Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to Write Emails that Get FASTER Responses to ALL your concerns/questions

Do you find that when you send out emails, people only send partial responses? Here is a easy tip that makes it easier for the respondent to address all your concerns AND gets them to address at least some of your issues faster AND also makes it easy for you to follow up.

The Secret… make one email about one topic/project only.

Why does it make it easier to get a response to all your questions?

Most people use their emails like a To-Do list. It feels great to knock a few things off that ever-growing list. So if you send an email with too many things in it, the respondent will reply and deal with either the most important or (more likely) the easiest questions. The email is then considered dealt with… they know you’ll email him again if you really need answers to the other questions.

Why does it get them to respond to at least some of your questions faster?

Other people will look at your email and think… It will take time to answer all those questions… I’ll respond later. They may procrastinate for a long time before getting back to you.

On the other hand, if you had separate emails for each topic… you probably would have received a response to things that could have been answered immediately. (We all want to knock things off that To-Do list)

Benefit for the person you are writing to: It gives them a much better way of managing To-Do items that relate to you.

Why is it easier to follow up?

If you have a separate email for each topic and use Outlook flags, Tasks or some other method of knowing what still needs to be followed up on… it’s easier to mark topics as completed as you get responses… and you know exactly what you still need to follow up on.

It’s also easier to resend an email that has not been responded to at all (than to forward and modify a partially responded-to email)

Try out this simple tip… you’ll find a big change in responses. I have.

Do you have your own ways of getting faster and complete responses? Tell me what you think by leaving a comment on the blog.

Before I forget… we have a great productivity booster announcement next week… if you’re not part of our email newsletter (which is different from the blog newsletter), sign up at

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

STOP Getting Spammed by Your Own Email Address

Over the last few weeks I have noticed that spammers have started more and more spam email from YOUR/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.

1. Add your own email address to the Safe Senders list in Outlook (this is probably already done)

2. 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)

Click Tools - Rules and Alerts
Click New Rule to display the Rules Wizard

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
Click Next

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.

Related Links:
Fine-Tuning Spam Filtering in Outlook