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Email Nightmare

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One bad impression can do tremendous harm because it's nearly impossible to change someone's initial perception in such an impersonal medium.
I used to love email. Used to.

Now, well, I used to love a lot of things, then the world changed.

This spam thing has gotten totally out of control. Because I've been using email for ten years now, somehow, my address, which keeps changing, has been passed around, sold, etc., so I'm on every list known to man. Each morning, when I wake up, scores of offers for prescription medicine, weight reduction, penis enlargement, etc. Sadly, none includes a Paypal link where I can collect large sums of cash.

Finally, I put some filtering on my email. My provider has Spam Assassin or some program that was supposed to take care of business. Instead, I now use "keyword" filters for my subjects. I just set it up so the emails with words in the subject line that I don't want, don't show up in my in-box. Now, the non-stop flow has stopped because most of the Spam has certain words that are used over and over.

And as long as I'm celebrating my victory over Spam, I would like to reveal, at this time, the worst Email mistake that people make.

The biggest email mistake, one we've all encountered, is to send out an email to a long list of people, and include that list in the email itself. This means that when the email is sent, that list of email addresses is seen by everyone who receives the email.

To: phoenixpiano@keyboardmagic.com

From: Jim Gordon
Subject: Hear Me Live in January

Cc: Benzeeben777@aol.com, barbie6@earthlink.com, LezSeeLa@aol.com, rcollins1@comcast.net, bjtalk2usnow@bellsouth.net,dcvans@hotmail.com, riviera139a@aol.com, Gerri11@optonline.net, idixia@msn.com, EdwardSMcQueen@aol.com, lsdfrancis@att.net, Americo85@aol.com, smith.johnnyboy@att.net, Steinertlf@msn.com, standardbearer@aol.com, mariamjama@hotmail.com, masonberg@earthlink.net, radlermann@nyc.rr.com, swangthang420@aol.com, gallchin299@aol.com, ralphieboy5567@aol.com, lalessiah@victoria.com, susan_shumway@hotmail.com, rarcher@fcg.com, rikki310mad@aol.com, gassho11ic@hotmail.com

Some of these lists contain hundreds of names. This not only looks bad, and makes it more difficult to read, but also violates one's privacy.

To correct this, include that list, the email addresses themselves, in the bcc field of your outgoing email.

Bcc is left over from the good old days, meaning blind carbon copy. The mistake is putting the list of email addresses in the cc or carbon copy field. This is what you should send out:

To: phoenixpiano@keyboardmagic.com

From: Jim Gordon
Subject: Hear Me Live in January

Cc:

BCC: Benzeeben777@aol.com, barbie6@earthlink.com, LezSeeLa@aol.com, rcollins1@comcast.net, bjtalk2usnow@bellsouth.net,dcvans@hotmail.com, riviera139a@aol.com, Gerri11@optonline.net, idixia@msn.com, EdwardSMcQueen@aol.com, lsdfrancis@att.net, Americo85@aol.com, smith.johnnyboy@att.net, Steinertlf@msn.com, standardbearer@aol.com, mariamjama@hotmail.com, masonberg@earthlink.net, radlermann@nyc.rr.com, swangthang420@aol.com, gallchin299@aol.com, ralphieboy5567@aol.com, lalessiah@victoria.com, susan_shumway@hotmail.com, rarcher@fcg.com, rikki310mad@aol.com, gassho11ic@hotmail.com

I've lost track of the number of emails I've received like this. I'm sure you have as well. I can only assume people do this out of sheer ignorance. It's such an easy thing to fix, but for some reason many people, no matter how well intentioned, make this mistake and it makes them appear foolish.

Trust is at the heart of communication on the Net.

Establishing your credibility is absolutely essential. If people trust you, they'll be more likely to do business with you, and return to your website.

People respond to things that are familiar and consistent. Everything you do, from your website to your email makes a statement, so make it as user friendly as possible, and update your site regularly.

When your communication (email and your site) offers something of interest, time after time, you become a trusted friend. Your voice and manner becomes familiar and consistent.

On the Net, people make nearly instant judgments about you by the way you write, and the appearance of your website. As in real life, people tend to trust their first impressions.

Upon an initial meeting, face-to-face, we come to certain conclusions about someone we've met by the way they look, how they speak and their vibe. This usually happens within a few moments.

To people on the Net, to the world beyond your home town, you are your website, and your email. But instead of a couple of minutes, you have roughly thirty seconds to make your case.

Appearing anything less than professional can be perilous. One bad impression can do tremendous harm because it's nearly impossible to change someone's initial perception in such an impersonal medium. You can't just tap someone on the shoulder and say, hey, just 'cause I write like an idiot and my website is amateurish and I don't know how to use email, doesn't mean my songs aren't any good.'

...over and out...


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