"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you."
--The Velveteen Rabbit
The World Wide Web is a great levelling field. Small companies with intuitive, well-designed web sites appear to wield the same clout as larger corporations. When the face of a company is reduced to markup language and slick graphics, what is real? When perception is reality, what perception is right?
Communication is a key part of your company's reality. Whether you utilize email or direct mail, your correspondence should be timely, expected and relative to what a customer would wants from your company.
Some online companies distribute correspondence several times a day. Other companies may only communicate with their customers once a week or once a month. It is important to choose how often your company has something to say. Fill a mailbox with useless filler material and your customers will learn to ignore you. Forget to communicate with your customers and they will forget exactly what it is that you do.
Confirm that you are real. Give them what they want, when they want it.
The frequency and timeliness of your communication depends mostly on what it is you have to offer and what you have to say.
Do you utilize an electronic sign-up form? What happens when a new user signs up? A welcome email can help confirm your essential reality, telling a customer "Yes, we're out here."
How "real" your company appears is up to you. Utilize the level field you've been given and with some consideration of what your customers want, you can be as real as everyone else.