Last week, at the college fairs I attended, I collected students' names and email addresses to notify them about an upcoming Notre Dame Information Night we will be holding in late September. My mother, who is visiting me this week, kindly volunteered to input the names and email addresses into a database for me. It's been quite a challenge deciphering some of the students' penmanship to determine their email addresses. Many of the ones we can read are downright scary – "hotmamacita" and "ghettostud" may be great email aliases to use with your friends, but don't exactly scream, "I'm a serious student."
All of this email work has me thinking about the wonderful marketing tool that is email and how we can best use it to our advantage. Here are a few simple email tactics we should all be employing:
Email Address – Think about the message you are sending with your actual email address. Does it promote a serious, professional image? If you use a "cute" name for personal email, consider obtaining at least one serious email address for professional use.
Configure Your Account – Be certain to configure your email account so that the name that appears in your outgoing email is either your personal or business name, not your email address. Send yourself a test email to check out your recipient will receive your email.
Signature – Are you using a custom signature to promote your work? Your email signature line is a great form of free advertising for your business. Be sure to include web links, contact information and other pertinent information you would like to share. Also, if you are using a free email account, remember that your outgoing emails mail also include some form of advertising at the footer of your email.
Vacation Responders – This handy technology can be used any time, not just when you are on vacation. Expect to be away from your email for longer than a day? Set a responder to let those who email you know when they can expect a response. Also, if your responder does not have an automatic turnoff feature, remember to turn it off!
Email, when used professionally and with attention to detail, can be a great tool for helping us to promote our work and get things done.