Outlook lets you send out emails with a background/stationery/wallpaper. Well… just because you can does not mean you should.
For the vast majority of business (and even personal) emails, do NOT use any stationery… leave the email to have its plain white background.
I cannot tell you how many times I have been annoyed trying to read emails against over-enthusiastic backgrounds.
It’s even more frustrating having to remove them when I forward or reply to the email (I don’t want my emails looking unprofessional).
Plus… you don’t know if the background will look right on the recipient’s computer… what if they are not using Outlook?
The short of it is that most emails are about using words to communicate. Anything that gets in the way of your message should be taken out.
Agree… Disagree. Let us know by leaving a comment on the blog.
Last week we looked at the short term benefits that we have experienced by sending out regular newsletters. This week I look at the longer term benefits of maintaining regular contact.
Our mailing list includes thousands of our existing customers as well as thousands of prospects (people who have not purchased from us but still subscribe to the newsletters).
A regular newsletter can help you convert prospects to customers and get repeat sales from past customers.
Key Point: The Internet is really not a shop… it is used mainly for research. The aim of the newsletter is to position you in readers’ minds as an expert who they can use as resource… either now or in the future. (The aim of your newsletter is NOT TO SELL immediately.)
Why is your newsletter important for prospects?
Chances are the first time someone came to our website they were researching a problem. They may not be ready to implement a solution immediately… or our solution may not be appropriate to their current problem… but they may have a different problem in the future that we can help with.
Why is your newsletter important for Customers?
Thanks to the Internet, people now deal with many companies on a once-only basis. Even if someone has bought from us once, will they remember us the next time they need a related solution…
Our newsletter helps us keep in the front of readers minds. When readers have a problem that we can help with, thanks to the newsletter, they think of us… even before they go to Google to start their research.
Now it’s your turn. Do people in your list view you as a resource? Will they think of you first when they have a problem that you can help them with?
Many of our readers already use EmailMerge PRO for Outlook to manage their own small (and even large) newsletters. Download a free trial and create and send out your own newsletters from Outlook today.
Use your Hotmail Account inside Microsoft Outlook using Outlook Hotmail Connector (32 Bit and 64 Bit)
Do you use Hotmail? Here’s some information from Microsoft to help connect your Outlook to your Hotmail account.
With Microsoft Outlook Hotmail Connector 32-bit, you can use Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 or Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 to access and manage your Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail or Microsoft Office Live Mail accounts, including e-mail messages, contacts and calendars for free!
Outlook Hotmail Connector enables you to use your Live Hotmail accounts within Outlook:
- Read and send your Office Live Mail/Windows Live Hotmail e-mail messages.
- Manage your contacts in Windows Live Hotmail.
- Use advanced options for blocking junk e-mail messages.
- Manage multiple e-mail accounts in one place.
- Manage, and synchronize multiple calendars, including shared calendars to Windows Live Calendar from Outlook.
If you use the Outlook Hotmail Connector with Outlook 2010 you gain these additional benefits:
- Your Safe Sender List/Blocked sender list/Safe Recipient lists are synchronized between Outlook and Hotmail.
- Send/receive works like your other Outlook accounts.
- Your Hotmail account status appears in the Outlook status bar.
- Rules work with the Hotmail account in Outlook even if it’s not your primary account.
Here is the link to download the Outlook Hotmail Connector:
I hope that the following notes on our results with Email Marketing will inspire you to start making regular contact with your own list of customers/prospects.
We’ve had a newsletter for several years but we’ve only started linking sales results to the timing of our newsletter releases recently.
The results clearly show that we almost always get an increase in sales. The increase in sales is not dramatic but there is a nice little bump for a few days even when there is no sales/marketing content in the newsletter.
So why do sales increase even in the weeks that there is no direct sales material in our newsletter/blog?
The idea is to use your newsletter to build a relationship with your customers and prospects and not only as a sales tool.
In our newsletter, we do our best to provide regular content to our readers that helps them make better use of Outlook in their business. The majority of our articles do not try and sell anything to our customers.
This works because…
- The newsletter content brings readers to our website/blog.
- The website/blog content helps customers make more out of Outlook. At the same time, they realise that we are not just trying to pitch our own products. We care about our readers, provide real content and actually know what we are talking about.
- While readers are visiting our blog, they also browse our website and may find an Outlook addin that will help them become more productive in their business.
When we’re lucky, one of our products may solve a problem that the customer currently is trying to solve… and we get a nice little bump in sales.
If not, the content has convinced them to stay on our list which has long term benefits that I will discuss next week.
Now a little sales pitch for EmailMerge PRO for Outlook, an Outlook addin used by many of our readers to manage their own small (and even large) newsletters.
If you’re ready to start your own newsletter, you can Download a free trial and create and send out your own newsletters from Outlook today.
People often email me several questions in the same email. My answer is normally… Please see comments below… and then I write comments inside the “original message” that is part of the email.
I have setup Outlook to automatically insert my name to identify MY comments to the reader. Here’s how you can do the same.
Go to your Inbox.
In Outlook 2007 or earlier, click Tools-Options. (Outlook 2010 instructions later)
Select the Preferences tab.
Click the Email Options button to display the following screen.
Tick the “Mark my comments with” checkbox.
In Outlook 2010, click File-Options
Select the Mail tab and down to the Replies and Forward Section.
Tick the “Preface comment with” box and write your name in the space provided.
The next time you comment on an email, your comments will stand out.
While we’re on the topic of shortcuts, did you know that Outlook can keep and organize shortcuts to almost anything in Outlook, your computer, your network or the Internet. Here’s how…
Open the shortcuts pane by going to Outlook and then clicking CTRL-7 to display the Shortcuts Pane.
To add a new Shortcut Group, right-click over any of the existing group names and click New Shortcut Group.
To add a new shortcut to an Outlook folder, right-click over any of the existing group names and click New Shortcut.
To add a new shortcut to any file or folder on your computer or network, drag and drop it to the appropriate shortcut group inside Outlook.
To add a new shortcut to any website, drag and drop its address (URL) from your Internet Browser to the appropriate shortcut group inside Outlook.
Some further comments:
- You can change the display name of a shortcut to something smaller or more meaningful after adding it by right-clicking over it and then clicking Rename Shortcut.
- I personally do not like adding web pages to my shortcuts because it displays it within Outlook. This can make your Outlook display script related error messages that are annoying. (If you know how to get the shortcut to open in a Browser window instead, please leave a comment on the blog)
Last week’s post discussed how easy Outlook 2010 makes it to email screenshots to other people. This feature has also been implemented in Word 2010. I now use it to prepare my blog posts and thought it was worth sharing with you even though it is not an Outlook tip.
The steps are almost identical to what they are in Outlook but I will repeat them here.
Click on the position in your Word document where you want the image.
Click Insert and then Screenshot on the ribbon (Screen shot is one of your choices in the illustrations group… it may be displayed simply as an icon depending on the size of your email window).
Word will display a list of Windows that you can pick from or you can click on Screen Clipping (at the bottom of the list) to copy any part of the screen.
The screenshot will be inserted automatically into the document that you are working on.
WHAT CAN YOU USE IT FOR?
Pretty much anything that requires you to take screen shots and also write your own comments. You can use it to:
- Write blog posts
- Write help manuals or instructions to teach someone else how to do something with software.
- Provide feedback to someone when testing their software (we did a lot of this last week while testing the new version of EmailNotes)
- Providing details of error messages etc to a technical support team of software that you are having problems with.
Many productivity gurus say that keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time. I don’t use keyboard shortcut too much myself but there are a few that I do find useful. Here’s a list of the main keyboard shortcuts in Outlook.
Let me know what you think is the most useful shortcut by leaving a comment on the blog. My favourite is CTRL-SHIFT-G to add reminders to emails (aside from CTRL-C for copy and CTRL-V for paste).
This list is pretty big… I’ve highlight the ones that I find useful in Red.
|Ctrl-Shift-I||Go to Inbox|
|Ctrl-Shift-O||Go to Outbox|
|Alt-S or Ctrl-Enter||Send|
|Ctrl-R||Reply to a message|
|Ctrl-Shift-R||Reply all to a message|
|Ctrl-F||Forward a message|
|Ctrl-Alt-F||Forward as attachment|
|Ctrl-Alt-J||Mark a message as not junk|
|Ctrl-Shift-I||Display blocked external content (in a message)|
|Ctrl-Shift-S||Post to a folder|
|Ctrl-Shift-N||Apply normal style|
|Ctrl-M or F9||Check for new messages|
|Ctrl-N||Create a new message (when in Mail)|
|Ctrl-Shift-M||Create a new message (from any Outlook view)|
|Ctrl-O||Open a message|
|Ctrl-Shift-G||Display the Flag for Follow-up dialog box|
|Ctrl-Q||Mark a message as read|
|Ctrl-U||Mark a message as unread|
|F4||Find or replace in a open message|
|Shift-F4||Find next in an open message|
|Alt-Enter||Show the properties for the selected item|
|Ctrl-B||Display Send/Receive progress|
|Ctrl-Shift-A||Create a Appointment|
|Ctrl-Shift-C||Create a Contact|
|Ctrl-Shift-L||Create a distribution list|
|Ctrl-Shift-X||Create a fax|
|Ctrl-Shift-F||Create a folder|
|Ctrl-Shift-J||Create a Journal entry|
|Ctrl-Shift-Q||Create a meeting request|
|Ctrl-Shift-M||Create an e-mail message|
|Ctrl-Shift-N||Create a note|
|Ctrl-Shift-H||Create a new Microsoft office document|
|Ctrl-Shift-S||Post to this folder|
|Ctrl-T||Post a reply in this folder|
|Ctrl-Shift-P||Create a search folder|
|Ctrl-Shift-K||Create a Task|
|Ctrl-1||Go to mail|
|Ctrl-2||Go to Calendar|
|Ctrl-3||Go to Contacts|
|Ctrl-4||Go to Task|
|Ctrl-5||Go to notes|
|Ctrl-6||Go to the folder list in the Navigation Pane|
|Ctrl-7||Go to shortcuts|
|Ctrl-.(period)||Go to the next message (when you have a message open|
|Ctrl-,(comma)||Go to the previous message (when you have a message open|
|F6 or Ctrl-Shift-Tab||Move between the Navigation Pane, the main Outlook window, the Reading Pane and the To-Do Bar|
|Tab||Move between the main Outlook window, the smaller panes in the Navigation Pane, the Reading Pane and the sections in the To-Do Bar|
|Arrow Keys||Move around within the Navigation Pane|
|Ctrl-Y||Go to a different folder|
|F3 or Ctrl-E||Go to the Search box|
|Alt-Up arrow or Ctrl-,(comma) or Alt-Page Up||In the Reading Pane, Go to the previous message|
|Alt-Down arrow or Ctrl-.(period) or Alt-Page Down||In the Reading Pane, Go to the next message|
|Left arrow or Right arrow||Collapse or expand a folder in the Navigation Pane|
|Alt-B, Alt-Left arrow||Go back to the previous view in main Outlook window|
|Alt-Right arrow||Go forward to the next view in main Outlook window|
|Ctrl-Shift-W||Select the infobar and, if available, show the menu of commands.|
Don’t forget to let me know your favourite shortcut by leaving a comment.
It is less than 24 hours before the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup starts. Here’s how you can download the times for all the games into your Outlook Calendar.
- Make sure that your computer is setup to the correct time zone. This step is important to ensure that the game time gets shown at the correct time depending on where in the world you are.Go to the Windows Control Panel and open Date and Time.(Your screen may be slightly different depending on the version of Outlook… it may have a separate tab for Time Zone).
Make sure that the correct Time Zone is displayed i.e. the time zone of where YOU are. (I am in Fiji so the screen shot above says Fiji). Click on Change time zone if you need to.
- Click on the link below and save the .ics file to your desktop
Download the World Cup fixtures v3.0
(Fixtures are from the BBC website)
- Import the downloaded file into your Outlook by using the following steps.If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2010, click File-Open-Import. For all other versions of Outlook, click File-Import & Export.Select Import an iCalendar (ics) or vCalendar file (vcs) from the list and click Next.
Use the screen that comes up to select the ics file that was downloaded in Step 1.
(You may get the following extra steps depending on the version of Outlook you are using)
Click either Open as New or Import. (I simply imported it to my main Outlook Calendar as it then synched with my Iphone too)
The times for all the games will now be in your Outlook.
Enjoy the games and may the best (my) team win.
I am not a big user of keyboard shortcuts but I do use this when I want to add a flag or reminder to an email
- Select the email.
- Press CTRL-SHIFT-G to display the Custom Flagging screen.
I find this keyboard shortcut much easier to use then either finding the appropriate button to click on the ribbon or even right-clicking.
Do you have your own favourite keyboard shortcuts. Let us know by leaving a comment on the blog.
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