Most businesses are using Outlook as their email client side software.
Email is a mixed mail bag. It can be a great tool and a terrible distraction—at the same time.
There are things about Outlook everyone should know how to do:
1. Create Folders to Organize Email
2. Use the Reminder System (Tasks, Calendars, etc—whatever works for YOU)
3. Rules (Did you know Outlook can file incoming emails for you?)
4. Distribution Lists (Send emails to predefined groups—Everyone in sales, all customers, etc)
5. Signature Line (Email should end with your contact information)
Beyond the “How To” stuff there should be some established protocols. Email should be answered “same day”. Email replies that require research should still be answered immediately with “I will have an answer or an update for you by…”
Emails should be short and to the point. Email content should be clear. If a customer expresses a problem, don’t reply with, “I’ll take care of it”. Tell them what you will do, “I will ship a replacement today”. When referring to days always include the date. “There is an important meeting tomorrow” isn’t enough information. “There is an important meeting Friday, July 20th” is more appropriate.
Emails should be constructed from proper English sentences using upper and lower case letters. Emails of all upper or all lower case look “lazy”.
Tip: Need to check your personal email account from work? If you are permitted Internet use at work, you can grab your personal email by visiting:
This is a fabulous and free service.
Finally, as I have said before, there are times to shut Outlook off. If you need 30 minutes to compose an important letter, turn off Outlook. That ding, pop-up or ghost message is very distracting.
Shameless Promotion: It’s about training. Give me some time at your business and I’ll improve productivity and reduce the stress from the onslaught of emails.
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog