Are your Sales and Marketing Emails from Outlook reaching their audience… or are they lost in Junk Mail folders?
In order to get your marketing emails read by your customers, you should NEVER send out bulk emails by stuffing many email addresses in the To, CC or even BCC fields.
Instead use Outlook to do an email merge i.e. create and send out a separate, personalized, individually addressed copy of the same email to each person.
This will not only avoid SPAM/Junk filters but will also help you increase your conversion rate by 208% as shown in a recent email marketing case study by Marketing Sherpa.
Why is this important?
Emails sent the wrong way are MUCH more likely to be blocked by the many levels of junk email filters that we all have (even if we don’t always know they’re there).
Junk/SPAM Mail Filters have different levels of sophistication but they all follow a few basic rules including:
- An email with a lot of recipients is more likely to be spam than an email addressed to only my valid email address and…
- An email that is NOT addressed to me directly is more likely to be SPAM than one that is addressed to my email address.
Many Outlook users don’t realize the multiple levels of junk email filters stopping both junk and often real emails from getting to our Inboxes.
Level 1 – Internet Service Provider: Most ISPs now have Junk Mail Filters setup on their servers. These filters do their work even before the email gets to our computers i.e. they remove the email to a Junk Folder that can only be accessed via the Internet.
Level 2 – Anti Spam Software: Many users have additional anti-spam software on their computers that automatically remove and quarantine suspected spam emails.
Level 3 – Outlook’s built-in Junk Email Filter: Finally Outlook has its own Junk Mail filter which moves suspected junk emails to Outlook’s own Junk E-mail folder.
If you’re still sending out your Sales and Marketing Emails from Outlook by putting them all in the To, CC and BCC fields of one email then guess what… your email is most likely lost in a Junk Email Folder somewhere… it is NOT reaching the Reader.
Very few users bother checking the various Junk Mail folders… if your email is getting blocked then chances are it’s going to stay blocked.
Email Merge! You can use Outlook to create and send out personalized copies of the same email to many people.
Outlook has some basic mail merge functionality built into it (it uses Word to do the merge) but this does have some limitations including:
- being harder to use
- not being able to customize the Subject line and
- not being able to send out your emails in smaller lots (which again impacts deliverability).
The easiest way to do this is using our own EmailMerge for Outlook addin. Our addin installs inside Microsoft Outlook and then provides a step-by-step Wizard that will guide you through your first email merge.
In the first tip last week, we showed you how to automatically process newsletter emails using Outlook rules to ensure that only actual work related emails are in your inbox… This way you are focused on your real work, your inbox remains clean and you can easily find the newsletters later when you want to read them.
Ever wished that your most important emails or emails that interest you would automatically stand out from the ocean of emails in your inbox? It just saves you so much time then going through your emails one at a time and deciding which ones to do first.
I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.
You can do this using Outlook only (no additional software required) and it’s super easy to setup.
- Go to the Folder in which the emails are. This can be the Inbox or any other folder.
- In Outlook 2013/2010, Click View on the Ribbon and then click View Settings.
In old versions, on the toolbar, Click View > Current View > Customize Current View to display the Customize View screen.
- In Outlook 2013/2010, Click Conditional Formatting… button
In old versions, Click the Automatic Formatting… button.
- Click Add
- Enter a name for the rule e.g. “Color Code Outlook Emails”
- Click the Font button and use the resulting screen to choose how you want emails to be highlighted (I chose the colour Red and Bold). Click OK to return to the previous screen.
- Click the Condition button to display the Filter screen and enter your criteria and click OK.
In my case I chose;
Search for the word(s): Outlook
In: Subject and message body
- Click OK 3 times to return to your Folder.
The current emails in your inbox (or any other folder) will now be automatically color coded based on the criteria you have setup.
You can also use this technique to highlight other important emails for example:
- Emails from your most important clients (you don’t want to upset them)
- Emails from your Boss (you’d definitely want to check his/her email first :))
- Email from your partners/resellers/affiliates (get new leads and close sales)
- And more…
Do you have other techniques to highlight important emails in Outlook and stay focused?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.
I’m sure everyone is aware of the famous 80-20 rule and apply it to your business model (we do at Standss). In this post I will show you how the 80-20 rule can be applicable to handling emails to get the best results so read on…
For those who are not aware, this principle states that most of our results (80%) come from a small portion of our actual work (20%). An example in terms of sales is 80% of our sales come from 20% of our customers.
How does this apply to emails?
Well, check your inbox now, I’m sure you will notice that out of all the emails in your inbox, only a small portion would actually be important or those which will yield you the most return.
In the next few posts, we will share some simple tips that will ensure you are focusing only on emails that are ACTUALLY work-related and yield you the best results (leads, sales, productivity boost etc). Here is the first tip in this post.
Tip 1: Use Outlook Rules to Process Newsletter emails
Do you subscribe to email newsletters? Newsletter can be informative and interesting but they also distract you from your real work. So rather than deleting or manually filing each newsletter, you can setup a simple rule using Outlook Rules to automatically file your newsletters to a separate folder.
This way you are not distracted from your real work, your inbox remains clean and you can easily find the newsletters later when you want to read them.
How to create a Rule
BEFORE creating the Rule, create a folder inside Outlook where you want the newsletter emails to be moved to. Then …
- Go to your Inbox.
- In Outlook 2013/2010, Click the Home tab > In the Move group, click Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts…
In Outlook 2007, Click Tools > Click Rules & Alerts
- Click New Rule to display the Rules Wizard.
- “Move Messages from someone to a folder” will already be highlighted. (This example assumes that the newsletters come from the same email address – otherwise you can use one of the other predefined Rule Templates)
- Click “people or distribution list” to display the Rule Address screen.
- Choose a name from the list or type in the name/email address in the From field and then click OK.
- Click the hyperlinked word “specified” to bring up the Choose Folder dialog. Select the desired folder from the list and then click OK.
Once the rule is created, any emails coming from the email address will automatically be moved to the chosen folder.
To apply the rule to existing newsletters in the folder, go back to the Rules and Alerts screen and click “Run Rules Now” button
If you don’t like using the Outlook rules, you can try QuickFile Pro for Outlook addin. This addin also has a special Newsletter feature which moves emails to dedicated folders automatically PLUS reminds you at a time of your choosing to look at your newsletter.
I hope you find this tip useful.
We will share more tips in the next post on how to stay focused on real work to get the best results from the least effort, so stay tuned.
A recent email marketing case study by Marketing Sherpa showed a 208% higher conversion rate for targeted mailing (instead of batch-and-blast). Here’s why and how you can use categories in Outlook to do this yourself.
What do we mean by targeted email marketing
Do you send out email newsletters to your contacts? The case study shows that you can get much higher conversion rates and revenue if you create emails for particular segments of your list.
How did they do this?
- They targeted a high value segment. We’ll show you how to segment your list using categories.
- They created a message that met the specific needs of the segment instead of a more general message. Your recipients are more likely to be interested in something specific to them.
- They used a more personal tone in the email.
- They made the customers feel special by personalizing the email’s subject and greeting with the person’s first name. (You can do this from inside Outlook using an addon such as Email Merge)
Using Categories to Segment Your Contacts
Outlook has a feature called categories that you can use to group contacts into segments. Each contact can have as many segments as you want.
If you are using Email Merge PRO for Outlook software, the Email Merge Wizard lets you assign categories, create individual addressed emails, personalize them and send them out in one step.
If you are NOT using Email Merge PRO for Outlook…. You can use the following steps to put your contacts into a particular category.
- Go to your Contacts folder.
- Select the contacts that you want to put in the same category.
- Right click on a contact and click Categorize.
- Select the category that you want (or click All Categories to use the resulting screen to add and assign a new category).
- Repeat the above steps for each contact
Send emails to a category of Contacts
Unfortunately there is no easy way built into Outlook to do the type of personalized segmented email blast described in the case study.
If you want to do it the hard way, you could create a separate email for each contact in your category and then send it out manually.
The significantly easier solution is to use a tool like Email Merge for Outlook that will let you create personalized individually addressed emails for each person in your Outlook category.
Email Merge will let you choose your contacts, write your email, create your category and send out your emails… all from an easy-to-use Wizard… inside Outlook.
If you use the Outlook Calendar or Tasks List to get your work done, here’s a quick tip on how to convert emails to appointments or tasks.
Why might you need this? Like me, you probably get a lot of requests to get things done via email. You also probably send many emails that you want to follow up on. I personally do not use my Tasks List or Calendar for this (I use eeminders which lets me use my Inbox as my To Do list. However if you use your Tasks List or Calendar, this is what you can do.
OPTION 1: (FREE) Create a Task or Appointment from Emails.
All you need is Outlook…
- Select the Email (either from your Inbox or Sent Items folder)
- Drag-and-drop it from the folder to either your Task List or your Calendar.
This will automatically create a new Appointment or a new Task for you that you can then modify with due dates etc!
If you also want to attach the email to the newly created appointment or task (for easy reference later)… you can drag & drop the email using the right mouse button (instead of the left), this will give you the option to attach the email to the appointment or task.
I prefer the Right click option. Have the full email attached to the appointment/task makes it easier to Reply or Forward if I need to.
While the free option will work, here’s a few additional options that you may want to look at to really boost your productivity.
Option 2: File and create the appointment/task automatically when you click Send
If you send out a lot of emails that you need to follow up on, I would recommend QuickFile for Outlook. It automatically prompts you every time you send an email out. The email will be filed to the correct folder after it is sent and your follow-up task or calendar item will be created for you.
Option 3: Get your reminders at the top of your Inbox on the correct day and time
I have personally found that I forget to look at my Calendar and Task List and as a result many actions get left undone. I have started using eeminders which shows me what I need to work at the top of my Inbox. You can watch a demo video or download a trial version of eeminders for Outlook from here.
I hope you find this tips useful.
Do you know of other ways to schedule your work and complete them on time?
Share it with us by leaving a comment below.
How many times have you sent an email requesting for information and not received a response? In this post, we will show you how to set reminders not only for yourself, but also for the recipient to ensure that you get response to important emails on time.
GOOD NEWS, you can do this just using Outlook’s built in reminders.
- Open Outlook
- Create a new email
- In Outlook 2013/2010, on the ribbon under the Tags group, click Follow-up > Add Reminder…
In Outlook 2007, under the Options group, click Follow-up > Add Reminders…
- On the screen that appears, tick the checkbox “Flag for Recipients“
- Tick the Reminder: checkbox
- Select the Date and Time for the reminder to appear in the recipients Outlook
To set a reminder for yourself:
- On the same screen, tick the checkbox “Flag for me”
- Select the Start and Due Date
- Tick the Reminder: checkbox
- Select the Date and Time for the reminder to appear in your Outlook
- Click OK
Now send the email as normal.
At the selected date and time, the reminder will pop-up to remind the recipient and you to deal with the email
I hope you find this tip useful in getting your work done at the right time.
Do you have other methods to ensure that important emails are dealt with or responded to?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.
You may also want to look at eeminders for Outlook. eeminders can also remind you to follow-up on an email but go one step better than Outlook’s built in reminders. eeminders can move a copy of your sent email to the TOP of your Inbox on your chosen date and time.
Try eeminders for outlook – Get the right things done… at the right time!!!
We’ve added a new feature to Send Guard for Outlook that was suggested by a corporate client with more than 500 Outlook users.
We are happy to announce the release of a new updated version of SendGuard for Outlook (version 1.1.5023). This update is free for all existing users and includes a number of “new” features as well as bug fixes.
One of the most liked feature of SendGuard is the “Send-Confirm” prompt. After you click Send, SendGuard automatically displays this prompt to ensure that you are ACTUALLY ready to send the email. This helps you avoid accidentally sending incomplete or inappropriate emails which you would later regret sending.
But… you might not want the confirmation prompt to appear for all emails for example emails that are sent within your organization (within the same domain). With the new version, you can easily add your company domain to the list and SendGuard will not display the prompt for all emails within that domain.
Here’s how to make this change in the Settings:
- Open Outlook
- On the ribbon, click the Standss Outlook Addins tab
- In the SendGuard group, click on the SendGuard button > click Settings…
- Click on the Send Confirm tab to display the screen as shown below
- Select the option for “Display messages for Everyone except following addresses/domains”
- Click the Add button, enter the domain name on the displayed screen for example standss.com or microsoft.com etc
- Click OK and then OK again
Now for any email addresses within the listed domain, you will not get a Send Confirm prompt.
The full list of features/bug fixes in this update include:
- New! New Send confirm prompt option: Display prompt for everyone except the following email address / domains
- New! Apply Windows theme on all addin screens
- Bug fix: On some machines with Outlook 2013, empty subject prompt message comes up in never ending loop.
- Bug fix: If you do a Reply-All on an email whose sender is a Microsoft Exchange Email, an error prompt comes up.
- Bug fix: On some machines, when you file original email using EmailTags for Outlook, an error message comes up in SendGuard.
You can download the latest version now from our website.
New to SendGuard: SendGuard is an Outlook addin that has a collection of extremely useful tools that ensure your outgoing emails are COMPLETE (with no missing information) and are being sent to the CORRECT (and only the correct) people.
SendGuard will automatically display a prompt when you:
- Forget to attach a important file to an email
- Clicked Reply when you meant Reply-All or vice-versa.
- Forgot to write a subject.
- Emailed someone using the wrong email address (for those of us with more than one email address).
- Fired off an angry message that you later regretted.
Let us know what you think about the new features in SendGuard by leaving a comment below.
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