email http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1744/all en-US 9 Surprising Perks (and Some Drawbacks) of Paperless Billing http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-perks-and-some-drawbacks-of-paperless-billing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-surprising-perks-and-some-drawbacks-of-paperless-billing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-546178094.jpg" alt="Woman learning perks and drawbacks of paperless billing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Back in 2001, paperless billing was still in its infancy, and I was a recent college graduate who was just getting started in the adult world. At the time, my car insurance provider offered me a discount if I signed up for online billing. The discount helped me overcome my reluctance to give up my paper statements and beloved check writing routine.</p> <p>The world of paperless billing has evolved a great deal since the first year of the new Millennium. Here are the pros and cons of using paperless billing today, and some suggestions for making sure the benefits always outweigh the costs.</p> <h2>1. Pro: Paperless Billing Is Better for the Environment</h2> <p>Switching from paper to online statements doesn't just save stamps, it's also an important way to help the environment. According to PayItGreen studies from 2010, if just 20% of American households switched from all-paper to <a href="http://www.lawconferencing.com/about/payitgreen.php" target="_blank">all-digital billing</a>, statements, and payments, the collective impact would be enormous. Such changes would include:</p> <ul> <li>Save 150,939,615 pounds of paper</li> <li>Save 1,811,275 trees</li> <li>Avoid producing almost two million tons of greenhouse gases</li> <li>Avoid creating more than a billion gallons of wastewater in the paper production process</li> <li>Avoid using over 100 million gallons of gas to mail payments</li> </ul> <h2>2. Pro: Companies Will Offer Incentives to Go Paperless</h2> <p>Since companies spend less on paper, stamps, and sorting when they do all billing and payment online, it can make a big difference in their bottom line to get as many customers on paperless billing as possible. They often will sweeten the suggestion to go paperless by offering customers some sort of incentive to switch over. In some cases, like my auto insurer back in 2001, you can expect a small discount. Other incentives might include a statement credit, a gift card, or even the opportunity to win a prize.</p> <h2>3. Pro: Paperless Billing Helps You Declutter</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter?ref=internal" target="_blank">Paper clutter</a> often seems to have a life of its own. Switching to paperless billing means you'll never misplace a bill in a pile of junk mail, nor will you ever accidentally shred or recycle an unpaid bill because it decided to hide in the pile of credit card solicitations on your desk.</p> <h2>4. Pro: You'll Be Better Protected From Identity Theft</h2> <p>It may offer the illusion of security to hold a paper bill in your hand, but that's not always the case. It's a piece of cake for mail thieves and dumpster divers to glean sensitive account information off a stolen bill they pinched from your mailbox or garbage. By the time you realize your identity has been compromised, you may have a real headache to deal with, and some financial damage to undo.</p> <p>Your emailed paperless statements will never show your full credit card or bank account information. Even if a scammer hacks their way into your inbox, they'd still have to hack their way into your bill provider's online account to access sensitive information. Prevent this by using a strong password that includes multiple characters as well as upper and lowercase letters.</p> <h2>5. Pro: Access Your Statements From Anywhere</h2> <p>If you receive a paperless bill, it doesn't matter where you are &mdash; if you have access to the Internet, you have access to your statement. If you're out of town for work or vacation, you won't have to worry about what vulnerable information is left sitting in the mailbox while you're away.</p> <h2>6. Con: Forgetting to Pay a Paperless Bill</h2> <p>When you ignore your snail mail, it tends to pile up, making it harder to forget that there may be something important in there. Email, on the other hand, is eminently easy to ignore &mdash; so your paperless utility bill can very easily go unnoticed.</p> <p>Similarly, even if you do stay on top of both your paper mail and email, you may not be ready to pay your bill the moment it arrives. If that's the case with a paper statement, you can always set the bill somewhere that you'll see it, to remind yourself to pay it at another time. It is much more difficult to flag your email to remind you to pay the bill, which means you may forget until after you've missed the due date.</p> <h3>The Fix: A Dedicated Email Account and Calendar Reminders</h3> <p>Create a dedicated email account just for all of your bills, and plan on checking this email regularly. In addition, create reminders in your calendar to prompt you to check your dedicated email account so you never miss a payment.</p> <h2>7. Con: Lost Passwords</h2> <p>Passwords are an important part of online security, but the fact that pretty much everything you do online must be password-protected means that the odds are stacked against you for remembering all of your passwords. Many people get around that problem by using the same password for everything &mdash; which can seriously compromise your security if any of the accounts you use gets hacked.</p> <p>Companies that offer paperless billing often require even more security from your password, such as needing a special character, a number, and a capital letter. This is understandable, but it makes it even more difficult for the average person to remember their password &mdash; and multiple incorrect guesses can sometimes get you locked out of the site.</p> <h3>The Fix: Create a Password Based on a Sentence</h3> <p>The secret to secure but memorable passwords is to start with a sentence that means something to you. For instance: &quot;I am waiting for the reincarnation of Elvis.&quot;</p> <p>Then substitute letters, numbers, and symbols for each of the words: I@w4troE</p> <p>With that as your base password, you could tailor it to each site so that you can still remember your passwords, but each site's password is slightly different. For instance, you might add letters and numbers that represent the site to the end of your base password.</p> <p>For Capital One 360, your password would become: I@w4troECO360</p> <p>Just jot down the original sentence somewhere you can find it. It will remind you of your password, and mean nothing to anyone else.</p> <h2>8. Con: Forgetting to Update Account Information</h2> <p>If you moved, you'd have to let your bill providers know and inform them of your new home address. Well, the same is true for your email when you receive paperless statements.</p> <p>Maybe you're about to lose access to a work or school email that was tied to your billing account, or you're about to shut down an old email that got swamped by hackers. If you forget to update this change in your online billing account settings, you could end up losing access altogether.</p> <h2>9. Con: Overdrafts From Automatic Payments</h2> <p>Many people who set up paperless billing also make the leap to automatic online payments. For anyone whose income is variable, or anyone who lives paycheck to paycheck, automatic bill payments can cause major headaches if you have insufficient funds in your account on the day that your payment is debited. This makes for something of a Catch-22, since many people in such a situation need the discount that an automatic payment provides, but the automation puts them in danger of overdraft every month.</p> <h3>The Fix: Ask for a Change of Payment Date</h3> <p>Most companies will allow their customers to request a specific payment date, particularly if they are using auto-pay options. If you deal with variable income or have trouble making it from one paycheck to the next, set up your automatic payments so that they are debited on the day your paycheck clears. If you have multiple bills that are auto-debited, you can stagger them through the month to coincide with your paydays.</p> <h2>Making Paperless Billing Work for You</h2> <p>Digital billing is here to stay, but it's far from a perfect system. Knowing which of the downsides are most likely to trip you up will allow you to plan ahead for the problems while you enjoy the benefits.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-perks-and-some-drawbacks-of-paperless-billing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data">3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-financial-upgrades-you-can-make-during-breakfast">6 Simple Financial Upgrades You Can Make During Breakfast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology automatic payments bill pay email Internet online statements paperless billing passwords Mon, 06 Mar 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1900129 at http://www.wisebread.com This Email Trick Will Save You Big on Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/this-email-trick-will-save-you-big-on-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-email-trick-will-save-you-big-on-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_72294259_XLARGE2.jpg" alt="saving big on shopping with her email" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nothing worse than digging through your emails looking for that coupon or freebie, knowing that you've probably deleted it. Especially when you're standing in the store or restaurant and have the immediate opportunity to use the email to save some cash. By creating a separate &quot;shopping&quot; email account, you'll never have this problem again, and you'll actually be able to save in ways you never thought possible. Here's how to make it happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes?ref=seealso">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>Why You Need a Separate Shopping-Only Email Address</h2> <p>Before I made the switch to a separate shopping email address, my email account probably looked like yours. I had very important personal emails buried between an email from Red Robin telling me I was eligible for a free burger on my kid's birthday, along with one from Banana Republic notifying me of a 40% off weekend coupon. All the emails were important to me on some level, but the mixing of them was an absolute nightmare that took a lot time to sort through. So by setting up a separate shopping-only email address, I was able to get all of my retailer, restaurant, and reward program emails out of my life, but still have them available when I needed them to save some money.</p> <h2>Pick the Right Email Account</h2> <p>I highly recommend setting up your new &quot;shopping&quot; email address with Gmail. Not only is it completely free, but it comes with ample storage and the search capabilities are stellar. Pick a username that you'll easily remember. I use my initials followed by the word &quot;shop.&quot; You can obviously use what you want, but the key is to make it easy to remember. From now on, you'll be sharing this email address with every retailer, restaurant, and grocery store that you deal with.</p> <h2>Update Subscriptions You've Already Joined</h2> <p>Next, you'll want to update all of your current email subscriptions from retailers, restaurants, and grocery stores to your new address. At the bottom of these emails should be a link to manage your subscription. Just click on that link and enter your new email address when prompted. This is also a great time to unsubscribe from any email subscriptions that you never use or won't in the future. This will take a little time to accomplish, but stay consistent with it and your personal email inbox will quickly start to get much cleaner, and easier to deal with.</p> <h2>Start Giving Out Your New Address</h2> <p>This is where having an easy to remember email address really pays off. Whenever a website or brick-and-mortar store asks for your email, give them your new shopping address. Also, whenever you sign up for a new<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it"> loyalty or rewards program</a> use your new address as well. As a matter of fact, sign up for any and all subscriptions that you might one day use.</p> <p>After all, who really cares how many emails your new address gets? You're going to use the&nbsp;<a href="https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6593?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&amp;hl=en">Gmail search feature</a> and look for the exact deals and coupons that you need right now. Plus, you can guarantee that this new email address will get sold at some point and you'll get a healthy dose of spam &mdash; which is another great reason to set up a separate email account.</p> <h2>Create Labels for Your Favorite Places</h2> <p>I recommend setting up labels in Gmail for the stores and restaurants you frequent most often. A label works like a folder, but the cool part is you can add more than one label to any particular email message.</p> <p>For example, let's say you get an email from Jamba Juice with a BOGO offer entitling you to a free smoothie when you buy one at the regular price. If you know this is something you'll take advantage of, you can attach two labels to it, one for Jamba Juice and one for BOGO offers. By attaching labels, you'll be able to quickly retrieve the email when you're standing in line at your local Jamba Juice about to score a free smoothie.</p> <h2>Start Using Paribus With Your New Address</h2> <p>Are you familiar with the online money-saving service called&nbsp;<a href="https://paribus.co/">Paribus.co</a>? It's a perfect fit for your new email address. Paribus works by linking to your email account. It then searches your inbox for receipts for online purchases. Specifically, it keeps track of your purchases at select retailers and looks for a price drop. If they find a drop, they'll actually contact the retailer on your behalf and get you a refund for the difference.&nbsp;<a href="https://paribus.co/merchants">Popular online retailers</a> that Paribus currently works with include: Best Buy, Kohl's, Amazon, Staples, Target, and Walmart, to name a few.</p> <p>The only catch is that Paribus keeps 25% of whatever money they get refunded on your behalf. Not a big deal when you consider that they do all of the work. The reason I like using Paribus with a shopping-specific email account is because you don't have to worry about giving Paribus access to your personal or work email account. While they claim to employ multi-level security, it's still smart to not grant them access to your private email box.</p> <p><em>How do you organize emails that will save you money but don't want cluttering your inbox?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-email-trick-will-save-you-big-on-shopping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-at-the-post-office">How to Save Money at the Post Office</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-money-saving-hacks-are-a-huge-waste-of-time">These 5 Money-Saving Hacks Are a Huge Waste of Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping budgeting email frugal living inbox promo codes saving money Mon, 12 Sep 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Kyle James 1789691 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/computer_password_88375551.jpg" alt="Finding sneaky ways identity thieves can access data" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You just can't be too careful nowadays.</p> <p>From 2010 to 2015, identity thieves have stolen <a href="http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/identity-theft-and-cybercrime">$112 billion</a> from U.S. consumers. A staggering 13.1 million victims of identify theft lost $15 billion in 2015 alone. To curb more cases of identity theft, more and more issuers of credit and debit cards are transitioning their clients to cards with chip technology. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-chip-credit-cards-make-life-easier?ref=seealso">4 Ways Chip Credit Cards Make Life Easier</a>)</p> <p>Still, there are plenty of methods for criminals to get a hold of your personal information. Let's review three more ways thieves can steal your identity and how to protect yourself against them.</p> <h2>1. Mailbox</h2> <p>Snail mail can be annoying in more ways that you think. While receiving paper copies of statements of your bank accounts, credit card accounts, retirement accounts, or investment accounts can save you the cost of printing them out yourself, keep in mind that it also opens the door for potential identity theft. For example, all it takes is a thief to get a hold of a bank account or credit card statement and try his luck changing your mailing address and requesting a replacement card. Don't let somebody go on a shopping spree with your hard-earned dollars!</p> <p>Another target inside your mailbox is any prefilled credit card or loan application. That little trash bin right next to the mailbox area in your apartment building is a gold mine for identity thieves.</p> <h3>How to Prevent It</h3> <p>The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) recommends you avoid leaving mail in your mailbox overnight or on weekends. If you plan to be away from home from three to 30 consecutive days, use the <a href="https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/">USPS Hold Mail Service</a> to schedule delivery of all mail on the day of your return.</p> <p>Also, make sure that you deposit any mail containing personal information only on U.S. Postal Service collection boxes and securely discard any letters of preapproved offers of credit. You also can opt out of unsolicited credit and insurance offers by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visiting <a href="http://www.optoutprescreen.com">www.OptOutPrescreen.com</a>.</p> <h2>2. Fake Public Wi-Fi</h2> <p>Whether struggling to keep your data usage within the limits of your existing phone data plan or trying to upload a perfect Instagram selfie during your trip to Italy, many of us can't resist the promise of free Internet from a public hot spot. Malicious hackers are aware of this and set up fake public Wi-Fi hot spots to lure users and steal their data.</p> <p>Main targets are commuters doing work and exposing valuable information, such as lists of clients, business expense accounts, and invoices. If you think getting your identity stolen is bad, imagine exposing that of your clients or coworkers to cyber criminals. And those hackers don't have to be anywhere close to you: They can be <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=3454066&amp;page=1">up to 100 feet</a> away and still get away with your identity.</p> <h3>How to Prevent It</h3> <p>Only activate your Wi-Fi port when you're about to connect to a known and secure Wi-Fi. Whenever possible, check the authenticity of a hot spot. For example, ask the reception desk attendant at a hotel or check billboards at a mall.</p> <p>When using public Wi-Fi connections, don't visit sites related to your personal finance. If you absolutely must use a public Wi-Fi for work, only do so by connecting through your company's Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt all data during your session.</p> <h2>3. Email</h2> <p>You don't need to be a major celebrity for somebody to try hacking your email account. All it takes is the suspicion that you may have a lot of financial assets or are in the process of a major financial transaction, such as closing a mortgage, executing an estate, or applying for a student loan.</p> <p>While you may think that it takes really complicated hacking skills to decipher a password, the harsh reality is that most people use the simplest of passwords. According to a <a href="http://gizmodo.com/the-25-most-popular-passwords-of-2015-were-all-such-id-1753591514">list of over two million leaked passwords</a>, the top five passwords of 2015 were:</p> <ol> <li>123456</li> <li>password</li> <li>12345678</li> <li>Qwerty</li> <li>12345</li> </ol> <p>Internet uses don't learn from their mistakes: The top two most commonly used passwords of 2015 were also the top two of the list from the previous year. Even worse, nearly three out of four individuals <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246902">use the same password</a> for multiple accounts. By unlocking your email password, hackers have a good chance of getting a hold of your other online accounts.</p> <h3>How to Prevent It</h3> <p>Microsoft recommends using passwords that:</p> <ul> <li>Are at least <a href="https://blogs.microsoft.com/microsoftsecure/2014/08/25/create-stronger-passwords-and-protect-them/">eight characters</a> in length;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't contain your username, real name, or company name;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't spell out complete words (sorry sports fans: football and baseball were #7 and #10 in the list of most commonly stolen passwords);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are significantly different from previous passwords; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are different from passwords used on other websites.</li> </ul> <p>Also, don't use your email to store documents containing sensitive information, such as your social security number or credit card number. If you need to exchange such documents, do so through the encrypted online portal of your financial institution. You'll know it's encrypted when the URL bar shows a &quot;HTTPS.&quot;</p> <p>Finally, learn to identify the meanings of the potential types of padlocks that your web browser uses, such as the <a href="https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-do-i-tell-if-my-connection-is-secure">green and gray padlocks of Mozilla Firefox</a>.</p> <p>Better safe than sorry.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been a victim of identity theft?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-perks-and-some-drawbacks-of-paperless-billing">9 Surprising Perks (and Some Drawbacks) of Paperless Billing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-auto-reply-email-telling-people-about-you">What Is Your Auto-Reply Email Telling People About You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-private-info-private">10 Ways to Keep Your Private Info Private</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/phishing-scams-continue-to-plague-social-media-sites">Phishing Scams Continue to Plague Social Media Sites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel">6 Ways to Slash the Cost of Wi-Fi When You Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Technology bank statements email free wi-fi identity theft Internet loan applications mail theft passwords protection scams security Thu, 01 Sep 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1780042 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tech_skills_000042638902.jpg" alt="Woman with basic tech skills needed for everyday life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2015, people! That means there's no excuse not to learn these 15 basic tech skills that will save you money, time, and embarrassment when talking to more tech-savvy know-it-alls.</p> <h2>1. Use Uber and Lyft</h2> <p>Taxis are expensive, and not every city has a fast and expansive public transit system. That's why <a href="https://www.uber.com/">Uber</a> and <a href="https://www.lyft.com/">Lyft</a> are great alternatives, especially when you plan to drink.</p> <h2>2. Make a Basic Website</h2> <p>You never know when you might need to have your own website, and if you're a freelancer, it's a must. With platforms like <a href="http://squarespace.com/">Squarespace</a> and <a href="http://wix.com/">Wix</a>, it's never been easier (or cheaper) to make your own website.</p> <h2>3. Set-Up Online Banking</h2> <p>Are you still going to the bank to check balances and move money around? That's insane. It's about time you enrolled in online banking at your institution. It's as easy as going to your bank's website, clicking on &quot;online banking,&quot; and following the instructions.</p> <h2>4. Update Your Facebook Privacy Settings</h2> <p>Don't want just anyone to see your private posts? It's time to learn how to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/325807937506242/">edit your privacy settings</a> on social networks, especially Facebook.</p> <h2>5. Transfer Money Instantly</h2> <p>At this point, Western Union and other traditional money wire companies are useless. Every bank offers transfers within their banking app, and it's instant when transferring within the same bank. Failing that, <a href="https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/mobile-apps">PayPal's new app</a> is simpler than ever.</p> <h2>6. Operate Bluetooth Accessories</h2> <p>Want to use all the cool new speakers, keyboards, mouses, headphones, and more? You will need to master the Bluetooth connection. Here's how to do it for <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/add-a-bluetooth-enabled-device-to-your-computer">Windows</a>, <a href="https://support.apple.com/kb/PH13704?locale=en_US">Mac</a>, <a href="http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/smartphones/get-the-most-out-of-bluetooth-on-an-android-device/">Android</a>, and <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201205">iPhone</a>.</p> <h2>7. Edit a Smartphone Photo</h2> <p>Are you one of those people who uploads your photos sideways or too dark? There's no excuse! Most mobile phones allow for you to crop, rotate, adjust brightness or contrast, and more, all with a couple finger taps. Want to get creative? Try some cool photo editing apps.</p> <h2>8. Comparison Shop With Barcodes</h2> <p>Out shopping and want to check prices elsewhere? A great cheat is to use the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&amp;docId=1000645111">Amazon app</a>, which uses your phone's camera to scan barcodes. It will show you the same product and its Amazon price. <a href="http://www.google.com/shopping">Google Shopping</a> is also helpful when on a computer.</p> <h2>9. Crowdsource Information</h2> <p>Learn the art of the ask. Sometimes you don't have the time or enough prior knowledge of something to Google it, and that's when asking your friends comes in. Being able to ask your social network for their expertise is clutch in this modern age.</p> <h2>10. Invest Your Own Money</h2> <p>Why hire someone to take over your money management when you can day trade and manage your investments online? If you're putting off saving for retirement, it has never been easier to start. Learn more about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-easy-ways-to-invest-your-first-1000">how to start saving</a>.</p> <h2>11. Upgrade Your Email</h2> <p>Email is still a very important part of work and personal communication, but issues like cluttered inboxes, unsynced calendars, non-replies, and copious newsletters make email frustrating. There are plenty of extremely useful email plug-ins to increase your productivity!</p> <h2>12. Google Better</h2> <p>Everyone knows about using quotes and the plus and minus while searching, but did you know about the tip calculator? What about reverse image search? Polish your Google prowess with these <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Things-You-Can-Do-Google-35330843#photo-35330843">key search hacks</a> to get the results you're looking for.</p> <h2>13. Use Siri</h2> <p>&quot;Siri&quot; (or &quot;Cortana,&quot; or &quot;Google&quot;) as a tool can seem silly and time consuming, so many people don't use her. However, there are some instances in which she's indispensable, such as sending text messages and making calls in the car. There are tons of other <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/13-cool-things-siri-can-do-for-you-2014-8?op=1">cool things Siri can do</a>, too.</p> <h2>14. Use GPS Apps</h2> <p>If you're still printing out maps before you leave the house, it's time to stop. GPS has come a long way. (Remember those old Garmin GPS machines you had to buy back in the 00s that worked poorly?) <a href="https://maps.google.com/">Google Maps</a> is the best, but <a href="https://www.waze.com/">Waze</a> is excellent for those looking to snake their way out of traffic or avoid highways. You can save locations, pre-plan trips, and add new locations with voice-control while driving.</p> <h2>15. Troubleshoot Your Wi-Fi</h2> <p>You don't need an IT person to fix your Wi-Fi. Computers have made it extra easy to troubleshoot a connection. Check your laptop's network settings and <a href="http://www.computershopper.com/feature/ten-fast-fixes-for-wi-fi-problems">troubleshoot your Wi-Fi</a> on your own. When all else fails, you can always reset your router! Another hack: many smartphones can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Simply go to your phone's general settings, to networks, then tap &quot;use as hotspot&quot; and follow the password directions.</p> <p><em>What modern life skill do you think everyone should master?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-debt-management-tools">6 Free Debt Management Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Technology apps email life skills online banking smartphones social networks Tue, 21 Apr 2015 13:00:21 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1392289 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Kinds of Emails to Purge From Your Inbox http://www.wisebread.com/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_emails_000038233654.jpg" alt="Woman deciding which emails to purge from her inbox" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have that email account &mdash; it's swimming in loose, unmanageable messages we can't seem to delete. It's our primary account. How did it get this bad? By not deleting these five kinds of emails.</p> <h2>1. Old Work Emails</h2> <p>You stopped working there two years ago but still let the entire history of communication rot in your email account, because who knows &mdash; maybe you'll need a coworker's contact info, need to access a file, or need to reference something. Here's the question: Have you so far? If not, consider adding all those old coworkers' addresses to your email contacts list and delete those emails! Here's how to <a href="https://support.google.com/mail/answer/8933?hl=en">add contacts in Gmail</a>.</p> <h2>2. Newsletters You've Read (or Never Read)</h2> <p>You signed up for a lot of newsletters that seemed informative at the time, everything from your favorite retail outlets, to blogs, to clubs or associations you're a part of, to your bank's and gym's regular notifications. Once you've scanned or read them, delete! If you haven't read the sender's newsletters in more than a month, unsubscribe using a tool like&nbsp;<a href="https://unroll.me/">Unroll.me</a>. All the better to see the more important messages waiting in your inbox every morning.</p> <h2>3. Social Media Notifications</h2> <p>You opted in for email notifications on Facebook and other networks a long time ago, back in the oughts, when we expected to receive email notifications about everything. Now you have a smartphone that pings you everytime something new happens. All you have to do is check the app or go to the site (as if you don't already do that every 30 seconds) to stay abreast. So why do you still spam yourself with email notifications? Only because you are too lazy to delete them. Here's how to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/327994277286267/">get rid of Facebook emails</a>.</p> <h2>4. Blind Solicitations</h2> <p>You scroll past emails from someone you don't know very well, because they're asking for something. Do you plan to reply to them in the next two days? If not, let it go. The recruiter who emailed you about a job you don't want, the sales person following up on your purchase, the not-even-an-acquaintance who asked you to donate to their Kickstarter &mdash; they all knew it was unlikely they would hear from you, anyway. Stop feeling bad about not replying to them and delete those emails!</p> <h2>5. Sentimental Emails</h2> <p>You keep those special emails from your significant other, your parents or grandparents, your closest friends in a special folder. It's meaningful to hold onto those messages, but you don't open that folder very often. Well, you can still do that by <a href="http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/download-copy-of-your-gmail-and-google.html">downloading those sentimental exchanges</a> to your hard drive, Dropbox, or other cloud storage. Anything not pertinent to your everyday communication needs is email clutter. Save those precious emails somewhere more permanent, where they'll be kept safe.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your inbox tidy and uncluttered? Drop us a line in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever">Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity clutter digital clutter email Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:00:11 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1315185 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Ways to Get People to Respond to Your Email http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-get-people-to-respond-to-your-email <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-get-people-to-respond-to-your-email" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/compose-email-screen-466310347-small.jpg" alt="compose email" title="compose email" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average person spends <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/the_social_economy">about 13 hours every week</a> sorting through email.</p> <p>With the number of worldwide email accounts expected to hit nearly <a href="http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Email-Statistics-Report-2011-2015-Executive-Summary.pdf">4.1 billion by 2015</a>, it seems that those hours are likely to keep on growing and growing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-thing-you-use-every-day-is-ruining-your-productivity-and-its-not-facebook">This Thing You Use Every Day Is Ruining Your Productivity</a>)</p> <p>If you want to cut through the noise (78% of us receive <a href="http://hub.varonis.com/digital-work-habits-report">up to 100 emails per day</a>) and make your emails stand out from the crowd, start using these 15 techniques.</p> <h2>1. Update Subject Lines</h2> <p>Some people have a lot of email sitting in their inboxes. For example, the senior director of Yahoo! email claims to have held <a href="http://www.esquire.com/features/how-to-send-better-emails-0513#ixzz2UiMKb7vQ">36,815 emails in his inbox</a> at one point. If your subject line looks like &quot;Re:Re:Re:Fw:Fw:Re:Re&hellip;,&quot; it is very likely to be ignored.</p> <p>On the other hand, if your email is actionable, it has a better chance of catching the attention of the recipient.</p> <ul> <li>Don't write &quot;Steve,&quot; write &quot;Call Steve at 555-987-1234 this Friday.&quot;</li> <li>Instead of &quot;Resume,&quot; write &quot;Davila Resume for Freelance Writer Position.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Remember to keep it short and sweet. From a study of 200 million emails, researchers at Mailchimp found that subject lines should be kept to <a href="http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/best-practices-in-writing-email-subject-lines">50 characters or less</a>. That's about ⅓ of the length of a tweet.</p> <h2>2. Use Prefixes on Subject Lines</h2> <p>An email that can be fully read without opening is the best kind of email. That's why you need to make smart use of <a href="http://www.asianefficiency.com/email-management/productive-email-subject-lines/">email subject prefixes</a>. Here is a useful list:</p> <ul> <li>FYI &mdash; &quot;For Your Information&quot; lets the reader know that the email holds general info and is not urgent.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>EOM &mdash; &quot;End of Message&quot; informs the reader that all the required info is in the subject line and that the email body is empty.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>NRN &mdash; &quot;No Reply Needed&quot; tells the receiver that no response is required.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>URGENT &mdash; Not necessarily a prefix, but if something is <em>truly</em> urgent, then it should be at the beginning of the subject line. Use very sparingly or risk all of your &quot;urgent&quot; emails being ignored.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>NFA &mdash; &quot;No Further Action&quot; is a combo of FYI and NRN.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Use If-Then Statements</h2> <p>Nobody likes to be caught in a neverending email duel. So, the next time that you need to set up a meeting or call time, include the statement &quot;If not, let me know what times work for you.&quot; Get in the habit of including &quot;if&hellip; then&quot; statements every time that you ask a question to prevent replies that are just &quot;no&quot; and force you to send another email.</p> <h2>4. Provide Choices and Number Them</h2> <p>Take a cue from master email negotiator, Steve Jobs (yes, that Steve Jobs!), and include a list of numbered choices, when applicable.</p> <p>During a hard-nosed negotiation via email between <a href="http://qz.com/87184/the-steve-jobs-emails-that-show-how-to-win-a-hard-nosed-negotiation/%20">Apple and News Corp</a>, he clearly stated to his counterpart that he &quot;has the following choices&quot; and that &quot;Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see any other alternatives. Do you?&quot; This email habit allows you to negotiate within a range of pre-approved terms and forces the other party to choose one.</p> <h2>5. Think About Small Screens</h2> <p>If you are an HTML whiz and love to tweak your emails, remember that 43% of email is opened on a mobile device. Email company Constant Contact recommends using a San Serif font with a point size from 11 to 14.</p> <h2>6. Don't Use Images for a Signature</h2> <p>Several email providers and platforms automatically block images or force images to be attachments. This means that your fancy signature image goes unnoticed or, even worse, screws up the format of your email.</p> <h2>7. Skip the Emoticons</h2> <p>Not all emoticons, especially the very obscure, render the same way across platforms. Even the <a href="http://pc.net/helpcenter/answers/letter_j_in_email_messages">smiley symbol often appears as a J</a> in several email platforms. Skip the emoticons altogether, so that you don't confuse your recipient or make her think that you are including typos in your emails. Plenty of people, including <a href="http://the.techy.dstro.com/node/19">Microsoft employees</a>, are annoyed by this.</p> <h2>8. Pay Attention to Your Grammar</h2> <p>Just because it is the Internet, it doesn't mean it all should be all LOL and TWSS. Studies show that only <a href="http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-users-read-on-the-web/">16% of us read things word by word on the web</a>. This means that if &quot;you is not doing it good, the grammar,&quot; you're adding unneeded difficulty and your readers may skip your email altogether.</p> <h2>9. Don't Ask to Be on a Call Today or Tomorrow</h2> <p>If it is urgent, the onus is on you to pick up the phone, not the other way around. A Wharton professor of management and psychology indicates that this may make you look rude. He recommends to <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140515114346-69244073-if-you-do-this-your-emails-might-be-rude">let the other person suggest some time</a>s. If you need to reach the other person immediately, then move away from the computer and pick up the phone.</p> <h2>10. Pay Attention to Time Zones</h2> <p>As a Hawaii resident (that's -3 hours PST and -6 hours EST during daylight saving time), I cannot stress how important this point is. If you need a same-day reply by 10 a.m. EST, it would be a good idea to have sent your email at least the day before. Unless you're writing me a tax-free check for $1 million, it is highly unlikely that I will wake up at 4 a.m. just to reply to your email. Use a <a href="http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html">time zone converter</a> or Google to calculate time zone differences.</p> <h2>11. Update Your Vacation Auto Responders</h2> <p>Skip any of these <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/08/worst-kinds-of-e-mail-vacation-auto-responders.html">awful email vacation auto responders</a> and keep it as simple as possible. Include the start and end dates of your vacation, and the name and phone number/email of an emergency contact.</p> <h2>12. Exclamation Points Are Not Periods</h2> <p>Self explanatory! This bad habit gets annoying very fast! Or indicates an obsession with factorials! You be the judge of that!</p> <h2>13. Never Embed Large Images</h2> <p>Images do speak louder than a thousand words. Unless they are 2MB and require you to go &quot;up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right&quot; to view them. Also, large image files <a href="http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30594/A-Marketer-s-Guide-to-Getting-Past-Email-Spam-Filters.aspx">increase the chance of your email being caught by a spam filter</a>.</p> <h2>14. Address One Person at a Time and By Name</h2> <p>If your email open with &quot;Hey&quot; or &quot;Hi&quot; and without a name, it is most likely to be flagged as spam or upset somebody that you don't remember their name. You need to address an email recipient by his or her name and on a one-on-one basis.</p> <p>If you send an email to a long list of people and request &quot;somebody&quot; to help you with your project, the only person answering is going to be &quot;nobody.&quot; If you truly need to send the same message to several people, opt for individuals emails with a personalized message. You will increase the chances of people responding to you, which is what you need.</p> <p>Additionally, it prevents the number one sin in email writing: The abuse of the Reply All button.</p> <h2>15. Follow Up</h2> <p>Busy, successful people pride themselves in achieving <a href="http://mashable.com/2013/10/10/inbox-zero/">Inbox Zero</a>. For example, author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5971940/im-guy-kawasaki-and-this-is-how-i-work">deletes emails after 21 days</a> because he assumes that if it's truly important, the other person would follow up. So, follow up!</p> <p><em>What is your top piece of advice to use email more efficiently at work?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-get-people-to-respond-to-your-email">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-say-no-at-work-and-still-get-ahead">How to Say &quot;No&quot; at Work and Still Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips">10 Ways to Get More Out of Business Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-thing-you-use-every-day-is-ruining-your-productivity-and-its-not-facebook">This Thing You Use Every Day Is Ruining Your Productivity — and It&#039;s Not Facebook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket">This Simple Negotiating Trick Puts Money in Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Productivity email email subject line inbox zero productivity Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1196857 at http://www.wisebread.com STOP! 10 Work Email Mistakes You May Be Making http://www.wisebread.com/stop-10-work-email-mistakes-you-may-be-making <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stop-10-work-email-mistakes-you-may-be-making" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/email-163124587-small.jpg" alt="email" title="email" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="156" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As an online editor and writer who works with many other editors, writers, and all the people in between, I get a lot of email. Like, a lot. As a result, I've spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the most of email, how to be efficient at it, and how to ensure that it benefits my work. I'm not the only one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-response-you-want-with-friendly-professional-email?ref=seealso">Get the Response You Want With a Friendly, Professional Email</a>)</p> <p>According to market research company Radicati, the average American worker received or sent 115 emails per day in 2013, a staggering figure that's expected to rise to 136 emails by 2017.</p> <p>That's a lot of opportunity to make a mistake. So before you rattle off today's 100+ emails, check out this collection of the 10 worst email mistakes you may be making.</p> <h2>1. You're a Slave to Your Inbox</h2> <p>Research by Mckinsey suggests that we spend more than a <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/the_social_economy">quarter of our work hours answering email</a>. I actually think there's a simple reason for that: It can provide instant gratification. When you're flailing away at a tough presentation or hammering out figures in a boring spreadsheet, a new email can feel like a bit of a godsend. <em>Aha! Something I can actually succeed at with only a few seconds of work!</em></p> <p>Of course, when we get this attached to email, we end up doing a lot less actual work over all. What to do? According to Alexendra Samuel, an expert on email time management, it's best to create an <a href="http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/02/limit-the-time-you-spend-on-email/">&quot;email budget&quot;</a> by devoting a specific portion of each day to email. Try answering your email only once or twice per day. What you want to avoid is becoming a slave to everything that drops into your inbox.</p> <h2>2. You Aren't Thinking About Efficiency</h2> <p>Email is a great way of communicating with people, whether you work in the same building or are miles away. However, if you have a close working relationship with someone that tends to require a lot of back-and-forth communication, it's best to have a strategy. And that strategy should not be to email your co-worker every time you think of an idea, have a question, or need a hand. This is especially true if the co-worker you are talking about is your supervisor or your boss. Instead of rapid-firing emails to the same person all day, consider composing one email at the end of each day that includes everything you'd like to say, then following up in person or on the phone to discuss each point. The key is to find a way to make email communication as effective as possible.</p> <h2>3. You Don't Always Bother to Respond</h2> <p>I know I'm not the only one who gets overwhelmed by my inbox, but responding to an email takes almost no time at all, and it can make a huge difference.</p> <ul> <li>Did you get my invoice?</li> <li>Is the deadline I proposed OK?</li> <li>Did you review my work?</li> </ul> <p>I don't know because you never responded. Sound familiar? Email does get lost, and people like to know that you've received their messages, even if there isn't much to say about them. A simple &quot;thanks&quot; or &quot;OK&quot; is often all it takes to ensure the sender feels heard. It'll also mean that sender won't have to contact you again just to make sure he or she got through the first time, which means one less email you'll have to deal with.</p> <h2>4. But When You Do Respond, You Respond to Everyone</h2> <p>&quot;Reply All&quot; is a great tool&hellip; if you really want that message to go to <em>all</em> the initial recipients of an email. Remember, everyone else on the list probably gets too much email too, so before you hit that button, think about which people actually need to be in the loop. And do not &quot;Reply All&quot; and then address one person &mdash; you're just wasting everyone else's time.</p> <h2>5. You Expect Instant Feedback</h2> <p>Just because someone is online all day doesn't mean they're staring at their email queue. Email <em>can</em> be instant, but that doesn't mean it has to be. Give people a chance to respond to your messages in their own time (as long as it's reasonable in the professional context). That's what email is for.</p> <h2>6. You Start Messaging Before You've Finished Reading</h2> <p>If you have a ton of email, be careful about starting at the top and firing off a bunch of responses. This is especially important if you've been out of the office. While you were away, chances are that people found a way to get their questions answered or problems dealt with without your help. Make sure you know the full story and have seen everything they've sent you before you start sending replies that are no longer needed.</p> <h2>7. You Aren't Careful About What You Say (And How You Say It)</h2> <p>When you speak to someone in person, you can say all kinds of things that just won't translate in an email. You can smile and roll your eyes to show that you're being sarcastic; you can behave kindly when you deliver harsh criticism; you can make jokes and ensure that your humor hasn't missed the mark. In text, this is very very tricky.</p> <p>That means that you have to be very careful what you say in an email &mdash; and how you say it, especially when what you're saying is or could be interpreted as criticism. If you have to discuss something sensitive by email, read over what you've written very carefully to ensure it strikes the right tone. If you aren't sure that it does, that's a conversation to have in person. Although many people will tell you it's unprofessional, I'm also a fan of using a few emoticons in work emails, particularly smiley faces. I think it helps make it clear that I'm trying to be friendly, rather than abrupt and confrontational.</p> <h2>8. You Forward Forwards</h2> <p>Forwarding email was a big thing back in the day when email was just something people played around with and used for social correspondence. Now, email is used for everything from basic communication to a means for conducting major business deals. In other words, there isn't much room for junk anymore. If you have something awesome to forward, forward it to the people who will appreciate it. But please, please, please do not indiscriminately forward every joke and cat video that comes through your inbox.</p> <p>Please.</p> <h2>9. You Turn the Gossip Mill</h2> <p>Whether you'd like to think about it or not, if you have a work email address, it probably goes through your employer's server. In other words, any email that you send from that account is not your email &mdash; it's your employer's email. And that means that your employer can read those messages.</p> <p>If you feel the need to rant about how horrible your boss is, or how lazy the receptionist is, or about how you haven't been working all day because you're hung over, email is <em>not</em> the place to do it. Your boss might just get to read that email someday. Whether that happens while you're still working for the company or after you've moved on, it could have a major impact on the kind of reference you're able to get for that job.</p> <h2>10 You Write Lame Subject Lines</h2> <p>If I have too much email to tackle in one day, I try to scan through it and answer the messages that are the most pressing. It's a pretty good time management strategy, but the people sending me email kind of have to play along by providing some indication of the timeliness and importance of their messages. And that means being specific. For example, an email titled &quot;Question about article due tomorrow&quot; tells me I need to get to work immediately and find out what I can do to help. An email titled &quot;Question&quot; tells me next to nothing and is more likely to be overlooked. If you want timely and helpful responses to your email messages, be a good sender by giving your email an accurate subject line.</p> <p>Email is simple. It's convenient. It's fast. But it can also leave you totally unproductive and, if you send the wrong kind of email, possibly even unemployed. Whether you tend to send more email than you receive or vice versa, the responsibility for efficient, effective email belongs to both parties. Here's to hoping we can all help each other email a little better &mdash; and by that I mean a whole lot less.</p> <p><em>What's the worst email mistake you've ever committed (or read)? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-10-work-email-mistakes-you-may-be-making">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-response-you-want-with-friendly-professional-email">Get the Response You Want With Friendly, Professional Email</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-are-what-you-do-16-ways-to-improve-your-body-language">You Are What You Do: 16 Ways to Improve Your Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hey-boss-please-dont-bother-me-im-daydreaming">Hey Boss, Please Don’t Bother Me, I’m Daydreaming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-and-give-honest-feedback">How to Get and Give Honest Feedback</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-small-gestures-that-go-a-long-way-at-work">10 Small Gestures That Go a Long Way at Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income communication email etiquette productivity Thu, 10 Jul 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Tara Struyk 1156616 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Tips to Up Your Chances of Getting an Email Response http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-up-your-chances-of-getting-an-email-response <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-tips-to-up-your-chances-of-getting-an-email-response" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/email-180867941.jpg" alt="email" title="email" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're all familiar with the feeling that the emails we sent must have been sucked into some black hole because we never received a response. Sure, it's possible that your email went straight to spam, but the more likely scenario is either the recipient isn't interested or is too busy to respond. Here are some tips that may score you a reply.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Write-Holiday-Email-33111394">Use This Strategy to Stay in Touch With Over a 1,000 People</a></p> <h2>1. Check Your Writing</h2> <p>Make sure the email is free of grammar and punctuation errors. It tends to look less professional if it's rife with mistakes, which may mean your email won't be taken seriously.</p> <h2>2. Stay Professional but Friendly</h2> <p>Watch the tone of your email. Make sure you keep it professional but friendly. And remember not to go overboard with the friendliness. Stay clear of emoticons, an excessive amount of exclamation marks, and capitalizing words for emphasis &mdash; you're not a used-car salesman.</p> <h2>3. Keep It Short</h2> <p>Try to be as brief as you can. If the person does not know you, she is less likely to spend time reading your email. If you keep your emails short, she's more likely to get through the whole email.</p> <h2>4. Be Specific</h2> <p>You're writing the email for a reason, so you should be clear about your goals. It's even helpful to be specific in the subject line as well, says <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Write-Email-Job-22588885">a former Google recruiter</a>. Using bullet points may also help you get your point across more quickly and help the reader figure out what you want.</p> <h2>5. Get an Introduction</h2> <p>If possible, try to get someone to introduce you to the person instead of emailing cold. You'll definitely raise your chances of getting a response with a referral. Scour your LinkedIn contacts to see if you have any in common with the person you're trying to reach.</p> <h2>6. Check With Someone When You Use Them as a Referral</h2> <p>Perhaps your shared contact and the person you're trying to get in touch with have an awkward relationship. It's best not to bring up the shared contact's name if you didn't check in with them before. It could be someone's ex or someone the contact had a falling out with. This will hurt your chances of getting a response. Instead, try your best to rely on your shared contact for an introduction or don't refer to them at all.</p> <h2>7. No Pressure</h2> <p>Do not immediately ask the contact for a referral. If the contact doesn't know you, it's a huge favor to ask of him or her. Instead, feel out the situation and commit some time to the contact. Ask her for advice on applying and take her out for coffee. During your conversation, try to feel out if she's willing to refer you, or better yet, wait for her to offer. If she has voiced some discomfort about referring people, don't push it.</p> <h2>8. Don't Bombard</h2> <p>If you haven't received a response, don't keep sending multiple emails in hopes that the person will finally cave. Instead, spread your emails out and limit them. Follow up one week after the initial email, and if you still haven't heard back, send the third email two weeks later. And if no one responds to your third email, it's time to switch gears and try something else. Also, if a person says that they will get back to you if they are interested, you should probably wait for them to get back to you.</p> <h2>9. Find the Right Person</h2> <p>Get the contact information of the right person to reach out to. If you email the wrong person, chances are they may not bother forwarding your email to the right contact because as a stranger, your email would be considered low priority.</p> <h2>10. Limit the Amount of People You Reach Out To</h2> <p>If you're trying to get in touch with someone in the organization and haven't been able to get a response, don't start emailing everyone in it. Try to limit it to at most two people. People talk, and if they find out that the same person has been emailing multiple contacts, it will come off as desperate, which is not a good impression if you're trying to be professional.</p> <p>If the email is not working, try other means such as interacting with her on social media or meeting in person. Remember, there is a fine line between being persistent and a pest, so do your best to toe that line.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It&#039;s frustrating when you send someone an email and never get a response. Follow these steps to improve your chances. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Way-Talk-Strangers-34184518">Hate Talking to Strangers? This Tactic Will Help You</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Politely-Decline-Coffee-Invites-28342849">4 Polite Ways to Deal With Unwanted Coffee Invites </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Remember-Names-23735981">Forget Me Not: 8 Tactics For Remembering Names</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-up-your-chances-of-getting-an-email-response">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-response-you-want-with-friendly-professional-email">Get the Response You Want With Friendly, Professional Email</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data">3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family">5 Ways to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-personal-issues-no-one-at-work-needs-to-hear">10 Personal Issues No One at Work Needs to Hear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-express-condolences-without-saying-something-stupid">How to Express Condolences Without Saying Something Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips communication email Fri, 21 Mar 2014 09:24:18 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1129382 at http://www.wisebread.com This Thing You Use Every Day Is Ruining Your Productivity — and It's Not Facebook http://www.wisebread.com/this-thing-you-use-every-day-is-ruining-your-productivity-and-its-not-facebook <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-thing-you-use-every-day-is-ruining-your-productivity-and-its-not-facebook" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/desk-178706116.jpg" alt="woman at desk" title="woman at desk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a lot of talk these days about the impact social media is having on our productivity in the workplace. If you work with a computer on a daily basis, as many of us do, you have the ability to check your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-break-your-social-media-habit?ref=seealso">How to Break Your Social Media Habit</a>)</p> <p>Although this is technically stealing time from your employer (unless you do it on your lunch break), most will look the other way if it's only for a few minutes out of the day. And those accounts don't eat up a lot of time. <a href="http://www.statisticbrain.com/social-networking-statistics/">Facebook users spend about 30 minutes per day on the site</a>, on average, and most of that is done outside of the work environment.</p> <p>However, email is something many of us actively use at work. It's part of the job, and it's the main way to communicate these days.</p> <p>But, there's a problem with email. It's more time consuming than a Facebook status update or a Tweet. It's also not as fun. Almost every email you receive at work will be about a project you're working on or will soon be working on. Emails take time to respond to, usually because they contain a request from someone else. And if that isn't enough, they're a drain on your energy and your morale. Answering email after email, hour after hour, can suck the life out of an employee who started the day quite upbeat. It can be relentless, and even disheartening. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough?ref=seealso">How to Maintain Motivation When the Going Gets Tough</a>)</p> <p>One of the most obvious ways to combat this is simple, but improbable in this day and age: Shut the email off, at least for a few days.</p> <p>Of course, that will end in disaster for many. &quot;Where's my report? Why hasn't the shipping problem been dealt with? We're losing an account, why isn't someone talking to our client?!&quot;</p> <p>So, knowing that we can't turn email off, what can we all do to stop email draining the life out of the office? Here are some handy tips to stop email from killing your productivity.</p> <h2>1. Don't Use Email as an Instant Messenger</h2> <p>I see a lot of emails that could easily be done as conversations in a meeting room, office, or a telephone call. In this day and age, it's very easy to just open up your email to shoot an idea off to somebody, but it's time consuming and keeps you in your email account. Once you're in there, it can be distracting. By all means use email to send important documents or instructions, but if it's simply &quot;Hey, I was thinking of red for the front cover, how about you?&quot; then you're wasting your time &mdash; and everybody else's.</p> <h2>2. Don't Send Ambiguous Emails</h2> <p>It's easy enough to shoot an email off with a half-hearted call to action. Or, none at all. But it you really want someone to react, and respond, to your email, use techniques that direct marketers use. Give people clear instructions. For example:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Please give your answer by 4 p.m. today.</p> </li> <li> <p>Call me as soon as you have an answer.</p> </li> <li> <p>Add your comments to this document and forward it by 11 a.m.</p> </li> <li> <p>Read this email and reply within the hour.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If you cut the ambiguity, you won't be stuck checking your email every 10 minutes hoping you have the reply you so desperately need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-response-you-want-with-friendly-professional-email?ref=seealso">Get the Response You Want With a Friendly Email</a>)</p> <h2>3. Use the Notifications and Alerts Features</h2> <p>Constant email checking to see if someone has read and replied to your correspondence is a big motivation killer. But it doesn't have to be. Almost every email client gives you options to prioritize emails and to receive notification when the email has been read.</p> <p>If you want the recipient to read the email immediately, tag it as high priority. If you want to make sure they've read it, turn on a feature called &quot;receipts.&quot; There are two options: One lets you know the email has been received by the other party, and the other lets you know they have opened it. Using these features also alerts the addressee that you know they've received and read the email. Now they are prompted to act. And that saves you time and worry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you/ref=seealso">Productivity Apps for Busy People</a>)</p> <h2>4. Aim for Zero in Your Inbox at the End of Each Day</h2> <p>Someone stopped by my desk recently and asked what was wrong with my email. Nothing, I said. &quot;Well, why aren't there any emails?&quot; The answer is simple. I deal with emails in a way that many top managers do, and it's a time saver. I call it DARES, and it goes like this:</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>D</strong>elay: If you can't work on it now, put it in a &quot;to do&quot; file.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>A</strong>ct: If you can solve it immediately, do so.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>R</strong>e-assign: If you can't work on it, forward it to someone who can.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>E</strong>rase: If it's been dealt with, or you don't need it, delete it.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>S</strong>tore: Archive it into the correct folder, and move on.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>5. Quit Email for a Few Hours a Day</h2> <p>The big problem with email is that it's always there. And it's always notifying you of new mail. It can be difficult to ignore, and that leads to a lack of thinking, and dedication, on projects that deserve your complete attention. So, for a couple of hours in the morning and afternoon, turn off your email. Give yourself time to really concentrate. The chances are, nothing is going to be so urgent it can't wait for two hours. But the benefits to you, and your job, could be invaluable.</p> <p><em>Do you have any other advice on using email at work? Let us know.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-thing-you-use-every-day-is-ruining-your-productivity-and-its-not-facebook">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-break-your-social-media-habit">5 Ways to Break Your Social Media Habit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-get-people-to-respond-to-your-email">15 Ways to Get People to Respond to Your Email</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hey-boss-please-dont-bother-me-im-daydreaming">Hey Boss, Please Don’t Bother Me, I’m Daydreaming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-a-time-budget-and-how-to-create-it">Why You Need a Time Budget — and How to Create It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity email productivity social media Mon, 24 Feb 2014 11:24:29 +0000 Paul Michael 1126820 at http://www.wisebread.com Get the Response You Want With Friendly, Professional Email http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-response-you-want-with-friendly-professional-email <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-the-response-you-want-with-friendly-professional-email" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/computer-5061330-small.jpg" alt="computer" title="computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is an art to being casual and friendly yet professional and firm via email. While I won&rsquo;t claim to be the master of the perfect email, I can say that I tend to get positive results. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-letter-always-wins" target="_blank">The Letter Always Wins</a>)</p> <p>Like many of you, I read and write lots of work-related and personal emails every day. The subjects cover professional assignments, updates from sports coaches and music directors, alerts about scouting activities, check-ins with those who may need help, details about group projects, and more. While some messages are meant merely to inform, others are designed to solicit feedback, encourage involvement, facilitate decision-making, build relationships, and reinforce teamwork</p> <p>Having been part of highly effective communications and having learned from mistakes (both as a recipient and a sender), I have identified a few keys to conveying a message clearly and in a positive tone.</p> <h2>Appear Calm and Upbeat</h2> <p>Act serene no matter how you feel. A calm and positive approach endears you to your audience and makes your message more compelling.</p> <p>Even if you are frustrated about the lack of response from your friends and colleagues, upset about a situation that needs to be remedied, or have just cause to be angry, expressing negative emotions is almost always a bad idea. For whatever reason, negativity is amplified via email. Recipients will see you as incapable and flighty at best, and deranged and unstable at worst.</p> <p>Set the tone by starting with a positive statement. For example, express gratitude for help with a project, congratulate on a recent accomplishment, or simply mention that you enjoyed a recent event with your recipients.</p> <p>For the core of your message, be clear about what you need. To get support from others, resist heavy-handedness and, instead, be encouraging.</p> <h2>Give All Pertinent Information</h2> <p>Cover everything needed to respond, participate, etc. in the email. Give the details about who, what, when (including day of the week, date, and time), where, why, and how in the message, even if you have included that information in the subject line or earlier emails.</p> <p>Sure, this tip seems like a no-brainer, but I still see messages that don't contain the basics.</p> <p>And while it's true that people don't like to read long messages, getting all the details in one message is preferable to having others fill in the blanks with wrong assumptions.</p> <h2>Use the Draft Function</h2> <p>When you need to write an important email, compose the content and save in draft mode. Review the next day and make edits before sending. This simple routine (write, sleep, edit, and then send) has helped me to be a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today" target="_blank">more effective communicator</a>.</p> <p>The day after writing the draft, I will often find these problems:</p> <ul> <li>A tone that is frantic or harsh</li> <li>Unnecessary details, which distract readers from key points</li> <li>Imprecise language</li> <li>Misspelled words</li> <li>Too much information about my personal views</li> <li>Tactlessness about a sensitive subject</li> </ul> <p>Changes needed are usually easy to recognize. You can make edits and review one more time before hitting the &quot;send&quot; button.</p> <h2>Be Clear About What You Want</h2> <p>Don't be mysterious about your wants and needs. Be clear about the type of response required and an appropriate timeline. Even if you write an explanation of what sort of information you need, don&rsquo;t bury the question in a dense paragraph or assume that it&rsquo;s obvious what the next step should be.</p> <p>State the type of action required and the deadline in a separate sentence.</p> <p>This tactic doesn&rsquo;t guarantee that you&rsquo;ll get the responses you want in the designated timeline (sorry, but people are just too overwhelmed to give you what you need all the time, every time). But it will help you to avoid writing an email clarifying the response you hoped for. By being clear the first time, you&rsquo;ll be able to move forward faster.</p> <h2>Allow Time for a Response</h2> <p>Give people time to get back with you.</p> <p>On a couple of occasions, I&rsquo;ve mentioned that I have not received a response to an email. The intended recipient then indicates that she hasn't checked email within the last 48 hours, and my response is that I sent the message several days ago, kindly noting that I didn&rsquo;t expect an instantaneous response. These situations made me realize 1) many (other) people don't allow enough time for a response; and 2) some folks are not willing to engage in email conversations.</p> <p>Still, it's good practice to allow ample time for a thorough reading of the message, contemplation about the response (perhaps the person needs to check an offline schedule), and composition of a return email. That is, you need to put your timeline in sync with other people's schedules, not vice versa.</p> <h2>Be Mindful of Message Length and Format</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s nothing wrong with a lengthy email, contrary to popular opinion. It&rsquo;s better to send a thorough message one time than to pellet people with multiple emails containing bits of information, like pieces of a puzzle that they then need to fit together.</p> <p>For example, if you are the head coach of a little league team, main organizer for a special event, or some other recognized leader, then you may need to send a long email occasionally. Even then, it's helpful to create headings for topic categories (use bold and/or larger fonts) and use bulleted or numbered lists to allow readers to digest information quickly.</p> <p>And it&rsquo;s OK to write a long missive to express yourself every once in a while. But if you overload people, they will start tuning you out. So, long messages are okay but probably should not be the default mode.</p> <h2>Admit Mistakes Quickly</h2> <p>Occasionally, you&rsquo;ll write something in your email that conveys the wrong message or is just flat out wrong. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes" target="_blank">Admit the mistake</a> and provide accurate information as quickly as possible. Otherwise, recipients will think you are a sloppy or lazy communicator, or just get confused.</p> <h2>Manage &quot;Reply All&quot; Conversations</h2> <p>The &quot;reply all&quot; method that makes individual responses visible to the group is useful. But this method <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/cleanse-and-organize-your-inbox-in-10-simple-steps" target="_blank">can clog up inboxes and cause confusion</a>.</p> <p>To remedy the &quot;reply all&quot; jumble of messages, particularly when the conversation involves many people, put together a recap for the group to see. This technique helps make sure you have captured all the responses to date, lets others see the responses at a glance (including the stray ones that may have replied to you only), and gives you the opportunity to prompt laggards in making their responses. The recap in a fresh new email tends to work better than another &quot;reply all&quot; message.</p> <h2>Adjust to Your Audience</h2> <p>If you regularly send mass emails, you can&rsquo;t cater to the quirks of one or two people in a large group. But if you converse frequently with a few key people, modifying your style to match how they communicate reveals your true professionalism.</p> <p>For example, some people may note the first line of an email and answer the first question, whereas others read emails thoroughly and carefully respond to all questions. To be effective (plus stay calm when trying to elicit a certain type of response), you may need to adjust your message format, length, tone, and timing.</p> <p>Finally, know when to take the conversation offline. Being friendly and professional means knowing the right place to discuss sensitive or confidential information.</p> <p><em>What techniques do you use to write friendly yet professional emails?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-response-you-want-with-friendly-professional-email">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-10-work-email-mistakes-you-may-be-making">STOP! 10 Work Email Mistakes You May Be Making</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-up-your-chances-of-getting-an-email-response">10 Tips to Up Your Chances of Getting an Email Response</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data">3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family">5 Ways to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-are-what-you-do-16-ways-to-improve-your-body-language">You Are What You Do: 16 Ways to Improve Your Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income General Tips business writing communication email writing Tue, 30 Apr 2013 10:00:34 +0000 Julie Rains 973455 at http://www.wisebread.com Cleanse And Organize Your Inbox In 10 Simple Steps http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/cleanse-and-organize-your-inbox-in-10-simple-steps <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/cleanse-and-organize-your-inbox-in-10-simple-steps" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/cleanse-and-organize-your-inbox-in-10-simple-s...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/cleanse-and-organize-your-inbox-in-10-simple-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004217870Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Be honest. Are you ruled by your email inbox?</p> <p>How many minutes to you spend a day checking your email, sorting your inbox, and deleting spam? How many times during the day do you simply think (and possibly worry and fret) about your email? How often do you drop what you&rsquo;re doing to respond to that email that just arrived?</p> <p>The digital age is awesome, don&rsquo;t get me wrong. But, when allowed to run rampant without any direction, little email dictators start cropping up all over the cyber-universe. It&rsquo;s time to squash them.</p> <h3>1. Unsubscribe is a beautiful word!</h3> <p>Your favorite stores likely offered you discounts or coupons if you signed up for their newsletter. And so you did. You had opened yourself up to a barrage of emails that you&rsquo;ve probably never even read. All the websites, stores, or blogs you&rsquo;ve ever signed up with and agreed to receive emails from are cluttering up your precious inbox space.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s time to unsubscribe from everything you don&rsquo;t read. While it may take some effort to actually unsubscribe from everything, you&rsquo;ll have less clutter in your inbox in the long run &ndash; and more time on your hands for other things.</p> <h3>2. Filters are your friends.</h3> <p>Perhaps you can&rsquo;t quite bring yourself to unsubscribe from all your favorite blogs and websites. No problem; simply add email filters to sort emails for you.</p> <p>Google mail (Gmail), for example, allows you to set filters that will sort emails into specific folders. You simply set up the folders in your Gmail account and specify which emails go into each folder. When the email arrives, Gmail marks it as read and plunks it into the correct folder. This way, you can read pre-sorted emails when it&rsquo;s convenient for you and your inbox stays happier!</p> <h3>3. Set up a FAQ page.</h3> <p>Do you frequently receive emails from clients or customers who ask the same questions over and over again? You can stop feeling like a broken record and cut down on daily emails by <a href="http://themogulmom.com/contact" target="_blank">setting up a FAQ page</a> on your website or blog.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s easy. Follow a question and answer format to answer the most common questions your clients and customers ask. This can be anything from pricing, to hours of availability to shipping and returns. Don&rsquo;t have room for an FAQ page? You can add common information to your contact page or even an email auto-responder if that suits you better.</p> <h3>4. Adopt a short and simple policy.</h3> <p>Businesses seem to have a policy for everything, right? No matter what size business you are, it might not be a bad idea to have your own little email policy.</p> <p>Consider adopting a &ldquo;self&rdquo; policy like the one suggested at <a href="http://five.sentenc.es/" target="_blank">five.sentenc.es</a>, in which you limit yourself to only writing emails that are five sentences or shorter in length. No more writing epic replies and encouraging epic responses. Keep your email replies short, to the point and polite. Not only does this free up the amount of time you spend writing emails, but it may also encourage others to write shorter emails, too.</p> <h3>5. It&rsquo;s OK to leave people out.</h3> <p>When you add other people to an email by CC, you&rsquo;re essentially opening the door to receiving replies from them, as well. Unless you really want or need to hear from those people, leave them off the CC. Hitting the &ldquo;reply all&rdquo; button isn&rsquo;t any better. Reserve using these handy, but-alternately-annoying, email tools only when truly necessary.</p> <h3>6. EOM NNTR.</h3> <p>Not sure what those letters stand for?</p> <p>EOM stands for &ldquo;End of Message&rdquo;. If you can reply to an email in just a few words, simply add your reply in the subject line and place EOM at the end. Your recipient will know that there is nothing more to read in that email.</p> <p>NNTR is &ldquo;No Need to Respond&rdquo;. When you type an email that really doesn&rsquo;t need a reply, simply add NNTR to the end of your message. This tells the recipient that she doesn&rsquo;t have to reply, and hopefully, helps keep your inbox a little less hectic.</p> <h3>7. Make your Email work harder!</h3> <p>You already know that adding the web address for your business at the end of your emails is a good idea. What if you could automatically do more to market yourself? Well, you can, by using <a href="http://www.wisestamp.com/" target="_blank">Wisestamp</a>.</p> <p>Wisestamp allows you to add customized business information, along with social networking links for your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles, and even dynamic links to your latest blog posts or eBay store. No more typing this info at the end of each email, or fretting that your current email signature looks cheap. Wisestamp is fully customizable so you can match it to your business branding. Simple!</p> <h3>8. There&rsquo;s an app for that.</h3> <p>Sometimes, simply making a pact with ourselves to cut down on email time is the first step towards handling the chaos. Checking email only twice a day is a good start. Consider checking emails in the morning and then later in the day at a time that best fits into your schedule. This way you&rsquo;re not chained to your inbox, and you allow yourself time for other creative or business pursuits during the day.</p> <p>Like all good intentions, however, actually keeping the pact is an entirely different thing (New Year&rsquo;s resolutions, anyone?).</p> <p><a href="http://app.chrometa.com/" target="_blank">Chrometa</a> is a cool little app that helps keep you honest about the amount of time you spend on your email each day. After download, Chrometa logs <i>all</i> of your online time and breaks it down to show you exactly how and where you spent your online day. It&rsquo;s a pretty handy way to see exactly how many times you checked your email. And how many times to checked your Facebook status.</p> <h3>9. A&rsquo;la Twitter!</h3> <p>Twitter, in case you live under a rock, is a social networking site that can save you some email madness.</p> <p>You can connect with others similar to the way you do on Facebook; however, Twitter forces brevity. You&rsquo;re only allowed to communicate in 140 characters or less in each post. You can direct clients and customers to connect with you via Twitter instead of email. This way, communications are quick and fast and don&rsquo;t clog up your inbox.</p> <h3>10. Get a Super Nanny for your inbox.</h3> <p>If, despite your best efforts to tame your mad inbox, email is still a large chunk of your day, consider getting help. Hiring a virtual assistant to manage your inbox can save your sanity <i>and</i> your business.</p> <p>A virtual assistant can check your email, answer them, and follow up on sent emails waiting for replies.</p> <p>Worried about someone else digging through your mail? No worries. Be sure to have a business email account set up to reduce the mixture of business and personal emails. Or, have personal emails filtered to a designated folder as discussed in step #2. Be upfront with your VA about how to respond to emails and what to leave for you to handle yourself. A VA can do as much or as little as you like with your email &ndash; the end goal is to make your life easier!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heather-allard">Heather Allard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/cleanse-and-organize-your-inbox-in-10-simple-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-get-people-to-respond-to-your-email">15 Ways to Get People to Respond to Your Email</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business">6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox">5 Kinds of Emails to Purge From Your Inbox</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Small Business Resource Center email inbox zero small business Fri, 02 Sep 2011 22:54:58 +0000 Heather Allard 677375 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Make Your Affiliate Marketing Program Shine http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/10-ways-to-make-your-affiliate-marketing-program-shine <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/10-ways-to-make-your-affiliate-marketing-program-shine" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/10-ways-to-make-your-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/10-ways-to-make-your-affiliate-marketing-program-shine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000002477861Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Affiliate marketing can be a key strategy for selling products, especially online. At its most basic, affiliate marketing lets you turn anyone into a sales person for your business. You offer a commission for every product an affiliate sells for you. This strategy has become particularly popular as the number of websites and blogs have boomed. There are several software options that let you put up your products for sale and that provide accurate counts of sales made by affiliates.</p> <p>One of the biggest benefits I&rsquo;ve found with affiliate marketing is how far it can expand your reach. When I created an affiliate program for one of my products, it was reviewed and promoted by the largest site in my niche &mdash; reaching more than 100,000 people that I otherwise could not have marketed to.</p> <p>If you're considering an affiliate marketing program, consider the following ten tips that can help make your program a success.</p> <h3>Stay in touch with your affiliates.</h3> <p>If you ignore your affiliates, they&rsquo;ll ignore you. Sending out news about upcoming opportunities helps dramatically, but if you really want to make your program stand out, give some one-on-one attention to your affiliates. Create multiple communication channels, from forums to newsletters, facebook to twitter and then use them.</p> <h3>Create a guide for your affiliates.</h3> <p>You&rsquo;re almost certainly not in a position to give away products to every person who signs up for your affiliate program and, even if all of your affiliates have your products, that isn&rsquo;t going to transform each of them into a fantastic salesperson overnight. But if you can provide tips and guidelines about selling your product, you can help new affiliates get over the hump.</p> <h3>Give your affiliates lots of images.</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s become standard practice for many affiliate programs to provide affiliates with banners that can easily be added to a website, but other images are just as important. Most buyers look first and foremost for pictures of anything they&rsquo;re considering purchasing, so making sure that your affiliates have plenty of images to work with can give them a huge boost.</p> <h3>Make it easy for your affiliates to hold their own promotions.</h3> <p>The point of an affiliate program is to reach as many different audiences as quickly as possible &mdash; and make use of the expertise of the people already working with those audiences. Your affiliates are going to have ideas for promoting your products to their audiences and to make those ideas work, you&rsquo;ll need to offer your affiliates the freedom and support to pull off their ideas.</p> <h3>Offer higher affiliate commissions.</h3> <p>While there is almost certainly an upper limit on the affiliate commission you can offer, there&rsquo;s probably some room to create tiers in what you offer your affiliates. For those affiliates who are particularly good at selling your products, there is little reason not to offer them a higher rate so that they can spend even more of their time on marketing your products.</p> <h3>Bundle products.</h3> <p>For many products that you may sell, there are other products or services that they can be paired with. Some affiliates may look for opportunities to create their own joint ventures &mdash; bundling your products with other vendors' products &mdash; but the more chances to sell packages of your projects, the more opportunities you can offer your affiliates to reach wider.</p> <h3>Bring in a phenomenal affiliate manager.</h3> <p>Hiring even a part-time specialist in affiliate programs can help you take your affiliates to the next level. A great affiliate manager can make technical problems a thing of the past, as well as help you identify truly great affiliates and grow your program.</p> <h3>Learn about your affiliates.</h3> <p>Can you mention any of your affiliates by name? Can you describe the promotions they&rsquo;ve used to sell your products? Can you list what other products they&rsquo;re affiliates for? That information can be crucial. You can educate the rest of your affiliates about the techniques particularly successful sellers are using, as well as come up with specific ideas that are relevant to their websites, blogs or other places they promote your products.</p> <h3>Create a promotion calendar and share it with your affiliates.</h3> <p>In every industry, there are certain opportunities that come up at different points of the year, when you can offer special promotions. Providing your affiliates with this sort of insight into your industry can make a real difference in your sales.</p> <h3>Make yourself available to affiliates.</h3> <p>Your affiliates are going to have questions that you&rsquo;ve never considered &mdash; as well as ideas that you want to hear about. If you just set up an affiliate program and leave it to run on autopilot, you won't hear neither questions nor ideas. It&rsquo;s crucial to make sure that you&rsquo;re accessible, at least by email, to anyone who wants to follow up on your affiliate program.</p> <p>Implementing every one of these strategies immediately may seem daunting. But the beauty of an affiliate marketing program is that you can build up your program in steps. You can add support materials, offer suggestions to your affiliates, and so on over time. Start with the most important piece &mdash; communication &mdash; and keep it as simple as an email newsletter. As long as you contact them on a regular schedule, you won't have any choice <i>but</i> to grow your affiliate program to keep pace with their sales pace.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/10-ways-to-make-your-affiliate-marketing-program-shine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-social-media-stars-who-earn-way-more-than-you">5 Social Media Stars Who Earn Way More Than You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center affiliate marketing email Facebook marketing small business twitter Wed, 18 May 2011 22:33:42 +0000 Thursday Bram 537275 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get the Most Out of Your Gmail Account http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-gmail-account <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-gmail-account" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/442156808_8500053113_a.jpg" alt="Gmail box" title="Gmail box" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="186" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Somewhere between 2005 and 2009, Google's free email service, <a href="https://www.gmail.com/">Gmail</a>, exploded and became the standard for the average email user. This wasn't just by chance. Gmail became popular because it started offering more features than Yahoo and Hotmail. The spam filter is better, the search function is better, it has a chat client built-in, and it's always increasing its storage space.</p> <p>Many of you probably have a Gmail account, but do you use it efficiently? Gmail is not just an email client, it's a productivity suite. You can literally organize your life with it. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your Gmail account.</p> <h3>1. Never Delete Anything</h3> <p>I don't ever delete anything. I love the &quot;Archive&quot; button. I am married to the Archive button, because it never lets me down. Or, I should say that Gmail's search algorithm never lets me down. When I archive a file, it's out of my immediate life, but I have the assurance of knowing that it's always there if I ever need it again. Using the search form is a much better time saver than sorting through hundreds of emails in your inbox or a particular label.</p> <p><em><strong>Pro Tip:</strong></em> Click on the &quot;Labs&quot; icon in the upper right corner and enable the &quot;Send and Archive&quot; lab. This adds a button which allows you to send a reply and automatically archive it all in one click, so it reduces a step and saves you time.</p> <h3>2. Use Labels Effectively</h3> <p>Organization is key for your email account if you want it to be a tool, not a burden, in your personal and professional life. Have you ever opened your email and felt overwhelmed? It's because it's not organized. Some of you get dozens of emails a day and it's hard to keep up with. But if you get in the habit of labeling all of your important emails that come in, you'll have a tidy inbox and an easier time pulling up emails from clients, your boss, and family members. To create a label, simply click on the &quot;labels&quot; button and click on &quot;Manage Labels.&quot; Then, you'll see a form field where you can name your label and click &quot;Create.&quot; How you set up your labels is up to you, but my advice is to make the category broad enough so you don't have dozens of labels, but specific enough so you know what is in there.</p> <p><em><strong>Pro Tip:</strong></em> On the left sidebar where your labels are listed, you'll see a small square box next to them. You can click on that and choose a color. I like picking colors for my labels because it helps me easily identify the label if it's still in my inbox. You can also pick colors that might correspond to a certain label so that you don't even have to read the label on an email to know what &quot;category&quot; it falls under.</p> <h3>3. Utilize the Search Function</h3> <p>The Search Mail function in Gmail is one of its best functions that really separates it from other email options like AOL. Not only is the Search function extremely versatile, flexible, and accurate, but it is also unbelievably fast. It's a matter of seconds before Gmail turns up the email you're looking for after it searches through your thousands or tens of thousands of emails.</p> <p><strong><em>Pro Tip:</em></strong> Try to use all the important keywords you can think of when searching for a specific email. That way, you won't have to look through multiple results to find the right one. For example, let's say you're from Chicago and you bought Cubs tickets for games against the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, and New York Yankees during the offseason (and you have a separate confirmation email for each of them). Now, three months later, you want to find the tickets for the Mets game. Instead of searching just &quot;Chicago Cubs Tickets&quot; (where all three would come up), or &quot;Chicago Cubs Tickets New York&quot; (where both New York games would come up), you can be extremely efficient and search &quot;Cubs Mets tickets.&quot; Be as specific as possible when searching, but make sure you're not including a word that may not actually be in the email.</p> <h3>4. Treat Your Inbox Like Your To-Do List</h3> <p>Nothing sits in my inbox that isn't important and doesn't require an action on my part. The only emails that sit in my inbox are ones that I need to respond to or take action on. Once I'm done with it, it gets labeled and archived. For emails that aren't very important or don't fit in a certain category, I simply archive them. The idea here is for your inbox to serve as a productivity tool, rather than a mess of emails that makes you spend an hour sorting through them and finding the email you need from a week ago.</p> <h3>5. Enable These Sweet Google Labs Gadgets</h3> <ul> <li><strong>Google Calendar Gadget</strong></li> <li><strong>Got the Wrong Bob?</strong> This is a life saver. Gmail will check to see if you meant to send an email to the right &quot;Bob&quot; or whoever it is, before you send it out. How does it know? Magic!</li> <li><strong>Right Side Chat.</strong> Makes the chat client more visible by putting it in the right sidebar.</li> <li><strong>Undo Send.</strong> Allows you to undo your sent message for a few moments after it&rsquo;s been sent.</li> <li><strong>Nested Labels</strong> </li> </ul> <p>If your Gmail account is a big mess, it's going to take a little time to get things to the point where your account starts working for you. My suggestion is to take a Saturday morning or a Sunday night to make it your project to get your Gmail account organized and add some of the features that I suggested. I know that the cool thing to say in the tech community is that &quot;email is dead.&quot; Well, if it's dead, then why are millions of emails still being sent every day? Email has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. Email has become the new snail mail. We like getting it when it's not spam. Gmail has the power to help you be more productive and get things done throughout the day.</p> <p><em>Are there any other awesome features on Gmail that you want to mention? Let's hear it.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Erik Folgate, a top contributor for the <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/">Money Crashers</a> personal finance blog. Check out the site and <a href="http://feeds.moneycrashers.com/MoneyCrashersCom">subscribe to their RSS feed</a> for more life hacks and personal finance tips like this one:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/25-online-resources-for-freelancers-and-small-businesses/">Small Business Tools and Resources Online</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/how-to-get-out-of-a-car-loan-when-you-owe-more-than-the-car-is-worth/">How to Get Out of an Upside Down Car Loan</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/lending-club-review-peer-to-peer-lending/">Lending Club Review</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/erik-folgate">Erik Folgate</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-gmail-account">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-perks-and-some-drawbacks-of-paperless-billing">9 Surprising Perks (and Some Drawbacks) of Paperless Billing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data">3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-the-chromebook-crush-windows">Could the Chromebook Crush Windows?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology email Google Thu, 22 Apr 2010 15:00:03 +0000 Erik Folgate 32058 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Tips for Landing an Gig Online http://www.wisebread.com/getting-noticed-on-craigslist <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/getting-noticed-on-craigslist" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3321017488_5c79e2290e.jpg" alt="" title="Run, rat, run!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are looking for ways to earn extra money online, you may have responded to a help-wanted ad on craigslist.org or another free ads site. Working small gigs can be a good way to put away some extra cash when times are tight, and although it's increasingly competitive with so many people out of work, here are some small ways you can improve your chances of getting hired for a odd job when replying to a 'help wanted' ad.</p> <p>Turns out that the things you need to do to get hired for a gig really aren't all that different from tips your might hear for landing a regular full-time job.&nbsp;Because you have to create a first impression via electronic mail, it's crucial that you convey a sense of professionalism and maturity.&nbsp;Whether you're a seamstress or a landscaper, dog walker or budding personal assistant, how you introduce yourself to potential clients can make the difference between landing the gig and being ignored completely.</p> <p>Here are some tips for how to stand out from the crowd of other gig-seeking people:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> Look to see <strong>how well you qualify for the job</strong>. If you meet 1 out of 5 listed desired traits, don't waste your time or that of the hiring party, unless you are positive that you are <strong>the right person for the job</strong>. Whenever I put out an ad for someone to do a few heavy-lifting jobs, I inevitably get an email application from a wispy woman who makes a living reading tarot cards. While small women can be strong, and there's certainly nothing wrong with making a living reading tarot, it does help your chances of landing a gig if you &quot;fit the bill&quot;.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> Have<strong> your own email account</strong>. Some married couples prefer to share email for whatever reason, but some people don't want to respond to <a href="mailto:jimandbarb@whatever.net">jimandbarb@whatever.net</a>, especially if you are, say, a seamstress talking to female clients about measurements.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> Pick out a good email address and <strong>use your own name as your alias</strong>. If this means that you have to set-up a separate email address for work, then so be it. This step is so crucial to normal job searches that I'm surprised that more people don't know about it. If someone posts an ad for a babysitter, and return an hour later to see their Inbox full to the brim with responses, they're probably not going to gravitate to the one with a name like &quot;Sexxy Tymz&quot; or &quot;mushroom maven&quot;. These aliases may be fun or a good indication of your personality, but even if you are replying to a job that requires you to remove garbage from someone's yard, you need to present yourself as a professional. The email address you choose can be cute if you want, but make sure it's appropriate. If you are replying to an ad that seeks help setting up a mycological garden, then &quot;Mushroom Maven&quot; is fine - just be sure to capitalize it.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> <strong>Email from the account that you plan to use for your job-oriented communication.</strong> Don't email from one account and ask someone to reply to another. Some busy people simply won't deal with the hassle. Also, don't immediately request a phone call. While some people are immediately comfortable pikcing up and calling you, not everyone will feel the same way. Provide your contact information, but allow your potential client the leway to contact you in whatever manner they choose.</p> <p><strong>5.</strong><strong> Choose a staid font </strong>and avoid flashy weirdness within the email. Blingees are fine when you are emailing your friends, but potential clients won't take you seriously if you compose emails in a curly, 17-point purple font.</p> <p><strong>6. Spell check your ad or email response.</strong> I mean, duh. There are some people who will overlook typos, and there are some people who won't. Might as well be safe (lord knows I am one of the worst at this, as is evident by my frequent typos in blog posts).</p> <p><strong>7. Have an email </strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signature_block"><strong>signature </strong></a>that includes your full name, title, business name (if you have one), phone number, and other relevant info, including your blog or web site address. Signatures are a snap to set up, but give emails a polished appearance. If you do link to a blog or web site, make sure that they are appropriate, and if possible, topical.</p> <p><strong>8. Show enthusiasm</strong>. It can be hard to get psyched about weeding sometimes, but I've noticed that I tend to hire people for odd jobs who express satisfaction over the work. Including a brief mention in your job email that says something like &quot;While hauling away rusted metal can be a dangerous job, I take pride in my careful handling of all your scrap, and find satisfaction in leaving you with a clean garage&quot; can be a good way to separate yourself from the ten other guys who wrote &quot;Me Joe. Me have toe truck take you're rusted carz LOL.&quot; Obviously, you don't want to over-express your love for shoveling steer manure over someone's garden, but you get the idea.</p> <p><strong>9. Provide references</strong>, or at least, a promise of references, especially if the job poster has specifically mentioned that they will be required.</p> <p><strong>10.</strong> When you answer the phone, <strong>use a proper greeting that identifies you</strong>. &quot;Hello?&quot; isn't adequate. &quot;This is Barb Jones&quot; is a better start a conversation with a new customer.</p> <p>You can also increase your chances of being noticed first by using <a href="http://www.adnotifier.com/">Adnotifier</a>, a service that alerts you whenever a new ad is posted in a section of help wanted ads that you monitor. It does cost about $10, but may be worth it if you need that kind of alert.</p> <p>Have you had success getting extra jobs online? Share your tips for success in the comments!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-noticed-on-craigslist">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets">Extra Income Online: 5 Websites That Can Seriously Pad Your Pockets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/write-for-money-online-series-part-i-bukisa">Write for money online series - Part I - Bukisa</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-secrets-of-highly-successful-craigslist-sellers">The 9 Secrets of Highly Successful Craigslist Sellers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online">Effortless Ways to Make Money Online That Don&#039;t Require Skills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> craig's list craigs list earning money on craigslist email gigs help wanted ad how to get an odd job job postings make hobby a career make money online Making Extra Cash online hiring online job boards services skills small business ads Fri, 01 May 2009 22:10:50 +0000 Andrea Karim 3110 at http://www.wisebread.com Do Nigerian Scam Artists Catch more Flies with Threats of Detainment? http://www.wisebread.com/do-nigerian-scam-artists-catch-more-flies-with-threats-of-detainment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-nigerian-scam-artists-catch-more-flies-with-threats-of-detainment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fbi.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Thanks to the economy, it&rsquo;s slow all around.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>In fact, even those who run some of the most devious and damaging email scams are having to come up with new ways to try to steal your money.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>The latest?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>A part promise, part threat email from the &ldquo;FBI&rdquo; designed to protect the security of our country.<span style="">&nbsp; </span><em>Oh, whatever will I do?</em><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">It has all the makings of an entertaining read.</b><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I received the email this morning.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It had all the makings of a Nigerian Scam: misspelled words, strange typesetting, and many comedic references to government agencies that don&rsquo;t really exist.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>This particular email caught my eye as it came from &ldquo;F.B.I <i style="">Washingtom</i> D.C.&rdquo;<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I&rsquo;d never been there, but when the subject promised that I was &ldquo;BEIGN WARNED FOR THE LAST TIME,&rdquo; I had to see what was up.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">You see, up until now, I had successfully ignored all attempts to get my money.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Promises of inheritances from dying princes and thank-you gifts from God-fearing missionaries were all nabbed efficiently by my spam filter.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>This time, however, the F.B.I and the <i style="">inland Revenue Service (IRS)</i> wished to remind me of millions of dollars (how much was not actually stated) that had been wire-transferred from overseas to a corresponding <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">U.S.</st1:place></st1:country-region> account, and all they needed was for me to take it.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>The amazing part of it was that it came from -- guess who? &ndash; the Central Bank Of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Nigeria</st1:country-region></st1:place>[CBN].<span style="">&nbsp; </span><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">They lay down the law.</b><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">But the oh-so-concerned FBI and IRS also wanted to remind me:<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;of the consequences of transferring such huge sums without complying fully with the legal provisions of the Financial and Allied Matters laws as amended in sub-section C (6) of 2003, which clearly indicates, that any monetory transaction in or out of the United States Of America, must undergo clearance for drug, terrorist and money laundry as that will guarantee that such funds are legitimately and legally acquired and does not have any criminal or terrorist involvement.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal">So they want me to have the money&hellip; but they also have me under suspicion of some kind of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-launder-money">money laundering activity</a>.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>This is getting funny.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">They continue to ask me (in this rather lengthy 1,000 word email), to send verification to make sure I&rsquo;m not a terrorist.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I&rsquo;m sure that the info would be rather personal, would most likely involve credit accounts, social security numbers, and the like. <span style="">&nbsp;</span>They instead ask me for my rap sheet to verify that I&rsquo;m eligible for this money.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(Like I have a rap sheet.)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">When push comes to shove&hellip;.</b><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">So now they go all &ldquo;FBI&rdquo; on my bum, giving me the following ultimatum (in all caps, no less):</p> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;THESE CONDITION IS VALID UNTIL 15TH&nbsp; OF FEBRUAURY 2009 AFTER WE SHALL TAKE ACTIONS ON CANCELLING THE PAYMENT AND THEN CHARGE YOU WITH THE&nbsp; FOR ILLEGALLY MOVING FUNDS OUT OF <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">NIGERIA</st1:country-region></st1:place>.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal">Wow.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>That&rsquo;s getting kind of nasty.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I start to wonder if someone less versed in Nigerian scam efforts could potentially fall for this ruse.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They continue:<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;The very heart of FBI operations lies in our investigations, as our mission states, &quot;to protect and defend the <st1:country-region w:st="on">United States</st1:country-region> against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to enforce the <span class="yshortcuts">criminal laws</span> of the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">United States</st1:place></st1:country-region>. Please be warned! The F.B.I will not stop at any length in tracking down and prosecuting any criminal who indulges in this <span class="yshortcuts">criminal act</span>.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal">And go on again with:<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;WARNING: If you fail to produce the above requirement in 2 days,&nbsp; legal action will be taken immediately by arresting and detaining you, justificated and if found guilty, you will be jailed. As terrorism, <span class="yshortcuts">drug trafficking</span> and money laundering is a serious problem in our community today. The F.B.I will not stop at any length in tracking down and persecuting any criminal who indulge in this criminal act. FORWARD THE DOCUMENT TO US VIA EMAIL ATTACHEMENT AS SOON AS YOU OBTAIN IT.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal">Yeah, I get it. You&rsquo;re going to justificate me.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(Whatever that means.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Now they are just making up words.)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">The Bottom Line Is This:</b><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Why am I telling you all this?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Do I think you wouldn&rsquo;t know a scam when you see one?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Probably.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>But we all have loved ones who may not have experienced something like this, and when threats are made to your freedom and liberty -- it&rsquo;s a bit over the line.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you have a loved one who&rsquo;s new to email (maybe Grandma just got a Dell for Christmas), take the time to tell them what&rsquo;s up.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Give them all the information available at your state attorney general&rsquo;s website (you can Google it.)<span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Have them read Catherine&rsquo;s true story of <a href="../../../../../../scammers-stole-all-of-my-grandmas-money">How Scammers Stole all of her Grandma&rsquo;s Money.</a><span style="">&nbsp; </span>Stay up on all the new tricks, like <a href="../../../../../../the-vicious-home-rental-scam-%E2%80%93-don%E2%80%99t-get-conned">home rental rip-offs on Craigslist</a>.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Or just have a beer and a <a href="../../../../../../419-baiting-keeping-online-scammers-running-in-circles">laugh with Paul Michael</a> and the professional scam baiters.<span style="">&nbsp; </span><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Just don&rsquo;t do nothing&hellip; and don&rsquo;t give out your personal info, rap sheet, or blood type to anyone (especially if they can&rsquo;t spell &ldquo;until.&rdquo;)<o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-nigerian-scam-artists-catch-more-flies-with-threats-of-detainment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-the-last-person-to-leave-america-please-turn-out-the-light">Could the last person to leave America please turn out the light.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-scores-across-the-country-which-third-are-you-in">Credit Scores Across the Country: Which Third are You In?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-check-if-your-mortgage-statement-is-correct">How to check if your mortgage statement is correct</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-perks-and-some-drawbacks-of-paperless-billing">9 Surprising Perks (and Some Drawbacks) of Paperless Billing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-predatory-lending">How to Protect Yourself From Predatory Lending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs email fbi nigerian scam Fri, 13 Feb 2009 04:11:50 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2835 at http://www.wisebread.com