Tag Archives: business

Coming Up… Smarter ways of Scheduling Outlook Appointments (and Tasks)

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Sunday, May 15th, 2011

We’ve had a lot of requests from readers in the past for something to make appointments and tasks more effective… we realise that most of our past reports and addins have focussed on email productivity.

But… recent conversations with other Outlook users and reader emails are telling us that simple scheduling errors have been causing a lot of stress for many people.

So… we have been working on a system that helps you create not only individual appointments and tasks but ENTIRE SCHEDULES of them.

And then lets you monitor them… and RESCHEDULE them in case dates change (as they always do)… all INSIDE Outlook.

We’re aiming to ELIMINATE almost all HUMAN-ERROR from the process.

I’m not quite ready to show you the result yet… but keep your eyes on your Inbox.

More about the project later in the week…

Regards,
Sanjay Singh

Handling Unsubscribes Using EmailMerge for Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Several Email Merge PRO for Outlook users have recently asked about how to handle people who wish to Unsubscribe from their emails(Newsletters). The short answer is “Stop sending them emails!”. The problem however is remembering who NOT to send emails to when you have a long list or if you have several lists. That’s why we built the Do Not Send To list in Email Merge for Outlook.

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.”
Marge

I’d like to say a Special Thanks to Marge for the positive feedback.

For all existing users of EmailMerge for Outlook and also who are currently trialing it, this post highlights what the “Do not Send To” list feature is and how you can use it to handle Unsubscribes.

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.

Dont Not Send List Button

  • Click Do not Send List. The application will open the following screen:

Do not send to screen

1.  Add an email-address to Do not Send List:

  • Click Add, the application will display the following screen:

Add Email Address

  • 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
      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 on the blog.

Not a user of Email Merge PRO for Outlook yet? Find out how you can keep customers informed using EmailMerge PRO for Outlook.

Productivity with Outlook’s Favourite Folders List

By standss - Comments ( 4 ) Monday, December 13th, 2010

Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 have a handy Favorite Folders list that can be a major productivity booster when used properly. It can even be used as a project management tool to remind you of what YOU WANT to work on.

When should you use Favorite Folders and how?

I haven’t really used Favorite Folders until recently. I use QuickFile 4Outlook to manage my emails. Dragging and dropping can be a nuisance when you have many nested folders and QuickFile lets me file both incoming and outgoing emails (Send&File in one step) at the click of a button. It also has a “Find&Goto Folders” button that lets me open any Outlook folder simply by typing a few characters from the name of the folder.

So there was little use for Favorite Folders … or so I thought. I recently updated my productivity tool set to include it. Here’s why …

What is the Favorite Folders List?

Favourites Folder list Picture

Favorite Folders provide users with quick access to mail folders that are used often. They are located at the top of the Navigation Pane on the left side of the Outlook window.

You can add any email folders that you want to this list. The folders physically still stay wherever they were but the Favorite Folders list puts them one click away, and not buried at the end of the folder list.

What Should You Use it For?

Any folders that you use often … but this is what I use it for …

I add my CURRENT PROJECT folders to the Favourite Folders list. This serves two purposes:

  1. It provides me with quick access to a folder when I need it.
  2. Looking at the list reminds me of what MY current projects are. This way I don’t get as distracted working on other people’s priorities because they are making the most noise (via email).

In order to keep the list effective, I maintain it by adding new folders when I start new projects and removing folders once projects are completed.

How to Add Folders to the List?

To add a folder to the Favorite Folders:

If you are using Outlook 2003/2007, right-click over the folder and click Add to Favorite Folders. You can also drag folders from the Folder list to the Favorite Folders list.

If you are using Outlook 2010, right-click over the folder and click Show in Favorites

How to Remove Folders to the List?

To remove folders from the Favorite Folders list, right-click the folder and click Remove from Favorite Folders.

Should you use Favorite Folders?

Definitely YES if you have many folders to organize your email.

For me, Favorite Folders is NOT a replacement for a tool such as QuickFile. You wouldn’t want to add too many folders to the Favorite Folders list and it isn’t going to Send&File for you.

However it is a handy (free) tool which is built right into Outlook that can greatly boost your productivity.

Your Clients are seeing your Embarassing Facebook Pictures in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

I have written about why you need to change your Facebook profile picture but, after the events of last week, I felt I HAD to send out a reminder again.

Your Facebook Profile picture can be seen by millions of Outlook users every time you send out an email… even if you’re not connected to them in Facebook.

For those who don’t know yet, Microsoft recently released a new (free) connector to users that lets other people see your Facebook profile picture (and status information) right inside Outlook.

That’s right! People can see your Facebook picture inside Outlook…. they do NOT need to be your friend in Facebook… they don’t even need to be logged in to Facebook.

As soon as they receive an email from you, Outlook will show them your current Facebook Profile picture like this:

Facebook Profile Picture

This feature is available in Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 which at the time of writing is probably 99% of all Outlook users.

Now the story of why I felt I had to write this article again… I recently received an email sent to me on behalf of a Board Member of a prominent charity organization. The email was sent by her secretary.

When I viewed the email inside Outlook, the secretary’s picture was displayed to me. The picture, while not obscene in any way, was not a good image for the secretary, the board member or the organization. It was fine for her personal friends but definitely not in a professional context.

I was not logged in to Facebook and I was not a Facebook friend of the sender. In fact it turned out that she wasn’t even using that Facebook account any more.

I’ve emailed her and she has since changed her picture but the picture could have left me with an extremely bad first impression of her.

If you use Facebook… go right now and make sure that your profile picture projects a professional image that you are happy with.

Finally if you haven’t tried it yet, you can get Outlook to display Facebook pictures using the connector from this link. It works in Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010.

Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool, Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 3 )

How I cured my checking-email-too-often habit!

By standss - Comments ( 6 ) Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Do you have an unconscious habit of going to your Inbox too many times in a day? Do you find yourself clicking Send&Receive many times a day, I know I did. In this post I share what I found were the causes of the habit (for me) and a simple solution that has worked exceptionally well for me.

Why is this a bad habit?

For me… I was finishing the day feeling like I had accomplished littledespite being busy for most of the day… which is another way of saying that I had wasted my day doing unimportant work.

So… why do we check emails so often?

My personal experience… I think that the main reasons are BOREDOM or DIFFICULTY. Some self-analysis revealed that most of my unintended expeditions to my Inbox were when:

  1. I was bored of what I was doing and was hoping to find something more interesting to work on in my Inbox… or
  2. The work I was involved in had come to a point which required a difficult decision… and I was hoping to find something easier to do in my Inbox… something to help me avoid the difficult decision.

When you see it in writing, it’s pretty clear that they are not valid reasons for checking email. The problem is that they become habits… I was doing it without even realising it.

How I cured myself (or at least got an acceptable level of control over it)

Here’s a process that has worked very well for me.

  1. Check your emails and respond to whatever you need to.
  2. Decide on what you will work on next 40 minutes (or until the task is complete)
  3. Close Outlook (unless you need to access your emails to do your work)
  4. Do you work!

After 40 minutes… take break and REPEAT.

The first week I tried this was amazing. I got more done in the first few hours of Monday than I used to get done in the first few days of the week.

Why did this work for me?

Having Outlook closed while I am focussing on a project makes it much harder to check my email without conscious effort. Finding Outlook closed reminds me that I am working on something else and helps break the unconscious  habit… it is much harder to click on the Send & Receive button when Outlook is closed (the normally annoying Outlook start-up time turns out to be useful habit-breaker in this situation).

I know that many productivity gurus say that we should only check our emails a few times a day and possibly schedule email time into our calendars. That does NOT work for me…. firstly because of the nature of my work… and because I like checking my email.

Using this method I can get good productive work done throughout the day… and also respond to my team and customers in a timely manner… and indulge my email habits.

Please tell if this method works for you by leaving a comment on the blog.

Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 6 )

Productivity Tip: Make Outlook display your Calendar instead of the Inbox in the Morning

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Friday, September 10th, 2010

Want to increase your productivity. Look at your Calendar BEFORE you look at your Inbox in the morning. Here’s how to setup Outlook to automatically display your calendar when it opens in the morning.

Your emails in your inbox generally reflect the priorities of others. Go there first and you can easily find yourself in fire-fighting mode instead of strategic mode for most of your day.

Start the day by looking at your Calendar and seeing what you have already scheduled for the day. Schedule any new things that you want to do today that are important to you and your business. Then look at your Inbox.

I have setup my own Outlook to open up displaying the Calendar instead of the Outbox. Here’s how you can do the same.

In Outlook 2010:

  • Click File-Options
  • Select Advanced
  • Change Start Outlook in this folder to Calendar.

Start Outlook Calendar

In all other versions of Outlook:

  • Click Tools-Options.
  • Select the Others tab.
  • Click Advanced Options. The startup folder is displayed at the top of the screen.
  • Click the Browse button to select the Calendar.

The next time you open Outlook, you’ll be looking at your Calendar.

Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 2 )

Is your Facebook making you look unprofessional to Outlook users?

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Monday, August 16th, 2010

Microsoft Outlook recently released a new (free) connector to users that lets other people see your Facebook profile picture (and status information) right inside Outlook. Question is… are you happy with the picture they are seeing?

Your picture will show up anytime an Outlook user writes to you… or reads an email from you inside Outlook… even if they are not your Facebook friend.

Is your Facebook picture appropriate for your business contacts?

Remember… they don’t have to be your Facebook friend to see your picture inside Outlook! All they need to be doing is using Outlook… with the new Facebook social connecter installed!

You can try out the Outlook Facebook connector for yourself from this link. It works in Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010.

Remember to let your colleagues know if their pictures are unflattering.

Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 1 )

Do you know what action you want your customers to take when they read your email?

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, August 13th, 2010

TIP #5: 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)

This post is a small excerpt from our new FREE report titled:

The Accidental Salesperson’s Guide to Email Sales & Marketing with Outlook

7 Tips used EVERY DAY by Real (Intentional) Salespeople to RETAIN and GAIN NEW CUSTOMERS

Most of the ideas in the report were very generously shared by our THOUSANDS of readers who are already using Outlook very successfully to GROW their businesses.

Click here Download a FREE COPY of this Outlook Report.  (The report is 100% FREE… you may want to download it TODAY as it contains some TIME-SENSITIVE information on using Outlook as a Sales Power-Tool)

Categories : Sales and Marketing with Outlook Comments ( 0 )

Don’t train your customers to IGNORE your emails!

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Tip # 3 from our new report:  Email your list at the appropriate interval.

What is the appropriate interval between emails? Not so long that they have a hard time remembering who you are… and not so frequently that they lose interest in what you’re writing.

Don’t train your customers to ignore your emails… if you send them too much information, they won’t make time to look at it.

This post is a small excerpt from our new FREE report titled:

The Accidental Salesperson’s Guide to Email Sales & Marketing with Outlook

7 Tips used EVERY DAY by Real (Intentional) Salespeople to RETAIN and GAIN NEW CUSTOMERS

Most of the ideas in the report were very generously shared by our THOUSANDS of readers who are already using Outlook very successfully to GROW their businesses.

Click here Download a FREE COPY of this Outlook Report.  (The report is 100% FREE… you may want to download it TODAY as it contains some TIME-SENSITIVE information on using Outlook as a Sales Power-Tool)

Categories : Sales and Marketing with Outlook Comments ( 0 )

Why should you bother with Email Marketing from Outlook?

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Monday, August 9th, 2010

Who will your customer or prospect think of FIRST when they need something that you can provide?

  1. Out of Sight-Out of Mind: Your customers have lots of things competing for time and attention. If you don’t frequently remind them that you’re still around and what you can do for them, chances are they will forget.
  2. Don’t waste the money you spent getting the customer or lead in the first place: This is something most of us Accidental Salespeople don’t realise… We’ve already spent a lot of time (money) getting the prospect or customer in the first place. They’ve already told us they want to do business with us… yet we’ve started spending even more money looking for someone new?
  3. Is your competitor already email marketing to your customers? Who will your customer think of first… you or your competitor?

You must make contact with your customer often enough so that you are the first name (or at least one of the very few names) that they think of when they need something you can provide.

There are other ways (aside from email) of maintaining regular contact but email is probably the most COST EFFECTIVE.

Email can play a crucial role in the success of small businesses with a proven ROI of $43 for every dollar invested (Direct Marketing Association, 2009)

This post is a small excerpt from our new FREE report titled:

The Accidental Salesperson’s Guide to Email Sales & Marketing with Outlook

7 Tips used EVERY DAY by Real (Intentional) Salespeople to RETAIN and GAIN NEW CUSTOMERS

Most of the ideas in the report were very generously shared by our THOUSANDS of readers who are already using Outlook very successfully to GROW their businesses.

Click here Download a FREE COPY of this Outlook Report.  (The report is 100% FREE… you may want to download it TODAY as it contains some TIME-SENSITIVE information on using Outlook as a Sales Power-Tool)

Categories : Sales and Marketing with Outlook Comments ( 1 )