We received an email query earlier this week from one of our readers asking
“Outlook includes my email address in the To field when I do a Reply-All. Clearly I do not want to email myself but Outlook lacks the intelligence to not add my email address to the email. Do you have a solution?…”
The reply to this was YES!!!
We have this functionality built into our own Outlook addin called SendGuard for Outlook. You can turn this feature ON from the setting screen following the steps below:
- Open Outlook
- In Outlook 2013/2010, click on the Standss Outlook Addins tab > click SendGuard > Settings In Outlook 2007/2003, click on the Tools menu > Standss > SendGuard > Settings
SendGuard will display the following screen:
- Click on the Reply Guard tab
- Tick the checkbox for Automatically remove me when doing a Reply to All
- Click OK
Now if you do Reply-to-All on any email, SendGuard will automatically remove your email address from the mailing list.
If you haven’t tried Send Guard for Outlook, you can download a fully functional trial of the Outlook addin.
SendGuard has a number of special filters that check outgoing emails to ensure that they are going to the correct people with all the required information. It’s built in tools include the Attachment Guard, Subject Guard, Reply (and Reply All) Guard, Account Guard, Bad Mood Guard and Send Confirm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Click the New Rule button to display the Rules Wizard screen.
- 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.
Outlook users BCC emails for two main reasons… sending sales/marketing emails or sending someone a copy of the email without letting the other recipients know. We strongly recommend that you DON’T use the BCC field for either purpose. Why?
- Your sales/marketing emails will probably get caught in SPAM filters: Stuffing the TO/CC/BCC field with email addresses makes your email look like spam and it might be caught by the SPAM filters, which means your recipients might never receive your email about an important announcement/sale/event etc.
- Your sales/marketing email might not get read even if it gets past the spam filter (because it looks too much like a sales email to the recipient)
- If you used BCC to keep a recipient hidden from others, imagine what would happen if the hidden recipient did a reply-to-all! Suddenly the other recipients would be aware that you had been using BCC and depending on the nature of the email conversation, this may be viewed as dishonest or sneaky.
What to do instead of using the BCC field?
Send Personalized Individual emails (Marketing or Sales emails)
Your emails have a better chance of reaching the recipients inbox if it is personalized and addressed to that person.
You can either send the same email to the recipients one at a time (compose a new email and copy paste the content) which would be time consuming… or
You can use an easy mail merge tool like Email Merge for Outlook to send out personalized individual copies of the email to each recipient. Each recipient will get a personalized copy of the email which is addressed only to him/her.
Forward Emails (when you need to hide a recipient from the others)
If you need to send someone a copy of an email without others knowing about it, don’t BCC them on it. Instead send the email out to the “disclosed” list of recipients. Then forward a copy of the Sent email to the “hidden” recipient. Now if the hidden recipient reply’s to the email, the reply will only come to you.
Avoid accidental Reply-To-Alls yourself
If you or others in your organization are dealing with confidential information that you are BCCed on, you might want to also look at Send Guard for Outlook to avoid doing an accident Reply-to-all yourself!
Send Guard has special filters that check emails as you respond to them and as they are sent out.
A special prompt will warn you and ask for confirmation if you reply to an email on which you have been BCCed.
This can avoid the accidental disclosure to other recipients that we referred to earlier.
I hope you find this tip useful.
If you know of other email abuses or ways to avoid email abuses, share it with us by leaving a comment below
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).
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 View – Arrange By – Current View – Customize 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).
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.
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.
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.
A few weeks back we received an inquiry from a customer which read:
“do you have a simple , inexpensive bulk mailer program which I can use to send schedules , newsletters etc to targeted customers including an opt out option. I want a once off purchase – not a subscription service and I definitely don’t want to SPAM my customers as this will lose me business?”
A lot of you may already know what solution we would have offered the customer… Any Guesses?
Yes… our very own Email Merge for Outlook which basically meets all the requirements.
One of the most commonly asked question we have had recently is…
How to add unsubscribe links to the mass emails sent using Email Merge?
In this post I will be showing you just how to add unsubscribe links and also managing your unsubscribe list using Email Merge.
Adding Unsubscribe links to emails
With the method of unsubscribe that I will be showing you, there will be a link in each email that you sent out, when the link is clicked, a new email will be created with pre-filled content and the subscriber can send that back to you. Here is how:
- Open Outlook
- Start the Email Merge wizard, move through the steps in the wizard till you reach the step to edit/compose your email
- Start typing your email
- Once done, please your cursor where you would like to add your unsubscribe link (I personally recommend right at the moment of your email)
- Enter a text of your choice for the subscribe link for example “To cancel your subscription please click Unsubscribe”
- Highlight all the text that you would like to create as a hyperlink. In this example I will only highlight the word “Unsubscribe”
- Now click the Insert tab > click Hyperlinks. This will open the following screen:
- On the right side under “Link to:”, select E-mail Address
- In E-mail Address:, enter the address on which you could like to receive the unsubscribe notification.
- In Subject:, enter “Unsubscribe from Newsletter” or something similar with the word Unsubscribe in it
- Click OK
This will now create a hyperlink in your emails. Your newsletter subscribers can request to opt out by simply clicking on the link and sending the notification email to you.
How to Manage unsubscribe using Email Merge
You will now be required to use the Do Not Send To list feature to manage your unsubscribe requests.
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
For the purpose of this example, I will select the last option as the unsubscribe email will have the keyword “Unsubscribe” in it.
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.
Now click Next and Email Merge will automatically add all email address with the keyword Unsubscribe in the subject to the Do Not Send To list.
You can repeat the above steps after each newsletter or email campaign to ensure that people who have unsubscribed are added to the list and not contacted further as this could really annoy them.
Here are a few reasons why you maybe want to try Email Merge:
- It’s a simple tool that works directly inside Outlook
- It’s one of the most inexpensive bulk mailer program
- It allows you to send newsletters and even schedule the time for sending emails
- There are no monthly subscription fee’s… just a once off purchase
- It lets you send out personalized emails therefore reduces the chances of SPAM
- Lastly the new “Do Not Send To List” feature even allows you to manage unsubscribes.
Hope you find this tip useful
Let us know what you think of this tip or Email Merge by leaving a comment below.
Setting up reminders on Task is simple and quite handy because with so much to do, we are likely to miss or forget about other important tasks that might be due.
BUT the overwhelming part is when you are in the middle of something very important and the Reminder Pop-up comes with several tasks. There is two things you might do at this point:
- Click on the red X button to close the Pop-up screen or
- Select each individual task and set a snooze time for it to reappear later
The second option is time-consuming and frustrating when you’re in a middle of something important and have no time to waste.
Get frustrated no more, here is a simple tip that will let you “Select All” Tasks and snooze them all at once:
- When the Reminder Pop-up appears:
- Select the First item in the list
- Press Shift on your keyword
- Select the Last item. This should now select all the items in the list as shown below:
- Set the Snooze time from the drop-down
- Click Snooze
This should now snooze all the items in the list to the time specified by you so you can continue with your important task on hand.
Did you find this tip useful? let us know by leaving a comment below.
Looking for a simple Task Management tool for Outlook… try our eeminders for Outlook addin.
In the last post I showed you how most Outlook users were changing the subject of the emails to make the email findable later.
I don’t personally change the Subject of emails. Instead I use Email Tags to tag my emails with keywords for searching later.
My suggestion appeared to grab the attention of a lot of Outlook user’s who were till date changing the subject of their email BECAUSE there was no other way of making the emails findable. They requested me to elaborate more on what EmailTag was and how to use it.
I realized there might be others facing the same problem so thought to do a blog post explaining about Email Tags.
There has been a shift away from filing things into folders and to using tags/categories over the last few years. This can be seen in programs such as EverNote, Gmail, Picasa… Here is a simple way that you can apply tagging to your emails in Outlook.
Outlook’s built-in categories provide a good start to email tagging because they allow the same email to have more than one category.
Here is how Email Tags makes it even better.
How to tag an Outlook email using Email Tags
Email Tags adds a couple of buttons to your Outlook ribbon/toolbar.
Click Tag It to display the Email Tags screen.
Email Tags has built in intelligence to recommend tags to you. Alternatively you can type in a new tag or select a tag from your list of tags directly on that screen.
You can even choose to file the email out of your Inbox with the tag, all in one step.
Email Tags will also prompt you to tag your Sent Emails so that all your emails are organized properly.
How to search for emails that you have tagged in Outlook
The main reason for tagging emails is so that they are easy to find later. Finding tagged Outlook emails is easy if you’re a Email Tags user.
Just click the Search button on the Email Tags toolbar to display a full list of your tags.
Click on a Tag (in the list) and Outlook will carry out a Search and display all relevant emails to you.
If you haven’t tried Email Tags yet, you can download a fully functional 30 day trial to see just how easy it is to organize and find emails using tags instead of folders.
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