January 4, 2008 (Happy New Year!)
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Ways to Train and Build Relationships with Supervisors So Powerful, They Dream About You in Their Sleep

There are at least five key ways of reaching supervisors when you can’t train them live.

To keep your EAP viable and funded, you must market your program out "in front." There is no substitute for a successful working relationship with supervisors so that they refer troubled employees to you. Let’s examine the first "out-of-the-box" way of doing it.

#1: The Auto-Responder Driven Newsletter

Imagine that you could send short weekly tips consisting of a paragraph or two to supervisors via e-mail. This "newsletter" message would come from you personally and would only take a minute to read. However, it would include meaningful, super-useful information that every supervisor would be chomping at the bit to know.

These tips would include topics such as time management, stress management, and important people skills. We’re talking real meaty stuff here.

Now imagine sending supervisors this information each week, but without lifting a finger! Not one keystroke. Not only that, but supervisors could sign up at any time, and the first message from you would come to them immediately. Plus, they could "opt out" at any time.

Each subsequent message would be sent automatically, personally addressed to a supervisor in the subject line of the e-mail. Now imagine paying only about $150 a year or so for this capability.

All of this is precisely what you can do with an autoresponder service. There are many such services. This simple web-based tool collects e-mail addresses, confirms and validates them, and then automatically sends messages at intervals predetermined by the manager of the autoresponder (that's you).

An autoresponder is cheap, easy to use, and it can revolutionize your promotional capabilities and competitiveness. One of the most well-known autoresponders is found at www.AWeber.com. Another is called www.GetResponse.com.

You can construct messages, load them into an autoresponder, and for weeks or months at time, have them launch automatically—even while you are away on vacation.

Content is king, so you need to send good stuff by e-mail so supervisors will read it. But where do you get material for articles, especially if you don’t have time to write them?

You can get free content from many sources. Any material you purchase or subscribe to from EAPtools.com is suitable. Just break up the content into bite-size pieces, copy it, and pack it into the autoresponder. Done—you’re in business.

There are many other places where you can get great content. For example, consider visiting a Web site called www.articlecube.com. They offer free articles for your internal use. You’re only required to use the whole article, and give credit to its author.

You have certainly seen autoresponders in action. If you have ordered theater or airline tickets online, you received a confirmation message e-mailed to you within a few minutes. It also provided information about your sale and the details of the ticket. This was an autoresponder working.

In the above example, only one message was sent. But with an autoresponder that you control, many messages could be sent. You can decide how many to send as well as their frequency.

If you decide to get an autoresponder, you should insert a sign-up box on your Web site that supervisors can easily access. Place it in a "supervisors only" area, or simply email them the hidden page within your Web site.

Conceivably, you could include a whole course or a supervisor training program through a series of autoresponder messages. Let your imagination soar.

Autoresponder instructions are simple. It will take you about 15-30 minutes to learn how to use one, and it will improve the value of your EAP and the scope of your training capabilities in many ways.

Dedicated to Your Effective EAP,

Dan Feerst, LISW-CP, CEAP
The information contained in this Site is for general guidance on matters of interest only. Accordingly, the information on this Site is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering legal, employee assistance, other professional advice and services.