The Best Tools to Help You Conquer Your Email 48

The Best Tools to Help You Conquer Your Email

This is a guest post by Niraj, founder of Hiveran app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool.

Did you know that 122,500,453,020 emails are sent every hour?

Despite all the Email-is-bad-for-you talk going out there, I say that with the right tools managing your inbox is not that hard at all.

In that good spirit, I decided to compile a list of some incredible tools that can help manage your email better:

1. FollowUpthen

Are you so swamped that you often forget to follow up? Time to get FollowUpthen.

As you probably already guessed, this tool sends you reminders to follow up on a particular email. You can send follow up reminders to your clients too.

If you want to remind yourself to follow up tomorrow, all you have to do is add ‘Tomorrow@followupthen.com’ either in Bcc, cc or to sections – each one has a specific function.

Why I love it?

It comes with a number of other features like calendar integration and works well with any email platform. Plus, it’s very simple to use.

2. Hiver

Hiver practically lets you manage all your business operations right from the inbox. It aims to improve collaboration among the employees and streamline your workflow.

By quickly adding labels to your emails, you can share entire email threads with others, using the shared labels feature. You can also delegate and track tasks using this feature.

Hiver is a complete package; it comes with many handy email management features like email snoozing, email scheduling, adding notes to emails and sharing those notes, sharing contact lists and more.

Unlike many other task management tools, where you have to to and fro between the tool and the inbox, Hiver allows you to manage everything right out of the inbox. Also, it is very intuitive and simple to use.

3. Unroll.me

We all hate spam, don’t we?! But is it really spam if we subscribed to it at one point?

Unroll.me can be your savior here. It allows you to block out all those unwanted promotion emails with a click.

As soon as I signed up, they had a list of all my subscription emails. The tool allowed me to quickly opt out of any of those subscriptions right out of the list. If you are too busy to go to each and every one of your subscriptions and undo it individually, this tool is just right for you.

Unroll.me also allows you to schedule the time at which you want all these subscription emails to arrive in your inbox and all your subscriptions emails are rolled up into one email. Quite handy isn’t it?

4. Sidekick

Sometimes you send an important email and are anxiously waiting to hear back. Did you ever wish you could know if the other party opened your email?! If yes, you will love Sidekick.

Sidekick automatically sends you a notice when the recipient opens your email. Additionally, you will also be able to see the profiles of those you contact; Valuable info such as their Job title, Social media content, mutual connections if any etc. will be at your disposal.

In addition to satisfying humans’ need to know, Sidekick puts you one step ahead so you can make your next move with a well-designed strategy.

5. Rapportive

Rapportive is one my favorites. It is incredibly useful because it familiarizes me with the person I want to contact; especially when you are reaching out to someone for the first time this tool can prove to be very handy.

Also, you can see if the person resides nearby and in that case, you can invite them for a nice coffee chat.

This is a great way to build and expand your network and get to know the people in your network.

It saves a lot of manual effort on my part. I don’t have to go online and research about the person myself; all the information is handed to me on a silver platter.

6. Gmail offline

Off to a place where the internet connectivity is bad? Who says you need the internet to manage your inbox. You can read, search, archive and respond to emails even without the internet using Gmail Offline.
If your work involves a lot of traveling, this can come in handy. All you have to do is to download the app using Chrome and you are all set.

This tool works smoothly and is also quick and efficient. A bad network can’t halt your business anymore and is great for emergency work situations.

7. Wisestamp

When running a business or in any scenario, for that matter, you may have to cold email people.

Wisestamp is a great tool to have in this situation. It allows you to add character to your email by adding a profile picture, your phone number, website address etc.

This way when cold emailing someone, they can access all the information about you through your signature, which will help them authenticate you as a person.

Also, having an informative signature is a good way to promote your business.

If you like to keep your emails appealing, you will love this tool. There are a number designs and styles to choose from.

8. Inbox Pause

Email distraction is a big problem. You are so involved and focused on finishing a particular task and everything is going so well until you hear your email ping! And there, you just lost all your focus and flow.

Inbox pause gives us an excellent solution for this problem. Once you download the tool, a small pause button is added to your mail.

When you are about to start an important task that will need all your focus, you click on this pause button and it puts all your emails on hold and you can later unpause it when you are ready.

I think it is an elegant, simple and powerful solution to email distraction. Whether you are on a vacation or you have a major deadline coming up, this tool can prove to be extremely useful.

There is no shortage of tools promising to do many things for you. But it is up to you to ensure that the tools and apps you select align well with your requirements and goals. Using too many tools will be counter productive. Try them out and see what works for you, eliminate the rest.

Related:

7 Ways to Increase Productivity in The Workplace
Productivity Tools for Social Media Marketers
14 Writing Tools to Help You Get More Done in Less Time

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 6

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.