Personalized Email helps improve Open Rates and Conversion

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

I read an interesting case study today about how a company called CloudEndure achieved 58% open rate and high quality leads by sending personalized emails to prospective leads. I would recommend that you read this article as it is a perfect example of How to generate quality leads and why personalized email marketing works.

The way that we gather insight about our leads may vary from business too business but in today’s post, we will look at a simple solution that will allow you to send out personalized emails to improve your open rates and conversions.

But first let’s understand why sending personalized emails is better?

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.

THE SOLUTION:

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.

Watch a short demo video to see Email Merge in action or download a trial version to test it yourself.

Hope you find this tip useful with your own email marketing campaigns.

Do you know of other ways to improve open rates and conversion?

Share it with our readers our leaving a comment below.

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Reduce Distraction by limiting New Email Notification to Important Emails Only

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

It can be quite annoying when you are in the middle of something important and you keep getting notifications “you’ve got email”.

Those small pop-up windows on the right bottom corner can really divert your attention especially when you are working on something that is very stressful or the work has come to a point which required a difficult decision… and you were hoping to find something easier to do in your Inbox… something to help you avoid the difficult decision… imagine getting a notification “Happy Hour Tonight from 6pm to 7pm” or “50% off on all iphones

I have personally turned off this notifications except for very important emails for example emails from clients and families.

In this post today, I will show you how to set email notifications for important emails only.

Firstly you will have to turn off all the desktop alerts:

  • Open Outlook
  • Click on the File tab > Options
  • Click on Mail in the left pane
  • Scroll down to the message arrival section and UNTICK the option for “Display a Desktop Alert
  • Click OK

This will now turn off all email notifications.

Next… we will be creating rules which will display the email notification for important emails only that meet the set criteria.

  • Go to your Inbox.
  • In Outlook 2013/2010, go to the Home tab and click Rules > Manage Rules and Alerts

In Outlook 2007/2003, Click Tools > Rules and Alerts to display the Rules dialog box.

 outlook_rules_alert

  • Click the New Rule button to display the Rules Wizard screen.

 outlook_rules_wizard

  • Click “Display mail from someone in the New Item Alert Window”. (A on the picture above)
  • Click on “people or distribution list” (B on the picture above) to display the Rule Address screen. In Outlook 2010/2013, it would say “people or public group“)
  • Select someone from the list or type in the person’s email address in the From: field.
  • Click OK to go back to the Rules Wizard screen.
  • Click “a specific message” (C on the picture above)
  • Type in what you want the alert message to say and click OK e.g. Email from Boss!
  • Click Finish

The next time you receive an email from that person (like your Client/Boss), Outlook will display a message over everything else that you are working on.

This simple trick has helped me stay focused on real work and also made me efficient in deciding which emails need my attention first and which ones can wait.

I hope it works well for you too.

If you find this tip useful or have your own tips for better email notifications, please leave a comment on the blog.

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Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool, Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 0 )

Easily find special emails in Outlook by Color Coding them

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Here’s a quick tip that you can use to get Outlook to automatically display special emails in a different colour so that they stand out in your Inbox (or any other folder)

In this example we will be using this technique to display in green bold any emails that you have added notes to (using Email Notes for Outlook).

emails_highlight

Step By Step

1. Go to the Folder in which the emails are. This can be the Inbox or any other folder.

2. In Outlook 2013/2010, Click View on the Ribbon and then click View Settings.
On all other versions of Outlook, on the menu at the top, Click ViewArrange ByCurrent ViewCustomize Current View to display the Customize View screen.

3. In Outlook 2013/2010, Click the Conditional Formatting… button
On all other versions of Outlook, click Automatic Formatting… button

4. Click the Add Button

5. Enter a name e.g. “Emails with Notes

6. Click the Font button and using the resulting screen to choose how you want emails to be highlighted (I chose the colour Green and Bold). Click OK to return to the previous screen.

7. Click the Conditions… button to display the Filter screen.

8. Click the Advanced Tab

9. Click the Field button > User-defined fields in Inbox > EmailNotes

10.  For the Condition: drop-down, select “is (exactly)” and for the Value: enter “Yes”.

11. Click Add to List

12. Now OK your way back to the Outlook Inbox

You should now notice that any emails with notes would appear in the format you have defined.

In this example we have used this technique to highlight emails with notes linked to them. You can also use the same technique to highlight any emails that are important to you (e.g. emails from you main clients/manager etc).

Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool, Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 0 )

How to update General Information for multiple contacts in Outlook

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Creating contacts in Outlook is very easy and even before you might realize, you would have hundreds or thousands of them in your Outlook Contacts folder. It is also likely that most of the contacts might have some relation to the others for example working in the same company. Now if the company relocates, would you want to go and change the address for every contact who works in that company? I know I wouldn’t!

Here is an easier method that will let you update the general information for multiple contacts that are linked with one another.

To start off, we simply update the information for one contact (in this case the Business Address) and then Save and Close that contact. Then we modify the view of the Contacts folder so that all the contacts are grouped by that updated field. So for our example of the Business Address that would be;

1. In Outlook 2013/2010, Click View > View Settings…
In all other versions of Outlook, Click View-> Arrange By-> Customize Current View…

2. Click on Group By…

3. At the bottom set the “Select available fields from:” to “Address fields

4. At the top set the “Group items by” to “Business Address” field

5.Click OK and then OK again.

Now you’ll notice that all your contacts are grouped by the Business Address. Select the contacts who still have the old address, drag and drop them into the group of your updated contact. Outlook will now automatically update the Business Address field for all the contacts you added to the group.

The above example was for updating the Business address but you can follow the same steps to update any other outlook fields for multiple contacts

Do you have any other methods of updating multiple contacts? Let us know by leaving a comment.

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Outlook Notes Tip: Why (and how) we need to make Notes on Emails in Outlook

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Sunday, September 7th, 2014

I was at a friends office yesterday and observed him rummaging through his desk looking for email printouts… on which he had hand-written notes.  We got into a discussion on why we need to make notes on emails at all… and a way of making notes on emails directly in Outlook.

Why do we need to take notes on emails?

It turns out that many conversations are started via email… and then get added to by our own thoughts or phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Adding notes (handwritten or electronic) to emails just makes it easier to refer to the FULL conversation or take action later.

For example:

1. Emails from people outside our own companies are often followed by phone calls… it is convenient to record follow-up notes directly on the email so that all the information is in one place.

2. We often delegate things to other people in our team via email… and then clarify them via phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Recording details directly on the email makes it easier to check if a delegated task has been fully completed.

3. Similarly we may have work that has been delegated to us via email initially but then followed up by phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Recording details directly on the email improves our chances of carrying out the delegated tasks fully.

4. Like many people I have a habit of quickly scanning through my emails… if an email relates to something I can do easily, I take action… otherwise I work on it later but… I may have ideas immediately and it is useful to record it with the email… ready for me to use later. This way I don’t lose thoughts or ideas related to an email.

One way of writing notes on emails is to do what my friend used to do… print out the emails… handwrite on them… and hope you can find them later.

The downsides of this method are that we waste a lot of paper… and the emails and notes are difficult to find when we need them

There is an easier way… use Email Notes for Outlook… an Outlook addin that adds a button inside Outlook for you so that you can easily add, view, edit and print notes on emails… all from inside Outlook.

You can learn more about and download a fully functional version of Email Notes for Outlook from our website.

Here are what some existing customers say about Email Notes for Outlook.

I help people with insurance and Email Notes makes it so much easier for me to work. I make the note on the email lead and it makes it so much easier to keep myself organized. Those notes have made a difference in my closing ratio. – Jim Lambert

EmailNotes gives me an immediate way to jot a reminder to myself connected with the e-mail. Absolutely hassle-free installation and use with Outlook. Wonderful utility!! – Pam Rolph

I don’t have to print the email message, hand write a note on it, and then keep track of it on my desk. Eliminates extra desktop paper and the info doesn’t get accidentally put in a job folder lost forever. – Patrick J. O’Leary, Estimator/Project Manager

Hope you find this tip useful.

Let us know what you think about the tip or Email Notes by leaving a comment below.

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Bonus Tip #5: Fix up Email Subjects so that it is easier to find emails later

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, August 21st, 2014

This again is NOT something that I do or recommend. I prefer to leave received emails exactly as they are. However several users asked if it was possible to change the Email Subject so that it is easier to find the email later.

Here’s how…

  • Open the email by double-clicking on it.
  • In Outlook 2013/2010 , go to the Message tab > click the Actions button under the Actions group > click Edit Message
  • For Outlook 2007 > Click Other Actions -> Edit.
  • For Outlook 2003 > click Edit -> Edit message.
  • Now make any changes that you need to (The Subject can also be changed even though it appears to be read-only).
  • Click Save (or close the email and you will be prompted to Save it).

NOTE: I don’t personally change the Subject of emails. Instead I use Email Tags to tag my emails with keywords for searching later.

Let us know of any other ways you use to easily find your emails in Outlook by leaving a comment below.

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Related Post:

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

Bonus Tip #2: Compact your Outlook Data for Better Performance

Bonus Tip #3: BCC yourself on important emails (or use a Rule to copy sent emails to your Inbox)

Bonus Tip #4: Create Tasks or Calendar Items for Emails that need your action

Bonus Tip #4: Create Tasks or Calendar Items for Emails that need your action

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

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 for Outlook addin 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.

Options 1: (FREE) Create a Task or Appointment from Emails

To create a Task or Calendar item from an email…

1. Make sure that your folders are displayed in Outlook.

2. Right-click on the email (and keep the right button pressed) and then drag-and-drop the email into your Calendar or Tasks folder. Three options will be displayed (Copy with Attachment, Copy with Text and Move with Attachment).

3. I normally select Move or Copy with Attachment. This allows me to open the resulting task (or calendar item) which has the email attached to it. I can then double-click on the attached email and Reply or Forward it as needed.

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.

send&file

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 on 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.

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Related Post:

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

Bonus Tip #2: Compact your Outlook Data for Better Performance

Bonus Tip #3: BCC yourself on important emails (or use a Rule to copy sent emails to your Inbox)

Bonus Tip #3: BCC yourself on important emails (or use a Rule to copy sent emails to your Inbox)

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Welcome back folks… today we are sharing with you another tip which was shared by a Outlook user.

This is not something that I do myself but I am sharing this as several users indicated that they use these technique. Some background first…

Several readers said that they prefer to have emails that they need to follow up on in their Inbox i.e. after they have sent an email; they would like to have a copy of the email in their Inbox too. The two techniques shared by users were:

BCC Yourself on emails that you need to follow up on
This is easy… simply BCC yourself on emails that you are sending out and you want/need to follow up on.

After the email is sent, you will also receive a copy in your Inbox. Because you have BCC’ed yourself, the other recipients will not know that you were also a recipient.

Or Use a Rule to copy sent emails to your Inbox
You can also setup a Rule to copy ALL emails that you send to your Inbox. Once the email copies arrive in your Inbox, manually Delete the emails that you don’t need to follow-up on.

As mentioned earlier… I don’t use this technique myself but users say that the extra Delete step takes almost no time.

I personally think having copies of emails in your inbox that you will not be working on immediately can be distracting and unproductive… having so many emails in the inbox makes me feel I haven’t done my work today (when in fact I have)

How I personally organize my Follow-ups in Outlook you may ask?

Well in my most biased opinion… I personally use eeminders for Outlook and like the fact that it automatically pops a reminder for emails that I need to deal with on the day that I actually need to deal with it.

  • This does not cause my Inbox to be cluttered with follow-up emails and
  • I don’t have to scroll through emails to find the one I need to deal with. Eeminders reminders me when I need to work on a email.

There is no right or wrong way of doing this… it’s just a matter of preference so I leave the choice to you to choose the best method that suits your style of work.

If you are interested to try eeminders, you can download a fully functional 30 day trial from our website.

Let us know which method you prefer by leaving a comment below.

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Related Post:

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

Bonus Tip #2: Compact your Outlook Data for Better Performance

Bonus Tip #2: Compact your Outlook Data for Better Performance

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

In one of our earlier tips from the 8 Simple tips for Email Management in Outlook series… I had mentioned to you that Outlook is configured (by default) to eventually corrupt itself and lose some or maybe even all your data?

Backing up your Outlook data is one way to avoid data loss but here is another way that you can ensure your data file size remains small and compact.

If you are following the email filing tips in our first report, then you are moving emails around a lot. When you move emails around, your Outlook data file (PST) ends up with a lot of empty space in it which makes the file bigger and performance slower.

To fix this…

  • Open Outlook and display mail folders.
  • Right-click over the PST file that you wish to compact

properties

  • Click Properties.
  • Click the Advanced button.
  • Click Compact Now.

This will now compact the data file and get rid of the empty spaces which is caused by moving emails.

This will result in your Outlook data file remaining small in size, faster Outlook performance and ultimately reduce the chance of losing your previous data.

I hope you find this tip useful.

Till next time… have a better Outlook.

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Related Post:

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

By standss · Comments ( 2 ) Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Earlier this week we released our free special report titled: 8 Simple Tips for Email Management in Microsoft Outlook.

I was truly overwhelmed by the feedback I received from readers. Hundreds of users wrote back saying how the tips discussed in the ebook was already helping them.

“I have implemented your suggestions and it has improved my work flow already”
Norman 
(This was received few days after release of the report)

Other users (who were already using similar techniques) wrote back with their own ideas to further fine tune the Outlook Email Management System.

If you haven’t read the first report yet, I recommend you download and understand the ideas in that first. You can download the report now from:

In the next few weeks… I will be sharing the additional tips that has been shared with me by Outlook users. Remember these are tips that are being used by actual users and it has worked for them.

If you are struggling to manage your emails in Outlook… stay with us and follow the tips to overcome this common email overload problem.

TIP #1: Use Rules for Non-Actionable Items (e.g. newsletters)

In the first report, I said that you should “Think carefully before using Outlook Rules”. The main reason for this is that Rules shift emails out of your Inbox before you’ve had a chance to see them.

Like me, you probably use your Inbox as a To-Do list i.e. emails are kept in your Inbox until you have carried out the required action. This means you should avoid using Rules except…

We all receive emails that do not require immediate action (or for that matter any action)… how many email newsletters do you subscribe to that you want to read in your spare time. Getting those emails into your Inbox can be a bit of a distraction.

For those non-actionable emails, it makes sense to use Rules to move them out of your Inbox.

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 File tab > Click Manage Rules & Alerts. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, on the E-mail Rules tab, click New Rule.
  • In Outlook 2007/2003, click Tools > Click Rules & Alerts > Click New Rule to display the Rules Wizard

manage_outlook_rules

  • 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.

rules_address

  • Choose a name from the list or type in the name 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.

Now that the Rule is created, any emails coming from the list will automatically be moved to the chosen folder.

You can also apply it to any emails that are already in the folder by going back to the Rules and Alerts screen and clicking the “Run Rules Now” button.

Try this tip… it surely has saved me several hours of time that was wasted moving or deleting this emails manually one at a time.

Hope you find this tip helpful… let us know if this works for you or not by leaving a comment below.

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