunities to talk with new people. This could be someone on the elevator, in line at lunch or a wrong number that reaches you. Smile, even laugh, and find out a little about them and tell them a sentence or two about you and what you do. We pass up many opportunities throughout the day to connect with someone. Basically you are looking for a chance to be nice and name drop. Most times you are going to make that person's day a little better. Be sincere and connect. Even something this simple is more powerful than you think. How may times have you been talking to someone and a company gets mentioned, and you say [out loud or to yourself] "I know someone from there." Even with a simple connection that lasts 20 seconds, you can reinforce your organizational identity and make the next time they hear about it have more meaning. I would love to be a sales person in an organization that has 100's of non-sales employees doing this.

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge # 8

We are posting a short Buzz Challenge each workday last week and this. Under 15 minutes and if you do all of them, and get all your colleagues and employees doing them as well, you will find an uptick in Buzz about your organization. Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge # 8 Social Networking systems are all over. Here is a recent eMarketer Article on some of their growth. Here is a directory of many of these web based networking systems. Your Buzz Marketing Challenge today is to set up a profile in one of these communities. If you have the time, connect with a few people and make your profile interesting and buzzworthy. The more you put into it the better chance of some returns. People have asked me if they work. I can say they do work at times, and at more times if you use them more often. Getting everyone in your organization to sign up and use these systems, and stay in touch after people move to other jobs will in the long run pay you back in more contacts and stronger relationships. As a side note, I have hired employees I have met though these channels and found clients. It won't happen over night, but it is one more avenue people can discover the unique you.

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge #7

We are posting a short Buzz Challenge each workday last week and this. Under 15 minutes and if you do all of them, and get all your colleagues and employees doing them as well, you will find an uptick in Buzz about your organization. Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge #7 Today takes a bit longer than 15 minutes, but you were going to eat anyway. Take someone to lunch or meet them for coffee at least. Not someone you were planning on dining with anyway, find someone that you would like to know better. Shoot high and try to set up something with someone you always wanted to meet. Before going with them, think about what you know about them. Come up with a couple of stories about you and the organization that are buzzworthy and might interest them. Work them into the conversation if you can, but first be sure to be a good listener. Have your sales doubled yet with all these buzz challenges? Get everyone in your organization to more actively do these kinds of things regularly and they can.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge #6

We are posting a short Buzz Challenge each workday last week and this. Under 15 minutes and if you do all of them, and get all your colleagues and employees doing them as well, you will find an uptick in Buzz about your organization. Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge #6 Today I met with someone that contacted me via email and wanted to meet. He drove an hour down to my location, bought me coffee, then insisted on helping me grow my business. He is building his network by being nice to other people and helping them succeed. Today's challenge is to step outside of your nice comfort zone and be ultra nice to some people you talk to. Ask questions, find out how you can help them, and do not push your product/service on them. Spend some extra time with them to get to know them and what they need to succeed. I can tell you that I really wanted to buy this person's services because of the interaction. Even if you are not in sales, great, friendly customer service and customer interactions will produce buzz and positive word of mouth. Aren't these Buzz Challenges easy?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Workforce Involvement: Advocates or Assassins

No one wants to see an employee snap and show up at work with a gun. This is the rare extreme case, but there are many other things that can happen along the way when an employee gets discouraged, does not feel appreciated or does not feel included. They can create negative buzz, create blogs and post about the bad boss, give poor customer service, waste time, steal and more. The business really is like a ship that everyone wants to see reach port despite the storm. If someone is going around poking holes in the hull, throw them overboard before they recruit helpers. Business owners need to make sure their employees feel engaged, included and motivated to work and create buzz in a positive way. They need to accept the fact that most of their employees will eventually move on to other positions in other companies. The business owner or manager needs to understand that success for the employee is not the same as success for the business, in most cases. By focusing on workforce improvement and accepting the inevitable fact that you will lose talented people eventually, you can create a workforce that will work hard, create buzz, and talk kindly about you even when they move to a new job. I strongly recommend you keep an eye on Career Intensity to help your workforce succeed and to understand what star employees are thinking and help them succeed, even it it means they out grow your organization. Employees have responsibility too. Employees should be committed to their own success through the success of their employer. Too often, I run into a sales person or representative of a company that actually just starts complaining about the company instead of educating me on why it is great. They are clearly unhappy and looking for a job, but who would ever offer a job to someone that does not think twice about disparaging their current employer?

Once an employee is burned out, they should accept it and move on when they can.

Creating a Buzz Marketing Strategy can help move a company towards identifying success for everyone and creating some excitement. You start a Buzz Marketing Strategy by talking to employees and finding out what the success stories are. Find out what they talk about and start organizing the stories and the strategy to get everyone involved in spreading it.

The Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing strategy can transform a corporate culture to one of greater involvement, greater achievement, greater success and greater satisfaction for everyone. Not through the software necessarily, but throught the philosophy of helping people understand buzz, grow and succeed on a personal level.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Buzz Challenge #5 in Use

I created Buzzoodle to address the needs for small businesses to utilize employees to create more word of mouth and buzz. It is free marketing that gives them a competitive advantage. What I did not fully anticipate is how it would be embraced by Major Corporations, Religious entities and non-profits. Here is a post by a Pastor for a church in Springfield. My quick post, lead to his quick emails, that could lead to something that really touches someone's life. Every communication you engage in has the potential to create buzz, and also the potential to have a positive impact on a business or a person's life. Make your communications special.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge #5

We are posting a short Buzz Challenge each workday this week and next. Under 15 minutes and if you do all of them, and get all your colleagues and employees doing them as well, you will find an uptick in Buzz about your organization. Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Challenge #5 Today it is very easy. You should be doing this every week or two anyway. Go through your back emails that are at least 3 months old, and look for people you may not have communicated with since then. Keep going back until you find some. Now follow up on three old emails. What you say does not have to be relevant to the old email. Just a "Hey, we haven't talked lately, how are you?" kind of thing. Let the person know what is new with work or life, if appropriate. Imagine if there are a hundred employees in your organization and each of them sent out three emails today to old acquaintances. That is more valuable than having 100 telemarketers call for an hour. If you do not write your life story, you should be able to accomplish this in under 13 minute and 18 seconds.