Tag Archives: E-Mail

Why (and How) you should split your Outlook data file into 2

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, July 15th, 2011

Outlook by default saves all its e-mails into one file. Prior to Outlook 2003, there was a limitation of 2 GB to your Outlook data file. Although 2 GB seems like a lot, this space can be filled quickly particularly if you receive a lot of attachments.

Once you reach that limit, there is no real warning. Outlook just slows down, e-mails start getting lost and in some cases Outlook just stops opening altogether. Retrieving your e-mails from this corrupt PST is a nightmare.

In Outlook 2003, you have the option of using the new Unicode format of Outlook data file which can hold much more data. However if you upgraded Outlook from an earlier version then chances are that you are still using the older format with the 2 GB limitation.

Irrespective of whether you are using the new or old format data file, you should split your Outlook data into at least 2 files. Your main PST file should not be used like a filing cabinet for old e-mails. Create a separate PST file to save e-mails that you want to keep for future reference. This leaves your main Outlook data file lean and mean so that Outlook is able to open up quickly. To create a new Outlook data file:

For Outlook 2010:

  1. Click on Home tab
  2. Select New Items > More Items > Outlook Data File…
  3. Outlook suggests a default location for the file. I recommend that you change this to a folder that you backup regularly, possible a sub-folder in your My Documents.
  4. Enter a filename and click OK to create the file.

For Outlook 2003/2007:

  1. Click File > New > Outlook Data File
  2. Outlook 2003 Only: Outlook 2003 uses two types of Outlook data files. If you will be using the data only in Outlook 2003 or later, choose MS Outlook Personal Folders File. Otherwise choose the Outlook 97-2002 option.
  3. Outlook suggests a default location for the file. I recommend that you change this to a folder that you backup regularly, possible a sub-folder in your My Documents.
  4. Enter a filename and click OK to create the file.

You can create as many Personal Folder files as you need. Most users only need to create one in addition to the one that Outlook creates by default.

PST 1: Default Folder created by Outlook
PST 2: Use to store Project E-mails

If you have a very high volume of e-mails (particularly with large attachments) you may want to have 2 PST files for your Project E-mails, one for Active projects and one for Completed projects.

How to Move Emails from One PST to another (Using Drag and Drop)

One simple way of moving your emails from one PST to another is to Drag and Down the email to the appropriate folder. This method is simple and it works but:

  1. It can be time-consuming to find the right folder if you have a lot of folders
  2. It is easy to accidentally drop the email into the wrong folder

Using QuickFile to move your emails

Our Outlook addin QuickFile has the ability to remember where you commonly file emails related to a project/case/person and it will provide you with a list of recently used folders. You can simply:

  1. Select the email that you wish to move
  2. On the QuickFile toolbar/Ribbon, click the QuickFile button. This will display the QuickFile screen.
  3. You can select the appropriate folder from the recommended list(based on your previous filing)
  4. Click Move

The email will now be moved to the appropriate folder.

QuickFile is the Fastest, Easiest and Error-Free way to file emails in Outlook. Users tell us that they can file as much as 90% of their emails at the click of one button.

Click here to learn more about QuickFile for Outlook.

Do NOT CC customers from Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Friday, July 8th, 2011

Do you have an important message that you need to communicate to all your customers now? Your customers are already saved as contacts in Outlook… so maybe you could just create an email and CC it to all of them. NO!

Using the CC field to send out your sales and marketing emails is not recommended. It can result in annoyed customers and lost sales because:

You are violating your customers’ privacy: When you use CC to send out emails, every person who receives the email will be able to see everyone else’s email address.  The problems this can cause are:

  1. Your customers may not want other people to know that they are working with you.
  2. Your customers may not want other people on your list to have their email address.
  3. One of the recipients may decide to use your list for their own marketing efforts.

A good example of this recently happened at our golf club which circulates its weekly newsletter using the CC field. A few of the members have simply copied the list and started advertising all kinds of things… from cars… to computers… to garage sales. I’m not quitting the golf club because it is the only one close to my home but your customers may quit on you.

Your email may never reach your customer: One of the rules that junk email filters use to work out if an email is spam is based on the number of recipients. Stuff too many people in the CC field and suddenly your email ends up in the Junk Email folder where it is never read.

Your email never gets read because it is obvious to the customer that this is a bulk mail out: Even if the email gets to your customer, it looks like a marketing email. He thinks you’re just trying to sell him something so he either deletes it… or leaves it in his Inbox to read later (how many of those emails do we ever read later?).

… can you use the BCC field instead!
The BCC field is no better at customer communications. Because the email is not addressed to the customer, the junk filters either move it to the junk folder… or the user recognizes it as marketing and deletes or ignores it till too late.

So what can you do?
If you’re one of the tens of thousands of users of the Email Merge for Outlook addin, you already know. Email Merge takes your chosen list of people (from Outlook or Excel or wherever) and:

  1. Creates a separate email for each person… with only their email address in the To field.
  2. Personalises the Subject and/or body of the email with their personal details (name, company name etc) if you want.
  3. Sends the email out immediately or schedules it out at a time suitable to you.
  4. It does all this and more inside Outlook using a Wizard that steps you through the process in a few minutes.

If you haven’t tried Email Merge yet, click here to learn more and download a fully functional version of the Email Merge for Outlook addon.

You’ll be sending out your first set of sales and marketing emails within 5 minutes.

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.”

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.

Empty your Outlook Deleted Items automatically when you quit

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Here is a simple tip to make Outlook empty your Deleted Items folder automatically each time you quit.

WARNING: I am assuming that you know that the Trash Can is not the same as a filing cabinet… and that once you have deleted an email (and sent it to the Deleted Items folder), you no longer want it!

After you make this simple settings change Outlook will display a message similar to the following every time you close Outlook.

Delete Prompt

In Outlook 2010:

  • Click File.
  • Click Options
  • Select the Advanced tab.
  • Tick the box labelled “Empty Deleted Items Folder when exiting Outlook”.

Outlook Options

  • Click OK

In Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2003:

  • Click Tools
  • Click Options
  • Select the Other tab.
  • Tick the box labelled “Empty Deleted Items Folder when exiting Outlook”.
  • Click OK

I hope this quick tip helps to keep your Outlook data file cleaner and leaner.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 1 )

How to Avoid Sending Emails to the WRONG person

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Monday, November 1st, 2010

This happened to me yesterday. I used Outlook’s auto-complete feature to select an email address while addressing my email and selected the wrong person. I ended up sending the email to completely the wrong person.

My Outlook is configured to send out emails automatically and I wasn’t able to stop it … although I realised my mistake within seconds of clicking Send.

Luckily for me, the content of the email wasn’t confidential so there was no real damage done. But things could have been worse …

Here are two ways to avoid this problem.

Option 1: Disable the Send Immediately function (not my preferred option).

You can setup Outlook to only send out emails according to your preset schedule or when you click Send&Receive.

To turn off automatic sends:

  • If you are using Outlook 2010, (on the ribbon) click FileOptions. Click the Advanced section and then scroll down to “Send and Receive”.
    If you are using earlier versions of Outlook, (on the menu) click ToolsOptions. Click the Mail Setup tab.
  • Remove the tick next to “Send immediately when connected

Option 2: Delay all outgoing emails in your Outbox for (say) 30 seconds – this is what I have now implemented

It is possible to do this manually but it has to be done for every email you write … I am way to lazy for a manual solution … it’s not going to happen.

Instead I use the Delay Guard feature in SendGuard 4 Outlook to delay all my outgoing emails by 30 seconds. The settings screen is shown below.

SendGuard Settings

I have set it up so that it asks me if I want the email delayed whenever I click Send (if you find the message intrusive, just remove one tick on the settings screen for all emails to be automatically delayed without the message)

Delay Emails in SendGuard

Why 30 seconds? I find that I realise within 30 seconds of clicking Send if there’s something wrong with the email I just sent. After 30 seconds I’ve moved on to something else and the email would have been sent out any way.

Categories : SendGuard for Outlook Comments ( 2 )

Email Merge: Why Personalized Emails from Outlook Get Better Responses Than Bulk Emails?

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Are your Sales and Marketing Emails from Outlook reaching their audience… or are they lost in Junk Mail folders?

In order to get your marketing emails read by your customers, you should NEVER send out bulk emails by stuffing many email addresses in the To, CC or even BCC fields.

Instead use Outlook to do an email merge i.e. create and send out a separate, personalized, individually addressed copy of the same email to each person.

Why is this important?

Emails sent the wrong way are MUCH  more likely to be blocked by the many levels of junk email filters that we all have (even if we don’t always know they’re there).

Junk/SPAM Mail Filters have different levels of sophistication but they all follow a few basic rules including:

  1. An email with a lot of recipients is more likely to be spam than an email addressed to only my valid email address and…
  2. 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.

You can learn more about Email Merge for Outlook and download a trial version using this link.

Using Outlook as an Essential Business Tool

By standss - Comments ( 14 ) Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Welcome to our brand new blog…. Regular readers will know that we’ve been blogging for almost 3 years on Outlook4Business.Blogspot.Com. We felt it was time to bring our blog home… to our own website.

For those who are new to us… our blog focuses on making use of Outlook as a serious productivity tool as part of your daily work.

We will discuss and explore ways in which Microsoft Outlook can help you organize and grow your business. We will try and give you hints and tips to make better use of Outlook, as well as pointing you to ebooks (many free), websites and software that can make you more productive.

Many (possibly most) of our tips will not require any extra software… all you will need is Outlook.

We will also use this blog to provide additional information specifically for users of our own software.  What kind of software do we develop?

We specialize in the development of Outlook addins that are designed to solve specific business problems.

All our addins work inside Outlook and add a few buttons (and extra functionality) to Outlook for you.

At the time of writing this post, our main applications include:

EmailMerge for Outlook:  Easy to use Wizard interface to send out individually addressed, personalized emails to your contacts. Perfect for Sales and Marketing newsletters, special offers, announcements etc.

QuickFile for Outlook: File 90% of your emails to the correct folder at the click of a button. Files both incoming and outgoing (sent emails). Find and use any folder simply by typing a few characters of the folder name… no more hunting through folder trees. Plus many more powerful email management features.

SendGuard for Outlook: Automatically detects and prompts you if you forget an attachment, do a reply-to-all, do a reply on an email with multiple recipients, send out emails with missing or inappropriate subjects, send out an email using the wrong email account and more. It even lets you undo emails after you have clicked Send.

InsertText for Outlook: Speeds up email response times and ensure high quality emails. InsertText allows you to easily save text (with formatting and more)  as templates for future emails. Templates can include the message body, subject, to, cc and bcc fields. Major time saver for sales and support teams.

SignatureSwitch for Outlook: Improves Outlook’s use of HTML signatures by automatically sending out the appropriate signature depending on whether the email is going to external or internal addresses. External emails will be sent using formatted signatures with your full branding message. Internal signatures will be simple to save bandwidth and space on your servers.

Our products are already used by tens of thousands of users around the world and we hope these tips will help you get better results for your business using our software.

Remember… even if you don’t use our software, many of our tips will help you become much more productive with Outlook.

We look forward to serving you through our blog.

You can also connect to us via Twitter and Facebook by using the links below.

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Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 14 )