email http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1744/all en-US 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/email blackberry 2.jpg" alt="email blackberry phone" title="email blackberry phone" 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 email messages we can't seem to delete. It's our primary email 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 <a href="https://unroll.me/">using a tool like 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 those 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/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</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/do-this-one-thing-to-defeat-disorganization-forever">Do This One Thing to Defeat Disorganization Forever</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/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</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/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today">12 Things You Won&#039;t Ever Use Again and Should Throw Out Today</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tools-that-stop-computer-distractions-and-help-you-stay-on-task">6 Tools That Stop Computer Distractions and Help You Stay on Task</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-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox">5 Kinds of Emails to Purge From Your Inbox</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today</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-get-and-give-honest-feedback">How to Get and Give Honest Feedback</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-office-politics-goofs-that-can-set-your-career-back-years">9 Office Politics Goofs That Can Set Your Career Back Years</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/12-ways-youre-driving-your-coworkers-insane">12 Ways You&#039;re Driving Your Coworkers Insane</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-with-a-rude-neighbor">How to Deal With a Rude Neighbor</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-express-condolences-without-saying-something-stupid">How to Express Condolences Without Saying Something Stupid</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-win-an-argument">How to Win an Argument</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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tools-that-stop-computer-distractions-and-help-you-stay-on-task">6 Tools That Stop Computer Distractions and Help You Stay on Task</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/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-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 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/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/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</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/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</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/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox">5 Kinds of Emails to Purge From Your Inbox</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/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</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/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year</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/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</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/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</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/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</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/5-ways-google-wallet-can-save-you-money">5 Ways Google Wallet Can Save You Money</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/google-yourself-challenge-how-much-can-people-learn-about-you-online">Google Yourself Challenge: How Much Can People Learn About You Online?</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/three-quirky-search-tools-to-help-you-get-results">Three Quirky Search Tools to Help You Get Results</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/8-crazy-things-tomorrows-cars-will-do">8 Crazy Things Tomorrow&#039;s Cars Will Do</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-10"> <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/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</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-35-best-ways-to-spend-your-free-time-frugally">The 35 Best Ways to Spend Your Free Time (Frugally)</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/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</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-11"> <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/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/conspicuous-spending-fading-to-black">Conspicuous Spending: Fading to Black</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/explaining-away-the-green-m-m">Explaining Away the Green M&amp;M</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/what-should-you-do-when-you-are-asked-to-repay-an-overpayment-of-severance">What should you do when you are asked to repay an overpayment of severance?</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 419 baiting – keeping online scammers running in circles http://www.wisebread.com/419-baiting-keeping-online-scammers-running-in-circles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/419-baiting-keeping-online-scammers-running-in-circles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1276202472_875ce2a422.jpg" alt="Hooked" title="Hooked" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="332" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How many of you have received an email telling you that you’ve one a lottery that you never even entered? Or, that a rich widow wants help distributing millions of dollars to the poor? Or, that YOU, and only you, can help free a fortune from a corrupt nation? Well, after years of deleting these cruddy emails I’ve discovered that there is a way to use them against the scammers. </p> <p>419 scams were given their name because they violated a formerly relevant section of the criminal code of Nigeria. To any moderately intelligent or aware person, these scams fall on deaf ears. But, people do actually fall for them every day. To date, the 419 scammers have made hundreds of millions of dollars from poor, unsuspecting (and let’s be honest, slightly greedy) folk who have blindly given away money, bank details, passport scans, social security numbers and more. Ouch.</p> <p>Anyway, when I received an email from a Mrs. Stella Cole this weekend, asking me to help distribute her dead husband’s fortune to the poor and needy, I spotted the scam in a nanosecond. </p> <p>The spelling was awful, the scenario was ridiculous, the details were sketchy, and the whole thing reeked of a traditional 419 scam. However, I decided not to delete it but instead pass the information on to a professional scam baiter. I found one through the Internet and this person, who shall remain nameless, devotes his time and energy to scam baiting. And it’s a worthwhile cause indeed. </p> <p><strong>419 baiting – hooking a scammer.</strong><br />First, a warning. Scam baiting means dealing with real crooks. Some 419 scam baiters have received death threats (and curses…oooohhhh, scary). Of course, 99% of 419 scammers are operating out of Internet café’s in the middle of Nigeria, most of the time, and would never follow up on any of these threats because it would take too much time and effort; time which is always better spent trying to con other victims. </p> <p>However, there are real risks associated with this “sport” which is highlighted below:</p> <blockquote><p><em>Though humorous, and arguably productive in diverting and discouraging scammers, there is a small, though real, risk of harm to the scambaiter. The entire idea of a scam bait is to frustrate the scammer and waste his time and money; if and when the scammer becomes aware his supposed victim is in fact a baiter, death threats are not uncommon (they are in fact a trophy among baiters, as they provide proof of how angry the scammer is). There is little doubt among scambaiting groups that if a baiter&#39;s real identity and personal information were made known to the scammers, those death threats could be carried out. Many scammers work in highly organized gangs, operating similar to a telemarketing firm where lower-level scammers send the first mass e-mails and higher-level scam artists receive the positive responses and work the scams from there. These gangs often have contacts in many countries across Europe and the Americas (many of which are in fact actual victims conned into doing the bidding of the scammer), and are thought to have connections to organized crime. Such highly organized gangs would have the resources to organize a kidnapping, assault or even murder of a baiter that had successfully wasted months or years of time and hundreds of dollars in plane tickets, hotel fares, etc. as part of a bait.</em></p> <p><em>For this reason, and also because some of the tactics used by a baiter are similar to those used by scammers and therefore legally questionable (such as providing false information and IDs), sites like 419 Eater constantly remind visitors that scammers are criminals, and to &quot;bait safe&quot;. The personal information of a bait character, such as the name, address and bank account info, is totally fictional or fictionalized. Web-based e-mail services and proxy servers hide the sender&#39;s actual IP address, since the mail is sent from the website, and such accounts are set up with the bait character&#39;s fake information. Phone calls are usually handled using operator-assisted relay services for the deaf, web-based answering services that send faxes and voice mail messages to an e-mail address, and VoIP-based &quot;telephony&quot; services. Images, such as pictures of the baiter&#39;s character or scans of IDs or documents, are &quot;PhotoShopped&quot; and/or otherwise obfuscated to ensure that innocent third parties are not affected by use of their picture and that the scammer cannot use them. It is also a valuable time-wasting tactic to provide the scammer with an &quot;image&quot; that is unviewable.</em></p> <p><em>Scambaiters are also highly connected, and sometimes call upon each other to help with a bait. The other baiters could be called on to make phone calls, provide phony documents, play other characters in the bait, take over a bait or focus the scammer&#39;s attention elsewhere, or maneuver other baited scammers to complement the bait&#39;s plot. In addition to increasing the scammer&#39;s confidence that they are dealing with real people, such activities increase the anonymity of everyone involved because no one person is behind the character.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>So as you can see, although it carries a hint of danger, the reason people get involved is simple; the longer you keep them busy, the less time they have to work on other, more susceptible people. To use a movie reference, scam baiters are throwing meat at a bunch of wild dogs to help the innocent family escape from the house, or something like that.</p> <p>419 baiters often string along scammers for months, getting them to do some of the most unusual stuff. One of my favorites comes from this <a href="http://www.ebolamonkeyman.com/">site</a> (there’s some NSFW language on it, be warned). He has some of these people sending him photographs with some lurid (but clearly non-translatable) signs. One has the scammer holding up some Madonna lyrics! Priceless. </p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/image002.jpg" alt="Papa" title="Papa" width="273" height="417" /></p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/1.jpg" alt="Rain" title="Rain" width="331" height="500" /></p> <p>The baiting goes on for weeks, sometimes months, taking the scammers&#39; time away from other victims. While I certainly don’t like the language he employs, ebolamonkeyman keeps scammers busy for a long, long time. And that has to be good.</p> <p>Am I encouraging you to become a scam baiter? <strong>Big fat NO on that one</strong>, it could carry serious consequences. But next time you get one of these nasty emails, you may want to think about forwarding it to someone who has the time, resources and bravery to do something about it. In fact, just by forwarding your scam email to someone who keeps these on public record, you are increasing awareness of yet another strain of the ever-growing 419 epidemic.</p> <p> Stay safe people, and never, ever respond to any email that seems too good to be true. </p> <p><strong>Further reading:</strong><br /><a href="http://www.ebolamonkeyman.com/">http://www.ebolamonkeyman.com </a> <br /><a href="http://www.419baiter.com/">http://www.419baiter.com/</a> <br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scam_baiting">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scam_baiting</a> <br /><a href="http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/">http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/</a> <br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_fee_fraud">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_fee_fraud</a> <br /><a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/07/09/419_scam_anatomy/">http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/07/09/419_scam_anatomy/</a> <br /><a href="http://www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/fraudschemes.htm">http://www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/fraudschemes.htm</a> <br /><a href="http://www.allyourbase-arebelongto.us/node/39">http://www.allyourbase-arebelongto.us/node/39</a> </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/419-baiting-keeping-online-scammers-running-in-circles">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-12"> <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/the-vicious-home-rental-scam-dont-get-conned">The vicious Home Rental Scam – don’t get conned.</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/pet-lovers-beware-theres-a-new-scam-in-town">Pet lovers beware - there&#039;s a new scam in town.</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-mystery-shopping-scam-that-could-cost-you-a-fortune">The mystery shopping scam that could cost you a fortune.</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/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today</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/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs 419 scam advance fee fraud con email fake fraud Nigeria Mon, 03 Mar 2008 20:35:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1878 at http://www.wisebread.com Free movie rental from Hollywood Video http://www.wisebread.com/free-movie-rental-from-hollywood-video <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/free-movie-rental-from-hollywood-video" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Hollywood_logo_red.jpg" alt="HV" title="HV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="124" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This deal is about as simple as they get. So grab a bag or two of your favorite popcorn, browse through the aisles of your local Hollywood Video and pick up a video rental on the house.</p> <p>So, what's the catch? Well, there is one but it's a tiny one. All you have to do is sign up for the <a href="http://www.hollywoodvideo.com/Default.aspx?">Hollywood Video</a> newsletter, no big deal, and you get your coupon.</p> <p><img width="312" height="176" title="Coupon" alt="Coupon" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/Picture_2_1.png" /></p> <p>Any restrictions? None that I can see. This was on my coupon:</p> <p><em>This coupon is a one-time offer and is good for one free New Release DVD or Hollywood Film Library&reg; movie rental. </em></p> <p>The only slight niggle I had was installing the coupon printer, I'm no big fan of extra software. But it's a small gripe for a free movie. Enjoy.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This deal is about as simple as they get. So grab a bag or two of your favorite popcorn, browse through the aisles of your local Hollywood Video and pick up a video rental on the house.</p> <p>So, what's the catch? Well, there is one but it's a tiny one. All you have to do is sign up for the <a href="http://www.hollywoodvideo.com/Default.aspx?">Hollywood Video</a> newsletter, no big deal, and you get your coupon.</p> <p><img width="312" height="176" title="Coupon" alt="Coupon" src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/Picture_2_1.png" /></p> <p>Any restrictions? None that I can see. This was on my coupon:</p> <p><em>This coupon is a one-time offer and is good for one free New Release DVD or Hollywood Film Library&reg; movie rental. </em></p> <p>The only slight niggle I had was installing the coupon printer, I'm no big fan of extra software. But it's a small gripe for a free movie. Enjoy.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</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/free-movie-rental-from-hollywood-video">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-13"> <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/free-copy-of-what-to-expect-the-first-year-book">FREE copy of &quot;What To Expect The First Year&quot; book.</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/stapler-stapler-free-20-swingline-stapler">&quot;Stapler. Stapler.&quot; - FREE $20 Swingline Stapler</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/sears-goes-a-little-crazy-sweaters-starting-at-99-cents">Sears goes a little crazy - sweaters starting at 99 cents!</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/free-18-cultured-freshwater-pearl-necklace">FREE 18&quot; Cultured Freshwater Pearl Necklace</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/free-2gb-ipod-shuffle-from-compass-bank">FREE 2GB iPod Shuffle from Compass Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Freebies bargain deal dvd email free Hollywood Video offer rental video Thu, 24 Jan 2008 16:54:49 +0000 Paul Michael 1673 at http://www.wisebread.com Finding the Right Job: There’s Plenty of Phish in the Sea http://www.wisebread.com/finding-the-right-job-there-s-plenty-of-phish-in-the-sea <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/finding-the-right-job-there-s-plenty-of-phish-in-the-sea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/phishing.jpg" alt="phishing" title="Phishing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="332" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">My husband and I are no strangers to the job hunt scene.<span> </span>Before he was even out of college, we were scouring the newspapers, searching the online databases, and handing out resumes to colleagues in hopes of helping him land that killer job.<span> </span>And while it was very frustrating that the rate of return on most job inquiries was very low, it wasn’t nearly as annoying as the slew of phony job emails that began infiltrating my husband’s email inbox.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Scammy job emails have taken several forms in my experience:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Phishing</strong> – This is usually disguised as an inquiry from a reputable company looking to get more information before scheduling an interview.<span> </span>They may ask for your social security number, bank account information, credit card numbers, or the name of your first junior high crush (this last one is doubtful, but equally damning.)<span> </span>While you may not get excited from seeing a message from Coca-Cola (since you obviously didn’t apply there), you may initially get overjoyed from seeing a supposed email from a place you did apply to.<span> </span>Upon finding out it is a scam, it can tick you off.<span> </span>Just be sure to ignore <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing">these emails</a>.<span> </span>No potential employer wants to know you bank account info; trust me.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Nigerian Scam or Spoofing</strong> – Yeah, we know that not all of these actually come from Nigeria.<span> </span>In fact, a large portion of these emails are now originating in other parts of Africa and Eastern Europe.<span> </span>The premise is still the same, however.<span> </span>The phony company has determined that you are a perfect fit for their job as a payment processor.<span> </span>All you have to do is cash their phony check and wire back a percentage of the money.<span> </span>In addition to this tired scheme, similar emails may ask that job-seekers participate in certain forms of <a href="/how-to-launder-money">money-laundering</a> or the shipment of stolen goods outside of the country.<span> </span>(What is especially frustrating about these emails is that they are more appropriate for some job-hunters than others.<span> </span>My husband, for example, was seeking to use his International Business degree in a new career.<span> </span>Upon first glance, some of these scams would appear to be a potential job opportunity.<span> </span>I would expect that someone looking for a career in Cosmetology wouldn’t even take the time to read through most of these emails, however.)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Franchise Opportunities</strong> – If you know someone that really makes thousands a week with little to no start up or effort, give me their number.<span> </span>Otherwise, I’ll just assume that it can’t usually be done.<span> </span>The Federal Trade Commission has taken measures to ensure that such arrogant claims be accompanied with certain disclosure statements if the purchase price of such a “start-up opportunity” is more than $500.<span> </span>This <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/franchise/netrule.shtm">FTC Franchise Rule</a> requires that all “opportunities” include a franchise disclosure document that includes basic information about the promoter&#39;s company, including any lawsuits from purchasers or lawsuits alleging fraud. In addition, the promoter must give potential purchasers the names, addresses and phone numbers of at least 10 previous purchasers closest to the potential buyer.<span> </span>If this info isn’t included, or the company refuses to provide it -- RUN!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Home Business Opportunities</strong> – Why would any company pay you $1 per stuffed envelope when they could hire out a mailing company to do it for pennies?<span> </span>They wouldn’t.<span> </span>And you can just forget about that medical billing and transcription opportunity you just found out about.<span> </span>With the new <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/">HIPAA laws</a> and the sanctity of medical privacy, a real doctor isn’t about to just send anyone a load of confidential medical info without any background or training.<span> </span>Get more info before paying anything.<span> </span>Most real employers pay their employees; not the other way around.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Take heart in knowing that you eventually will find employment.<span> </span>It may take awhile (<a href="/live-like-theres-no-tomorrow">just remember how long we waited</a> ). If you keep your head and take time in responding to job-related emails, however, you can save yourself from <a href="http://www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com/stories.aspx">horrors far worse than unemployment</a>. </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/finding-the-right-job-there-s-plenty-of-phish-in-the-sea">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-14"> <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/6-warning-signs-that-it-is-not-the-job-for-you">6 Warning Signs that It Is Not the Job for You</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/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</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/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</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/when-to-splurge-resume-writer">When to Splurge: Resume Writer</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-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career">6 Ways to Use Technology to Upgrade Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building career email employment jobs phishing scams technology Fri, 19 Oct 2007 15:59:39 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1303 at http://www.wisebread.com Pet lovers beware - there's a new scam in town. http://www.wisebread.com/pet-lovers-beware-theres-a-new-scam-in-town <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/484053721_34b7c95747.jpg" alt="big eyed pup" title="big eyed pup" width="317" height="187" /></p> <p>If you thought those <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_fee_fraud">Nigerian scammers</a> could not sink any lower, think again. It was reported today by <a href="http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/13455297/detail.html">WTAE.TV</a> that there&#39;s a new scam making the rounds, and this time the scammers are praying on the good nature of pet lovers.</p> <p>It&#39;s a simple enough set-up. Someone either emails or posts an ad (often local, so beware of Craigslist and MySpace) featuring a beautiful free puppy. Many reasons are given for the free giveaway, ranging from a poor environment to lack of funds to keep the little pup. The correspondance tugs on the heart strings like a professional harp player, hitting all the right notes. And then when you reply saying you&#39;d like the free puppy, the con begins.</p> <p>First, they&#39;ll ask for the hefty shipping fee to be sent, something like $160. If you bite, and send the fee, then all of a sudden the shots for the pooch will need to be administered. And guess what, they&#39;re not cheap. Before you know it, you&#39;ve sent several hundred dollars to someone you don&#39;t know. Most likely the dog doesn&#39;t even exist, and cute pictures of helpless puppies are not exactly difficult to come by online (see main picture). </p> <p>If you really do want to adopt a dog and give a homeless animal a good life, go to your local Humane Society or animal adoption center. They are legitimate, you&#39;ll need to pay a few fees for adoption, but at least you know everything is above board and the money is helping real animals. The people who commit these crimes are animals of an entirely different kind. </p> <p><em>Main photo of a beautiful pup by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/shuck/">Shuck</a> . Thanks, it&#39;s wonderful. </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/pet-lovers-beware-theres-a-new-scam-in-town">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-15"> <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/419-baiting-keeping-online-scammers-running-in-circles">419 baiting – keeping online scammers running in circles</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/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today</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-vicious-home-rental-scam-dont-get-conned">The vicious Home Rental Scam – don’t get conned.</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/6500-repair-bill-to-remove-a-stone-from-a-moon-roof">$6500 repair bill to remove a stone from a moon roof</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-nigerian-scam-artists-catch-more-flies-with-threats-of-detainment">Do Nigerian Scam Artists Catch more Flies with Threats of Detainment?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance adoption deception dog dogs email fake Nigeria puppy scam Wed, 06 Jun 2007 22:08:35 +0000 Paul Michael 706 at http://www.wisebread.com