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eSharings - may 2006

Insights, hints, tips, and resources for service and support professionals, given in the spirit of sharing information.

In this Issue:

-- Sharing - Encourage readers to open their email

-- Tips from our featured GCS 2006 Speaker -  Peggy Gritt

-- Resources from our featured GCS Event Partner - BMC Software

-- Subscription Information


Please see the in-depth program at the Government Customer Support Conference.
This has to be one of the best programs we have ever had for our Government Customer Support Conference.  I do hope you can join us.


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

What is the likelihood your email will be opened and read?  If you work in a contact center and communicate with external customers via email this can be a critical business consideration.  If you work in a help desk an unopened email can mean another call into the help desk.

I love sharing information, particularly in email.  In fact, I started writing eSharings in 1988 when I worked at U S West Communications, now Qwest.  I was sending the newsletters over the mainframe using the VM system.  Our readers who used to work during the early mainframe days likely remember the VM systems.

We had 76 help desks and numerous IT departments across 14 states at U S West Communications.  This was just after divestiture of the telephone companies, which is the reason for so many groups. Our newsletter kept the help desks connected. Numerous contributors from across the states made this effort incredibly successful. They called me the "Email Queen".

Over the years, the list has now grown to over 10,000 readers worldwide.

The reason to share this with you is to help you think in terms of "open rates" of the emails sent to your customers and end users.  Firewalls, SPAM blockers and people being inundated with emails have significantly reduced the open rates of emails.  If you serve external customers, and include any sort of up-selling in your notices, obviously a high open rate is important.

In the help desk world, an unopened email that may be the solution to an end user's issue or  unopened help desk newsletters typically means additional calls to the help desk.

The primary way to get people to open an email is the words used in the subject line.  In research to encourage readers to open and read our newsletters I have come across some useful ideas.  Hopefully, these ideas will help increase your open rate as well.

MailChimp recently analyzed over 40 million emails sent from customers through MailChimp, and found the ones with the highest open rates and the ones with the lowest open rates.  The ones with the best open rates of 60-87% included subjects like:

  • [COMPANYNAME] Sales & Marketing Newsletter

  • Eye on the [COMPANYNAME] Update (Oct 31 - Nov 4)

  • {COMPANYNAME] Staff Shirts & Photos

  • [COMPANYNAME] May 2005 News Bulletin!

  • [COMPANYNAME] Newsletter - February 2006

  • [COMPANYNAME] and [COMPANYNAME] Invites You!


  • Invitation from [COMPANYNAME]

  • [COMPANYNAME] Jan/Feb 2006 Newsletter

  • Upcoming Events at [COMPANYNAME]

  • [COMPANYNAME] Coffee Exchange - Post-Katrina Update

The emails with the lowest open rates from 1-14% included subjects like:

  • Last Minute Gift - We Have The Answer

  • Valentines - Shop Early & Save 10%

  • Give a Gift Certificate this Holiday

  • Valentine's Day Salon and Spa Specials!

  • Gift Certificates - Easy & Elegant Giving - Let Them Choose

  • Need More Advertising Value From Your Marketing Partner?

  • [COMPANYNAME] Moves You Home for the Holidays

  • Technology Company Works with [COMPANYNAME] on xxx Efforts

There is an obvious pattern in these examples.  People don't typically open emails that look like advertisements.  There are more of these examples posted on the MailChimp's website.  They offer suggestions to increase the open rates and share conclusions from their study. http://www.mailchimp.com/resources/subject-line-comparison.phtml. They have many useful resources including templates on their website, http://www.mailchimp.com/resources.

The Ezine Queen has a very good website for all sorts of solutions for online communications too.  This is one of my favorites.  Alexandria not only offers useful ideas, she is an incredible speaker.  Check out the articles and other resources posted on her website at http://ezinequeen.com/articles.htm.

I hope this week's eSharings gives you some new ideas when you send your emails.  Whether you send to a large list of readers or individual people, the subject line has a direct impact if they open and read your email or not.

"Increase sales to your call centers and decrease calls to the help desk by using the best subject line for the results you want."

Until next week, may your days be full of fun and inspiration.



Ivy Meadors
High Tech High Touch Solutions



P.S. Would you like to attend the 8th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference or the 5th Annual Government Conference, but funding is an issue. Email us at solutions4u@hthts.com and we will find a way to make it possible for you to attend.




is coming to San Antonio!

September 25th - 27th at the Hyatt on the Riverwalk, across from the Alamo


We are accepting requests for event partners, speaker proposals, and board member applications for the 8th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo. 

Email HDP@hthts.com now.


Peggy Gritt, CEO, VoIP Institute,  www.zelphamedia.com

Peggy is the CEO of the VoIP Institute, Inc., an international organization to bring together users and potential users of VoIP to share case studies, best practices, and management information. She has 17 years background in converged voice and data technologies with a particular focus in IP contact center. She also has her own consulting practice.

Don’t miss Peggy's very timely talk "VoIP in Government Contact Centers: Multi-Channel Options for Reduced Cost Over Distributed Locations at the 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo.   Systems Integration is sponsoring Peggy.

Please join her for this dynamic session.  (Register now!)

VoIP Resources:

There will be a VoIP Institute meeting held at the conference.  You do not have to be an attendee to the conference to attend the VoIP meeting.  It will be held on June 15th from 7:00 - 9:00 AM at the Sheraton Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  Everyone is welcome to attend this session.

Government customer support conference and expo (top)

June 14-15, 2006
Sheraton Crystal City in Arlington, VA



Have you seen the program "The Deadliest Catch?"  Phil Smith from NOAA in Alaska will be presenting at the 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference in Arlington, VA June 14-15, 2006.  His presentation titled, "Deadliest Catch": Fishing in Alaska - Supporting the General Public and Government Agencies is going to be very informative.  He's the one that has to tell the fishermen and agencies how many they can catch.  The techniques they use to communicate with the public and internal agencies will be invaluable to your own customer service efforts.

Liz Nisley, one of the favored speakers from 2005, returns to teach us how to successfully implement a 311 service. Her speech titled, "Customer Service in Local Government: How Hampton, Virginia’s 311 Customer Call Center is Providing ‘Customer Delight’ to Residents and Tax Payers will be very useful to any organization pursuing or already in the throes of implementing a 311 service.

Our speakers have prepared very advanced and educational sessions to share with you. 

  • Attend Barton Goldenberg's CRM Boot Camp for the Public Sector.

  • Join Penny Reynolds from the Call Center School and Pete McGarahan for invaluable help desk and call center training.

  • And so much more.

Check out the detailed program to see the many other excellent sessions the speakers have prepared.

Our focus has always been, and always will be on you and your professional and personal needs.

The speakers have really pulled together some incredible material.  Many of them will be handing out individual templates, resources, and white papers for you to take home.

Program details: Posted at www.governmentconference.com.

Sponsors: Interested sponsors can email us directly at GCS@hthts.com.  There are a limited number of these exclusive sponsorship opportunities available.

Free World Bank Site Tour:

World Bank is giving GCS attendees a personal tour of their support center.  After the tour there will be a one-hour interactive discussion.  There are a limited number of seats to join us on this tour, so be sure and email us at GCS@hthts.com right away to get on the list to join us.  The tour will be from 9:00 - 11:00 AM on June 16th, 2006.

We hope you will you join us in Arlington at the 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference June 14-15, 2006 for this opportunity to learn how to successfully address the most critical challenges in our industry.


BMC Software, http://www.bmc.com

The world of customer support does not sit still—not for the private sector or the government. Citizens are expecting more from their government service interactions, driven in large part by their experiences in the commercial sector. But government budgets—whether for localities, states, provinces or central governments—are under scrutiny, making large investments more challenging to justify. Agencies must deliver effective service to the public while also managing or reducing overall costs.   See BMC's solution to address these considerations. There is a white paper you can access from this webpage on this topic as well. http://www.bmc.com/products/proddocview/0,2832,19052_19429_32859579_123158,00.html

BMC offers white papers, resources ands success stories on their website at http://www.bmc.com/BMC/Products/CDA/hou_Products_Index/0,2830,19052_23655660,00.html

Visit BMC Software's site for more information on their solutions http://www.bmc.com.


We hope you enjoyed this edition of eSharings. Feel free to reprint this newsletter in its entirety with our copyright information intact.

To subscribe visit our website at www.hthts.com or reply to this copy with subscribe in the subject line. To unsubscribe, visit our website at www.hthts.com or click the link at the very bottom of this email where it says unsubscribe.

Note:  eSharings will contain links to sites on the Internet, which are owned and operated by third parties.  High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc. is not responsible for the content of any such third-party site.

Did you know attending a conference is still one of the best educational alternatives?

Meetings Media/MPI (corporate and association planners) report the following trends.

 - Budgets are increasing for meetings! This is due to increased attendance and number of meetings.

- Length of big events will be typically 1-3 days.

- Meeting attendance has increased 10-12%.

- HelmsBriscoe, one of the largest meeting/event planning companies in the world, report record attendance and recognition in the value of sending employees to events for continuing education.

The 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo

June 14-15, 2006
Sheraton Crystal City, Arlington, VA

Help Desk Manager certification course at unique low Gov Rates being offered at GCS 2006.

Certified Help Desk Manager Training

GCS 2006
Event Partners


Association of Support Professionals


BMC Software

Brad Worthley Intl.

Call Center School



Customer Service Group

Diamond Municipal Solutions


Federal Consulting Group



Government Customer Support Community of Practice

HDI Capital Area Local Chapter


M1 Global

Northwest Call Center Professionals

Help Desk Northwest


Northwest Support Professionals

RightNow Technologies


STI Knowledge


Systems Integration



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