I saw an interesting article on using BCC on Microsoft’s Outlook blog. I am sure most readers know about BCC but when should you use BCC? Here’s what we think.
Firstly… what is BCC?
BCC stands for blind carbon. People that you BCC on an email will receive the email but their names will not be visible to other recipients of the same email i.e. the other recipients will not know that the BCCed person also received a copy of the email.
Recommended Uses of BCC
- Hide one or more recipients from others: You may need to send a copy of the email to someone without the other recipients knowing about it.
- Prevent Reply-to-All Storms: You may choose to BCC many people on an email if they do need to discuss the email further amongst themselves. Using BCC instead of CC means that everyone can’t get involved in unnecessary discussions or have to receive useless one-word emails like thank you or ok.
- Circulate Jokes: I know that many people do not recommend circulating jokes but some jokes just are too good to keep to yourself. Unless you are forwarding the joke to a close group of friends and want further comments to follow, email the joke to yourself and BCC everyone else.
Not Recommended Uses of BCC:
- Putting down your colleagues: Don’t BCC management on a conversation to show that you are doing your work well while others are slacking off. If you need to complain about someone, don’t be sneaky about it.
- Sending out sales or marketing newsletters. If you use the BCC to send to people you don’t know well, your email just looks like SPAM. Use something like Email Merge for Outlook instead.
Replying to a BCCed email
Before you reply to your next email, check to see if you were BCCed (does your name appear in the To or CC fields). If not, than the email was addressed to multiple people, think twice before replying!
Why were you BCCed? Does the sender want to hide from the others that you were sent a copy of the email too?
If you reply-to-all on an email that you were BCCed on then the secret is out. Everyone knows that you received the email as well.
If you get BCCed on a lot of emails then you may want to use something like Reply Guard for Outlook… which will warn you anytime you try and reply-to-all an email that you were BCCed on.
Please share you own ideas of using BCC by leaving a comment on the blog.
Do you get frustrated receiving messages like “Your mailbox is over its size limit…”
Here is a simple yet very handy tip which allows you to find large emails in your mailbox (which of course are taking up a lot of space) quickly, take quick actions on them i.e. either move or delete.
Finding, Moving/Deleting large emails
Follow these simple steps to find the large emails:
- In Outlook 2007/2003, Click on the Tools menu > Find > Advanced Find
In Outlook 2010, click once on the Search box, this should now show the Search Tools tab, under this you will find Search Tools > Advanced Find. For those who prefer using shortcut keys, press CTRL+SHIFT+F to open the Advanced Find screen (Applicable to all three versions of outlook)
- On the Advanced Find screen, click on the More Choices tab
- At the bottom of the screen you will see Size (kilobytes). In the first drop-down menu, select greater than, in the next box enter the size for example 1000 for 1MB.
- Click Find Now. This will now search your mailbox for all emails that meet the criteria and provide you a list at the bottom of the screen.
- You can now browse through this list.
- To delete an email, simple right-click on it and click Delete.
- To Move an email, right-click on the email and click Move to Folder…, use the pop-up screen to select the folder you wish to move the email.
I hope you find this tip useful.
Do you have your own ways of keeping your mailbox size smaller, let us know by leaving a comment below.
Getting overwhelmed with the numbers of emails in your inbox everyday? Do you feel overpowered by the emails in your inbox?
Stop for a second and think, does every email need my immediate attention? The answer might just be NO.
I have seen clients with hundreds and even thousands of e-mails in their Inboxes. Their Inbox is a massive filing cabinet and action-list rolled into one.
Your Inbox needs to be used like a To-Do list. It should contain only the e-mails that you still need to read or take action on.
After reading any e-mail:
- Keep it in the Inbox if you still need to take action on it
- File it OUT of the Inbox into another folder if you need it for future reference
- Delete it if you don’t need it for future reference
Once you get into the habit of doing this, you will be amazed at what a useful tool your Inbox will suddenly become.
Don’t use the Deleted Items folder for filing old e-mails
Some users take control of their Inbox by Deleting the e-mails so that they end up in the Deleted Items folder.
They are using Outlook’s built in Trash Can to store their important e-mails???
Please don’t do this!
It is very easy to accidentally clear out your Deleted Items folder and lose all your e-mails. In fact there are automated tools that do this for you to reclaim space on your hard-disk.
Delete item’s that you don’t want to keep! File your important e-mails in project folders created inside Outlook!
Get started NOW with a “Still to File” folder
If you have hundreds of e-mails sitting in your Inbox, here is a quick way to get started.
- Create a folder inside your Inbox and call it “Still to File”. (Right Click on your Inbox and click New Folder)
- Drag all e-mails that you have already worked on out of the Inbox into this new folder.
You will now only have e-mails in the Inbox that still need your attention.
Doesn’t it feel good to be able to easily see only your still-to-action e-mails in one place?
When you get a bit of time, remember to clear out the e-mails from the Still To File folder into dedicated folders for each project or case that you are working on.
Move E-mails out of your Inbox at the click of a button
You can greatly reduce the time it takes to clear your Inbox while increasing the chances that your e-mails are filed in the correct folders using a special Outlook add-on…
QuickFile for Outlook is an inexpensive user-friendly Outlook add-on that greatly simplifies the filing of e-mails to the correct folders.
There is a fully functional demo version that you can download and try out for yourself.
Do you have your own ways to take control of your Inbox, let us know by leaving a comment below.
A non-Outlook tip. Want to get in 9 or 18 holes before darkness. Google can tell you what time the sun will set?
Go to Google and type “sunset” followed by the name of your city (don’t type the quotes), Google will give you the time of the next sunset in that city and how many hours and minutes until it arrives. Eg. sunset suva
(You can also find the time of the next sunrise by replacing sunset with sunrise)
Thank you to tips.slaw.ca for bringing this to my attention
One of the point refers to… backing up your Outlook data. I am frequently surprised by how many Outlook users just assume that their Outlook data is backed up when they backup their Documents folder. Guess what… your Outlook data is not in your Documents folder.
Unless you are part of a corporate network using MS Exchange, all your Outlook data is stored in one Personal Folder file.
- This file has a .pst extension and is saved somewhere on your computer.
- This one file probably contains all your Outlook folders, e-mails, contacts, tasks, calendar items, journal entries and notes inside it.
- (Unfortunately) This file is NOT saved to your Documents folder (at least not by default) so chances are you are not backing it up.
So let me show you how to find out where your Outlook Data File is stored:
The exact location depends on the version of Outlook and Windows. To find out where your Outlook data is:
- Go to your Inbox and make sure that the list of folders is displayed
- Right-click the top-level folder and select Properties
- Click the Advanced button. The full path to where your Data file is stored will provided in the box labeled Filename:
It would be a good idea to include that file as part of your normal computer backup plan. This ensures that your Outlook data is also getting backed up along with other things.
If you are using more than one PST (e.g. a separate file for archives), then you need to do the above for each of your Outlook data files.
I hope that this little tip helps keep your Outlook data protected.
Do you have your own tips on how to better use Outlook, share it with us and our readers by leaving a comment below.
Don’t like the font of your email notes in Outlook? Here’s a quick tip on how to change it.
Yesterday we received a feedback from an existing Email Notes for Outlook user:
“…my biggest complaint is that I do not like the typeface on Email Notes.”
We chose the default font because it looks (a little) like hand written notes but several users have told us that they don’t like it.
I suspect that there many users who have been “putting up” with our font selection. Here’s how you can change the font to something you like.
- Start Outlook
- On the EmailNotes Toolbar/Ribbon > click More > Click Settings…
- On the Settings screen as shown above, you can select the Font, the Font-size and the default color of the note you wish to use. (You can see a preview of your selections just below it)
- Click OK
Alternatively, you can access the Settings straight from the Notes screen:
- Select a email you want to add notes too > click on the Add Notes button on the EmailNotes toolbar/Ribbon
- Right-click anywhere on the notes screen > select EmailNotes Settings
- Make the changes as preferred and click OK
These settings will now be applied to all the notes that you create.
If you haven’t tried Email Notes for Outlook yet, you can download a fully functional 30 day trial of Email Notes for Outlook here.
If you are an existing Email Notes user and have any suggestions or ideas to further improve EmailNotes, please let us know by leaving a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a user ask us a question regarding EmailMerge for Outlook yesterday:
“How does your Email Merge Software work with unsubscribing from the mailshot?”
We replied to the user mentioning about one of the new features we added to the latest version of EmailMerge called the “Do Not Send List”.
For all existing users of EmailMerge for Outlook and also who are currently trialing it, this post highlights what the “Do not Send List” feature is and how you can use it to handle Unsubscribes.
Before we get into using the Do Not Send To list, here’s a small quote from a happy user of this feature.
“I just found the function to update the do not send list from email responses in the current folder with Unsubscribed in the subject line and the ability to change the Subject word being searched for. Awesome! I lost my unsubscribe list, but keep all my responses in one folder.”
I’d like to say a Special Thanks to Marge for the positive feedback.
What is the “Do not Send To” list?
The Do Not Send list allows you to maintain a list of email addresses to which EmailMerge will NEVER send emails (even if they are in your mailing list).
Why? Certain contacts may request to not be part of your mailings. Accidentally emailing them could result in annoyed prospects or customers… or complaints against you to spam authorities.
Adding these contacts to the Do Not Send list ensures that EmailMerge will not send emails to them.
How to Use it?
To Open the Do not Send List:
- In Outlook go to your Inbox, click on the little arrow beside(below) the EmailMerge button on the Toolbar/Ribbon.
- Click Do not Send List. The application will open the following screen:
1. Add an email-address to Do not Send List:
- Click Add, the application will display the following screen:
- You can add email address(s) to the Do not Sent list using 1 of the 3 options below:
- Manually add the new items to the list
Select this option if you would like to type-in the email addresses manually. (Enter 1 email address per line)
- Email address (sender) of currently selected email(s) Select this option if you want Email Merge to automatically add email addresses for the emails you have already selected in the current folder. The email address of the sender will be added to the Do not Sent List.
- Emails in current folder with unsubscribe/bounce back words in subject
- Manually add the new items to the list
People can unsubscribe from receiving emails from you by having certain words in the subject of the email they sent to you. (Normally they would reply to your email and add the word Unsubscribe)
You may also find that certain emails addresses on your list are no longer valid as emails you send are bounced back. EmailMerge can automatically add addresses of the above to the Do not Send List by comparing words in the Subject fields.
You can edit the list of words by clicking on Maintain Word List to add, delete or reset the Word list to default.
2. Edit Do not Send List:
- Select the email-address and click Edit
- Make the necessary changes to the email-address
- Click OK to save your changes
3. Remove an email-address from Do not Send List:
- Select the email-address you want to remove
- Click Delete and the application will display a prompt to confirm the removal of the indicated email address from the list.
- Select Yes to remove the email-address from the Do not Send List.
So… are you using the Do Not Send To feature of Email Merge PRO for Outlook. Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Not a user of Email Merge PRO for Outlook yet? Find out how you can keep customers informed using EmailMerge PRO for Outlook.
Don’t be fooled by people who say email marketing is dead! Email Marketing has been around for years and whatever the speculations by online markets that social media is the new path to take, email marketing still achieves superior results when compared to most other forms of marketing (including social media)
But you cannot expect your Email Marketing Campaigns to just work, you cannot just sit down one fine morning and decide to send a blast email out to your list and expecting it to achieve your goal (sales, more opt-in).
Unless you do it properly, you might just frustrate your readers and burn your list.
Here are some key ingredients that separate a successful campaign from an unsuccessful one:
Ingredient #1: Plan your Email Marketing Campaign
A successful campaign needs to be planned well in advance, you need to decide on a few key things:
- Why are you sending this email?
- What actions (if any) you want your readers to take?
- Who you will be targeting the email to?
Answering some of this key questions will help you plan the content of your email and provide relevant information to the right people.
Ingredient #2: KNOW why you are writing the email… What is in it for the reader? What is in it for you… what do you want the reader to do?
Why are you writing a particular email… Is it to inform the customer of a new product… is to inform them of a promotion you are running?
Is there something you want the customer to do… maybe click on a link… or call you… or download a file?
If you want your customers or prospects to do something then ask them to do it… they can’t read your mind! (You’d be surprised what a difference in conversion rates this simple tip will make)
Ingredient #3: Segment Your Customers and Prospects (or you could end up losing sales)
Not everyone in your list of customers and prospects are interested in everything you sell. Try and group them into different segments… and then send different emails based on the needs of each group.
Outlook has a very powerful feature called Categories that you can use to segment your contacts. Unfortunately it is not as easy as it could be to do email merges with this!
Ingredient #4: Write your Emails in a way that gets into their Inbox (and not Junk Emails) folder.
As much as possible, try to avoid the use of words such as “Free” in your Subject line. Try to keep your email subject simple yet informative.
We often get asked by prospective customers if our Email Merge for Outlook can guarantee that their emails end up in Inboxes instead of Junk Mail folders.
Email Merge does many things to improve your chances of staying out of SPAM folders but guess what… if your email is basically spam then chances are it will be blocked.
Are there tools available for Email Marketing?
Yes, there are online email marketing services that you can use but these generally incur monthly fees and are more applicable if you have larger lists.
If you have a small list and you would like to do your email marketing directly from Outlook, then you may want to look at Email Merge PRO for Outlook.
EmailMerge Pro lets you send out your emails directly from Outlook, it can personalize each email and it can even maintain different marketing lists for you (making it easy to segment your list).
Do you have your own special ingredients for a effective email marketing campaign? Share it with us and our readers by leaving a comment below.
Do you occasionally receive emails that were accidentally sent to you (maybe because your email address is very similar to someone else)? What should you do when this happens… and how can you avoid making this mistake yourself.
I recently saw an article on LifeHacker on this topic. Their recommendations were as follows.
- You’re not actually ethically bound to do anything.
- Forward it. Don’t Delete it. Their recommendation is to forward it to the intended recipient and CC the sender (I recommend something different below)
My preferred method for dealing with these emails is to, REPLY TO THE SENDER and let them know that they accidentally sent you the email. I do this because:
- It makes the sender aware of the mistake so they’ll be more careful in the future.
- The intended recipient is not aware that someone else received the email. This may be important if the sender is a good friend and the email contained confidential information (a lawyer friend once sent information to me that was meant for someone else… there was nothing confidential in that email but the next time there may have been).
How to avoid making this mistake yourself
This mistake is very easy to make if you’re a Microsoft Outlook user. Outlook has an Auto-complete feature that completes email addresses as you type them in the To, CC or Bcc fields of emails. It is very easy to accidentally pick the wrong email address from this list.
We have covered how you can protect yourself in the past in:
For additional protection you may also want to look at Send Guard for Outlook which can prompt you for confirmation before any emails are sent out.
The prompt has the recipient’s name which can serve as an additional warning. (SendGuard users… you can turn this on using the Settings Screen and selecting the Send Confirm tab)
What do you do when you get misdirected emails? Do you forward it or reply… do you delete? Please share your own ideas by leaving a comment.
In the last post, we showed you how you can Export your Outlook Contacts to a CSV file to easily transfer your details to another program.
Following this, a lot of readers wrote to us and asked, How can you import contacts from a CSV file into Outlook. So we decided to do a post on this.
Steps to Import Contacts from CSV to Outlook
- Start Outlook
- In Outlook 2010, click File > Options > click on Advanced form the left pane > Scroll down and click on the Export button
For Outlook 2007/2003, On the main menu Select File > Import and Export…
- Select Import from another program or file and click Next >
- Select Comma Separated Values (Windows) and click Next >
- Use the Browse… button to select the required file.
- Under Options, choose Do not import duplicate items. (you can use any options you want)
- Click Next >
- Select the Outlook folder you want to import the contacts to. This will usually be your Contacts folder and then click Next >
- Click Map Custom Fields…
- Ensure that all columns in your CSV file are mapped to a related Outlook address book field. You can also create new mappings by dragging the column title to the desired field. Any previous mapping of the same column will be replaced with the new.
- Click OK.
- Click Finish.
This should now import all your contact details from CSV to Outlook Contacts.
Did you find this tip useful? Let us know by leaving a comment below
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