Tech Nous Smarten Up Your Email

Keeping up with the Joneses is not as simple as it used to be, now that home technology has become the accepted measuring stick. Having said that, I really didn’t need recent television news item to tell me that VCRs are dying, and DVD players are in the ascendancy. DVDs’ climbing popularity is reflected in the increasing shelf space given over to them in, now mis-named, video hire stores. It’s only matter of time before recordable DVD machines become flavour of the year. Just watch those stacks of brown boxes at your local appliance retailer grow once price-points slip below $500.
I’ve already made the switch to DVD so on my technology shopping list for the year is new mobile phone – I have one of those ancient pre-text messaging models; my internet connection – despite hounding from my kids I’m not on broadband yet; and of course, another computer. One computer simply isn’t enough for household’s research and entertainment requirements. The Joneses stand good chance of winning any technology race with me!
It shouldn’t, of course, be race. Not at home, and certainly not back at the office. Undoubtedly some new technologies deserve close consideration, such as wireless applications for companies with reps in the field. It is easy to fall into the gee-whiz trap but many enterprises would do better by utilising existing technologies, and simultaneously save some money.
Take email for example. According to recent survey by e-marketing software development company Calcium Software, email now accounts for around 42 percent of our daily business communication. We’ve all become so dependent on email that most of us don’t even think about how we present our email messages. Email has become marketing afterthought. Think about it for moment. How is your email affecting your company’s reputation? Do you, for instance, use it as part of your corporate branding?
The survey, produced with help from the Direct Marketing Association and MessageMedia, shows that 64 percent of New Zealand businesses use email to develop new business or generate one-to-one sales. But much of this email traffic looks and feels unprofessional. Most organisations need to put more thought and budget into the appearance of their email communications, to keep them in line with the rest of the company’s image. Why not, for instance, divert some of the funds traditionally spent on printing box-loads of expensive letterhead?
The survey, based on poll of 3000 business people, provided some interesting statistics on the number of emails sent in this country every day. Sixty-two percent of those polled sent 10 to 30 emails daily, 23 percent sent 31 to 50, and further eight percent posted up to 100 emails. That’s an awful lot of shabby-looking communication.
And there are, according to Calcium, other important deficiencies in the emails we send. Brand values and corporate identity are non-existent; the lack of any centralised legal disclaimers leaves senders open to defamation and libel risk; and cross-selling opportunities are missed. It is time to try harder and the secret to success lies in selecting what’s appropriate by ‘priming’ all emails via standard templates. You could try Calcium’s home-grown mailPrimer product or choose from variety of other software programs now available. For more information on the former go to www.mailprimer.com. At the very least, your email presentations will be sharper than your competitors’.

Glenn Baker is regular contributor to
Management.
Email: [email protected]

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