Today’s guest post is written by Andy Crestodina.

The best web marketing tool is sitting right in front of you.

It’s on your desk. It’s in your pocket. It’s your phone.

Great online networking seeks to build even stronger connections. But stay online and you’ll eventually reach the “post of diminishing returns.”

Ask yourself:

1. How often do you upgrade past tweets and email to a real, human-voice conversation?
2. If you’ve never heard someone’s voice, can you really say you know them?

Yes, it takes guts. That’s why so few web marketers do it. But here’s the good news: In a world of posts, comments, shares, tweets, and email, it’s easy to be extraordinary. Dial.

How to Blow Someone’s Mind

Call the person who left that thoughtful comment on your blog. Call the person who wrote that lovely post. The person you tweet with every day. The person you haven’t talked to in years. Just look up the number and start dialing.

Hello! Now what? Thank them. Congratulate them. Offer to help them. Now share ideas, brainstorm, collaborate, make recommendations, make introductions. You may be surprised at what happens.

Pro Tip: Stop reading this post. Think of someone you’ve connected with online, but never spoken with. Look up the number and call. Say hello, introduce yourself, see what happens.

Example: The Best Tool in Action

Here is an example of how I’ve recently used the phone to the surprise and delight of the person on the other end.

I’ve never met Chris, but I mentioned his website in a blog post recently. He commented and I responded. Later, Nina wrote to me asking if I would recommend Chris’s company. Hmm, but I didn’t know Chris…yet. So I read his site, watched his video, then called him. It was a short but lovely conversation.

What happened next? Chris and Nina were introduced (via email) and they’re talking about her project. That call also led to an introduction between Chris and another friend, Marti (on Twitter). They made a quick video together the next day (on Google+). More connections soon followed (LinkedIn).




The outcome of the call was a blast of activity, new connections, and web marketing. Best of all, next time Chris is in Chicago, we’re planning to get together. That’s the final communication upgrade: Face-to-face.

Great Web Marketing is Calling. Pick it Up. 

There are a bazillion web marketing tools. But the best web marketing tool is offline. Like the forgotten inbox (your USPS mailbox), that phone on your desk is a powerful marketing tool. Try it. It’s fun!

Andy Crestodina is the strategic director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. Yes, you can connect with Andy on and Twitter, or you can contact him using his favorite web marketing tool by dialing 773.353.8301.