Tag Archives: Email Advice

Anne Orfila
Old School Rules Still Apply in The New Web World

I have been in the wild web world longer than many of you who are reading this. I’m a Gen X, not a Millennial. Most likely, the biggest differentiating factor between me and a Millennial who is doing the same type of web marketing work as I currently am, is that I worked in an office. Sure, sure, you’re saying that so have you. But my first job was in a serious mega corporation that wasn’t full of young people aspiring to hit it big with IPOs and stock options. My employer was already on the stock market and I had the bigwigs from New York breathing down my neck for sales revenue reports, forecasts, and whatever else they needed. This also happened to be my first job out of college. I was young, but eager to be a team player, and a fast learner. What I learned in those 3 years of corporate life was something I have taken with me to every job since. Old school office etiquette works wonders. Even in this current fast-paced web world.

Mind your manners in the wild web world. What is old school etiquette in the office? Basically, it’s using proper manners in the workplace. Etiquette applies to “netiquette” too! Show respect to your coworkers and their privacy, speak (or email or call) politely, mind your (political, religious, controversial) opinions, use “please” and “thank you” whenever appropriate, keep your voice down, ask to borrow other people’s office supplies, keep team members in the loop, show up to meetings on time, stay at home when you are sick (unless you are already home, then just be thankful for your work-from-home job!)

I’ve been working at home for more than a decade, but I never let my etiquette slip. Since my clients, and Web Marketing Therapy coworkers are all over the U.S., all of my work and most of my correspondence is done electronically so my office manners have been transposed a bit to fit the web world, but the gist is still the same.

Follow These Old-School Rules in Today’s New-School Web World:

  • Keep your emails clear, polite, to the point, and prompt. If there is something you need, be clear to ask for it…nicely!
  • Emails should not be one word or in all lowercase. I don’t care if you reply from your phone! You don’t talk in one word sentences (and even if you do), your emails should not just be one word sentences.
  • Address the recipient with a pleasant greeting such as “Dear xxx”, “Good Morning, xxx”. Not “Hey”
  • Confirm receipt of work emails from clients, even if you haven’t completed it. Occasionally something doesn’t get delivered and if your client is used to a confirmation, than they’ll know if you haven’t received their email.
  • Use “please” and “thank you” whenever necessary.
  • Your email subject needs to reflect what your email is about.
  • Don’t forward anything personal (jokes, political statements, funny cartoons, chain letters, etc.,) to clients, even if you are on “friendly” terms.
  • Stick to a basic font (Arial, Helvetica), in a “regular” size, and use black.
  • Do not use ALL CAPS, EVER.
  • No profanity belongs in any client email.
  • Temper the exclamation points, the bolded words, and underlining.
  • Avoid shortcuts for words: “u” for “you”, “bc” for “because”, “gr8” for “great” and so forth.
  • Use emoticons sparingly.
  • If there are multiple people on a message you receive, decipher whether it is appropriate to “reply all” or to just reply to the sender.
  • Keep your client or coworkers in the loop. You may be half way through a project, but it’s always nice to send them a brief status email update so they know that you are working on it.
  • Sign off your emails with a pleasantry such as “Sincerely”, “Warm Regards”, “Kind Regards” and include a signature with your contact information.
  • Notify clients and coworkers of vacations or times when you are away from your office.
  • Use your out-of-office assistant when taking extended time away from work.

Whether you are Gen X or a Millennial, don’t be afraid to throw in some old school office etiquette in the new wild web world. After all, courtesy, respect, and professionalism never go out of style.

Lorrie Thomas
Get over your email passive ego crud

Get over your email ego - own your communications

Get over your email ego - own your communications

So many professionals have lost professionalism and have fallen into a sick egotistic assumption-consumption pattern with email.  To be clear, I am talking “assume” as in in makes an “ass” of “u” and “me.

I see a overwhelming trend occurring worldwide that plagues professionals.  It seems that they subconsciously assume that when they send an email, the ownership is off them….their egoism assumes that their recipient is at their desk anxiously awaiting the incoming message and have to take immediate action.   (Admit it, you’ve been on the sending and receiving end of this!)  Funny, true or sick, email ego-assumption-consumption is a marketing no-no….

Get over passive email ego stuff and get over yourself, your web marketing will thank you for it.

Emails tend to have a lifespan of THREE DAYS.  If you don’t get a reply, do not assume that you will. Try a new communication medium.

Own the process of finding the communication mediums that work for your customers.  This is not a one size fits all process.  Some folks like phone, some like snail mail (I cringe as I type this, but direct mail still works on some markets) twitter, text, Facebook, podcast, RSS, radio or TV (or a melange ofseveral to reinforce messages!!)

I am flooded on a daily basis with passive-aggressive comments like “I sent you that email” or “It’s in the email I sent” comments.  What I hear from these folks (translation from the therapist) is: “I choose to not be accountable for my marketing communications and I am assuming that my email was delivered to you perfectly and I assume you have nothing better to do then read my email start to finish, totally understand it, write me back and take action.”

(Actually, the likelihood that your emails are read and understood from top to bottom is very unlikely, delivered or not!)

web surfers scan, they don’t read

So in the name of making this web writing fast and scan-able, I’ll be brief and wrap this rant up.

Get over yourself when it comes to email and test it, track it, find alternative ways to connect and OWN IT if you don’t get email replies!

I love email and share information but the gargantuan egos that assume you people are eagerly waiting your email is…well….very ego-y…

Someone has to call out this behavior and get it out in the open!!!  Spread the “fight email egoism!!” post and help make the web world a better place!

Lorrie Thomas
A Biz Card is NOT an email Opt In!

It’s my blog and I can rant if I want to….

I just returned from a lovely unwinding staycation in my hometown of Santa Barbara, California (I did, of course, sneak in two speaking gigs like a good she-geek in between days off!)

Yes, I may be suffering from mild post staycation depression as I am rewinding, probably because my rewind has involved a way-too-long unromantic date with my inbox.  It seems that post two speaking gigs and exchanging lots of business cards, I have an unhealthy new slew of new eNewsletters – ones that I DID NOT OPT IN TO RECEIVE.

When I give my business card to someone, I feel strongly that that is N-O-T permission to add me to an eNewsletter list.  It’s my job as a marketing therapist to observe & call out unhealthy patterns – this is a permission assumption that I see this happen all the time and it’s worth noting so our small business owners, entrepreneurs, women in business and marketing folks can think about their practices and create their own opinions about this.

It’s time for tough love…..

I don’t know what eZine queen preached that adding emails from biz cards to email lists without permission was a smart practice.  I personally believe that a quality opt-in (aka, yes, please send me information) is the best way to go.  I will continue to have my personal ethics debate about it, I encourage you to do the same.

Web Marketing Therapy Wild Web Women have asked (at events we attend) that if people want to join our eNewsletter we’ll add you if you give us your biz card, but never, ever have I added a name to my list that didn’t want it.

Respect is supposed to be recriprocal…where did I go wrong?

I want my inbox back 🙁

Kelly Kohen
Gmail to the Rescue!

As Wild Web Women we are always looking for ways to improve productivity and communication since we can’t simply walk down the hall and poke our head in our co-worker’s office. We are all spread out across the country! We have experimented with Twitter, Facebook and Yammer just to name a few, but in the end we typically come back to our origins…We are loyal Google Girls!

With limited storage on most hosted emails, we were finding that the abyss that is our inbox was being cluttered, was ineffective, was constantly getting too full (guess that means we are in demand-so no complaints there!) and we always knew we filed something away-but did such a great job of organizing that we couldn’t find it ourselves…ever find yourself in the same situation?

In walks Gmail. We already use their calendar, docs, notebook, analytics and webmaster tools, not to mention their FREE service of hosted email that uses your very own domain, but now we have shifted our other emails to Gmail as well! Goodbye storage issues, clunky user interfaces, and multiple email programs! Google has it going on!  You may already be using it for your personal email account…but check out how it can help with your business emails as well!

Gmail Highlights:

-You can send from ANY email address-even though I am connected to Gmail, I can still send from any one of my accounts, work or personal.

-You can chat with your contacts if they are online without opening a different application and you can easily see when they are available.

-You can label emails as they come in so they are easier to find later-you can assign multiple labels to the same email, which makes it easier to find if it addresses multiple topics

-The search options are great-you can search by sender, recipient, subject, words it does have or words it doesn’t have, by date range. Then you can choose where to search-sent mail, archived mail, all mail. This is a vast improvement over having to search each individual folder with limited search options

-You can instantly print maps or directions from your emails

-And last, but not least-Gmail automatically groups your messages by topic-you can open ANY message and it will show all threads of that message, even if you are opening up an older email…it updates it to show current replies as well!

    It doesn’t get any better than that with a FREE service!

    Lorrie Thomas
    Email Marketing Webdom – The Three P's

    Loren McDonald, Vice President of Industry Relations at SilverPop, a really rocking Email Marketing Company, wrote a great educational article called Email Mistake No. 10: Lack of Personality, Positioning and Proposition

    I love simple tips that are smart and valuable – this article is a keeper! 

    Loren says, “One of the biggest mistakes I see with company email programs is the lack of differentiation, personality and a clear value proposition. I call these the “Three Ps” that form a core foundation of your email program:

    -Proposition (Value): What value does your email program provide for your customers/subscribers?

    -Positioning: How does it differ from your competitors?

    -Personality: What kind of image and tone do your emails convey? ”

    McDonald’s points are spot on – this is free marketing advice that works – take it and use it!  EVERYBODY uses email.  Although I still think email marketing technology is very “Web 1.0”, email marketing is still a darn good marketing tool IF it is used wisely. 

    Check out the great email marketing tips from Silverpop!