Constant Contact, a Massachusetts-based e-mail marketing firm, is sponsoring free interactive seminars in the New York Metro area to help small businesses make better use of online tools to connect with customers. The seminars will offer tips on creating effective communications programs, increasing customer loyalty and driving repeat business.

The seminars will be led by Wendi Caplan-Carroll, Constant Contact’s regional development director and a certified business coach who has created integrated marketing programs for a number of New York-based companies.

Constant Contact has also partnered with local business organizations, including the Manhattan, Harlem, and Gateway chambers of commerce, and is offering their members discounts on e-mail marketing and online survey tools.

For a schedule of upcoming seminars, go here.

Delivering the Goods

SCORE, the Washington-based entrepreneurship resource group, recently teamed up with the UPS Store to offer a free online workshop for small-business owners.

The workshop is designed to help entrepreneurs target new customers and keep them satisfied during a tough economy. Topics covered include how to build brand identity, marketing strategy, Web promotions, fulfilling orders, and shipping options.

The topics are also covered in a free 24-page workbook, "10 Simple Steps to Finding Customers…and Delivering the Goods."

The book is available at SCORE offices nationwide. To register for the workshop, go here.


Next week, HP is planning to unveil its Linux operating system for business desktop customers with an eye to helping small businesses better manage their technology.

The HP Compaq dc5850 SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop features a suite of applications, including, a Web browser, multimedia tools, and e-mail and instant messaging software.

The desktop will be available Dec. 15 for $519. More information is available here.