Being Easy to Find; Why Checking Your Contact Info is Important

In an earlier post Five Things Every Startup Founder Needs to Know About Getting Media Coverage I mentioned that one way to get more media coverage for a startup is to make it easy for people to find contact information: every website should have some clearly marked contact details -- and not just a web form.

But it's not just websites. People sometimes forget to provide contact information on emails and even business cards. And sometimes it is there but it is wrong. Recently at a networking event someone gave me a business card. The next day I tried sending a message to the address on the card but it didn't work. I then went to the company website and that provided just the same address. It can happen to anyone. Adding a new email account to my phone recently I made a mistake in my own phone number, happily discovered and corrected very quickly.

But these episodes reminded me that sometimes you might miss opportunities simply because people have had trouble contacting you. You can minimize these risks by following these simple best practices.

TEST YOUR OWN CONTACT INFO. Take your business cards, website, letterhead, LinkedIn profile and website and test all of the contact info to make sure that it really works. Better to discover it yourself now than after months of lost opportunities.Actually try the email addresses and phone numbers because typos are very hard to catch just by looking.

MAKE SURE CONTACT INFO IS EASY TO FIND. Imagine for a moment that you are a potential customer or a journalist and try to find your own contact information using just Google. Can you get to an email address and a phone number with a simple search? And are these things clearly marked on your website? Be very wary of using webforms for initial contact because many people will simply not bother using them. The response is often late and unhelpful, if it comes at all. An email address is essential, and if you really want to be responsive make sure that there is a phone number, too.

HAVE ALTERNATE CHANNELS AVAILABLE. Always make sure that there are two ways to contact you. One email address might be broken, one mobile phone might be unreachable for some reason. There should always be an alternate if only to report that someone's inbox is full and you can't send emails. In these cases I am sometimes creative and find channels like Skype to alert people. Not everyone can be bothered. Some people have just an email address, a phone number or even a Twittername on their cards. This is risky in case that channel is not available for some reason.

Checking and testing contact information takes just minutes, but if it makes it easier for one customer or one journalist to contact you then it was worth it. Don't waste this low hanging fruit.


Lectures, Workshops, Coaching and Writing

Communication Consultant Andrew Hennigan does lectures, workshops, one-to-one coaching and writing about good communication, networking, influencing, digital marketing and culture. For more information you can email conseil@andrewhennigan.com or call 0046 730 894 475 or 0033 6 79 61 42 81. You can also find more contact info on his website http://andrewhennigan.com, hopefully all accurate.

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