Effectively managing email continues to be a struggle for many agency staff. Unfortunately, email is the most significant productivity drains in an agency today. In past TechTips, I have talked about many different strategies you can use to regain control over your email inbox.
One strategy is to learn how to write better emails. Improving the emails you send can significantly reduce the emails you receive and make it much easier for you to respond. Here are seven suggestions that are simple yet can be very useful:
Receiving paper statements in the mail is a pain. Especially for those of us who store information electronically. I have stopped receiving paper statements from any vendor that offers this option. I no longer want to have to deal with a physical copy of the statement.
However, I do want to save the statement in my electronic filing system. I may need it at a later time. While I could just go to the vendor website and retrieve it when needed, I have found that most keep past statements online for only 18 months.
Retrieving electronic statements by hand takes time. Time I do not want to waste.
Fortunately, I found a service a while ago that automatically retrieves my statements and pushes them to my chosen electronic file cabinet, which for me is Evernote.
Sometimes crazy ideas are just that — crazy.
And sometimes crazy ideas lead to reinventing normal. The following quotes are from Jeff Bezos’ 2013 Shareowner Letter.
Nothing gives us more pleasure at Amazon than “reinventing normal” – creating inventions that customers love and resetting their expectations for what normal should be.
Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right. When this process works, it means our failures are relatively small in size (most experiments can start small), and when we hit on something that is really working for customers, we double-down on it with hopes to turn it into an even bigger success. However, it’s not always as clean as that. Inventing is messy, and over time, it’s certain that we’ll fail at some big bets too. —Jeff Bezos (2013 Shareowner Letter)
What are you doing to “reinvent normal” for your customers?
David Carothers has come up with a crazy idea – an insurance producer reality series. Here is how he described it in a recent email.
Email remains the primary method we use to communicate with others. It is essential to make sure the other party receives the emails you send.
Spam (unwanted email) is a big problem and has made the process of making sure your email is received a bit more complicated. Many tools help manage and block unwanted emails from your inbox. Most agencies have a spam filter on their incoming email. So do your customers. Your incoming emails could be considered unwanted spam by your customer’s spam filter.
Practicing proper email etiquette is one way to help make sure your emails are received in your customer’s inbox. Another is providing instructions to your clients on how to “whitelist” your emails with their Internet Service Provider (ISP) to make sure they are received.
Creating visually appealing graphics has always been a good practice to capture client and prospects’ attention. While a simple graphic may work fine for your current needs, it’s increasingly important to step up your visual creation game. Between online articles, social media posts, and emails, we are becoming accustomed to a higher level and quality for graphic design.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a question from Steve Lipstone from the Lipstone Insurance Group in North Carolina. He had seen an engaging graphic in an article and wanted to know, “What type of software programs can you use (free or paid) to create graphics?” I thought maybe there might be others who have the same question.
Fortunately, a growing list of tools will help you create stunning graphics without needing to be a graphic designer or hire one. I have written about several of these tools in the past. Below are links to articles that describe the tools in more detail.