Posted on Mar 10, 2015

The Value of Email For Business and Using it Right

How do you use email in your business? Is your email account something that takes up time to manage, time that you don’t have? Or maybe getting your unread message count to zero is a daily mission that consumes your concentration. If this is what comes to mind when you think of email there is good news – there is so much more that email can do for your business. It is a valuable tool that, when used right, can integrate with other functions in your business to increase efficiency, lower costs and increase sales.

You can improve everything from marketing to staff management to task management with email. As a communication tool it is also invaluable, not least because of its speed and archival abilities. It also allows customers to get in contact with your business, and it helps staff stay in touch.

After reading that you might be surprised at our first tip for using email…

Tip 1 – Log Out

Do you log into your email account and leave it on your desktop for the rest of the day? Or do you start Outlook and leave it running? If you do this, think about what happens when you get a new email. Usually you drop what you are doing in order to see what it is. You could be working on something incredibly important, but you let that get interrupted by an email from a colleague asking if you would like to sponsor their latest endurance event.

This always-on way of operating contributes to a fractious relationship between busy people and their email accounts. As mentioned earlier, email is incredibly valuable for business – but only when you are in control. To get control, log out.

And don’t worry about not reading your emails immediately. If it is important, the person will call you. Otherwise they will wait until your designated email reading time, which should happen two-to-three times a day.

Tip 2 – Get Google Apps for Work

Once you are in control of your email it is time to supercharge its functionality. One of the best ways to do this is through Google Apps for Work. It has two main benefits:

  1. Moves email management in your organization to Google, one of the most powerful email clients available
  2. Gives you access to a range of business tools

These tools include:

  • Google Drive – for more efficient document storage and document collaboration, all done in the cloud
  • Google Hangouts – for online meetings
  • Google Calendar – share a single calendar with all members of your team for greater efficiency

As a bonus, here are three extra tips to highlight features that not many people know about, but which will help you get the most out of Gmail:

  • Dots don’t count in email addresses that end @gmail.com. This means yourname@gmail.com is the same as your.name@gmail .com. It is also the same as y.o.u.r.n.a.m.e@gmail.com. Why is this important? It lets you create multiple email addresses for all those accounts you sign up to on the internet, and have them all filter into your main Gmail account.
  • Setup Google’s Undo Send tool so that you can recall sent messages
  • Enable offline email so you can use Gmail when not connected to the internet

Tip 3 – Turn Email Into a Marketing and/or Sales Tool

Email marketing is a powerful way to get new leads. It can also help you to nurture your leads and then qualify them. In some businesses email is also a tool for closing sales. Plus you can use it to up sell and cross sell to your existing customers.

There are several key benefits to integrating email into your sales and marketing strategy:

  • It is easy to set up, particularly when you use tools like Constant Contact
  • You can automate large parts of the process to save you time
  • Results are measurable so you can constantly improve
  • It works – enough said

If you are just using email for communication, you’re only scratching the surface of its potential. Are you ready to take it to the next level?

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