In an earlier post, we identified 3 Types of Email Overwhelm. In this post I would like to talk about how you can reduce email stress by significantly reducing the time taken to reply to emails… and still write better quality emails.
This one tool reduced the time spent by our customer support department on emails by 65%!
We did some research with our readers and found out that:
- We don’t have that many different emails to write
Our analysis revealed that although we have a lot of emails to write, we don’t actually have that many DIFFERENT emails to write. Many of our emails are very similar to other emails that we have written in the past.
- We are WASTING a lot of time rewriting the same emails over and over and over again.
We can save a LOT of time if we identify the common emails that we need to write and spend time writing them correctly once … maybe even get expert help to write the more important emails once for you. Then reuse the wording each time you need to write a similar email.
- Rewriting the same email over and over again generally results in LOWER quality correspondence
You’re not getting better at it just because you’re doing it over and over again. After a while writing the same email gets boring so we rush through the process … plus the quality of your email is dependent on your mood each time you write it.
We often feel overwhelmed by email because we are WASTING our precious time and energy REWRITING the same emails over and over again.
… and A SIMPLE Solution
Template your most common emails. Implement and use a system that lets you write emails once and then reuse them as often as you need to.
A simple change like creating and using templates for your replies could result in better quality correspondence… that takes LESS time to write. The end result is better communications, happier customers and more time for you to work on something more fulfilling.
Which brings us to… Insert Text for Outlook.
The biggest problem with InsertText is its name… InsertText does much more than just insert text into your emails.
It is a complete email template solution for Microsoft Outlook. You can use Insert Text to:
- Create and use email templates in Microsoft Outlook
- Templates can be used to Create new emails as well as Reply, Reply-to-All and Forward
- Templates can have plain text, formatted text (HTML), To, CC, BCC fields and more (this is a addin specially designed for emails)
- Easy to user interface lets you search, find and use templates easily.
If you’re not using InsertText yet… you owe it to yourself to try it out. There is a fully functional 30-day trial on our website.
Also remember to check out the NEW YEARS RESOLUTION OUTLOOK PACK. We have bundled InsertText with 3 other Outlook Email Overwhelm boosters. You can save more than 50% for the next few days.
I have had a terrific response from readers to my email last week. Thank you all for your emails. One thing is obvious…
EMAIL IS GETTING IN THE WAY OF REAL WORK for many readers… and many of you want ways of reducing the stress and frustration that email is causing.
We’ve put together several tools that will help but first…
From reader emails and our own experience, there are 3 TYPES of EMAIL OVERWHELM
- There are way too many emails (I mean work related emails… spam is easy to eliminate).
- It takes too much time responding to emails
- It is too difficult keeping emails organized so that they are easy to find for later reference.
And now let me tell you about the…
NEW YEARS RESOLUTION OUTLOOK PACK
We have almost 30,000 regular readers of our blog and newsletter and we wanted to do something EXTRA special to start the year…
something that helps you be SUPER PRODUCTIVE immediately.
So we’ve put together 4 tools that will IMMEDIATELY take control of your emails and reduce overwhelm in all 3 areas identified above.
For the rest of the year… take control of your emails and have a Better Outlook.
Over the last few weeks I have noticed that spammers have started more and more spam email from YOUR or MY email address. The email is from YOU and also to YOU. Chances are you have your email address white-listed. Here’s a little trick I use to stop these emails from getting into my Inbox.
First why would you email yourself…last week I wrote a tip on how you can stay organized by emailing yourself… that could be a reason.
Here’s how you can move the spam emails out of your Inbox but still keep the real emails you have emailed yourself.
Decide on a few characters that you will type in the Subject of every email that you send yourself. Keep it simple as you want to be able to type these characters from your BlackBerry etc as well. Use something like QAZ or whatever is easy for you to type.
Any time you send yourself an email type those characters in the Subject e.g. Instead of “Pick Stuff from Supermarket”, you would need to type (say) “QAZ Pick Stuff From Supermarket”.
Now setup Outlook.
- Add your own email address to the Safe Senders list in Outlook (this is probably already done)
- Create a Rule in Outlook so that all emails from your email address get moved to your Junk Mail folder, except those with your special tag in them (QAZ in the example above)
- If you are using Outlook 2010. Click on File and select the Info tab and then click on Manage Rules & Alerts.
For all other versions of Outlook, click Tools and then click Rules & Alerts.
- Click on New Rule… to display the Rules Wizard as shown below:
- Click Move messages from someone to a folder.
- Click people or distribution list. Enter all your own email addresses in the From field and click OK.
- Click specified folder. Use the screen that comes up to select the Junk E-mail folder and click OK.
- Click Next, Next and then Next again
- Tick except if the subject contains specific words.
- Click Specific Words. Enter the tag (QAZ in example) and click Add.
- Click OK
- Your Rules should look something like the following:
- Click Finish.
Now anytime Outlook receives an email from you, it will get moved to the Junk Emails folder, EXCEPT when they have your special tag. EASY!
Does this tip work for you? Do you have other better methods? Tell me what you think by leaving a comment on the blog.
Need to make sure that you get something done… EMAIL YOURSELF! This works much better for me then putting it on a Task List. Why? Like many people my Inbox acts as my real (or at least more immediate) Task List.
Here are some ways to get the most out of this super easy tip.
- Basic Way: Just Email yourself when you need to remember to do something.
- Need to follow up on an email that you are sending out to a client: BCC yourself on the email and a copy will end up in your Inbox.
- From your BlackBerry or other email-enabled phone: This is my FAVOURITE. It means that I can update my To Do List from anywhere… I’m at the supermarket and remember that I need to call a client on Monday… easy… I create and send an email from my phone… and I can get back to chasing my 4 year old down the candy aisle.
Did you find this tip useful? Do you have your own creative ways of applying this tip. Leave a comment on the blog.
Over the last few days I have received several emails in my Outlook Inbox from LinkedIn… turns out that the emails were not from LinkedIn at all. This is the latest trick that spammers are using to get you to click on links that send you to their websites. Luckily… it is easy for Outlook users find out if a link is safe to click.
But first… What are the dangers of clicking on a spammers link?
One or more of several bad things can happen when you click on a trick link:
- You end up going to a website selling stuff you have no interest in.
- You end up telling the spammer that the email they sent you was sent to a valid email address… so they send you even more spam… and maybe sell your email address to other spammers.
- The website you end up at infects your computer with a virus or worm.
So you need to make sure that the link is real before clicking on it!
How to check to see if the link is valid?
Simply move your mouse over the link (but do not click on it).
Outlook will display the URL that the link is pointing to as shown below.
In this case, it is obvious that the link is NOT going to LinkedIn… so don’t click on it… don’t click on ANY of the links in the email… and delete the email too!
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:
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)
People often email me several questions in the same email. My answer is normally… Please see comments below… and then I write comments inside the “original message” that is part of the email.
I have setup Outlook to automatically insert my name to identify MY comments to the reader. Here’s how you can do the same.
Go to your Inbox.
In Outlook 2007 or earlier, click Tools-Options. (Outlook 2010 instructions later)
Select the Preferences tab.
Click the Email Options button to display the following screen.
Tick the “Mark my comments with” checkbox.
In Outlook 2010, click File-Options
Select the Mail tab and down to the Replies and Forward Section.
Tick the “Preface comment with” box and write your name in the space provided.
The next time you comment on an email, your comments will stand out.
While checking something on my dad’s computer over the weekend, I found out that he will probably LOSE YEARS WORTH OF EMAILS soon… This is through no fault of his own and there will be no warning when it happens… Outlook will simply stop working.
Here’s how you can check to see if you may also have the same problem in the future.
Very briefly… Dad has been using Outlook since Outlook 2000.
If you are using an Outlook data file that was originally created by a version of Outlook prior to Outlook 2003, then your data file has a maximum possible size of 2 GB.
If this data file exceeds 2 GB (there is no warning as you approach this limit), Outlook will simply stop working. There are ways to recover your data but they’re not easy. (I’m glad I discovered this issue before the data got corrupted and he made me try and recover it)
What do you need to do? Find out the size and version of your Outlook data file. Full instructions are in the post on How to maintain Outlook data (PST) files that I did last week.
(I wrote about this topic last week but thought it worthwhile to stress the point in light of the discovery on dad’s computer)