A Simple Tip to Improve Email Conversions by 21x

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Monday, May 22nd, 2017

I was shocked to read in a lead response management survey that said that your odds of qualifying a lead in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drops 21 times. That’s within the first 30 minutes! The same survey shows that you have 10x greater chance of just contacting leads if you contact them within the first hour.

How can you use this information for the emails you send out?

You need to know when your emails are opened!

Assuming that you are using email to make reach out to your leads, the survey indicates that you have a significantly greater chance of contacting and qualifying a lead if you call them within 5 minutes of them reading your email.

An email tracking solution that tells you when recipients open your emails can give you a significant return on investment.
Now just because someone opened your email does not mean that they are necessarily interested. However if they are interested you need to talk to them NOW!

You need to know when your emails are opened!

We recently released a new version of EmailCaddie that lets you track opens, clicks and replies on emails that you send out. This can be used for individual emails that you send out as well as email merges to lists of emails.

Within seconds of a recipient opening an email, you will get a desktop notification similar to one of the following,

Now you will know who you can focus your time on with the greatest chances of success.

We have launched the new version of EmailCaddie with brand new pricing. You can also download a fully functional trial version by clicking on the image below.

(During the launch period, you can also get a further discount on the Standard Version by using the coupon code LAUNCH)


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What NOT to do after an accidental Reply-All (Hint: Recall does NOT work)

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Did you just do a Reply-All to an email and say something you regret… maybe sent some incorrect or worse insultive or embarrassing information. Here’s what you should and should not do.

(In most cases) Don’t bother with Recall

You may be tempted to use the Recall button that is built into Outlook but we really don’t recommend it. Why?

It does not work in many cases including when:

• The original message has been read. This can occur even when the email has not actually been read i.e. when the message is displayed in the Preview Pane or Reading Pane.
• The recipient is not using Outlook
• The recipient is not logged on to the mail service provider.
• The recipient is using Cached Exchange Mode and is working offline.
• The original message is moved from the Inbox.

In most cases, recipients will get an additional message saying that you want to recall the message. In our experience that makes recipients even more curious and they end up going and reading your original email which they may have been ignoring until then.

Before we look at what you need to do now… here’s what you can do to avoid this mistake the next time. Companies around the world use Reply-Guard for Outlook to avoid accidental Reply-Alls.

What you can do now (that the email has already been sent)

If you have sent incorrect information, you may want to do another Reply All immediately with something similar to the following.

Please disregard my earlier email because it contained incorrect information. I will be sending another email soon with the corrected information.

My apologies for any confusion caused.

Then take your time and send the corrected information.

If you feel that you may have offended someone in the Reply All, then we recommend that you send the person a one-to-one apology email, or even better pick up the phone and call them. You could also ask them if they would like you to do another Reply-All and apologise in the email thread.

How to avoid Accidental Reply-Alls (Prevention is better than cure)

Thousands of users around the world are already using ReplyGuard for Outlook. It prompts users for confirmation whenever a user clicks Reply-All.

You can use ReplyGuard on its own or use the full SendGuard which includes ReplyGuardGuard, DelayGuard and SendConfirm.

DelayGuard keeps your emails in your Outbox for a pre-set time thereby giving you time to change your mind.
SendConfirm does a final confirmation prompt with the names of recipients after you click Send.

Together these prompts help keep your companies safe from accidental reply-alls and other situations where confidential information could accidentally be sent to the wrong person.

SendGuard and ReplyGuard are already used by companies of all sizes around the world. Please contact us for more information or click on the image below to download a free trial.

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Print a Blank Outlook Calendar to Plan Your Year

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, November 17th, 2016

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As the year comes to an end, you probably need to do some planning. How will you finish this year in the best way possible… and how will you make the next year your most productive year yet?

One of the things that I find very useful in my planning is BLANK PRINTED CALENDARS. I print out one page per month and use that for planning. It really helps that I can have multiple months spread out in front of me on the table.

In this post I will show you how you can print out blank monthly calendars from Outlook (and also how you can print out calendars for any particular date range).

How to Print a Blank Calendar from Outlook

Go to the Calendar in Outlook.

Go to the Home tab of the Ribbon (if you are not already there)

Click Open Calendar – Create New Blank Calendar.

Enter a name for the calendar.

Ensure that your existing Calendar is selected for “Select where to place the folder” and click OK.

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On the navigation pane on the left, you should see that the calendar that you just created added to the list of Calendars.

Tick it so that it is displayed (you will also need to untick the name of your normal Calendar).

Click File –Print.

Under Settings, select Monthly Style (or choose an alternative style if your prefer)

By default the current month will be printed. If you want to print a longer date range (you may plan for the first quarter…or even the whole year), click Print Option and enter the date range in the space provided.

Click Print.

I hope that you find your printed blank calendars useful for your planning. It may be old school but it works.

[Video] How to track opens and clicks on Outlook Email Merges

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Thousands of Outlook users use EmailMerge for Outlook to send personalised emails to their customers. Now you can also know exactly who has opened or clicked on an email…and do follow-up merges to them.

EmailMerge is an Outlook addon that installs inside Outlook and lets you send news, marketing and sales emails to your customers using an easy step-by-step Wizard.

EXISTING USERS of EmailMerge: click here to trial the tracking at no cost.

The video above shows you exactly how easy it is to send and track your emails… but here’s a quick summary.

Tracking Emails

Use the Email Merge Wizard as normal. The last step of the Wizard has a tracking section as shown below.

Tracking Merged Emails

Tick the check box, give this merge a name and click Finish to create and send out your emails.

Viewing Tracking Data

You will be notified immediately if someone or a recipient opens or clicks on a link on your email.

notification

This notification is displayed at the bottom right hand corner of your screen but you can optionally get email notifications that tell you who has opened the email, where and using what device.

You can also view summaries and details of the tracking information on EmailCaddie.com, a website that we have created specially for tracking.

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Doing Follow-Up Merges

EmailMerge doesn’t just tell you who has opened or clicked on an email. You can also use the information inside EmailMerge to do follow-up merges. For example:

You can send out additional information only to the people who clicked on a particular link or..

You can send out reminders to the people who have not opened your email.

The video above shows you just how easy this is to do.

If you’re any EXISTING USER of EmailMerge, you can trial the tracking at no cost.

If you’re new to EmailMerge, download a 30-day trial today and see why thousands of Outlook users around the world use it daily to communicate with their customers and members.

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How to Schedule Meetings in Different Time Zones (and see the time in both zones)

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Do you need to schedule appointments, calls etc with people in different time zones? Here’s how to make sure that you’re both there at the same time by getting Outlook to show you the time in both zones at the same time.
 
If you are using Outlook with Office 365 or Exchange Server:

Open up the New Appointment form (Go to your Calendar in Outlook and click New Appointment).
Click Invite Attendees.
Click Time Zones on the Ribbon.
Select the time zone of the other person from the drop-down.

appoint

Now on the Room Finder Task Pane that should be displayed in the right hand side, select a date and time. As you change the date at time, you will see that the date and time for the other person will change automatically.

If you want to create the appointment and send a meeting request to someone, enter their details in the To field and then click Send.

If you want to create an appointment without sending a meeting request, click Cancel Invitation on the Ribbon and then click Save and Close.

If you are NOT using Office 365 or Exchange Server:

You won’t be able to access the full functionality described above but you can achieve the same results with the following steps.

Open up the New Appointment form (Go to your Calendar in Outlook and click New Appointment).
Click Time Zones on the Ribbon (see image above).
Select the time zone of the other person from the drop-down.
Enter the date and time in the fields and click Save and Close. The meeting will now be created on your calendar with the time shifted to the appropriate time in your time zone.
Check your calendar to ensure that you did your calculations correctly and the meeting is at a time convenient to you..

If you want to send a meeting request to someone, open the appointment again (double-click), enter their details in the To field and then click Send.

I hope that you find this tip useful.

We have clients all over the world and I use this every day to ensure that all participants to our meetings arrive at the correct time, even when we are many miles and time zones apart.

How to have a Clean Inbox and Procrastinate too!

By standss · Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Eeminders

Is you Inbox full of emails that you don’t want to work on but you don’t want to delete either? Here’s a tip on how you can keep them in your Inbox and remove them at the same time.  Confused? Read on.

My general strategy to Get Things Done is to only keep emails in my Inbox that I actually need to work on. However..

There are many emails in my Inbox that I know  that I won’t be working on today… or even this week. I don’t want to delete them because I (maybe) will work on them someday.

Here’s a simple thing I do weekly that helps me have a clean Inbox to work from… and still keep those unurgent emails around.

I will show you two ways of doing things… a manual way and an automated way using eemnders for Outlook.

1) The Automated Way

Once a week I do a Weekly Review.

I look at the emails and decide what I will work on this week. Those emails get to stay in my Inbox. The others get moved out.

I use eeminders for Outlook to move emails out of the Inbox. I’ll show you the steps in a minute but basically…

eeminders installs inside Outlook lets me select emails to “defer” or “snooze” to a date and time of my choosing.  The selected emails get moved out of your Inbox but then magically reappear on your chosen date and time.

You can download a fully functional trial of eeminders for Outlook.

You can use eeminders to snooze your non-urgent emails for a week using the following steps.

Go to your Inbox.

Select the emails that you want to move out (press the CTRL button to select multiple emails if you want).

Right-Click over one of the emails and then click eemind me – 1 Week.

eemind_me

The selected emails will get moved out of your Inbox into another folder called eeminders. A week later they come back into my Inbox.

Why I like this?

  1. I don’t have to think too hard and the process is FAST. It’s not like I am deleting the emails. It is easy to identify emails that I won’t be working on this week.
  2. The emails will come back into the Inbox so I WON’T FORGET THEM! Chances are that in next week’s weekly review, I am just going to defer them for another week but that’s OK. At least I won’t forget them.
  3. In case I run out of things or change my mind, I can always go to the eeminders folder and retrieve an emails that I need to work on.

2) Doing this Manually

(In case you skipped it, please read the Automated Way above first to understand the idea of the Weekly Review)

You could also do this manually by creating a folder and calling it something like Next Week. Then when you do your Weekly Review:

  1. Go to the Next Week folder and drag any emails that you plan to work on this week into your Inbox.
  2. Go to your Inbox folder and drag any emails that you do not plan to work on this week to the Next Week Folder.

My own experience (and the experience of many many Outlook users who we work with) is that the manual method requires too much will-power and discipline and after a while we stop doing it.

I have been using eeminders in this way for the last 3 months and my Inbox has been a joy 🙂 to work from.

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3 Tweaks to Increase Email Open Rates

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Improve Outlook Email Open Rates

How important is your Subject to getting your email opened and read? Research shows that 64% of people say that they open emails because of the subject line. In this post we look at 3 things you can do immediately to get your emails opened and responded to more often.

1. Use between 6 and 10 words in the Subject Line

A survey by Retention Science found that email subject lines kept at 6-10 words result in the best open rates.

retention

A major contributing factor for this is that up to 65% of emails now get opened on mobile devices.

Since mobile devices are only able to show five or six words of the subject, it makes sense to be as brief and concise as possible.

2. Make the Subject relevant to the content of your email

Even the most effective subject line in the world merely gets your email opened. Your job is to then address the issues that the recipient is interested in.

Don’t use subject lines that get opens and then have content that is unrelated!

Don’t try and trick the reader into opening your email!

You’ll only end up training the reader to avoid your emails in the future.

3. Personalise the Subject Line (it doesn’t have to be with their name)

Personalized subject lines increase open rates by 22%.

Including personal and relevant information in the Subject Line can have a major impact on both open and response rates.

How should you personalise the Subject line?

Again use information relevant to the content.

For example:

If you are a real estate agent who has sold property to someone in (say) Christchurch, the Subject could be “Important update for Christchurch home owners”

If your business sells cars, and you sold someone a Toyota Camry, the Subject could be “Safety features in the new Toyota Camry”

You could also just use the person’s first name in the Subject.

You can these 3 tweaks on individual emails or your sales/marketing mailouts to prospects and customers.

Tip! If you are sending out sales/marketing emails using Outlook, then we recommend using Email Merge for Outlook.

Try EmailMerge FREE for 30 Days!

Creating Tasks and Appointments from Emails

By standss · Comments ( 4 ) Friday, June 5th, 2015

We recently upgraded our TBYL! for Outlook users to QuickFile for Outlook. The response has been overwhelmingly positive but a few users asked… Where are the Quick-Task and Quick-Calendar buttons?

These buttons are used to create Tasks and Appointments from Emails (to use TBYL terminology, move emails from your collection system to Action System)

The Quick-Task and Quick-Calendar buttons are part of QuickFile Pro for Outlook as shown below (we are only showing icons and not words to save space on the Ribbon).

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By default clicking on either button will create the Task or Calendar as appropriate and attach the email to the body. You can change this default behaviour if you want from the QuickFile Settings screen.

If you have any other questions regarding QuickFile, please let us know by sending an email to support@standss.com.

Categories : General, Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 4 )

Creating an Effective Email Signature

By standss · Comments ( 5 ) Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

A great email signature can help your business by building your image and credibility as well as making it easier for people to contact you. In this short post I look at what things a good signature block can do for you, what you want to put in, and what you should leave out.

The most important thing to remember… Your signature block needs to be as small as possible particularly since so many emails are only a few lines long… but it still has to achieve several objectives.

The objectives of a good signature block

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A good signature block should do most if not all of the following for you:

  1. Let people know who you are
  2. Let people know how they can contact you
  3. Show people who may not know you what you or your company does
  4. If possible, convince people who don’t know you that you are a credible person that they can safely work with
  5. If you use social media a lot, let them connect you via your preferred social media website.

What you should include:

  1. Your Name
  2. Your Title (Optional but very useful, particularly if you have an important or at least important sounding title)
  3. Your company name
  4. (Optional) Your company logo
  5. (Optional) Logo or text details of any awards or memberships that build your credibility. Keep this as short as possible. Don’t list too many things or it loses it’s impact.
  6. A tag line that makes it easy to understand what you and your company do (Optional only if your company name is immediately recognizable)
  7. Your Phone Number
  8. Your web site address

What you do not need to include

Personally I feel that it is a waste of space to include the following:

  1. Your email address (they already know that sine they received the email from you)
  2. You fax number (unless you are in an industry/country that still makes use of fax)
  3. Your postal or physical address (they can always ask for this if they need it)

 

What do you think?

I hope that you find this article useful.

Do you have your own tips for better email signatures? Please share your ideas with other readers by leaving a comment on this post.

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Categories : General, Office Tip, Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 5 )

Contact Segmentation: Increasing response rates to your sales and marketing emails in Outlook

By standss · Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Many email marketers who use Microsoft Outlook rarely focus on the one thing that that almost always results in increased responses: contact list segmentation. In this post I am going to show you how you can use Outlook categories to segment your contacts.

What is segmentation and why does it work?

Segmentation basically means dividing your email list into smaller groups (or segments). Each contact can be part of one or more segments.

So why does segmentation work? It allows you to give your contacts more personalized attention.

You are now able to send out more specific emails targeted to people who are interested in that particular topic. This always results in higher open rates, click rates and response rates.

It also means less annoyed customers received emails on topics that they are not interested in.

How to you segment your list?

We will use Categories (a feature built into Outlook) to segment our contacts.

1.       Make a list of the Segments (Categories) that you will use

What are the key elements to distinguish your customers? It could be product, company size, region… whatever makes sense to your business.

Make a list of these segments. For example, we have a range of products at Standss that are reasonably different. We could therefore segment our list based on products.

  • Email Merge PRO for Outlook
  • Quick File for Outlook
  • Send Guard for Outlook
  • Email Tags for Outlook
  • eeminders for Outlook
  • Email Notes for Outlook

I also like to keep a separate segment of our Volume License Customers since they have further requirements for deployment, control and support.

Volume License Customers

2.       Add the Categories to Outlook’s Master List (of Categories)

Go to your Contacts folder in Outlook.

Right-click over a contact and click Categorize and then click All Categories.

Click New and enter the Name of your category. You can also choose a color if you want but I generally select None. Click OK.

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Hint: You will see that I have named my category ml_EmailMerge instead of just EmailMerge. I use the ml_ in front of all my segment names to indicate that they are my mailing list categories. The master category list appears in all parts of Outlook (emails, appointments, tasks etc). By putting the ml_ in front of my mailing list categories, I can get them to appear together in the list when they are displayed alphabetically.

3.       Assign your contacts to the relevant segments.

Go to your Contacts folder in Outlook.

Right-click over a contact and click Categorize.

You can click the category from the list or you can click All Categories and then select multiple categories for a contact if you want.

Repeat for all relevant contacts.

Viewing Your Various Segments

Once you have your contacts segmented, you will need Outlook to show you the contacts by segment so that you can use them easily.

Go to your Contacts Folders.

Click on the View Tab and Click on Categories (which will be in the Arrangement group)

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Your contacts will now be displayed grouped by Categories. Contacts will be displayed more than once if they are in more than one category.

Or….

You can simply type the name of the Category in the Outlook Search box and only matching contacts will be shown

How to use your Categories/Segments in Sales and Marketing Emails

The next time you need to send out an email that is relevant only to a particular segment, display the list of contacts in the segment as explain above.

Then create your email and send it out only to the people in that segment.

I guarantee that you will get much better responses rates… and you will also get less emails from annoyed contacts asking to be removed from your list (since you will only be contacting people who are genuinely interested in your email).

Fine-Tuning Outlook emails to segments (Better Responses in Less Time)

If you want to get even better response rates, you should send out personally addressed emails to your contacts.

This means that each email should only have one contact’s name in the To field. You may even want to personalise the email with the contact’s name and other details.

This can be time-consuming to do if you try and do it by hand.

We recommend Email Merge Pro for Outlook. Email Merge Pro installs inside Outlook and uses a step-by-step Wizard to quickly create and send out personalized emails to selected contacts.

Best of all, the emails will still be sent out from Outlook instead of looking like emails from a mailing service. This is extremely important, particularly if you are dealing with larger customers.

Email Merge Pro has full support for Categories so that you can easily send out emails to segments when you need to.

Learn more and download a trial version of Email Merge Pro for Outlook addon.

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