Email is a powerful tool for communication employed by nearly everyone. It helps us stay connected with family, send friends cat videos, get offers from our favorite companies, and maybe even get notifications from our place of business. The fact that it’s so prevalent and easy to use, can lull us into a false sense of security, especially if you depend on it for business.
Even though Tribute Media is not an email service provider, we hear from clients frequently about the problems they experience, and want to share a few tips for good email habits.
Check your server settings. Make sure that the server you are using is set up correctly to let through all types of communication, from all necessary providers. You don’t want a prospect trying to contact you for services getting their email rejected by you server.
Understand that not all email providers are created equal. Make sure your provider can meet all the needs of your business. A basic understanding of all types of email accounts will be very helpful.
Send test emails to yourself before sending anything important. Learn how attachments work and are displayed in the client you use. Make sure your junk and spam rules are not too strict.
Make a backup. I would suggest making a back up of your entire computer/business systems. It very easy to export or archive your email messages into a folder on an external drive.
Having worked in our support department for almost two years, I have seen the full gamut of email issues and people’s habits when using email for business. The first thing to realize is that email is not 100% reliable, despite what most people think (and what email providers will tell you). Just the variety of different servers, email clients, and programs that people use is staggering. With so many different applications trying to interact, it’s expected that you will run into issues at some point. I’m not trying to scare you into not using email. What I’m trying to stress is that if you know what kind of issues to expect, it’s easier to combat and find workarounds for problems that arise.
To give an example, I have heard many people get frustrated when email is acting up. They say, “This is for my business. I’m losing money due to the fact that this is not working.” As a business, losing money is a nightmare, and you would do nearly anything to prevent that. If you depend on your email for all your communications and business needs, you are more susceptible to a disaster, unless you understand the pitfalls and take some precautions.
The person in this example did not back up his computer, did not keep copies of attachments, and had his mail client set up to delete anything older than one week. He let all his important information sit on the server, where he assumed it was safe. The server crashed right before a big meeting where he was attempting to close a million dollar deal. He did not have access the documents he needed and was unable to close the deal. Had he taken simple precautions to protect this information, he might be a million dollars richer today.