Tips of the Trade: Why you can’t rely on e-mail
By Ilise Benun, marketing mentor
When I posted a cautionary tale last week about e-mail gone missing on the Marketing Mix Blog, not only did two readers find important messages from new prospects in their spam folder; one reader even proposed a solution to the e-mail problem that’s not getting any better any time soon. Read on...
Time and time again, it’s proven true: you can’t rely on e-mail and you can’t make assumptions. Those two things together are lethal.
When I first started working with Nicole, a Web designer, a couple of my e-mail messages never made it to her inbox. She didn’t think anything of it.
A month later, when she got around to contacting her service provider about it, she discovered that my messages weren’t the only ones missing. Many legitimate messages had been filtered as spam, including two from real live prospects to whom she’d submitted proposals, but never heard back.
Here were their responses, saying, “We’re ready to go ahead with the project.” But Nicole didn’t get those messages and, busy with other things, she assumed they’d chosen someone else. By the time she found these messages, they had in fact chosen another Web designer. UGH!
I asked Nicole, “What could you have done to prevent this type of miscommunication?”
The answer: stay on top of pending projects and if you don’t hear back via e-mail, pick up the phone.
You must get an answer from a live prospect, even if it feels like you’re harassing them to get it. There are real world consequences to imagining they don’t want to work with you. Nicole understands that really well now.
Kelly Parkinson of Copylicious responded with this:
I’m thinking a catch-all solution might be to:
1) Check spam filter daily (such a pain, though)
2) Invest in paid e-mail—would that make a difference? I forward my professional e-mails to my Gmail account. 99.9 percent of them get through. Not good enough when you miss a project. Ironically, I’ve only had problems with other people who send e-mail through Gmail.
That’s it for today.
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